Tender chunks of fish (red snapper) blended with the holy trinity (a Cajun cuisine staple) and I can't forget about the cheese! This creamy Hot Cajun Fish Dip is a household favorite and will be perfect for your next gathering!
Being a Louisiana native I grew up eating all types of seafood. My father used to go fishing and bring back buckets full of shellfish. However, because of my diet has changed over the years, I'm always looking for creative ways to incorporate fish (in lieu of shellfish) --- even in recipes where you would traditionally find other ingredients.
In a seafood dip, you may be expecting crab, shrimp, or crawfish. Right? But, in this dip, I'm using fish. Specifically, red snapper.
Switching out this one ingredient allows me to enjoy an appetizer I grew up on and enjoyed for so many years. Plus, for those who have shellfish allergies, this one is especially for you. This recipe still delivers on those seafood and Cajun vibes without compromising on flavor.
My mother was famous for her tuna fish sandwiches so I took a page out of her book with my own spin in this creamy recipe. The mild flavors from red snapper combined with flavors from the holy trinity (that onion, celery, and bell pepper combination) make this an awesome appetizer.
What type of fish can I use in this Cajun dip?
This dip works best with a firm white fish, like red snapper, halibut, or cod. You'll want to stray away from any light and flaky white fish as this will simply break apart in the dip and you won't have those tasty chunks of fish in every bite. Red snapper is a lean fish that is very moist with a firm texture.
Did you know? Red snapper is a fish species of snapper native to the Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico. The red snapper population took a dip in the 1980s but now is back to a better place.
How to Make Cajun Fish Dip:
This dip begins with the fish. After filleting your red snapper to remove the skin, you'll season and cook it for only 2 minutes each side. You are cooking it quickly in the pan now as it will continue to cook in the oven as the dip bakes.
Cut your celery, red bell peppers, and green onions into chunks and place them into your food processor. Once these ingredients are finely chopped, add the parsley and basil to the food processor as well and continue to chop. Remove from the processor and add it to the same bowl.
Chop your cooked red snapper into small chunks and place in a large bowl with the cream cheese. Note: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. This ensures all ingredients blend together a lot easier.
Finish by adding all remaining ingredients leaving a half cup of Monterey Jack cheese to the side.
You will then trim the top off of a Pane Toscano Loaf (or similar bread) and remove the insides to create a "bowl".
Add the fish mixture inside the bread loaf and top off with remaining cheese. After baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, you can serve your fish dip with toasted baguettes.
What type of bread should I use for the bread bowl?
The bonus with this recipe is enjoying the bread from the loaf that was soaked in the flavors of the dip. To create the bread bowl, you want to grab a boule or cob. Both are large rounded shaped bread loaves.
Be very careful when taste-testing this dish because you may end up eating the entire bowl without sharing --- as I am guilty of doing "lol"! When you want to put a spin on your appetizer, give this Hot Cajun Fish Dip a spot on your table for all to devour.
If you love this dip recipe, you should definitely check out these:
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Cheesy Spinach Dip
- Spicy Chicken Sausage Cheese Dip
- 30-Minute Cheesy Smoked Sausage Dip