Smoked fish dip is a classic summer vacation food if you lived anywhere in the southeast US and vacationed around the Gulf of Mexico. Usually made with fresh tuna steaks, salmon or even red snapper, the dip is creamy, salty, savory and an impressive appetizer served with almost any dipping vehicle.
Local restaurants all over Panama City, Florida smoke their own fish for the seafood dip. Since I don't have a smoker, we're creating smokiness with one of my favorite spice drawer warriors - smoked paprika. It is the easiest way to add richness and a delicious smoky flavor without spending an hour of smoking on my non-existent green egg.
Saltine crackers are the traditional dipper, but I'm also fond of toast points and fresh veggies like carrot and celery sticks in this smoked and creamy tuna dip recipe. Pick up a box of your favorite crackers or crispy tortilla chips to add even more crunch to the party. For a special occasion, I like to use a buttery toasted bread bowl to hold the dip, with toast points.
This is the best smoked tuna dip and an easy party appetizer for all your favorite pescatarian friends and family.
What you need to make Easy Smoked Tuna Dip Recipe:
Step by step instructions:
If using a bread bowl, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a circle into the bread round and hollow out the loaf, leaving a thick shell to hold the delicious dip. Cut the hollowed out bread pieces into cubes for dipping. Melt butter with one crushed garlic clove in a small saucepan.
Brush inside and outside of the bread bowl with the garlic butter. Brush each bread cube with the garlic butter.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bowl is toasty and brown and bread cubes are crispy. Remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes to allow the bread bowl to cool just a bit.
While bread is heating, combine all dip ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Scoop the delicious smoked tuna dip into the toasted bread bowl. Top with diced fresh chives or green onion and additional lemon zest. Serve with crispy bread cubes, saltines, pita chips or veggie sticks.
Can I use light tuna in water?
If tuna in water is a pantry staple in your house, you can substitute it here for the tuna in olive oil. Be sure to taste and adjust seasoning before serving, as you will likely need to add additional salt or an additional dash of Worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavor.
What can I use in place of smoked paprika?
The paprika is what adds the smokiness to this easy tuna dip, so if you don't have any smoked paprika, you'll need to add a few drops of liquid smoke to the tuna mixture. You can also use a pouch of smoked tuna, usually located in the canned meat aisle near the cans of tuna.
Can I use regular cream cheese instead of whipped cream cheese?
Absolutely. You may want to add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream or half and half to thin the softened cream cheese a bit, but regular cream cheese will work beautifully here.
Could I add any vegetables into the smoked tuna dip?
You sure can. I was determined to make sure this recipe tasted like a smoked fish dip, and not tuna fish salad. So I avoided all the classic diced veggies. But if you're comfortable blurring the lines between sandwich filling and dip, feel free to add finely diced celery, red onion, even red bell peppers if it suits your fancy.
What can I do with leftover smoked tuna dip?
I've used this smoked tuna dip as a spread inside a veggie wrap for lunch, and as the base for an extra-delicious tuna melt. It's also delicious on any number of crackers, chips or in mini-phyllo shells.
To store, wrap tightly or transfer to airtight container and keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days.Print