Let’s Get This Party Started: Fancy Smoked Oyster Dip

Feature image via peaceandloveinthekitchen.com

The holidays are approaching, and all of us are feeling the financial crunch; a year is coming to a close, which means (unpaid) holiday break for many of you, and slow work for those of us who freelance. For me, the end of the year means prepping myself for tax season, buying/making presents, and increasing my therapy sessions—all of which add up, leaving me few funds to entertain with.

Luckily for me (and for you!), I’m a resourceful sort. Are you dreaming of throwing a big-budget party on a teacher’s salary? Fantasizing about Gatsby’s glitz while pocketing that non-profit paycheck? Working the seasonal grind just to get discounts? Never fear! Fancy redemption is possible, and it comes in a little, inexpensive can.

Behold: canned smoked oysters. Ever had them? They are fantastic. They taste amazing in a sandwich, with crackers, in salad, paired with fruit, and, best of all, in a dip to share with all your friends.


You will need:

  • 1 (3.75 oz) can smoked oysters (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have sustainably-caught options!)
  • 3 oz yogurt cheese (from this recipe here), or 3 oz of cream cheese if you don’t have time to make your own!
  • 1 pinch lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (you can substitute Worcestershire sauce if you don’t like it spicy, but only if you can pronounce it)

To do:

The day before the party, mash up oysters in a medium bowl and add cheese, sauce, and lemon pepper. Allow to chill for 24 hours for the most flavor. This dip can be served with water crackers, gluten-free rice thins, or pumpkernickel toasts, if you’re feeling particularly fancy! Enjoy!

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July Westhale

July Westhale is a Pushcart-nominated poet, activist, and journalist. She has been awarded residencies from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Sewanee, Napa Valley, Tin House and Bread Loaf. She is the 2014 Poetry Fellow at Tomales Bay, and was recently a finalist for the Creative Writing Fulbright.

July has written 12 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. This looks delicious! I love oysters, but have never made a dip with them. And this looks so simple to make – definitely a plus!

    I’m a big fan of seafood that involves eating the WHOLE animal – like sardines or oysters. Some may think it’s gross, but to me it just seems less wasteful and more nutritious! (OK, so you don’t eat the shell, but you eat all the other parts) And they’re a fairly sustainable thing to farm too, I’ve read. I believe they help with nutrition cycling and cleaning of the water. So, yay for oysters!

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