This Smoked Salmon Dip is the perfect appetizer for your next holiday party. The smoked salmon, fresh lemon juice, and chives give an irresistible flavor to the cream cheese base, and the whole recipe comes together in less than 5 minutes. Serve the dip alongside your favorite crunchy crackers or veggies sticks.

If you’re planning a sophisticated menu, this smoked salmon spread is a bit more fancy than our other fan-favorite appetizers, like Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip and Grape Jelly Meatballs, but just as irresistible. It feels decadent and always disappears immediately!

The best Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe with cream cheese, lemon juice, chives, and smoked salmon

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Easy Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe

I spent quite some time developing the perfect salmon dip recipe, and I lit up when I tried it and told my hubby, “This is it!” I was so excited! Then, I tested it out for my sister’s baby shower, and it was a huge hit! It’s now my go-to recipe. I love it so much that we featured it as part of our Bagel Bar in the Natasha’s Kitchen Cookbook!

Why do I love it so much? This salmon dip recipe is a great way to stretch a pricey package of smoked salmon and impress a hungry crowd. The ingredients are so simple, and it’s better than any store-bought version I’ve tried.

Why this Recipe Works

  • Make Ahead—keeps well in the fridge for easier party prep
  • Crowd-favorite—the fresh ingredients make this a show-stopper appetizer
  • Diet-friendly—Gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, and Keto-friendly (substitute baguette for sliced veggies)
  • Festive—see our tips for presentation below
  • 6 Ingredients—after you have the fish, you need only 5 more pantry staples
  • Quick and Easy—comes together in 5 minutes!

Ingredients

If you’re looking for smoked salmon recipes, this salmon dip has only 6 ingredients, so it’s simple to make something truly delicious.

  • Cream cheese – room temperature so it mixes well
  • Sour cream – give the dip a bit of tanginess, but can be substituted with plain Greek yogurt if needed
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed juice is best since it cuts through the thick cream cheese flavor and gives it the easy-to-dip texture
  • Salt – to taste—this depends on the saltiness of the smoked salmon, taste first, season second.
  • Tabasco hot sauce – add to taste for more or less heat. You can substitute Sriracha in a pinch for a slightly different flavor
  • Smoked Salmon – 1 cup of chopped fish. We use Lox but hot-smoked salmon flakes will work.
  • Fresh Chives – 1 Tbsp chopped, and save extra for garnish
  • For Serving: Sliced baguette, Bagel chips, Pita Chips, crostinis, veggie sticks, cucumber slices, etc (see our How to Serve section below for more ideas)
Ingredients for fish spread using cream cheese, salt, Tabasco, sour cream, lemon juice, chives and smoked fish

Pro Tip:

You can make your own Homemade Lox Salmon, but we get ours at Costco. When buying smoked salmon at your local grocery store, make sure it isn’t pre-seasoned and try to get wild-caught, cold-smoked, and without added sugar.

How to Make Smoked Salmon Dip

This one-dish salmon dip comes together in only 5 minutes and with two easy steps:

  • Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well blended.
  • Add chopped smoked salmon and chives and pulse a few times just to combine. Add more salt or pepper if desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step-by-step directions on how to make smoked salmon dip with cream cheese and chives

Pro Tip:

You can stir the mixture together in a bowl with an electric hand mixer if you don’t have a food processor, just be sure there aren’t lumps remaining in the first step before adding the salmon.

Common Questions

What is Salmon Dip made of?

Smoked salmon is the star ingredient in this dip. The base is cream cheese with sour cream to thin the cheese. Then flavors like lemon, chives, and hot sauce give the dip incredible acidity and kick.

What do you eat smoked salmon dip with?

We usually serve smoked salmon dip with crackers or veggie sticks as an appetizer, and you can also serve on bagels. See our How to Serve section below for more ideas.

How long can I eat smoked salmon after opening?

Once you open the package, the fish only lasts for a week, so if you’re looking for more smoked salmon recipes, try our Smoked Salmon Salad (Shuba) and Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. This recipe is a great way to feed a crowd, and any leftovers keep well in the fridge.

