Smoked Salmon Spread
Appetizers, Recipes

My Superb Smoked Salmon Dip


Let’s say you’ve been invited to a party and you’re supposed to bring an appetizer, and you want to do something cooler and moderately classier than a veggie platter  or guacamole and chips.  For just such an occasion (three relatively recent occasions, actually), I found/created a smoked salmon dip, and it has been a big hit each time.

Salmon is one of my very favorite meats to smoke, and I’ve had a few decent ones over the years, so I decided to find a good recipe online.  Unfortunately, none of them did exactly what I wanted them to do, so I found three different ones and sort of cobbled them together.  The one I stole the most from was from, but I also borrowed from a recipe and a Barefoot Contessa recipe.  But really, it’s mine now, and you should make it instead of theirs.

The other recipes do point out that you can start with canned salmon and add smoke seasoning, or you could buy the salmon already smoked, but my water smoker does the job quite nicely for me, thank you very much.  Personally, I like to smoke the salmon myself, and have blogged about it here, but if you don’t have a smoker, just buy the pre-smoked piece of salmon.  But for the love of God, don’t do the canned salmon and bottled smoke if it can be avoided–and if you do, don’t hold me responsible for the results.

Smoked Salmon in the Wild...
Smoked Salmon in the Wild…
Everything up through the salmon, sitting in the mixing bowl.
Everything up through the salmon, sitting in the mixing bowl.
Flaked salmon ready for mixing with the other ingredients.
Flaked salmon ready for mixing with the other ingredients.

This recipe makes about three cups worth of dip, but I have always doubled this recipe for a larger crowd.  You can make it a day or two in advance, if necessary.  Serve with a variety of decent crackers and absorb the compliments of those you have graced with this dish.   Just make sure you don’t forget to scoop up your fair share of the dip while you’re listening!

PS. Does anyone know where to find a wicked awesome fish mold for something like this?  I’ve been using  just a round mixing bowl, and haven’t found a decent fishy shape to use either online or in stores!

PPS: Still haven’t found a decent fish mold, but even a non-artistic guy like me was able to free-form create a fishy shaped blob of smoked salmon dip, and it received raves:

Smoked Salmon Dip
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
  • 2 Cups Smoked Salmon, flaked or chopped (I always try to smoke it the day before I mix it, to enhance the flavor)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Onion (white or yellow)
  • 1 Tsp Horseradish
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 3 drops Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill, chopped
  • ¼ tsp Ground Pepper
  • ⅓ cup Chopped Pecans
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  1. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, horseradish, salt, hot sauce, dill, and pepper.
  2. Add salmon. Mix thoroughly. How long and how hard you mix it will determine whether it is consistently creamy or slightly chunky. I aim for something in the middle, well mixed, but still with a bit of actual salmon texture
  3. Line a bowl or a wicked awesome fish mold with either plastic wrap or a light coating of non-stick spray and transfer the salmon dip into it
  4. Cover and refrigerate between one hour and overnight (overnight is best for full melding of flavors)
  5. Dump (carefully, of course…) the dip onto a serving plate or platter, maintaining the bowl or mold shape as well as possible
  6. Mix the nuts and parsley together, and coat the dip with the mixture evenly
  7. If you have a wicked awesome fish mold, use a sliced olive as an eye, for that special fishy effect…
Yields 3 cups of dip.



  1. Try looking for a cake pan. Wilton makes them in all sorts of shapes.
    Or scope out eBay for fish-shaped Jell-o molds.

  2. I vouch for the awesomeness of this recipe. Also goes great with a glass of white wine. Love the fact that it's a TTP original. 🙂 Lookin' forward to having it made for me again! [K]

  3. Excellent suggestion, Jill. Thanks…we'll check those out.

  4. Thanks! Jeff does a phenomenal job with this dish, and I love that he smokes the salmon himself. We will definitely have to get together for an excuse to make it again. And I agree, it's excellent with a chilled glass of white wine and a salad.

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