R. Karl's Walleye Cheek Dip Appetizer Recipe

Here's an example of a very quick and simple-to-make dip that will elicit a lot of oohs and ahhs! The main ingredient - walleye "cheeks" - is one that is normally tossed out after the fillets are removed from the fish. If you unsure as to what the cheeks are, view my step-by-step instructions on filleting a walleye. These morsels are considered to be the "fillet mignon" of the walleye.

Walleye Cheek Dip


  • Cheeks from about 10-12 walleyes (average walleye size of 15")
  • 4-6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 T. sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), chopped or mashed
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 T. pine nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 t. cilantro, chopped
  • dash of Worcestershire
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • cumin, chili powder, seasoned salt, pepper to taste ¬†


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Simmer the cheeks in a small amount of water for 3-4 minutes, until tender; drain. Do not overcook!

To the softened cream cheese, add the sun-dried tomatoes, Tabasco, liquid smoke, garlic and spices. Coarsely chop the cheek pieces and add to the cheese mixture. Add the cilantro, chill for an hour or so and serve with your favorite brand of snack cracker or tortilla chip. Garnish with red bell pepper, cilantro and green onion.

If you want a spicier dip, add a tiny amount of hot pepper flakes or cayenne. You will find that this dip will go as well with Sparkling Wine as with your favorite beer. Enjoy!

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