Smoked Trout Dip

smoked trout dip in a jar with Ritz crackers

Smoked trout dip is a fabulous appetizer made with smoked fish, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and a few secret spices. This Florida style fish dip is so tasty I can’t stop eating it!

Smoked Trout Dip on a platter

I LOVE smoked trout dip

I’m sorry, but this stuff is perfection in a bowl. It was inspired by one I’ve been buying all year from a local market. I’m completely obsessed with the smokey flavor and creamy texture. I’m telling you guys, this fish dip is the best. If you love smoked salmon, this has to be on your list to make this fall. And if you’re on the fence, just trust me on this one, a little tub of smoked fish dip in your fridge will be your best friend. The flavor is out of this world, and it can be served as a dip or a spread, high brow, or low, doesn’t matter. We love it with Fritos and Saltines, but you can easily make it holiday-worthy with some fancy crackers or crudité. (It’s HEAVEN on a toasted bagel.)

If you’re from Florida, you know what I’m talking about, fish dip has a cult following down there! But lots of you who live near a coast, lakes or rivers are hip to fish dip, too. It’s a ‘thing’ in the Midwest, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the South, but if you’re out of the loop on this one, keep an open mind, and read on…

what you’ll need

  • smoked trout ~ we’re talking about hot smoked fish, not cold smoked fish. Hot smoked fish is sold in chunks or fillets and has been smoked with heat, which cooks the fish. It has a firm texture and a deep smokey flavor. Find it, usually shrink wrapped, with the fresh fish in your market, or with the cured meats and cold smoked fish like lox, etc.
  • cream cheese ~ you can use regular or whipped, I used regular.
  • sour cream ~ it gives this dip a nice ‘tang’.
  • mayonnaise ~ most dips benefit from mayo, it has a nice flavor, and loosens the texture. Make you own if you like, it’s easy!
  • prepared horseradish ~ this is sold in small jars in the condiment aisle of your store and it gives the dip a zesty bite. You can also used creamed horseradish, homemade, or from a jar.
  • spices ~ sweet and smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • lemon juice ~ just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens and cuts the richness of the smoked fish.
  • salt ~ you’ll add it to taste, depending on how salty your fish is.
dipping chips into a bowl of smoked trout dip

make this fish dip your own

Of course you can use other types of smoked fish to make fish dip, smoked salmon, blue fish, swordfish, tuna, mahi mahi, mackerel, or whitefish are other popular options. Smoked mullet is a Florida favorite. Basically whatever hot smoked fish you love will work in this dip.

smoked trout

Make it without mayo, just leave it out and double down on the cream cheese and sour cream.

If you don’t have a food processor you can definitely do this by hand, just be sure to get the base ingredients really well blended. Flake the fish into fine bits before folding in. Tip: if doing by hand, start with room temperature cream cheese, or use whipped cream cheese.

Give this dip a different flavor profile: use fresh herbs like dill and parsley in place of the spices. You can also use Worcestershire and hot sauce. Alternative spices are Old Bay seasoning, powdered mustard, cayenne, or chili powder. Note: remember the smoked fish is the star here, so don’t overdo the spicing.

Make this into a baked dip ~ you might add some shredded cheese to it as well. Bake at 350F until hot and bubbly and serve with toasted bread.

Make it with canned smoked fish ~ this works, use a brand you love.

canned smoked fish

Add a fresh crunch with finely minced celery and scallions.

Everything’s better with bacon, so go ahead and add some crisp crumbled bacon.

Make it lower calorie by using reduced fat mayo, cream cheese and yogurt or labneh in place of the sour cream.

Fresh homemade labneh cheese in a bowl with spreading knife

Keep it keto by serving with crisp veggies, or in little endive cups.

Smoke your own fish on your charcoal grill for the ultimate smoked fish dip! This recipe for smoked salmon from Hank Shaw works for trout, too.

smoked trout dip in a jar with crackers - 2

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dipping a chip into smoked trout dip
5 from 13 votes

Smoked Trout Dip

Smoked trout dip is a fabulous appetizer made with smoked fish, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and a few secret spices. This Florida style fish dip is so tasty I can't stop eating it!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 3 cups
Calories 130kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • food processor (optional)


  • 1/2 lb smoked trout
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Dukes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder (you can use onion salt, just reduce the regular salt in the recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, or more to taste


  • Remove the skin from the smoked trout by sliding a sharp knife between the skin and the fish. Discard the skin.
    removing skin from trout
  • Break apart the trout into rough pieces. Set aside
    Breaking smoked trout into pieces
  • Put the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in a food processor and blend until smooth.
    ingredients for smoked trout dip in food processor
  • Add the salt, spices, and lemon juice and blend again until combined. Scrape down the sides of the machine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
    Blending trout dip in food processor
  • Add the pieces of smoked trout and pulse the machine about 15 times, just until the trout is broken up and evenly distributed, but there is still some texture in the dip.
    Adding flaked smoked trout to food processor
  • Take a taste to see if you want to adjust any of the spices, or add more lemon juice.
    Smoked trout dip blended in a food processor
  • Transfer the dip to an airtight storage container and chill. Note: the dip will start out light and fluffy straight out of the processor, but will get nice and firm, thick, and spreadable after few hours in the refrigerator.
    smoked trout dip in a glass container
  • The dip is ready to serve after it has completely chilled. It will keep up to a week in the airtight container in the refrigerator.
    smoked trout dip in storage container


Serving: 3Tbsp | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 287IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 25, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Sue, I’ve made this recipe many times over the past year for our guests and EVERYONE raves about it!!! My husband smokes the trout himself on a cedar board and I make your homemade horseradish to mix in…wow! Quick and easy question: does this dip freeze well?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 26, 2022 at 6:06 am

      I’m so happy to hear that Deb! I personally haven’t frozen this dip but from what I know about the subject, it’s an iffy proposition because the texture can suffer a bit. It might be worth a try with a small amount and then you’ll know for the future. Sorry I can’t be more definitive.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    5 stars
    This dip is wonderful! A thousand times better than what you can buy at the store. Easy, too!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    5 stars
    This is a Keeper! I added the chopped celery, fresh garlic chives and green onion from the garden. I also included the capers and dill weed. I used fresh garlic minced and omitted the powdered garlic and onion powder. I used whipped cream cheese, omitted the mayo but kept the sour cream and added a bit extra. I mixed this all by hand in a bowl and added the chunked trout last to avoid breaking it up too much. The lemon juice is a must for brightness! I had it on celery stalks and toasted baguette with good olive oil. Printed and using this often. Thank You!!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    5 stars
    Raised in the Midwest I remember this kind of dip. I’ll be making this. Must say though you must have been visiting family in another state becaùse we don’t have Dukes in California! Always enjoy your recipes and your readers comments. But not so much how the comments section is working.

  • Reply
    Robin Shanahan
    September 5, 2021 at 6:55 am

    5 stars
    My husband and I lived in Florida for a couple of years and loved the smoked fish dip that you could buy in the grocery store or fish market. THIS taste just like it! I made it last night and brought to a party and it was a huge hit! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 5, 2021 at 7:05 am

      I’m so happy to hear that Robin, it is like a little taste of Florida!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2021 at 6:46 am

    5 stars
    We live on the shore of Lake Superior and make this every Christmas!

    I’ve never thought about having it in the fall but may have to start – good with football games!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 4, 2021 at 7:05 am

      Yay Amy, I think every season is fish dip season 🙂

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