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: 

Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe

5 from 38 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's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Mirit
    February 22, 2017

    Hi, I came across a similar recipe several years ago but it also used capers (maybe instead of the lemon juice). Have you tried that?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 22, 2017

      I haven’t tried that so I’m not sure. I bet it could work, but the color might be a little off if you’re ok with that 🙂

      Reply

  • Donna G
    January 2, 2017

    Thanks for the recipe! We didn’t have Tabasco, but used Siricha. Also, my husband added a tiny dollop of dill paste on top of each and it was delicious! Quick and easy, too.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 2, 2017

      Mmmmm! That sounds good! Thank you for sharing your review Donna 🙂

      Reply

  • Connie
    November 26, 2016

    Hi Natash, can i make the spread the night before?

    Thank, connie

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 26, 2016

      Hi Connie, yes absolutely! 🙂

      Reply

      • Connie
        November 27, 2016

        Thank you, can not wait to make it for Christmas Eve .

        Connie

        Reply

  • Tzivia
    July 3, 2016

    Mmmmm does look really way good Natasha unfortunately I cannot eat salmon would this work with another fish like whitefish or sable or semga always like recreating things soooo much fun

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 3, 2016

      HI Tzivia, this might work with a smoked steelhead (trout) but I don’t know if it would taste right with any other kind of fish.

      Reply

      • Tzivia
        July 4, 2016

        Oh okay I’ll hafta try it sometime with a steel head trout always looking for ways to recreate something that these type of food stores do thanx luv i will definitely keep this in mind cheers

        Reply

        • Erin
          December 31, 2016

          Smoked walleye would taste good as well!

          Reply

  • Vika
    December 30, 2015

    Hi! Love your recipes but just wanted to let you know if you didn’t already know but your blog (well the appetizers part) was mentioned in a tv show called Young & Hungry 🙂 I sent a snapchat video but your private so you couldn’t receive it but it was really cool! Followed your blog since 2012-13ish time. Awesome to see how known you’ve got!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 30, 2015

      That’s so awesome!! I heard about that and it’s very exciting :). Thank you so much for sharing that with me and following my blog all this time. That’s quite a compliment 🙂

      Reply

  • Donna Romano
    December 27, 2015

    can i freeze the leftover dip/spread ?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 27, 2015

      Donna, I haven’t tried freezing it so can’t tell you how well it will freeze. If you decide to freeze it, let me know how it goes.

      Reply

  • Valentina
    December 8, 2015

    I am so Excited to try this recipie. My husband and I went to a restaurant recently and they had this appetizer. It was the most amazing thing that I have every tried. I was guessing what they put inside it. And I was so close. Thank you so much I am excited to try…..

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 8, 2015

      I hope you love the spread! 🙂

      Reply

  • Luba
    December 3, 2015

    Hello. Can I use frozen dill or is fresh preferable? Love your recipes. Diakuyu!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 3, 2015

      Luba, frozen dill is fine as well 😀, na zdodovlya.

      Reply

      • Kathy
        November 29, 2016

        This looks delicious, but I don’t see dill in the recipe. Did I miss something? Thanks for your post!

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 29, 2016

          Hi Kathy, you can use dill if you wish. I used chives instead but I do think it would taste great with dill.

          Reply

  • Anya
    August 17, 2015

    Just whipped this dip up for lunch using hot smoked salmon. Delicious. Went great with cucumbers just picked from our garden. The best part – kids loved it too!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 17, 2015

      That’s wonderful! Thanks for the great review. That does sound great with fresh cucumbers!

      Reply

  • Bethany
    July 9, 2015

    It’s really good. I used homemade hot smoked salmon, minced onion instead of chives (didn’t have) and plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It turned out really good too.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 9, 2015

      Bethany, thank you for the great review and great job on improvising :).

