Smoked Salmon Dip

AppetizerLow CarbSeafoodSmoked Salmon

Take your party appetizer game up a notch! This pretty pink smoked salmon dip is ready in minutes, makes any occasion feel extra special, and tastes just as good with crackers as it does with crudités.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I love having people over for casual meals, but I am often stumped when it comes to serving nibbles before dinner.

Not anymore! This salmon dip is a crowd-pleaser. Served with crackers or crudités, and glasses of sparkling Cava or Prosecco, this pretty pink dip sets the tone for a festive evening any time of year. It takes next to no time to prepare and has become a standard in my entertainment line-up.

I decided to use smoked salmon for this spread because of its intense flavor and color. Cream cheese and sour cream create the backdrop for the fish, and mustard, chives, capers, and lemon add the zesty elements.

HOW LONG WILL THIS SALMON DIP KEEP?

Stored in the refrigerator, the salmon dip will keep for up to five days. If serving for a party, refrigerate the room temperature spread after two hours.

HOW SHOULD I SERVE SALMON DIP?

Crackers or slices of baguette are ideal (and easiest) to accompany the spread, but fresh vegetables such as fresh, blanched snap peas, leaves of endive or radicchio, sticks of Persian (baby) cucumbers, and sweet pepper wedges are also good options.

Use leftovers for breakfast; this spread is great on a bagel, too!

Smoked Salmon Dip with Capers - smoked salmon dip with crackers on tray

HOW TO ADAPT THIS RECIPE

I omitted the typical addition of mayonnaise because I wanted to stick to neutral, clear flavors without salt to highlight the salmon. If you like a little more punch, you can add some Aleppo pepper or cayenne to deliver some subtle heat.

You could use cooked fresh salmon or canned salmon in place of the smoked salmon, but you might need to add a bit more lemon juice, salt, and mustard to compensate for the loss of the stronger flavor of smoked salmon. Simply flake the fish and fold it into the cream cheese. (If made with canned or fresh salmon, it will keep for three days.)

NEED MORE DELICIOUS DIP RECIPES?

Updated July 16, 2019 : This post was previously Salmon Spread. The post and recipe have been entirely updated.

Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons small capers
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or a pinch of Cayenne (optional), to taste

Method

1 Blend the cream cheese and sour cream: In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sour cream together until very smooth. With the mixer on low, add the chives, mustard, capers, zest and juice from 1 lemon, and black pepper. Mix until blended.

If you like, use a food processor for this step and transfer to a bowl, or simply use some elbow grease to beat the mixture until smooth.

Easy Smoked Salmon Dip - cream cheese in mixing bowl Smoked Salmon Dip with Cream Cheese - ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spatula

2 Fold in the chopped salmon: Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Fold in the salmon and Aleppo or cayenne pepper, if using, by hand.

Taste and add juice from the remaining lemon, 1 teaspoon at time, if you think it needs it.

Smoked Salmon Dip with Cream Cheese - - ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spatula

3 Serve: Spoon the dip into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Serve with crackers or slices of baguette. The spread will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

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3 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kay

    Yikes, I was wanting the prior recipe and see it’s been changed. Can you please provide the older one too?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Marit grimstad

    Hot or cold smoked salmon – the 2 are very different?

Smoked Salmon Dip with Capers - smoked salmon dip with crackers on traySmoked Salmon Dip