8 Best Substitute For Smoked Haddock

Smoked Haddock Substitute

In the world of culinary art, one ingredient that holds a unique place, especially in British cuisine, is smoked haddock. This white fish, known for its subtly sweet, smoky flavor and firm, flaky texture, is an essential component of several iconic dishes. But what happens when you can’t find smoked haddock or need a substitute due to dietary restrictions? The solution lies in finding a suitable alternative that can echo the smoked haddock’s distinctive characteristics in your dishes.

This article presents a comprehensive exploration of the best substitutes for smoked haddock. Each one has been carefully chosen considering the textural and flavor profiles of smoked haddock, ensuring that your dish maintains its core essence even when swapping the main ingredient. By providing the necessary insight into each substitute, the article empowers you with the knowledge to adapt and improvise, whether it’s out of necessity or the desire to experiment with new flavors.

What is Smoked Haddock?

Smoked haddock, a variety of white fish, is a staple in British cuisine, particularly known for its role in traditional dishes such as “Cullen skink” and “Kedgeree.” The haddock is first salted and then smoked, resulting in a distinct flavor profile that’s slightly sweet, smoky, and full-bodied. Its firm and flaky texture makes it a popular choice for numerous dishes including soups, pies, and fishcakes.

Before delving into the substitutes, let’s take a quick overview of the options you have at your disposal:

Quick View of Substitutes For Smoked Haddock

  • Smoked Cod
  • Smoked Halibut
  • Smoked Pollock
  • Smoked Trout
  • Smoked Mackerel
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Monkfish
  • Whitefish
  • Hake

Best Substitutes For Smoked Haddock

The substitutes mentioned here capture the essence of smoked haddock – the smoky flavor, the firm texture, and the delectable taste. Let’s explore these substitutes further.

Smoked Cod

Smoked Cod, with its mildly sweet flavor and a similar firm, flaky texture, makes for an excellent alternative to smoked haddock. Just like haddock, cod is also a white fish, widely used in various cuisines due to its versatile nature. The smoking process lends it a distinctive taste that closely resembles smoked haddock, making it a fitting substitute in most recipes.

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Cod is a resilient fish that holds up well under various cooking techniques, such as grilling, baking, and poaching. For instance, if you’re making a smoked fish pie traditionally calling for smoked haddock, smoked cod can be substituted without altering the texture or the fundamental taste of the dish.

Moreover, cod is highly accessible and often more affordable than haddock, making it an appealing choice for many households. However, do note that cod is milder in flavor, so you might want to adjust the seasonings to reach your desired flavor intensity.

Smoked Halibut

Another worthwhile substitute for smoked haddock is smoked halibut. This white fish shares a similar texture with haddock – firm and meaty, which stands up well to a range of cooking methods.

What sets halibut apart is its clean, sweet flavor, further enhanced by the smoking process. The resulting smoky and slightly sweet taste aligns closely with that of smoked haddock. Whether you’re making a hearty chowder or a baked fish dish, smoked halibut can seamlessly take the place of smoked haddock.

However, halibut can be more expensive and less readily available compared to other fish. So, while it is an excellent alternative from a taste and texture perspective, it might not be the most economical or accessible option for everyone.

Smoked Pollock

Pollock, especially when smoked, comes close to smoked haddock in terms of flavor and texture. This white fish is characteristically firm and flaky with a mild, subtly sweet taste, which makes it a useful substitute in various dishes.

Smoked pollock carries a pronounced smoky flavor, a quality that is essential when substituting for smoked haddock. If you are preparing a dish that heavily relies on the smoky element, such as a traditional Cullen skink or a kedgeree, smoked pollock could be your go-to substitute.

What makes pollock a practical alternative is its affordability and wide availability. However, as it has a milder flavor than haddock, it might require some tweaks in the seasoning department.

Smoked Trout

When it comes to substituting smoked haddock, smoked trout can be a flavorful and widely available choice. This fish has a strong, distinct flavor with a subtle sweetness and a delicate, flaky texture that contrasts well with the firmness of haddock.

The smoking process adds depth to the trout’s flavor, bringing it closer to smoked haddock. While the flavors are not identical, smoked trout can provide a tasty and interesting twist to dishes traditionally made with smoked haddock.