      Reply

  • Lasma
    May 24, 2015

    Tried this spread this morning! So good!!! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 24, 2015

      I’m so happy you liked it! It’s a great choice for breakfast 🙂

      Reply

  • Victoria
    March 9, 2015

    I have the Kirkland canned salmon at home and I’m trying to figure out what I can make with it. Do you think I can sub that in for the smoked salmon in this recipe? Or would it drastically change the taste?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 9, 2015

      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

  • Nadezhda
    March 1, 2015

    Hello from Russia! Came across with your blog two weeks ago and since that time became your fan)) Each recipe looks so delicious and easy to cook))
    Off topic)) Насколько я поняла у Вас и Вашего мужа славянские корни. На каком языке Вы общаетесь со своими родственниками?))

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 1, 2015

      We really speak a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian. I was very young when we moved to this country so I get the two languages mixed up sometimes. To be honest we speak mostly English at home.

      Reply

  • Lyubomira
    February 28, 2015

    Great recipe Natasha! Looks delicious and it is so easy to make! I like to buy the same salmon from Costco 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2015

      Thank you Lyubomira, it was easy to make indeed and was gone pretty quick :).

      Reply

  • Becky
    February 28, 2015

    My hubby fishes a lot here in central Oregon and we smoke a lot of fish! Been known to can it also. I make a dip /spread very close to what you made up but use fresh dill instead of chives when I can get it. Dried is not bad either.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2015

      I bet fresh dill tastes great as well. My parents are big on smoking fish as well :).

      Reply

  • Pat Tucker
    February 28, 2015

    Will try this, but question for you, presentation…can this be made into a log or rolled ball shape?? Just would like to up its looks more for a graduation party this June.

    Thanks…

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2015

      You might be able to make it into a log or a ball if you refrigerate it first. It still spreads pretty well even after being refrigerated but it will hold it’s shape better that way. I’m just not sure how long it will last in that shape once it’s served and gets to room temp.

      Reply

  • Julia
    February 27, 2015

    I cannot even look at this recipe, it’s making me hungry!!! I have an urge to run to the store and get everything for it. Absolutely love salmon/lox cream cheese and this looks incredible. Will be making ASAP. Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 27, 2015

      This recipe has the same effect on me! 🙂

      Reply

  • Viktoriya
    February 27, 2015

    Yummmm! I love smoked salmon..this would be so good on a bagel in the morning 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 27, 2015

      oooh I love how you think! This does sound amazing on a bagel!

      Reply

  • Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat
    February 27, 2015

    This dip looks perfect for crackers, bread and even bagels! Except its even easier because the salmon is already mixed in!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 27, 2015

      It does make for an awesome appetizer or meal! I do love that the salmon is already mixed in. Although there’s nothing wrong with putting a big strip of smoked salmon on top and eating it as a sandwich! 🙂

      Reply

  • Valentina
    February 27, 2015

    I was just at Whole foods the other day and they were sampling a delicious salmon spread. This looks just like it! Can’t wait to try it out!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 27, 2015

      I haven’t tried the Whole Foods version but I can tell you this one’s delicious. I hope you love it just as much (or more!) 😉

      Reply

      • Valentina
        February 28, 2015

        Just made this but with homemade hot smoked salmon. I think it’s a little different because it’s flaky and mine looks more pink. I also omitted the chives just because my hubby isn’t a fan of them and it came out so delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe!

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          February 28, 2015

          I do think there is a difference between the hot smoked home-made salmon (flakier) and lox (the one in the photos from Costco), but this recipe would work well with either one. I love both the flakier one and the lox versions – It’s hard to have self control around that stuff! How nice to be able to have homemade hot smoked salmon. Do you catch it yourselves? It’s one thing I definitely miss about living in Seattle. Anyway, I’m so glad you enjoyed the dip! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your great review 🙂

          Reply

          • Valentina
            February 28, 2015

            I am actually from the Seattle area but my husband isnt really into fishing so we usually buy ours from Costco. Last night we had grilled salmon for dinner and had some left over and I told my hubby about your new recipe and he went out and put it in the smoker so I could make some 🙂 Perfect timing!

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            March 1, 2015

            It’s awesome that you have a smoker at home. That’s something that I’m hoping to get in the future. For now, or parents do all the meat smoking for us.

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