This smoked salmon dip is my “go-to” recipe for snacking during the week and when friends are coming for dinner. With a food processor this smooth and creamy spread goes together together in just minutes. Horseradish gives it extra zing and the dill adds a fresh garden flavor. From crackers to crudité, this is an all purpose party pleaser.
We originally photographed this favorite smoked salmon dip recipe prettily piped onto toasted slices of baguette as I use it for catering. The problem with that pretty shot is it makes it look fussy, and it's not! So here it is as we usually eat it – as a dip. It super easy!
How to Make
Dump all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree. Even though it’s quick and easy to make, make the dip a day or two ahead to save time. It can be made to serve four (half recipe), or doubled or tripled to serve a crowd.
Buy these ingredients ahead of time and make a batch when needed. Here's what to buy, and some you probably already have:
- Smoked salmon: Buy the plain wild smoked salmon (no extra seasoning or seeds) in flat little packages. You'll find King and Coho.
- Cheeses: Cottage cheese and cream cheese, block type.
- Horseradish: Buy the prepared style in a jar in the refrigerated section of the market.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice give the salmon dip a lift of flavor and brightness.
- Paprika: Buy smoked paprika to play along with the smoked flavor of the salmon. If you can't find it, use regular paprika.
- Dill: Fresh dill adds a nice fresh flavor and fronds can be used for garnish (optional).
A food processor is needed to serve as a dip. If you are piping, find reusable piping bags here, or disposable piping bags here, and star tips for the piping bags here.
Serve with cool cucumber slices, crackers, baguette slices, bell pepper strips or endive leaves.
Use smoked salmon dip for everything from everyday snacking to casual entertaining and holiday gatherings. Watching the big game with the gang? Whip up a batch of this dip. Friends coming over? Invited over and asked to bring an appetizer? You get it. It works for almost every occasion.
How to Upscale It
If you want to go upscale for a party (maybe for holidays), use a piping bag with a star tip. Using a piping bag is also a great way to hold it in the refrigerator. Pipe onto cucumber slices, into endive spears, in little baked phyllo cups or onto crostini. Use lemon zest, capers, red onion and fresh dill as garnish and beautiful flair.
How to Store
Salmon dip will keep 3-4 days tightly covered and refrigerated.
For another seafood-based appetizer (always a hit at catered parties) try these mini baked crab cakes. If you love salmon, try this steamed salmon for a fast and easy entree.
Easy Smoked Salmon Dip
Smoked Salmon Dip
- 6 ounces smoked salmon
- 8 ounces cottage cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons smoked or regular paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon smoked or regular ground black pepper
- Capers, drained
- finely diced red onion
- Smoked paprika
- lemon zest
- dill fronds
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve.
Originally published March 4, 2013
Abby Foster (aunt Sally's favorite niece) says
You made this while I was visiting. Absolutely fantastic love it.
Peter @Feed Your Soul Too says
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
Thanks Peter! Hope it was enjoyed!
How far in advance may I pipe unto toast points? Beautiful presentation!
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.
Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says
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!
Dave Duckwitz says
This is one of my absolute favorites! Soooo tasty I could eat the entire bowl all by myself!! Love it!
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
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.
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.
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.
FANTASTIC FLAVORS but TOO THIN – help!
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!
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.
Sally, this is delicious!Thank you for sharing! I will be making this appetizer for my cocktail party next weekend!
Michelle K says
They were GREAT! YUM! Thanks for bringing them.
Laurie Jesch-Kulseth says
My parents are coming for Easter brunch and they love salmon! Thanks for the great appetizer idea 🙂
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!!!