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Smoked Salmon Dip

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This elegant smoked salmon dip is delicious on crackers — or serve it on a brunch buffet with bagels.

smoked salmon dip

If you’re ever in need of a festive and elegant dish to make for a party (and aren’t we all right about now?), this smoked salmon dip will really save the day. You can serve it with crackers and cocktails or set it out on a brunch buffet with bagels and other fixings — either way, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser. Even my husband, a true blue New Yorker and self-proclaimed expert on all things smoked fish related, gives it a big thumbs up. What’s more, it’s really easy to make. You’ll love how quickly you can check it off your holiday to-do list! Another plus for this dip is that it can be made a few days ahead of time and refrigerated.

What you’ll need to make smoked salmon dip


How to make smoked salmon dip

Begin by combining the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco and capers in the bowl of a food processor.

cream cheese and capers

Pulse to blend.


Add the smoked salmon, chives, and dill

salmon, chives, and dill

Pulse until the salmon is finely chopped.


Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. That’s all there is to it — enjoy!

ready to serve

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Smoked Salmon Dip

This elegant smoked salmon dip is delicious on crackers — or serve it on a brunch buffet with bagels.

Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon Tasbasco
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, and Tabasco in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse until blended. Add the salmon, dill and chives and pulse, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the salmon is finely chopped. Taste and add salt, if necessary (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon, but it depends on the saltiness of the smoked salmon). Serve as a dip with crackers or bagel chips, or as a spread with bagels.
  2. Make ahead: This dip can be made a few days ahead of time. However, it gets quite firm in the fridge so let it sit out at room temperature before serving, otherwise it will be hard to scoop.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 3 tablespoons
  • Calories: 144
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 237 mg
  • Cholesterol: 33 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • To thicken it as a sandwich spread, I doubled the salmon. (My husband smoked grocery salmon on the grill.)
    Delicious on King Hawaiian rolls. Had no capers, so topped with pickles.

    • — Marianne on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Amazing! My boyfriend declared it the best dip he’s ever had 😊 didn’t have some ingredients so subbed tarragon for dill, and a splash of cream instead of sour cream. Super easy, definitely will make again😃

    • — Nicole on May 6, 2023
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  • Made this very popular dip again using 160 grams of our own canned smoked salmon
    And added a green onion. No salt was needed.
    A great recipe!

    • — rick potter-cogan on April 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi,
    I’d like to try this dip for some friends and was wondering if I could use the vacuum sealed, shelf-stable smoked salmon from the Pacific Northwest (in a foil sealed pouch with oils) in lieu of the refrigerated variety?

    • — Sue on January 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, it will have a slightly different texture, but it should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this dip as a last minute appetizer for dinner guests this evening. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while now. Smoked salmon was on sale so my decision was easy. I have to say it is fantastic! Incredibly easy too. I followed the recipe as is. I was a bit concerned as a few comments were made regarding consistency but my dip was absolutely perfect. I had to use a blender as I’m currently not at my home but the blender worked fine though I know a food processor would be so much easier.

    • — Jan on January 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made this. Incredible! And perfect consistency for dipping. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe. Happy Holidays!!

    • — Barbara on December 24, 2022
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  • Can this base be (mayo, cream cheese, sour cream) quickly broiled for some additional aesthetic on presentation?

    • — Alex Gezon on November 23, 2022
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    • I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2022
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  • I have made this several times for family get togethers and it’s always a big hit and my mother in law can’t get enough of it. I use my father in laws smoked faroe salmon that he smokes every year and then vacuum packs and freezes. I have never had a problem with it being too runny and I always use whipped cream cheese. Thank you for such a delicious and wonderful recipe.

    • — Robert S on October 10, 2022
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  • Delicious. Recipe turned out perfect. It was a perfect consistency after resting in the fridge for an hour. Light and creamy.

    • — Julie on September 24, 2022
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  • I made this recipe yesterday, it was delicious but not nice and thick as I’d hoped, it was quite loose and runny. A few adjustments I made after tasting: added another 10+ shakes of Tabasco, doubled the amount of dill and chives, added some roasted garlic, doubled the amount of capers, and added a pinch of salt. Next time I will either add more cream cheese, or half the amounts of both mayonnaise and sour cream in hopes that the end product has a little more body.

