[Lindsey Bartosh]

I always like a good celebration. I like the little details of parties like when someone coordinates the colors of balloons, or if time is taken to add a napkin ring, or the bathroom gets stocked with different aroma soaps. The part I don’t enjoy is when I’m supposed to bring something.

It’s not that I mind being asked to bring something—I absolutely think asking everyone to pitch in makes a party that much better. It’s the stress I put on myself I don’t enjoy. I tend to think up something too difficult, put off even starting it until it’s too late, and then stop by the market on the way to the party for a bag of chips or premade dessert. It’s always a recipe for self-disappointment, which is the worst way to start a good celebration.

Since I figured out this smoked salmon dip, I no longer indulge in my self-disappointment pity party when invited to a shindig. I keep smoked salmon in my freezer year-round, and hopefully it comes from a fishing trip to the Pacific Northwest I made during the year. Smoked fish keeps incredibly well in the freezer, is very easy to make, and can be used in many dishes. I crumble it on top of salads, add it to pasta dishes, or even take it backpacking for a snack. 

The other great thing about this smoked salmon dip is you can substitute the salmon for different fish. I have smoked kokanee, rainbow trout, brown trout, and albacore tuna, all of which are wonderful when mixed with cream cheese and sour cream. Substitutions can also be made to the dip’s acid by adding lime juice, apple cider vinegar, or even balsamic vinegar. Each of those subtle seeming switches will add a different dimension to the dip. 

You still might have to stop at the market for crackers before you hit your next party, but if you show up with this dip in hand you’ll leave with an empty bowl and an invitation to the next party. Well, an invitation as long as you promise to bring the smoked salmon dip. 

Smoked Salmon Dip


  • 4-6 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh prepared horseradish
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)


  1. Allow the cream cheese to warm to room temperature, about fifteen minutes.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the cream cheese and sour cream.  
  3. Add in the lemon juice and combine until smooth and creamy.
  4. Drop in chunks of smoked salmon and pulse until desired texture is reached. I personally prefer the fish to stay flaky and in chunks, but it is also fine when pulsed into more of a paste texture.
  5. Add dill, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. Horseradish or tabasco can be added for a bit of heat.
  7. Serve with vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, endives, radishes, and peppers.  Also serve with crackers, pieces of bread, or bagel chips.
  8. Enjoy!

Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.