Salmon Mousse

Be the hit of the party with this salmon mousse recipe, a retro classic. It’s perfect for spreading on crackers or as a vegetable dip.

How to make salmon mousse
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.

Salmon Mousse: A Retro Classic Worth Reviving

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
Elise Bauer

Tips for Blending Salmon Mousse

To get this retro treat very smooth, at the end of Step 2, use a blender or hand mixer to blend it until it's silky smooth. It's not necessary, but if you want a couple of extra "oohs and ahs" before guests attack the mouse with crackers and celery sticks, you might want to do the extra work.

How Long Can Salmon Mousse Be Stored?

There's fish in this dish, and fish doesn't last long. Store it up to one day in the refrigerator, tightly covered.

To keep this cold while serving, place an unmolded salmon mousse on a platter and then place the platter on top of a bed of ice. If the mousse is in serving bowls, place the bowls directly on top of a bed of ice.

Using a Mold for This Mousse

Thrift stores or any place online that sells pre-owned items (like Etsy) are sources for finding fish molds and others like simple ridged dome-shaped molds. A mold should hold at least six cups for this recipe.

Generously grease the mold with butter or nonstick spray. To unmold, place the bottom of the mold in hot water for a few seconds. Then turn the mold over onto a large serving dish to release the mousse. If the mousse has difficulty coming out, run a butter knife around the edges to give it a little help.

On the off chance that the mousse unmolds poorly and looks very bad, all is not lost. Simply throw it in a bowl, mix it for a minute or two with a hand mixer, and serve it as a regular dip.

Serving Suggestions for Salmon Mousse

  • Melba toast
  • Buttery crackers
  • Cut up raw veggies: carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado slices
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Slices of baguette
  • Add the mousse to a piping bag and pipe it onto crackers, bread, cucumber slices or celery sticks

More Retro Party Apps!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Salmon Mousse

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 25 mins
Servings 12 servings

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

Recipe from "The Epicurean Laboratory" by Tina Seelig.


  • 1 pound freshly cooked or canned boneless salmon

  • 1/2 cup diced celery

  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 8 ounces block cream cheese

  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed tomato soup, or 8 ounces pureed tomato sauce

  • 3 to 4 dashes Tabasco sauce

  • 3/4 cup cold water

  • 4 teaspoons or 2 envelopes unflavored, unsweetened gelatin

  • Sliced avocados, celery sticks, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, olives, slices of baguette, and/or crackers, for serving, optional


Mix the salmon, vegetables, dill, mayo, yogurt, and lemon juice:

In a large bowl, mix salmon, celery, green pepper, onion, dill, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice until well combined.

salmon mousse ingredients
Elise Bauer
mix together salmon mousse ingredients
Elise Bauer
  1. Cook the cream cheese and tomato soup or sauce:

    In a sauce pan, melt the cream cheese over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low, add the tomato soup or tomato sauce and continue cooking, 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 for salmon mouse
    Elise Bauer
    mix cream cheese base with salmon mousse ingredients
    Elise Bauer
  2. 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
    Elise Bauer
    heat gelatin and water for salmon mousse
    Elise Bauer
  3. Combine the salmon mixture and gelatin:

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

  4. Chill:

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

  5. Unmold:

    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 smoother.

    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
235 Calories
18g Fat
6g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 235
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 12mg 61%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 350mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.