Recipe round-up: Dips and spreads

Photo: Pixabay

‘Tis the season of holiday parties, and you’ve probably consumed more sugar cookies and cheddar-topped crackers than you care to count. It’s time to shake things up. Why not bring a tasty fish-based dip or spread to your next shindig?

Smoked fish fillets are a staple in many recipes for seafood dips and spreads. Common species include lake trout, salmon, and whitefish. Smoked salmon is readily available at most grocery stores. Smoked whitefish and smoked Great Lakes salmon can be trickier to find, possibly requiring a trip to a fish market or specialty grocery store (although Costco sometimes carries smoked whitefish). Or you can smoke your own! We’ll feature that option in an upcoming Freshwater Feasts post.

Pair your dip or spread with crackers, baguette slices, pita bread, baby carrots, bell peppers, or pretzel sticks.

Smoked Fish Spread: Use your favorite type of smoked Great Lakes fish for this savory recipe from Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Pete’s Smoked Fish Spread: Minnesota Sea Grant’s recipe works well with smoked lake trout, salmon, or whitefish.

Natasha’s Salmon Spread: Smoked salmon takes center stage in this creamy recipe.

Smoked Whitefish Beer Dip: This tasty recipe comes from Chef Jeffrey Kudrna and is featured in our whitefish cookbookWild Caught and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish.

Makes: 1 pound of dip
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 pound smoked whitefish, skin and bones removed
1/2 large onion, diced
1 Tbs olive oil
3 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup of your favorite beer or ale
Salt to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high. Place the diced onion in the pan and cook until the onion is browned. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add the whitefish, onion, dill, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Puree the mixture until smooth.
  3. Add the ale or beer to the mixture and puree again until the liquid is thoroughly stirred in.
  4. Add salt to taste.

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