Salmon Mousse


Be the hit of the party with this salmon mousse! Perfect for spreading on crackers and crudite dips.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: 6 hours
  • 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.

salmon mousse ingredients mix together salmon mousse ingredients

2 Make the tomato sauce cream cheese base: In a sauce pan, 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.

mix tomato sauce and cream cheese mix cream cheese base with salmon mousse ingredients

3 Prepare the gelatin: 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 dissolves. Do not boil the gelatin or it will not gel properly.

add gelatin to water for salmon mousse heat gelatin and water for salmon mousse

4 Add the dissolved gelatin to the salmon mixture and mix well.

5 Chill: Pour the mixture into a decorative mold or into serving bowls and refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm.

6 Un-mold:  If using a decorative mold, un-mold 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.


Salmon mousse vintage recipe card

how to make salmon mousse

Showing 4 of 15 Comments / Reviews

  • Gloria

    I’ve made this recipe several times and took it to parties. We have potluck functions frequently. When I ask, what shall I bring? They all say, you know what to bring. I did not have yogurt so I used sour cream. I used the food processor and I’ve used the hand blender, both do a great job making the consistency right. I didn’t use green pepper. I added a tbsp. Worcestershire sauce. I use a beautiful fish mold.


  • 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?

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