When we realized the possibility of taking smoked tuna and turning it into a dip, we knew it was going to be good. We just didn’t realize how good! This Smoked Tuna Dip is so creamy and tasty, it blew us away. It’s the perfect smoky appetizer for the next time you host friends, family, or guests.
🍽️ Why This Works
Cheesy Goodness. A great tuna appetizer needs cheese, and this recipe includes both gruyere and cream cheese.
Uses Smoked Tuna. If you made smoked tuna and have an extra steak, this recipe has got you covered. You will use that leftover meat to make something amazing! In fact, when you plan to smoke some tuna you should always plan for extra just to make this dip!
Super easy and fast. Combine the ingredients and bake the dip for fifteen minutes. Since the tuna is already smoked, a delicious smoky flavor infuses the dish without getting the smoker going.
Full of Flavor. Our dip is not just tuna and cream cheese. How boring! We cranked it up a notch with gruyere cheese, a little heat with sriracha, and a little sweetness from sweet bell peppers. There is so much to love about this!
Protein. Most dips are packed with dairy and carbs. Our dip has dairy, but it also has protein and Omega 3s from all that tuna!
📝 Ingredient Notes
Smoked Tuna Steak – You will need 10-12 ounces.
Gruyere Cheese – This usually comes in block form and may be found with the specialty cheeses at your local grocery store.
Sriracha – The perfect amount of heat is one of the things that sets ours apart.
Mayonnaise – Gives it body and makes it more “dippable” then it would be if it was straight cheese.
Whipped Cream Cheese – The whipped version is softer and easier to mix. We love the Tillamook brand. I do not recommend generic store brands.
Sweet Peppers – Add just a hint of sweetness to this favorite savory dip.
Vinegar – Distilled white vinegar doesn’t add any extra flavors to the dish. Apple cider vinegar can be used in a pinch.
Panko Bread Crumbs – These light and flaky crumbs are the perfect topper. They toast up nicely and don’t weigh it down to much so that it breaks your chips. Perfect.
Parsley and Chives – A little green flavor to keep things fresh. The chives replace onions in our dip, adding a nice amount of onion flavor without getting soft and stringy.
Salt and Pepper – Use to taste. I always like to add pepper to a good dip like this. Depending on the saltiness of your tuna and your gruyere, you may not want to add much salt.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Mixing Bowl. I like to use a nice deep bowl when I use a hand mixer so that my kitchen doesn’t get covered in slop. Trust me, it has happened more than once!
Hand Mixer. The easiest way to thoroughly combine the dip ingredients. You can do it with a whisk, but I recommend every kitchen have a hand mixer.
Scissors. Simply the best way to quickly and easily chop chives. Kitchen shears come in handy for so many things!
Baking Dish. A simple 8 x 8 pan is perfect. It just needs to be oven-proof. If you are taking the dip with you to an event, I’d even go with disposable so you don’t have to bring your empty container home.
Step One: Combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, vinegar, mayonnaise, sriracha, parsley, and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Mix until combined.
Step Two: Add the tuna and diced sweet bell peppers.
Step Three: Cut the chives up directly into the bowl. Fold in the tuna, peppers, and chives.
Step Four: Spread the dip out evenly in your baking dish.
Step Five: Top with Panko bread crumbs. If you don’t have Panko, you can use crushed Saltines, but be aware it may add some extra sodium.
Step Six: Bake the dip at 425ºF for fifteen minutes until it’s nice and bubbly on the edges and the Panko is toasty.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
One of the easiest ways to shred smoked tuna is to put it in a mixing bowl and attack it with a hand mixer. It will shred up so nicely! This also works with chicken that has been cooked to tender.
Shred your gruyere cheese quickly by using a food processor. It makes shredding cheese a dream. If you are unable to locate gruyere, there are almost a dozen substitutes you can use in its place.
I’ve mentioned the scissors trick for chopping chives fast at least once already, but it bears repeating.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Keep leftover smoked tuna dip for up to three days in your refrigerator. As long as you keep it in an airtight container it should be fine.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time until the cheese is melted and it is hot throughout.
Freeze leftover dip in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw to reheat. Once cooked tuna has been frozen, thawed, and reheated it should not be kept as leftovers for reheating a third time, or frozen a second time.
Use leftover tuna dip to stuff baked potatoes!
Always add at least one extra tuna steak to the smoker when you plan to make them — because you will always want this dip.
If you won’t get to making dip right away, shred the leftover tuna with a hand mixer and freeze it in an airtight container to use it later. You can even seal it with a vacuum sealer if you have one.
Shredding the tuna before you save it will make mixing up the dip even easier on the day of your event.
➕ Additions and Substitutions
Change it up with smoked salmon, smoked red snapper, or even smoked crab meat.
Use lemon juice instead of vinegar.
Use cheddar, smoked cheddar, smoked provolone, or a cheese blend instead of gruyere.
Don’t stress about the parsley. If you don’t have it, leave it out.
Add chopped jalapeños, habaneros, or poblano peppers for a little (or a lot) extra heat. Any hot peppers will work. Make sure to handle them carefully and remove the seeds unless you love the heat they bring.
Bake the smoked tuna dip directly in wonton cups or phyllo dough cups to make a hand held appetizer with no need to dip!
Serve our delicious smoked tuna dip with tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, flat pretzel chips, or toasted French bread slices.
❓ Recipe FAQ
Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy smoked tuna dip as an appetizer from a restaurant. This is more common on the Southern coast or in Florida. Homemade smoked tuna dip is amazing though! Give it a try.
A pregnant woman should have no more than 12 ounces of canned tuna or no more than 4 ounces of albacore or yellow fin tuna per week. As long as you use either albacore or yellow fin tuna for smoking, you can safely eat about ⅓ of this dip recipe at one sitting, and safely consume it during pregnancy. Different types of fish that contain high levels of mercury are banned altogether. You should definitely do your own research to confirm these findings and talk with your doctor.
Yes. It is best hot and bubbly.
Reheat your dip in the microwave to get the cheese melted again and heat the meat through or throw it in the oven on 325ºF until it is heated through and bubbling around the edges.
It can last for up to three days in the refrigerator depending on how quickly you used the tuna after smoking it. It will also last for up to three months in the freezer and can be thawed in your refrigerator.
Use it as a spread on your sandwich or wrap. Use it to stuff baked potatoes. Spread it on avocado toast.
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Smoked Tuna Dip
- Small Baking Dish
- 10-12 oz Smoked Tuna
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 4 oz Whipped Cream Cheese
- 3 oz Gruyere Cheese shredded
- 3 Sweet Peppers chopped
- 3 tbsp Dried Parsley
- 1 tbsp White Vinegar
- 4 tbsp Chives chopped
- 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
- ¼ cup Panko
- dash Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, vinegar, mayonnaise, sriracha, parsley and salt and pepper together in a bowl. With a mixer, mix until well combined.
- Add in the shredded smoked tuna, sweet bell peppers and with a spatula, stir until fully combined.
- Pour into a small greased baking pan, sprinkle Panko on top, and cook for 15 minutes or until the Panko is toasty.