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For example, in a smoked fish salad, the trout can contribute a rich, smoky taste, slightly different but equally satisfying as haddock. However, its robust flavor might be overpowering in some recipes, so discretion is advised when using smoked trout as a substitute.

Smoked Mackerel

Smoked mackerel is another excellent alternative for smoked haddock. It’s a flavorful, oily fish with a smoky, rich taste that comes from the smoking process. This potent flavor makes it an appropriate substitute in dishes where the smoky taste of haddock plays a key role.

Smoked mackerel has a rich, buttery texture that can add depth to a variety of recipes. For instance, in a seafood pasta dish, substituting smoked haddock with smoked mackerel can introduce a new dimension of flavor without straying too far from the original taste.

However, keep in mind that mackerel is a bit more oily than haddock. This could slightly alter the dish’s texture and richness, which is something to consider when using it as a substitute.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is a popular fish known for its rich, smoky flavor and soft, tender texture. While the texture differs somewhat from the firm, flaky consistency of haddock, the smoky taste aligns nicely, making it a possible substitute.

Using smoked salmon in place of smoked haddock can add a touch of luxury to your dishes. Imagine a creamy, smoky seafood risotto with tender chunks of smoked salmon instead of haddock – different, yet delicious in its own right.

However, salmon has a distinctive flavor that is more pronounced than haddock. This can impact the overall flavor profile of the dish, so it’s best used in recipes where the unique taste of salmon would complement the other ingredients.


Monkfish, with its firm and meaty texture, can substitute for smoked haddock in dishes that rely on the fish’s firmness. It’s often referred to as “poor man’s lobster” due to its sweet, delicate flavor and dense texture.

Monkfish holds up well in stews, bakes, and grills, similar to haddock. However, since it lacks the smoky element of smoked haddock, it may require additional ingredients like smoked paprika or liquid smoke to mimic that characteristic smoky flavor.

Do remember that monkfish can be more expensive and less widely available than haddock or some of its other substitutes. But if it’s within your budget and available, it’s worth giving a try for a refreshing change.

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Whitefish, a general term for various species like whiting, hake, or tilefish, is a viable alternative to smoked haddock. These fish share a mild, sweet flavor and afirm, flaky texture with haddock, making them suitable substitutes in most recipes.

When smoked, whitefish adopt a more robust flavor profile, bringing them closer to smoked haddock’s unique taste. They work well in many dishes, from smoked fish dips to hearty fish pies, without altering the essence of the dish.

However, due to the variability in species referred to as “whitefish,” flavor and texture can also vary. So, it’s essential to select a type of whitefish that best matches your dish’s specific requirements.


Hake, a white fish with a light, subtle flavor and delicate texture, serves as a fitting alternative to smoked haddock in dishes that do not heavily rely on the smoky flavor. It’s particularly good in dishes like fish tacos, fish and chips, or baked fish recipes.

Although hake lacks the smoky characteristic of smoked haddock, adding smoked spices or using a smoked sauce can help bridge the flavor gap. It’s a widely available and affordable option, making it a practical choice for everyday cooking.

Keep in mind, though, hake is less firm than haddock, so it might not hold up as well in dishes that require a firmer texture, such as certain stews or pies.

Substitutes for Smoked Haddock: Nutritional Profile

Here’s a quick comparison of the nutritional profiles of these substitutes for a ¼ cup serving:

SubstituteGlutenCaloriesFat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)
Smoked Cod0300.2007
Smoked Halibut0411008
Smoked Pollock0370.4008
Smoked Trout0502008
Smoked Mackerel0584006
Smoked Salmon0573.4008

Please note that these are average values and can vary based on specific brands and preparation methods.

Wrapping Up

There you have it – a comprehensive guide to the best substitutes for smoked haddock. While each substitute brings its own unique qualities to the table, they all share key attributes with smoked haddock, making them effective alternatives. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a culinary novice, having these substitutes in your arsenal can open up a world of creative possibilities in your kitchen. Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and discovering what works best for you. So, don’t hesitate to mix things up and try something new. Happy cooking!

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