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The Best Smoked Tuna Dip

Spotted at local restaurants all over the Gulf Coast, this smoked tuna dip is one of the easiest and most delicious dips! The best part? You don’t have to smoke your own tuna, I’ll show you a little trick to making your own homemade smoked tuna dip!

Smoked Tuna Dip Recipes

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Every year, my family heads down to the 30A (a strip of coastal towns between Panama City and Destin on the Florida Gulf Coast) and enjoys the gorgeous white sand beaches – and lots of delicious seafood! One appetizer that continuously pops up at the local restaurants is Smoked Tuna Dip!

Smoked Tuna Dip

Now, you might be thinking…eh..is it THAT good? Yes. YES it is! There’s a reason it’s so popular at places like Bud & Alley’s in Seaside, Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant, Buddy’s Seafood in Santa Rosa, Cowgirl Kitchen in Rosemary Beach, Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar, Harbor Docks in Destin, Schooners in Panama City… and countless other seafood eateries along the 30A area.

So what makes this Gulf Coast favorite so delicious? The smoky flavor along with delicious tuna (Yellow Fin is fabulous) and seasonings creates the perfect blend of flavors. It’s super creamy and smoky, and it makes the perfect nibble for a weekend snack or easy party appetizer.

The Secret: Liquid Smoke

So what’s the secret to this smoked tuna dip recipe? It’s liquid smoke. You can usually find this either with seasonings and olive oils or with bottled barbecue sauces and salad dressings in any local grocery store. It’s a tiny bottle and a LITTLE goes a long way. I’d suggest 1/2 teaspoon to start and then go up from there for more smoke flavor.

If you want to smoke your own tuna fish, then go for it! But if you want to go the easy route and not sacrifice that delicious smoky flavor, just add in liquid smoke! It’s potent, so start off with just a little. You can always add more.

gulf coast smoked tuna dip recipe with saltine crackers

So what else is in Smoked Tuna Dip?

Here’s a quick glance at the ingredients. They’re all simple ingredients you can easily find along with a delicious blend of seasonings!

  • Cream Cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tuna (fresh Yellowfin tuna, Albacore tuna, etc.) – Fresh tuna or canned tuna both work well!
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot Sauce
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cajun Seasoning (or Old Bay Seasoning)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • Herbs for Garnish (Fresh Parsley, Chives or Green Onion)
  • Lemon zest or lemon wedge for Garnish

If you want, you can make it a chunkier texture by adding in diced bell pepper, diced celery, diced red onions and more chunked tuna fish. Or opt for a smoother texture, either way, it makes a delicious dip!

Smoked Tuna Dip

How to make this Smoked Tuna Dip Recipe

  1. Use an electric mixer or hand whisk to beat cream cheese until smooth. You definitely want to start with softened cream cheese, it’s much easier to stir.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed and combined well.
  3. Add more liquid smoke, salt or pepper (to taste).
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This is a dip you can prepare in advance and keep chilled.
  5. Serve with your favorite saltine crackers, pita chips, tortilla chips, celery sticks, Ritz crackers, or these homemade wonton chips!

This is an easy party dip to prepare a day in advance of guests arriving so it’s perfectly chilled and ready to go for holiday parties or other festivities. My husband and I love it with a glass of white wine in the summer. Delish!

Have leftover smoked tuna dip? Here are a few more ways to use this delicious fish dip:

  • As a spread on sandwiches or wraps.
  • Baked into mini toast cups, phyllo cups, or wonton cups for a bite sized appetizer.
  • Add a scoop of this smoky tuna dip to a bed of lettuce for an easy salad!

Even More Party Appetizers to Try!

Give this delicious smoked tuna dip recipe the next time you want to make a party dip! I know your guests will love it!

Smoked Tuna Dip Recipes

Smoked Tuna Dip Recipe

Author: Courtney
A Gulf Coast favorite, this easy Smoked Tuna Dip recipe is delicious served with your favorite crackers!
4.70 from 68 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 340 kcal


  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces tuna (albacore, yellowfin, etc., flaked (canned or fresh))
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke ((add more or less, to taste))
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)

For Garnish:

  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (finely diced)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives (finely diced)


  • Use an electric mixer or hand whisk to stir together the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add in the mayonnaise, flaky tuna, and the rest of the ingredients. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add more or less liquid smoke, salt or pepper – to taste.
  • Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh herbs.
  • Serve with saltine crackers or cracker of choice.
Keyword smoked tuna dip, tuna dip
Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 13gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 438mgPotassium: 175mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 809IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
    We love it!! The only thing different we do is put a grated carrot and chopped celery in.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made it. Very, very good. I used hickory smoke and sriracha for hot sauce. Slap Your Mama cajun seasoning. It’s delicious. Going to let it sit in the fridge to improve flavors.
    I did use light Hellmans mayo and light Philly cheese.

  3. 5 stars
    It was pretty good, I bought a can of smoked tuna, so I didn’t have to add any liquid smoke or anything. I was looking for something to do with it. This was pretty good. It would be better if I had some parsley or some chives to garnish with but it did the trick anyway.

  4. 5 stars
    I bought two frozen ahi tuna steaks, thawed them, dried them off, seasoned, and seared for 2 minutes on each side and 30 seconds on each edge then killed the heat removed from burner, add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke to the pan, and put a lid on it for a while. Then I shredded it up and followed the rest of your recipe. Also chose to include very finely diced celery, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, and scallions.

    It is delicious. Some capers would also be good. Sour cream instead of cream cheese would be a fine substitution also.

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