    • — Dawn on September 4, 2022
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    • I agree!! Too runny for a salmon dip

      • — Tina Seymour on September 6, 2022
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  • Jen, Thanks for this recipe, it’s maybe the best salmon dip I’ve ever had, and I’ve made it numerous time now (and am making it again tomorrow morning!) The flavors are forward but balanced. Even for those uninitiated in all the amazingness that good salmon dips offer, this recipe is particularly approachable, and I suppose I mean delicious yet not overpowering. I have cheated and continue to cheat, by doubling the salmon (highly recommend if you have good smoked salmon), and I use a variety of smoked salmon from Costco. (BTW, you can freeze any unused smoked salmon perfectly for up to 60 days or so, and it’s likely that after you make it for the first time, you’ll want to make it again very soon). I realize not everyone has access to Costco; I’ve also purchased high quality smoked salmon at a local high-end Kroger, which used to smoke in-house. They made a chipotle smoked wild-caught that was absolutely decadent in this recipe. Alas, the demand was insufficient, and I just discovered they stopped the production.

    Regardless, 99% of your followers can find a high-quality smoked salmon nearby, and the flavored smokes only add to the deliciousness of Jen’s dip. Pro Tip: Be sure to have fresh dill on hand when making this dip; it absolutely takes the dip up another level in flavor. Pro Tip #2– if you’re so inclined and have it already in your spice arsenal, add a little chipotle spice on your next batch and take a walk on the wild side…..

    This is not a shill for Jen (don’t know her), but man, this lady has great recipes. Thanks Jen, you’re my go-to quite often! Try this dip, folks! Great on cucumber slices also, either paper-thin or thicker.

    • — David from Cincy on September 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is an absolutely delicious and very flavorful dip. I would not change a thing! Thank you for sharing this recipe!❤️

    • — Kimberly T. on August 19, 2022
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  • This sounds great and I plan on making it tomorrow. Can I use lox or does this need to be made with hot smoked salmon?

    • — Naz on July 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Lox and smoked salmon are similar enough that you can get away with it (if you’re curious you can read aout the difference here). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Any idea how many calories in this, and what is a serving size? Sounds sooooo delicious, I’m Just tracking calories right now!

    • — Stephanie on July 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, I just added the nutritional info to the recipe. A serving is just over 3 tablespoons and each serving is 144 calories. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi, Jen, We’re planning our 50th anniversary party and I’m wondering if this is thick enough that it could be piped onto cucumber rounds as one of our appetizers? Any thoughts?

    • — Sue S on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Happy anniversary!! Yes, I think that would work but just make sure the dip is really cold before piping it. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • A big hit at my summer kickoff cocktail party. Paired well with deviled eggs and good cheeses. A definite “keeper”!!!

    • — Diane from Northern Wisconsins on May 31, 2022
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  • Mine turned out too liquidy and dip-like as opposed to a spread. Also, no real “smokey” flavor

    • — Dean on May 7, 2022
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    • Did you use a good quality smoked salmon? I think the taste should impart a mild smokey flavor.

      • — Virginia Lehner on June 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Just made this as an appetizer to go with ham. Delicious–once again, Jen, a hit! Serving with rustic flatbread bites and cucumbers as one reader suggested. Both are great!

    • — Glorianne Naughton on April 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • To make just 1 cup, do I just half the ingredients?

    • — Susan on March 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yup!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this exactly as written and it is really delicious! I used a cold smoked Alaskan Wild Caught salmon. 🤤

    • — Lisa on March 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Fantastic addition to Super Bowl Sunday! Works well spread on a cucumber slice.

    • — David on February 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this exactly as written and it is delicious!

    • — Gail Farmer on February 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this for tomorrow afternoon sunset happy hour. I wanted it a bit more dense then pictured so I reduced cream cheese to about 6 oz., and did large spoonsful each of mayo and non-fat plain greek yogurt (substituted for the sour cream). Friends don’t like dill so omitted that and added an extra T of chopped green onion (which I substituted for chive).

