Smoked Salmon Dip

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 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 1/4 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.

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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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn
    Love all your recipes, thank you! I am hosting a high tea bridal shower and wanted to include a “Homemade thyme/ parm Cracker with a salmon mouse” as one on the savoury items. I’m a little worried this might be too “chunky”…..Would I simple purée this dip more to get a mousse.consistency that I could them put into a pastry bag or do you have other suggestions?
    Thank you, I appreciate your help.

    • — Anita Rodobolski on August 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Anita! Yes, I think you could achieve the texture you’re looking for by pureeing the dip more. Hope that helps and that the shower is nice!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Served tonight with ten friends. Everyone raved about it and throughly enjoyed it. Followed your recipe but addd more smoked salmon and mixed by hand to get a chunkier spread. Thanks for recipe.

    • — Kevin Anderson on August 14, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn,

    Can I use 6 to 8 oz of smoked salmon instead of 4 to make it a little more smokey tasting? Thanks.

    • — Jeffery Wentworth on July 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jeffery – that’s fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this dip over the weekend for Father’s Day and it was a hit! my whole family loved it- definitely will continue to use this recipe in the future 🙂

    • — Lea on June 23, 2020
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  • Really enjoyed this yummy dip…did not include the capers since smoked salmon was already very salty.

    • — Carol on June 23, 2020
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  • My 4 year old and I enjoyed making this dip together. It has been such a treat to wake up the last 3 days and split a bagel with all the flavor in this smoked salmon dip. My daughter was content just eating the dip from the bowl with a spoon. We threw additional chopped chives on top for contrast.

    • — Shannon C on May 6, 2020
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  • OMG!!!! We smoked salmon on our smoker and used this recipe exactly and its the best we’ve ever had. THANK YOU

    • — Lindsay Wilkerson on April 20, 2020
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  • Delicious! I didn’t have fresh chives so used freeze dried, but compensated by upping the fresh lemon and dill a bit (honestly, I didn’t measure either, but I probably doubled the dill, lol). Oh right, I also don’t like Tabasco, so I used Louisiana hot sauce. Yum!

    • — dj sangchat on April 14, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I use canned salmon instead of smoked salmon?

    • — Anne on February 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend it here, Anne — sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Can’t stop eating!

    I used “low-fat” cream cheese, mayo and sour cream. I don’t like capers, so I subbed 2 T chopped green olives, plus 1 oz. “belly” lox (very salty, cured salmon – true lox) and used red onion (didn’t have chives.) Mine came out pretty salty, though really delicious. I might skip the belly lox next time, and for personal preference (for strong flavors,) I might add a tad more lemon and dill. Great recipe; can’t wait for the next occasion to bring it to! (Just so I don’t eat the whole bowlful myself LOL)

    • — Lori FM on January 16, 2020
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  • Do you think this dip would be good warmed up and served in a bread bowl?

    • — Irene on December 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Irene, I think this one is best cold or room temp. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • I’m a fisherman who catches and smokes his own salmon. I’ve played around with my own recipes for smoked salmon dip, which were good until I found this one. I’ve made this recipe twice and it is the best. Everyone loves this recipe. This one’s a keeper!

    • — D Hilde on December 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Delicious, quick and very easy to prepare and a benefit being able to prepare ahead of time. Thank you. Regards Carolyn

    • — Carolyn on December 11, 2019
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  • Easy to make, I took this to a football game watching party and it was the hit of the party.

    • — Kevin on December 8, 2019
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  • I’m about to make this again and I’m psyched. My mouth is watering for this dip. I think this is the third or fourth year I’ve brought this to my cousins Holiday party. My relatives got nuts for this dip. The first year I brought it I also brought home made crackers. Try that if you want to knock it out of the park. I will never try another salmon dip recipe. This is the best one.

    • — Don on December 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have a can of very nice smoked tuna. Do you think I could substitute it for the smoked salmon in this recipe? Or is there another recipe using smoked tuna that you could recommend. Many thanks! Love ALL your recipes!

