Easy Smoked Salmon Dip

By Sally Cameron on March 04, 2013

appetizers & snacks, gluten-free, holiday dishes, the daniel plan,


A few years ago I posted my recipe for an easy smoked salmon dip. It’s a recipe I make regularly. We photographed it prettily piped onto toasted slices of baguette, as I use it for catering and fancy events. The problem with that pretty shot is it makes it look fussy, and its not. It’s one of my go-to appetizer and snack recipes. So we bring this to you again, how we really eat it – as a dip. It goes together in minutes with a food processor. Serve with slices of cucumber and rice crackers.

Easy smoked salmon dip | AFoodCentricLife.com

Easy Smoked Salmon Dip

This is my “go-to” recipe when we have friends coming for dinner and for just plain snacking during the week. With a food processor, you can put this smooth and creamy dip together in just minutes. Horseradish gives it extra zing, the lemon a nice hint of lemon and the dill, fresh garden flavor. My favorite horseradish these days is made by Follow Your Heart products. You’ll find it in the refrigerated section of your grocer.

Spices – Smoked or Regular

For a wonderful smoky flavor, I use smoked paprika and smoked black pepper, but you can make it with regular paprika and black pepper. If you like smoky flavors, you’ll love working with these spices, available from Chefs Warehouse. Just follow the links. I use them in all sorts of dishes and can’t live without them in my pantry.

Versatile – Dip, Spread or Piped Mousse

Even though it’s quick to make, you can also make the dip a day ahead. It can be made to serve four (half recipe), or doubled or tripled to serve a crowd.

Smoked salmon dip is nice served with cool cucumber slices. My favorites cucumbers are the Persian type, but any cucumbers will work. Since we eat wheat-free, I serve with rice crackers, but you can use any cracker you like.

Easy smoked salmon dip|AFoodCentricLife.com

If you want to go fancy for an upscale party (maybe at the holidays), use a piping bag with a star tip (also a great way to hold it in the refrigerator). Serve on crackers, cucumber slices, endive spears, in little baked phyllo cups or on crostini. Use lemon zest, capers, red onion and fresh dill as garnish and beautiful flair.

Easy smoked salmon dip | AFoodCentricLife.com
Print Recipe

Easy Smoked Salmon Dip

If you enjoy smoked salmon, you will love this easy smoked salmon dip. Whips together in minutes for appetizers and snacking. Serve with raw veggies, crispy crostini or crackers. Endive leaves make good dippers too.


Smoked Salmon Dip

  • 8 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced save zest for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill save fronds for garnish, optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish or more to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika or use regular sweet paprika, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked black pepper or regular black pepper

Serving Options

  • cucumber slices
  • crostini
  • red bell pepper strips
  • crackers
  • endive leaves

Garnish Options

  • Capers, drained
  • finely diced red onion
  • Smoked paprika
  • lemon zest
  • dill fronds
  • chopped chives


  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife. Process until smooth. Thin with a little milk or cream if needed for your preferred consistency. Creamy is good when serving as a dip. Stiff is better if you decide to pipe it. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve.
  2. For serving, place in a bowl for spreading and dipping, or pipe onto crostini or bread slices.

Recipe Notes

This recipe halves easily for a small group, say 4 people as a dip.


Leave a Comment
Sally | 03/04/2013 at 3:28 pm

Sally, I made this to take to my parents for Christmas…but because we were transporting this along w/ a ham, i chose to prepare it as a dip, w/ the capers, onions and dill lined on top. It was a big hit! I doubled it and left some behind for morning bagels the next day. Thank you!!!

Laurie Jesch-Kulseth | 03/04/2013 at 3:31 pm

My parents are coming for Easter brunch and they love salmon! Thanks for the great appetizer idea 🙂

Michelle K | 03/04/2013 at 3:32 pm

They were GREAT! YUM! Thanks for bringing them.

Sally | 03/04/2013 at 3:34 pm

Sally, this is delicious!Thank you for sharing! I will be making this appetizer for my cocktail party next weekend!

Stephanie | 03/04/2013 at 3:35 pm


This firmed up nicely overnight in the refrigerator, but on removing it from the cold refrigerator and loading the pastry bag, the mousse becomes too thin and unsuitable for piping.

How can I thicken the mousse so it can be piped onto crostini within the next 4 hours?

Help & Thank you!

    Sally | 03/04/2013 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Stephanie. I’m not sure what went wrong for you. I’ve not had that happen. Maybe the cottage cheese was too juicy? I’d add more cream cheese until it’s thicker. Taste and add more seasoning (lemon, smoked paprika, etc). If you lose to much of the salmon flavor, add more salmon. Put it all back in the food processor and process to combine. Let me know what happens. You can always skip piping and place in a nice bowl or crock to serve as a spread.

    You might try draining the cottage cheese in a fine strainer or through cheese cloth. I’ve not had to do that. In the future, try another brand of cottage cheese. They do vary.

Janel | 03/04/2013 at 5:32 pm

The meat market behind our house just started selling smoked salmon. They make great homemade jerky, so I’m hoping the fish will be as good. Can’t wait to try it in your dip.

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon | 03/04/2013 at 6:25 pm

Sally, This is so beautiful piped. I think this has a lot of wow factor. I like the idea of using cottage cheese, but only after a whirl around the food processor. I use it in place of ricotta if I can’t find the good stuff. And yes on the Persian cukes.

    Sally | 03/04/2013 at 8:08 pm

    You are right Madonna, it is beautiful piped. But so many people just are not going to deal with a piping bag (even though I love to pipe stuff because they are fun to work with). Most often I make it just like this, as a quick dip. So easy. The smoked spices are just fantastic. Sure, to insure a really smooth dish you could puree the cottage first, then add the cream cheese. The ricotta is an interesting idea and I’ll bet would work well. Yep, love those sweet, crunchy Persian cucumbers! As they are quite small, cut them on long diagonal slices to get a decent size piece to dip.

Dave Duckwitz | 03/05/2013 at 8:07 am

This is one of my absolute favorites! Soooo tasty I could eat the entire bowl all by myself!! Love it!

Julia | JuliasAlbum.com | 03/09/2013 at 4:57 pm

This is such a delicious recipe, and so timely: I’ve been looking to makes something different with smoked salmon aside with usual breakfast stuff and pasta. I happen to have a lot of smoked salmon in my freezer as my husband ordered 30 pounds of seafood a couple of months ago. Just pinned it!

Robin | 05/17/2013 at 6:03 am

How far in advance may I pipe unto toast points? Beautiful presentation!

    Sally | 05/21/2013 at 11:04 am

    Hi Robin, not too far ahead as the toasts or crostini may get soggy if they sit for too long. I usually do it very close to serving time, maybe 30 minutes ahead.

Peter @Feed Your Soul Too | 07/12/2013 at 10:54 am

This looks awesome and I love smoked salmon. I like how you paired it with the other ingredients. I featured it on my Friday Five – Smoked addition over @ Feed Your Soul Too – http://www.feedyoursoul2.com/2013/07/friday-five-smoked-addition.html

    Sally | 02/04/2014 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks Peter! Hope it was enjoyed!

Abby Foster (aunt Sally's favorite niece) | 02/04/2014 at 7:12 pm

You made this while I was visiting. Absolutely fantastic love it.

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