Smoked tuna dip is a super easy recipe for any sort of gathering or game day. It takes almost no time to make and is low carb, gluten free and can be made dairy free as well. A favorite of the gulf coast area, this recipe is easy to make in bulk for events with more people, or to freeze for later to have on hand.
Why This Recipe Works:
- Easy: Smoked tuna dip has only a handful of simple ingredients and takes very few steps to make.
- Fast: The prep time for this recipe is about 5 minutes so even if you forget to make it until the last second there are zero worries.
- Great for freezing: You can easily freeze this recipe to have on hand for whenever you want a quick dip without any effort.
- Customizable: This smoked tuna dip has very few ingredients and is super easy to fine tune to your taste. Add more hot sauce, cayenne or red pepper flakes for a spicier dip or even add in chopped bacon. The choice is yours!
What is Smoked Tuna Dip?
Smoked tuna dip is a really popular appetizer, starter and party favorite along the Gulf Coast. It can be found on many restaurant menus and kitchen countertops during gatherings in family homes.
Ingredients in Smoked Tuna Dip
To make this dip you’ll start with 2 five ounce cans of drained albacore tuna, 4 ounces of softened (room temperature) cream cheese, and a half cup of mayonnaise. Other than those, you’ll need a teaspoon of hot sauce, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
You will need about a half teaspoon of liquid smoke, more or less depending on taste, salt to taste, and pepper to taste. For garnish you may want two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley and/or two tablespoons of finely chopped chives.
How to Make Smoked Tuna Dip
Start your smoked tuna dip by draining the tuna and making sure your cream cheese is soft enough to work with. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise. You can use a whisk or a spoon but a small hand mixer make this much faster and gets you a smoother texture.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the tuna, and combine. Start with less of the salt, pepper, and liquid smoke and taste as you mix the dip so you can ensure that it fits your taste. Once this mixture is tuned to your taste, add in the tuna and any extras and mix well.
Easy additions to your smoked tuna dip
- Chopped bacon
- Red pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Finely minced garlic
- Diced jalapeños
- Finely diced onion
- Additional hot sauce
Once the smoked tuna dip is well combined and tuned to your taste, cover it and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then just garnish and dig in.
How to Make Dairy Free Smoked Tuna Dip
This recipe can be made dairy free by using a dairy free cream cheese or ricotta. Just change it out in a 1:1 ratio and make the recipe as normal. Try the Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese or Miyokos dairy free cream cheese if you want a suggestion but if you have a brand you like give it a try!
Serve this smoked tuna dip as a spread or dip for saltines, butter crackers, pita crackers, or any of your favorites. If you’re trying to avoid the chips and crackers, this recipe works really well as a dip for celery sticks, sliced peppers or cucumbers and radish, or as rollups in small leaves of lettuce. You can also try this recipe as the topper for a fresh salad with your selection of veggies.
In the fridge:
To store your smoked tuna dip in the fridge, just place it into an airtight container and refrigerate. It will stay well for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
To freeze smoked tuna dip:
If you made too much tuna for your event or just made it to freeze and have some on hand for later, place your smoked tuna dip into an airtight container, cover, and freeze.
Try to get as much of the air out of the container as possible to keep best in the freezer. If your container is bigger than the amount of dip you have left, try adding a layer of tin foil or press’n’seal to “seal” the dip away from the extra air before freezing.
If you use Souper Cubes, this recipe works fantastic for those. Just freeze the dip in the cubes, and transfer to a plastic baggie after frozen and squeeze as much of the air as you can out of there and place back into the freezer.
What is the difference between kinds of tuna?
Albacore is a smooth textured white looking tuna while yellowfin is a little less smooth with a reddish meat. Skipjack tuna has a darker color and has the most “fishy” flavor of the canned tuna varieties.
What is the best kind of tuna?
Albacore is considered the best due to its smooth texture and flavor. It costs less than yellowfin tuna and has a milder flavor.
Where did smoked tuna dip come from?
Smoked tuna dip is most popular in the gulf coast region. Many of the restaurants in the area will have their version on the menu.
Can I make this recipe with other kinds of fish?
Yes! You can try this with canned flaky salmon or even with a canned chicken if you’d prefer to give it a shot!
Other Dips and Appetizers You’ll Love:
- Redneck Caviar
- Mango Habanero Salsa
- Smoked BBQ Wings
- Queso Mozzarella
- Mango Pico de Gallo
- Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 (5 ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (add more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 teaspoon hot sauce or buffalo sauce
- Optional: fresh chopped chives or parsley to garnish
- Use an electric mixer or hand whisk to stir together the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the tuna. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
- Taste and add more liquid smoke, salt or pepper, as needed, to taste.
- Mix in the tuna until well combined.
- Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh herbs.
Dairy free smoked tuna dip: This recipe can be made dairy free by using a dairy free cream cheese or ricotta. Just change it out in a 1:1 ratio and make the recipe as normal. Try the Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese or Miyokos dairy free cream cheese.
Keywords: smoked tuna dip, smoked tunat dip recipe, how to make smoked tuna dip, gluten free smoked tuna dip, dairy free smoked tuna dip, easy smoked tuna dip, fast smoked tuna dip, quick smoked tuna dip, how to make smoked tuna dip
- Calories: 310
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 380 mg
- Fat: 34 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Trans Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 1 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 15 g
- Cholesterol: 57 mg
This smoked tuna dip recipe may contain some links that are affiliate links, though products are ones I use personally and recommend. When you purchase anything using my links, it costs you absolutely nothing extra, but it does give wholekitchensink.com a little financial support which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your continued support, both with your dollars and your interest.