    • — Jane Howe on December 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, I wouldn’t recommend smoked tuna here. And unfortunately, I don’t know of any other recipes that call for smoked tuna – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe and it turned out fantastic. For my taste I should have cut back the tabasco sauce, it was a little stronger than the other flavors. But overall I loved it! Creamy and fresh, great for a summer snack.

    • — Aubert Cordon on October 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made this dip for a thanksgiving app. It was a hit! We opted out of the hot sauce and capers. Served with chips and cucumber slices. Delicious!

    • — Grace on October 12, 2019
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  • Made this for a family celebration and it was a huge hit. Nice to keep some smoked salmon in the freezer and you are ready to go on short notice.

    • — Judi on September 10, 2019
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  • OMG this is delicious! I made this for a party, turned my back and it was almost gone! The only thing I did different was to save a little salmon and garnish it on the top. Amazing! Will definitely make again!

    • — MarMcG on August 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • Jenn’s recipes never disappoint. I made this a day in advance of a dinner party. So simple! So delicious! So many raves from my guests! I love recipes I can make ahead of time so I can spend more time with my guests instead of in the kitchen. Thank you!

    • — Elaine in San Francisco on July 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this dip twice for my husband who does not like salmon or smoked fish he could not get enough of it and I’m gluten-free and did not have any trouble with it. I omitted the salt.

    • — Mary Ann on July 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing. It’s what we call more-ish in Newfoundland. You can’t stop eating it. Even my husband who is not a huge smoked salmon fan loved it!

    • — Vanessa C-S on July 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe!!! I look forward to family gatherings as that is my excuse to make it again. Always goes over well.

    • — Susan Singley on June 29, 2019
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  • this is my first recipe I tried from your book – Delicious with bagels almost once a month. I wounder if this spread would be good to use with Athen’s mini fillo shells for appetizers. Thank you so much?

    • — Edith on June 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Edith, but I’d bake the shells first and then fill them with the dip. (And glad you like it!) 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • first dish I tried from your book and it was amazing. We had it on our fresh bagels. LOVE IT! That’s how you got me hooked into your recipes and into the kitchen 🙂

    • — Edith on May 17, 2019
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  • Yum! My only change was substituted Penzey’s Fox Point dried herb mix for the fresh chives. I also added an extra step, pulsing the fresh dill and capers before pulsing in the smoked salmon as I didn’t want to risk puréeing it. Wonderful taste and texture, planning on serving with shmurah matzah (a precious gift from Jewish colleagues) for our Easter gathering. happy holidays!

    • — Grace B on April 19, 2019
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  • I don’t have a food processor, and am wondering – do you think this could work in a blender? Or would the salmon and herbs get all stuck down in the bottom around the blade?

    • — Audrey on April 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Audrey, Unfortunately, I don’t think a blender would work but you can try finely chopping everything by hand and then mix together. Just be sure the cream cheese is room temp/warm, otherwise it will be hard to blend. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this a while back and I forgot to write the review! So my mom and I are very picky about our salmon dips, we had some really bad tasting ones, we even tried recipes before and they just never hit the spot. While I was googling for a really good salmon dip for a small get together this was the one the top search. I looked at the ingredients and got really excited that my mom and I went to the store. We bought everything and I made it at my brother’s house, and it was a huge hit! We ate it all within just ten minutes of me making it. I did not change anything nor did I alter the recipe. I just followed the instructions and kept everything the same. The capers really gave the dip some flavor, and the dill gave it a fresh taste!

    • — Kristen S. on April 12, 2019
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  • I just don’t have capers, is that going to be a game changer?

