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Salmon Dip That You Can’t Stop Eating!

This Salmon Cream Cheese Dip is CRAZY GOOD!  It’s a recipe of my mother in law’s that I tweaked just slightly because she doesn’t really measure it and I thought you guys would appreciate some actual measurements of the ingredients.  I first tried this dip when she was helping us with our house and brought it over for lunch.  We were driving to Ikea looking for a bathroom vanity (not the right place to find one!) and my stomach began growling like a mama bear guarding her cubs! 

I gave a little giggle and began looking for a fast food restaurant (this was our 2 weeks of shame eating out for every meal because there was NO time to cook).  Instead, she reached under her seat and handed me a plastic container and crackers.  The satisfying pop of the lid coming off promised a treasure hidden inside, a promised realized as the scent of smoked salmon wafted up to my nose.

A smile spread across my face and I couldn’t get the crackers open fast enough!  The dip was incredible and I couldn’t stop eating it.  Finally, we arrived at Ikea and I longingly left the van with the dip locked inside.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have any nice bathroom vanities, I should have stayed with the salmon dip!

I emailed her last week for the recipe because I knew this would be the perfect thing to have on hand for the crazy days of packing and moving.  She did her best guess at measurements, and I played around to get the perfect ratio of salmon to cream cheese.  It was great with cucumber spears, crackers, mixed in pasta, and even in sushi!

I made this with leftover salmon that we had for dinner which was cooked with garlic cloves tucked into it.  If you’re using canned salmon or salmon cooked plain, I’d suggest adding some minced garlic or garlic powder to your dip.  The secret ingredient in this dip is liquid smoke!  It gives a deep smoky flavor that lingers in your senses and creates visions of salmon smokehouses in your mind.

Give this dip a try for your next busy week, or party, or even something cold to take to work for lunch.  Any other ideas on how to use it?


Yield: makes about 3 cups

Salmon Cream Cheese Dip

Salmon Cream Cheese Dip
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 cups torn up salmon
  • 12 oz (or 1 1/2 cups) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp minced onion (I used a microplane grater)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 8 turns of pepper grinder)


  1. Mix everything together really well.  Yes, that’s it!  I used a stand mixer for speed, but you can mix it by hand too.  Store in the refrigerator and serve hot or cold.


Approximate cost/serving: Our salmon was some tasty coho given to us by friends, but at the typical cost of getting our salmon it would be $5 to make the dip.  But it can feed 20 people as an appetizer at a party, so it’s only 25 cents a person!!!

Gluten Free: Yes!  Serve with cucumbers and carrot sticks for a gluten free snack, appetizer, or meal.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 18g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

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28 thoughts on “Salmon Dip That You Can’t Stop Eating!”

  1. Yum. I always love your smart ways to use up leftovers and this sounds ingenius as always. I bet it would also be fantastic on a bagel with some cucumber, tomato, and sprouts. 🙂

  2. I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate salmon into our diet. This sounds so good Diana! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    • I bet! My husband and I made this from salmon we cooked over a campfire. No need for liquid smoke if you’ve got the real deal! Thanks for commenting George.

  3. Salmon dip is always a great crowd pleaser.

    A great twist to this recipe is to substitute grated horseradish in place of the liquid smoke. The lemon and horseradish pair very nicely and make even canned salmon taste nice and fresh!

    Great for the holidays and also very economical.

  4. I make one nearly like this. I put it on a tray and shape it like a fish and top it with chopped parsley and chopped pecans. Very yummy!

  5. I have made this many times. It’s a dip my mom has made for many years. as Sarah says in her comments, I top it with chopped parsley and crushed pecans. Also a few other options are, add horseradish to taste (about 1 or 2 spoon fulls) and I use Philadelphia brand salmon flavored cream cheese. This also gives it a nice pinkish color and adds to the salmon taste.

  6. I’ve always made this spread for the holidays. I use a good quality canned salmon as well as smoked salmon (lox), I cover it in capers and serve with butter crackers.

  7. Since liquid smoke has been known to bring on a raging bout of gout to my husband I never use it. Naturally smoked salmon, baked, grilled, canned or jarred works well with my recipe. I also add a touch of dill, grated red onion, minced capers, a couple drops of worcestershire sauce. You could also add dill relish. Cream cheese, sour cream & or mayo could all be used according to your taste. I make it a little different everytime never omitting the fresh lemon juice & no matter what it is always great!

  8. I am always looking for delicious canapès to serve my weekend guests. I piped it into ready made small pastry cups with a little minced red onion and a caper on top. They were a hit. This recipe is definitely a keeper. My Mom used to have liquid smoke in the pantry and I always wondered what it was for. Now I know! Thanks for sharing this wonderful and very versatile recipe.

  9. My family has this spread at all of our holiday parties we also o put a lil Horseradish but its delicious my mom used to make it and top it with some chopped walnuts you can also make a log or ball and roll into chopped nuts then arrange your crackers around the plate . I Love It

  10. This sounded delicious so I thought I’d try to make it…..well not so good. Mine was too gooey and I couldn’t form it in a ball like you did. Perhaps I didn’t use enough cream cheese?? Not sure if there are some tricks I should know of. Also, never heard of liquid smoke and couldn’t find any around where we are which is not exactly urban so maybe we when get back to civilization I can find some for future tries.
    Thanks, though. Your recipe looks delicious!

    • If you put your mix on top of plastic wrap pull up sides and freeze it for a bit. If you want a salmon ball for party try and keep dip in ball form. What I do when pretty frozen pull out roll in nuts if choice pecans give nice color for thanksgiving also raw pumpkin seeds green in color give nice color too but only if using cream cheese, mayo and sour cream don’t freeze to well and some not suggested for freezing but salmon and cream cheese, horseradish, garlic dill all can be frozen nuts to if left overs and last long time. I personally love it. So make it up get my cup cake pan out put plastic wrap over ot then scoop some in each section then cover and pop in freezer. When harden I pull them out and put some in pumpkin seeds some in pecans some in walnuts the part that was down form a dome and if you scrape tip with a knife before freezing it. It’s flat turned upside down it sits on a plate nicely or you can shape in a ball with hand then roll in nuts freeze again what ever your not using . A great make ahead for parties as big or small . I tend to make smaller balls si u can pull out and not leave salmon sitting out for hours at party. It only need to be taken out few minutes before serving no more than 5 and it’s spreadable 5-10 dipping with crackers. I make cupcake pan for personel use for quick snack or appitizers for older couple. You can crushed nuts for hose who can’t eat big nuts. I have not tried smoke flavor with nuts but going to try yummy!

  11. Tried this out on hubby and he loved it. Didn’t stop him from suggesting a higher salmon to cream cheese ratio though. Trying that out today. Thanks so much for a great recipe

  12. Thanks for leaving this post up — was looking for an easier way to “smoke” salmon. What I did was I poached fresh salmon, and in the poaching liquid added some liquid smoke. This worked well and didn’t overpower the dip.

  13. This dip is wonderful. I also found that a generous folded in portion of rough cut roasted red pepper adds a really good side flavor. I like the brand Mezzeta.


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