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Smoked Salmon Spread

Go Gingham Smoke Salmon SpreadThis is my family’s favorite spread. I have even heard elaborate explanations of why this smoked salmon spread should be eaten with a spoon out of a small bowl. “But, it has dairy and fish. That’s really good for me to eat,” is what I hear when I bust my husband or kids tucked into a bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other.

My favorite way to eat this? On a bagel or a cracker with thinly sliced tomato and onion slices and a sprinkling of capers. Or with sliced red peppers. Or with anything really!

This is a great recipe because it can be made several days ahead of when you need it. I always make this amount and it never lasts very long before it’s gone, baby gone! Bring it to a party and everyone will ask where you bought it. Maybe print several copies of the recipe and bring them along – just to be on the safe side. This recipe can easily be halved if you don’t want too much of it around.

Smoked Salmon Spread Go Gingham

I was inspired to make this by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I own several of her cookbooks and she has great taste. Her recipes are delicious but I like a bit more flavor and a bit more health to my cooking.

Does it freeze? Yes. Good luck having any left. Thaw in refrigerator for a day before you’d like to serve it and it still tastes great.

Smoked Salmon Spread
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-12
This is the perfect spread for bagels, toast or with veggies as a dip. It never lasts long at our house!
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 each, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
  • juice of 1 and 1/2 lemons (large ones)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, not packed (measured before chopping)
  • 2-3 teaspoons horseradish (I like Beaver brand prepared, grated)
  • 1 teaspoon of capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound smoked salmon (remove the skin)
  1. Bring cream cheese to room temperature.
  2. Place garlic clove in food processor and pulse.
  3. Break up pieces of salmon (see note) before adding.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until smooth.
  5. Adjust pepper to taste.
  6. Store in covered bowl in refrigerator.
Remember, with horseradish it can be spicy and you can always add more but you can’t take it away. (I have learned this lesson the hard way with my beet salad!) Taste as you go and adjust.

Salmon Spread Ingredients


  • Don’t add additional salt until after it’s been pulsed in the food processor. Smoked salmon tends to be salty and you may find that the salt amount is enough.
  • Don’t add all of the smoked salmon at the same time to the food processor. Reserve about a quarter of it to add after pulsing. I like to add most of the salmon and then leave some chunks bigger once it’s done being processed. It looks pretty and then you get a surprise bite with a bigger piece.
  • Break off big, heavy stems of dill. Compost the stems or save them and add to your freezer stash of vegetable scraps to make homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock.
  • Remember, with horseradish it can be spicy and you can always add more but you can’t take it away. (I have learned this lesson the hard way with my beet salad!)
  • This is great on bagels or as a dip with crudités or chips or on a sandwich or with crackers. It’s also good to eat with a spoon. See why I don’t worry about freezing it?
  • What to do with the salmon skin? Save it in your freezer and drop it into the hole you dig in your garden when planting your tomatoes. Or give the skin (after cutting it into small pieces) to your backyard chickens. They will love you.
  • Thick cream cheese requires more sour cream. Add 1 cup of sour cream and then see if you need the extra 1/2 cup of sour cream. I add more or less depending on the brand I’ve purchased.

Do you like to make dips and then eat them with a spoon? What is your favorite?

 Go Gingham related links:

Homemade chocolate chip cookies – I swear these are almost health food!
Homemade pesto – that can be made and frozen
Sour cream chipotle sauce that is an excellent dip
Grilled vegetables – on the grill – great for summer

6 thoughts on “Smoked Salmon Spread

  1. Looks great. I will definitely try this one —- have you ever tried making it with Lox, instead of a hot smoked salmon?


  2. Ooooh it looks mighty tasty – if only I could convince myself it was main meal worthy – bahaha. I shall try it next time I need to bring a dish to something.


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