    • — Sue Anne Lahtinen on March 16, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue Anne, The capers do add a lot of flavor, but I think it will still be good without them. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2019
      • Reply
  • I love finding new appetizer recipes and this one is a winner! I’ve made this twice and it’s one of my favourites now. So delicious and has drawn yums and requests for your recipe both times. Your Cheddar and Herb Cheese Sticks and Sweet, Spicy, Salty Candied Pecans are also delish and I’m looking forward to trying more of your appetizers. Thanks for these, Jenn!

    • — Sandra H. on January 15, 2019
    • Reply
  • Normally the recipes on this site are a big hit for me. Not sure what happened with this one. The caper flavor overpowers the dip. I followed the recipe exactly and now I’m trying to decide if I’ll dump it and make something else for what I need to take to a party tonight. Sadly it is a waste of good smoked salmon. I think 1 TBS of capers is plenty.

    • — Mary C on January 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Wonderful dip – my husband who is not a smoked salmon fan loved it as did everyone else!

    • — Lisa C on December 23, 2018
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  • This dip is delicious and great to make ahead of time . Since I now eat dairy free I have made this recipe with dairy free cream cheese and dairy free sour cream (both tofu based). It is my go to dip for entertaining.

    • — Grammam on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Do you have any suggestions for making this without a food processor? I only have a stick blender and don’t have access to a food processor.

    • — Amy on December 1, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, If you chop the salmon finely, you can mix this by hand – just be sure that the cream cheese is room temperature or it will be hard to mix with the other ingredients. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • Jenn: easy recipe, but found it to be a bit salty ( I did not add salt). I let it sit in the fridge for about 45 minutes, still a bit salty. Light bulb went off, I added more lemon juice, let it sit another 45 minutes, PERFECT! A total hit with all the party guests. Thanks.

    • — Tom on November 25, 2018
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  • Love this recipe! Whenever I serve it or bring it somewhere, everyone wants the recipe.

    • — Elizabeth Gunderson on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Is there any substitute you can recommend for the dill. My household doesn’t care for it, but this recipe looks fabulous otherwise!

    • — kim longsworth on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, I’d recommend replacing the dill with tarragon. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I am trying your Salmon dip. Wondering why you add capers? I have never used capers in a recipe. Is it a necessary ingredient?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Stefani, They add wonderful salty, tangy flavor. I highly recommend using them.

  • Hi Jenn,
    Made this recipe exactly as listed and sent it to work with my husband. He enjoyed it so much, he bought bagels and made a breakfast meal of it! Or three or four!!

  • I”ve made the Smoked Salmon Dip for multiple parties, and I usually leave with an empty plate!

  • It’s been years since I discovered a new appetizer to add to my repertoire. This one is a gem. Followed recipe to a ‘T’ and with rave reviews from my guests, there’s no need to ever change a thing.

  • Made this for a Girls night In and served on slices of cucumbers for light gluten free app

  • I used this recipe for our Christmas Party/ my 50th birthday party last night. Huge hit. Followed the recipe exactly. Well balanced.

  • Would you do any specific changes if I use it as a appetizer for a Hanukkah party? Carol

    • No changes necessary; I think it’s perfect as is for an appetizer. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Love this recipe! A food processor makes quick & easy work of a very easy but elegant appetizer. I didn’t realize I was out of green onions so I substituted minced red onion & it was fabulous!! I also like a little extra lemon juice in mine and definitely sprinkle some extra fresh dill on top!

  • Only recently have I discovered this treasure trove of recipes and knowledge! What a treat for me and my family!
    I decided to start slowly and make an appetizer first. This was the one I chose. My husband smokes salmon, so we had some in the freezer. I’m of the opinion that one should always make a recipe exactly as written the first time. Then think about any changes you might make, but try the original first. This one needs no alterations for my family – it was perfect and disappeared quickly. I made it for a Thanksgiving gathering, so hungry guests would have something to enjoy while waiting for the main event. It was a huge hit and we will be making it regularly! Thank you, Jenn! (you are going to make me very popular)

  • I don’t like mayo. Do you have a suggestion, Jenn? Your site is fabulous. I’ve gotten raves on so many recipes and have referred lots of friends to you.

