Salmon Mousse

Jelled salmon mousse appetizer recipe, with cooked salmon, celery, green pepper, onion, dill, and cream cheese.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

From the recipe archive. First posted in 2003.

Remember those retro fish molds? I have two of them, both of which I have used to make this salmon mousse over the years. But try as I may, it’s almost impossible to make salmon mousse in a fish mold look good. These days I take the easy way and just pour the mousse mixture into serving bowls, chill until set, and serve. This doesn’t mean the fish molds are retired, I just have to be up for a decorating challenge if I use them again. In any case, this is an easy-to-make, delicious salmon mousse, not too rich, and quite flavorful. The recipe comes from my friend Tina Seelig’s book The Epicurean Laboratory, now long out of print (but a great book if you can get a hold of a used copy.) This mousse was presented to a flock of teenagers who hungrily ate it up with loud exclamations of “This is GREAT!”

Salmon Mousse Recipe

  • Prep time: 6 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 as an appetizer.

You can either pour the salmon mousse mixture into a mold, and then chill it and un-mold it when set, or you can pour the salmon mousse mixture into crocks, tureens, or attractive bowls and serve it as is.


  • 1 lb freshly cooked or canned boneless salmon
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 can concentrated tomato soup or 8 ounces of puréed tomato sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 4 teaspoons (2 envelopes) unflavored, unsweetened gelatin
  • One greased or stick-free 6 cup mold, or a few serving bowls.


1 In a bowl, mix salmon, celery, green pepper, onion, dill, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice.

2 In a saucespan, melt the cream cheese. Add the tomato soup or tomato sauce and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add several dashes of Tabasco sauce. Pour the cream cheese and tomato soup mixture into the salmon mixture and mix thoroughly.

3 Pour the cold water into a small pot and stir in the gelatin. Be sure to use cold water. Gelatin needs this to disperse properly. Slowly heat the water and gelatin just until the gelatin dissoves. Do not boil the gelatin or it will not gel properly. Add the dissolved gelatin to the salmon mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture into a decorative mold or into serving bowls and refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm.

4  If using a decorative mold, unmold the salmon mousse by placing the bottom of the mold in hot water for a few seconds and turn the mold over onto a large serving dish to release the mousse. The surface of the mousse may appear a bit ragged. If you cover with plastic wrap and re-chill in the refrigerator, it should become more smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve salmon mousse with sliced avocados, celery sticks, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, olives, slices of baguette, and/or crackers.

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Recipe adapted from The Epicurean Laboratory.


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Salmon mousse from Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 14 Comments

  • Kathleen M

    Elise, my significant other loves this recipe! I found it a few years ago on your site. We usually use salmon that we have smoked in our smoker. I didn’t/don’t have a mold, so I have never used the gelatin and it is just as great! I just wanted to thank you for another great recipe.

  • redstrands

    This sounds good, but I have a nasty gastric reaction to green bell pepper. Would red bell pepper work, do you think? (I can do red, orange and yellow bell pepper just fine, but green makes me sick!)

    If not, what would you recommend instead of the green pepper?


  • Margaret

    Looks delicious! What kind of green pepper?

  • todd

    Should the mixture be placed in a blender or food processor before being put into the molds or bowls?

  • Katy

    The food on Downton Abbey always looks so good! Alas, it’s often just for show.

    I read an article today about how the “salmon mousse” on DA is actually just colored cream cheese because fish doesn’t stay good for the 12 hours/day of filming.

    Still, it can be an inspiration.

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Salmon Mousse