Is smoked salmon dip the same as salmon spread?

Yes, the terms are used interchangeably and this dip can be served as a spread for bagels.

Smoked salmon spread recipe served with crostini baguette slices

How to Serve Smoked Salmon Dip

This is one of our favorite appetizers to serve—it’s so versatile and looks great on the appetizer table. Here are some ideas:

  • Serve with dippers: crackers, Pita Chips, bagel chips, crostinis, mini breadsticks, baguette slices (like our Bruschetta), or veggies cut in sticks or scoops such as peppers, celery, carrots, or cucumbers
  • Bagel Bar – The perfect spread to include as part of a bagel bar (as seen in our cookbook)
  • Build-your-own dip: serve salmon dip alongside a variety of dippers/crackers and small bowls of toppings, such as capers, chopped olives, chopped red onion, fresh dill, lemon zest, minced garlic, or shallots.
  • Charcuterie board – perfect to serve as part of a meat platter
  • Create a Mold – After mixing, spoon the dip into a festive mold and refrigerate before releasing the mold on a serving tray

Make-Ahead

This smoked salmon dip recipe is easy to make ahead. Simply store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • To Refrigerate: store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (or until the expiration date on the fish
  • Can I freeze Smoked Salmon Dip? Since the ingredients in this dip don’t hold up well to freezing, we don’t recommend freezing this smoked salmon dip.
Appetizer fish dip with cream cheese served in a white bowl

Smoked salmon dip is the perfect appetizer recipe to serve if you’re looking for a sophisticated, fancy spread, but it’s quick and easy to make. Your guests will love the creamy taste, so be sure to add this to your next holiday menu.

More Appetizer Recipes

If you’re searching for more appetizer recipes to serve with Smoked Salmon Dip on your holiday menu, here are some of our favorite recipes: 

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe

5 from 36 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe served in a white bowl with chives and salmon
This smoked salmon dip is a great appetizer for your holiday or party menu. The creamy texture is perfectly complimented by the lemon juice, hot sauce, and smoky salmon. If you're looking for recipies with smoked salmon, this is a great way to stretch the package and impress a hungry crowd.
The spread comes together in 5 quick minutes and keeps well in the fridge to make party prep simple. Your guests will love this dip, so add it to your menu today!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 servings
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, 4 oz
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco hot sauce, or to taste
  • 4 oz smoked salmon, (about 1 cup chopped)**see note
  • 1 Tbsp Chives, chopped plus more for garnish

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce. Pulse until well blended.
  • Once evenly blended, add 4 oz chopped salmon and 1 Tbsp chives to the food processor and pulse a few times just to combine. Taste, and add more salt or pepper if desired. Then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Makes 2 cups of Dip
Price may vary by your location and market value.
**Note: Lox (as pictured) or hot-smoked salmon flakes work in this recipe. Look for cold-smoked, wild-caught salmon that isn’t pre-seasoned.

Nutrition Per Serving

3Tbsp Serving109kcal Calories2g Carbs4g Protein10g Fat5g Saturated Fat0.5g Polyunsaturated Fat3g Monounsaturated Fat30mg Cholesterol233mg Sodium76mg Potassium0.01g Fiber1g Sugar366IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C40mg Calcium0.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
Serving Size
 
3 Tbsp
Amount per Serving
Calories
109
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
30
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
233
mg
10
%
Potassium
 
76
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
2
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
366
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
40
mg
4
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: smoked salmon dip, smoked salmon dip recipe, Smoked Salmon Spread
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 109

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Doctor Grandma Jeannie
    January 8, 2024

    Very good and tasty! It was a bit runny at first, but thickened with time and cooling. I used green onions in place of chives. Next time I might increase the salmon by an extra ounce or two, but it was delicious as written. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 8, 2024

      You’re welcome! Yes, it always thickens more as it gets colder. Glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • andrea pieri
    January 2, 2024

    My family loved this dip. It’s a little pricey but so worth it. I make a shrimp dip similar to yours (Louisiana shrimp) using cream cheese, mayo, ketchup and yellow mustard. If interested, let me know. The recipe is over 50 years old.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 2, 2024

      Hi Andrea! I’m so glad your family loved the recipe. If you’d like to share a favorite recipe with us you may contact us at: hello@natashaskitchen.com
      We’d love to see and try it.