    • Hi Barb, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! I promise you that you can’t taste the mayo at all, but if you really don’t want to use it, I’d substitute more sour cream. The sour cream will make the dip a little tangier, so I’d also cut the lemon juice in half. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn! Excited to try this for Thanksgiving. Would it work if I used light cream cheese, sour cream (even greek yogurt), and mayo, or would it compromise the texture? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Flo, one reader commented that she prepared this with low-fat cream cheese and sour cream and was happy with the result. I haven’t prepared it this way, though, so I can’t vouch for it. I’d love to hear how it turns out of you do use reduced-fat versions of any of the ingredients!

  • I made this for a recent bridal shower and it was truly outstanding! Guests raved and raved! A must try!

  • Is the smoked salmon cooked or raw?

    • Hi Gail, this is salmon is that has been cured and hot or cold smoked. Hope you enjoy!

  • I made this on Saturday for dinner with friends and so I would have enough for Mother’s Day dinner on Sunday. It was so delicious, even my 13 year old daughter loved it. It was so easy to make and was even better on Sunday night! This is my new go to appetizer. Thanks!

  • This has been my super quick go-to appetizer dip to impress guests for the past 1 year.

  • This is the best salmon dip out there and I’m always getting requests to make it! It’s so incredibly easy to put together. I find it’s best to make it the night before you intend to use it so that the flavors meld a bit more.

  • Once again, a very tasty and easy recipe. I looked for an appetizer last minute ute and went to yr site and found this. Made it for my guests tonight and they all (plus me) just loved the dip. Thanks again!

  • Just made today for a friend’s dinner party. Got raves from all, even my hubby who normally won’t touch dips!! Very fresh herbs taste and oh so easy….Served w/ red peppers and sugar snap peas, didn’t even need the crackers!

    Tks Jenn for a great seafood dip!!

  • Made this recipe and took to a New Year’s Eve party. My family all like to fish and I used smoked salmon the family caught last summer. Big hit. I was very pleased. I will add this recipe to my holiday collection.

    • I sure wish MY family would catch a smoked salmon! LOL

      • — Lori FM on January 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent, adjusted to my taste to make it a bit sharp, that’s how I like it, one of my favourite.

  • This recipe is perfect just as it is. When visiting family it is always requested. I have to triple the recipe. I’ve served it with endive as well as crackers. Absolutely delicious!!

  • Can this dip be frozen?

    • Emily, with all the dairy this dip contains, I don’t think it would freeze well– sorry!

  • Soooo good! We had many heavy meals during the holidays that by New Years, we just wanted something light, refreshing, yet filling. This fit the bill. The best part is that there is no actual cooking involved. As a bonus, it paired well with Brut Rose champagne. Cheers and Happy New Year!

  • Made it just as the recipe listed. Loved the dill and capers! Our new go to dip for the holidays.

  • This was amazing! We filled up on the dip and had to wait for a while for the dinner!

  • Hi,
    Why are the amounts of the ingredients needed not listed? Or am I missing it?


    • Hi Nancy, 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, you can click the “recipe” button right under the recipe title. Hope you enjoy the dip if you make it!

  • Absolutely delicious
    We have made with salmon we smoked on the grill and packaged smoked salmon
    A hit in either case

  • This was so incredible!!!

  • How much salmon do you use?

    • Hi Winnie, you’ll need 4 ounces of smoked salmon. Hope you enjoy!

  • Made this for Mother’s Day 2016. Big hit! My first time to buy smoked salmon, & boy, did I wonder if it would be worth the $6; it was!!!