    Usually don’t write reviews when I do substitutions since it’s really not the same recipe, but since the subs are so similar, I thought I would. It just happened to be what I had on hand.

    Can’t wait to try tomorrow…but tastes great right now!!

    • — Lori on February 12, 2022
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  • very nice recipe thanks Jenn!!

    • — Roger Dale Steensma on February 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • The recipes here are great but I have looked everywhere for the ingredients and measurements for this salmon-cream cheese dip. okaay sounds good but no recipe.

    • — Barry Clompus on February 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Barry, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2022
      • Reply
      • Can you tell me the brand or what the package says on the smoked salmon packet you have pictured. All the smoked salmon I have come across is dark and definitely looks smoked and a bit on the drier side. In the picture of processor and package the salmon looks moist. Thank you ! I’m planning this for thanksgiving open house for lots of people. Looks to be perfect recipe !

        • — Sue on July 22, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Sue, It’s Blue Hill Bay Smoked Salmon – you can see the package better here. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on July 23, 2022
          • Reply
  • I made this last night with salmon that I catch and hot smoke…it was awesome! There were 4 of us having snacks before dinner and the salmon dip was the first to go! Glad I kept half for myself in the fridge at home.

    • — Shawn on January 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Sooo Good! I added 8 ozs total of smoked salmon and 4 Tbsp of chopped red onion, then ground Worcestershire and Dill Weed, but excluded the Tabasco (hubby’s not a fan) and chives. Winner at my house. We always loved J Alexander’s Smoked Salmon Dip but we moved and there isn’t a convenient location. Guess finding a JA location won’t be necessary anymore. This recipe is all we need. Thank you!

    • — Donna on December 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow. So good. We did a little less tobasco, but cannot rave enough about this recipe. It was a huge hit at the holiday party. Bonus points to us, we caught and smoked the salmon we used!

    • — Ashlee antonelli on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing!! I followed it as it is, at first I was disappointed because it tasted too much like cream cheese. However, I let it sit in the fridge for Christmas today and the flavors combined to a smoky creamy and delicious dip. Thank you!!

    • — Tina on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Can I use a vegan cream cheese for this recipe? Violife or Daiya brand. Thank you!

    • — Colleen on December 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Colleen, I’ve never used a vegan cream cheese so I can’t say for sure how it will impact the consistency/taste — sorry I can’t be more helpful. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • WASTE OF SALMON. Should be called cream cheese dip! If you have good smoked salmon don’t dilute it down with so much cream cheese and Mayo.

    • — Chuck on December 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I do recommend cutting the dill in half or more because it can overpower the dip if not eaten the same day. Overall, absolutely delicious and a total crowd-pleaser. Served with crackers and also had a plate with roasted, halved fingerling potatoes, topped with this dip and a teeny bit of caviar on each potato. Guests loved it. Many requests for the recipe.

    • — S From DC on December 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Wow, your version sounds fantastic! Are the potatoes hot or room temp?

      • — simone on January 4, 2022
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  • So delicious! Served it with crackers and crostini – huge hit with all my guests. I did not need to add any salt as my salmon was plenty salty. I would suggest tasting before you season this dip. Will definitely make again!

    • — Terri F on December 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. What brand(s) of smoked salmon would you recommend for this dip? Thanks! Tracy

    • — Tracy Driscoll on November 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tracy, I’ve used Blue Hill Bay brand when I make this. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 17, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi, Jenn. I can’t get this brand of salmon in my neck of the woods. Is the salmon hot smoked? Or cold smoked??

        • — Janice on August 21, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Janice, it’s cold smoked. Hope that helps! 🙂

          • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
          • Reply
  • I made this for a party. Everyone loved it! I will definitely make this again.

    • — Pam on September 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made today! I had some fresh salmon (4-6 oz) that I seasoned with lemon/pepper seasoning and I baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. I flaked that baked salmon apart and added to the cream cheese mixture. I did omit the lemon juice to prevent sour taste. The overall results were amazing!

    • — Erica C on September 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Highly recommend!

    • — Connie on September 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • What an elegant appetizer! It was very easy to make and had great flavors!

    • — Jennifer McKlveen on July 17, 2021
    • Reply

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