      Reply

  • Barb. R.
    January 2, 2024

    Absolutely Delicious!
    Everyone loved it. The bowl was empty in no time.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 2, 2024

      That’s amazing, Barb!

      Reply

  • Sue
    December 30, 2023

    This was quick and easy! Nice alternative for New Years Eve!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 30, 2023

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Abby
    December 26, 2023

    Made this for my Christmas Eve party and it was a huge hit! So flavorful and feels fancy.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      I’m so glad that this dip was a huge hit! Thanks a lot for sharing that with us, Abby.

      Reply

  • April
    December 26, 2023

    OMG was this ever delicious! I want to make some every day, lol

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      LOL I totally get you. It is so delicious and I’m glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Melissa
    December 26, 2023

    This dip is so amazing! It was a hit at my family party. Can’t wait to make it again!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 26, 2023

      I’m so glad it was a hit, Melissa!

      Reply

  • Terri
    August 23, 2023

    I had a lot of cucumbers from my garden. I halved and seeded them, then spread/stuffed them with this dip and sliced into maybe 1/4” pieces. It was a great appetizer.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 23, 2023

      That’s a great appetizer! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Erlinda Reyes
    November 3, 2021

    Smoked salmon is so expensive in our country. Can I substitute canned salmon instead?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 3, 2021

      It would be a good experiment. It would still be a salmon spread but wouldn’t have that smoky flavor. I haven’t experimented with canned salmon so I can’t say for sure, but if you try it, make sure you drain well so the dip isn’t too wet.

      Reply

      • Smitty
        March 27, 2022

        I’ve seen smoked canned salmon in the store. It wouldn’t be quite the same but the smoke flavour would be there.

        Reply

      • Shawn
        December 28, 2023

        Maybe, small increments of liquid smoke. Im guessing. Maybe this would work ???

        Reply

  • Charlene L Baker
    January 29, 2021

    Very good recipe and so easy. I don’t have a food processor so I just stirred it together with a heavy spoon. I replaced the sour cream with fat-free plain Greek yogurt.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 29, 2021

      I’m glad you found a workaround! Thank you for sharing your substitutions with us!

      Reply

  • Lynne Jones
    July 20, 2019

    Natasha, this recipe looks delicious. I have to make a smoked salmon appetizer for 400 people! We were thinking of putting it in small pastry cups. Do you think this will work or should we put between rye bread for tea sandwiches? Thanks for any help you can give!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 20, 2019

      Hi Lynna! 400! wow! That’s a lot of mouths to feed. I think both options would be great! The pastry cups sound like they will be visually beautiful! Taste-wise, I haven’t tested that in a pastry cup so I cannot advise. I hope you love this recipe and I can’t wait to hear what you chose!

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    June 14, 2018

    Hi Natasha, Im planning on making this appetizer for my dads 60th bday. Do you know how many days ahead would it be safe to make it? i just dont want to be making it last minute as i will be very busy.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 14, 2018

      It stays fresh in the fridge up to a week.

      Reply

  • Carol Neighbors
    October 21, 2017

    I have just made this salmon spread for the third time. It just keeps getting better and better. Yah, I like to eat it with a spoon it is SO deliciously good!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 21, 2017

      Lol, that’s awesome! I’m happy to hear you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review Carol!

      Reply

  • Vicki
    July 6, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    I don’t have a food processor could I mix it with a spoon or it won’t turn out creamy? Or maybe use a mixer on low speed? Thanks! The dip looks delicious!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 6, 2017

      Hi Vicki, I think you could make it work even blending with an electric hand mixer on low/medium speed.

      Reply

    • Connie
      July 7, 2017

      Hi, i used a hand-held mixer , and it came out delicious !

      Reply

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