  • I made it today for my friends on breakfast, I couldn’t find chives, so I replaced it with green onion, and it was so delicious, with some salty biscuits was just perfect! everyone loved it, and it was the only plate that have been completely finished 😀 .. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • I just made your Smoked Salmon Dip, and it was wonderful. I’m so excited to be part of the Jenn family…ha!
    Thank you for your professionalism and willingness to connect with us, The Jenn Fan Club!
    Warm regards,

  • I made this for the super bowl and I can’t get enough of it!!!! It’s incredible! I used nova lox pieces which is still smoked salmon but half the price. Used a little more salmon & lemon juice than the recipe called for to taste. I also added a bit of garlic powder and siracha to it. Omg! Yummmm! So good I had to share the recipe 🙂 thanks!

    • — Madison Schankin
    • Reply
  • I made this for a New Year’s Eve dinner and it was a hit. I don’t think anything was left at the end of the night, and we only had a total of 5 people there!

  • Absolutely delicious! Made as written, and it was a big hit with young and old(er), alike!

  • A holiday dinner would not be complete without at least one of your recipes. I made this for Christmas Dinner. I love smoked salmon so this was super easy and really good. I made it exactly as described with low-fat cream cheese and low-fat sour cream and scallions since I didn’t have access to fresh chives.

  • Very easy to make. I think I might have added a little too much fish and I can’t taste the chives. I really liked it, but beware it is addicting.

  • Loved this! Easy and delicious–it was a big hit!

  • I did a sample run on this as I needed another appetizer. It is yummy. I don’t care for capers and do not keep on hand, so I subbed in additional lemon juice as suggested. We loved it.

    • — Margaret Higgins
    • Reply
  • Tabasco sauce. Does it have to be that for spiciness or will Sriracha work as well? I’ll trust your answer here as with the capers question below – I don’t like them but it sounds like they do add to the recipe without standing out so they will be included in my dip! Thanks!

    • Sure Josh, you could use Sriracha if you prefer.

  • I’ve made this dip with hot smoked salmon too. Works either way and totally delicious!

  • I made this dip and love it. It’s also a good way to use up a serving of salmon that’s left over from dinner (therefore grilled or poached, instead of smoked)… which is what I did.

  • Thanks for sharing the recipe! I don’t care for dill. Is there something I could substitute? Or is there enough flavor to just leave the dill out?

    • Hi Melinda, you could try replacing the dill with tarragon. Let me know how it turns out!

  • This am making for my guest Christmas Day Yum!

    • — Esmeralda Mollineau
    • Reply
  • Question: can you use just shrimp or just crabmeat? Are any other changes necessary? Thanks,

    • Hi Joanne, Unfortunately, I don’t think shrimp or crabmeat would work well in this recipe. The smoked salmon adds so much flavor; I think it’d be bland without it. Sorry!

  • Can you make this ahead of time and how long does it keep? I would like to make this Christmas Eve morning but not serve it until 11:00 am on Christmas Day?

    I just started subscribing but I can tell I’m going to enjoy your emails!

    Thanks for making my life easier!

    • Hi Lisa, Welcome to the site! It’s perfectly fine to make it a day (or even two) ahead of time. Just let it sit out at room temp before serving because it gets very stiff in the fridge.

  • This looks totally yummy, but I don’t’ like capers…will the flavor be changed a lot if I leave them out?

    • Hi Carol, It’s fine to leave them out; you might just add a bit more lemon juice. For what it’s worth, I don’t care for capers either — you really can’t taste them in this dip, but they add a nice tanginess.

      • Thanks! Gonna have to make this then for Christmas as my mother really loves smoked salmon!

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been agonizing over choosing an appetizer to take to a holiday party today, and I have almost every ingredient on this list already. Perfect solution! Happy holidays!

  • Do you think dried chives and dried dill would be an acceptable substitute for the fresh versions?

    • Hi Annie, It’s fine to use dried dill (use about 1/3 of the amount) but I wouldn’t use dried chives — if you don’t have fresh, it’s really fine to leave them out.

    • You can use the green part of spring onions, (or young scallions, same thing) finely chopped.

    • I loved this recipe for my keto diet!

      • — Laura on July 8, 2020
      • Reply

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