Layered Salmon Spread

One day I was searching on and came across a recipe that got my attention. The recipe is “Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip.”

The name befuddled me at first, because when I think of layered dips my mind goes directly to Mexican-inspired dips with beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and so forth. Although I have presented a Mediterranean version of a layered dip on my blog. But still, smoked salmon?

Furthermore, it’s not lox in this dip – it’s hot-smoked salmon. I was truly curious.


Before I could put the spread together, I hot-smoked salmon steaks. My Cameron stove-top smoker is so useful for salmon. In fact, it’s primarily why I use it.


If you want to know how I hot-smoked salmon with this smoker, please refer to the post here.

You can change up the wood you use for the smoke, but it’s essential to not overcook the salmon. Like in the tutorial, I smoked these steaks for 15 minutes, timed from when the smoking begins.

Here is the recipe as I adapted it:


Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip

2 salmon steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 small cooked beets
2-3 tablespoons creamy horseradish, depending on your taste
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 radishes, trimmed, finely chopped
Drained capers, about 1/3 cup
Chopped green onions
Zest from 1 lemon
Pumpernickel bread

After smoking the salmon, remove it from the skin, flake it, and divide in half. From the beautiful photograph of this spread online, it’s obvious that the salmon was more finely chopped. It’s another option.

Beat together the cream cheese, goat cheese, and butter in a medium bowl; set aside

Make the beet horseradish by combining the beets, horseradish and sour cream in a small blender. The texture should be spreadable.

Have the radishes, capers, and green onions on hand. I had intended on including shallots but I simply forgot.


This spread could be made in a springform pan lined with plastic wrap and flipped over when ready to be served, but I simply used the 6″ greased form without the bottom to mimic a ring mold. Place the form, if you’re using one, on a serving plate.

Spread half of cream cheese mixture evenly inside the ring mold, smoothing surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the cream cheese with half of the salmon.


Scatter the radishes and capers over the salmon. Drizzle half of the beet horseradish sauce over the top.


Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and salmon. I poured the remaining beet horseradish sauce over the salmon.


Scatter on more radishes and capers.


Sprinkle the green onions in the middle, and for a little color and zing, I added lemon zest.


Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, simply slide the springform mold up. I would suggest leaving the spread at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

The layered spread is absolutely vibrant.


I served with the spread with pumpernickel triangles. Bagel crisps or pita chips would also be good.


The spread can be made the morning of, but I wouldn’t make it the day before serving.


Grilled salmon would work just as well as hot-smoked.


Note: In the original recipe, the feta-cream cheese and the beet horseradish were all blended together, which made the spread very pretty, but I wanted more actual layers, so I kept those elements separate.

By Published On: March 8th, 201731 Comments on Layered Salmon Spread

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. A Famished Foodie March 8, 2017 at 8:45 AM - Reply

    I loved smoked salmon! This sounds like a really interesting take on a 7 layer dip, and probably really nice for the spring/summer as well.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 8:27 AM - Reply

      Definitely! It’s been warm here already, so it was perfect timing !

  2. lulu March 8, 2017 at 9:48 AM - Reply

    The beet horseradish adds an interesting dimension to your spread. I’m going to have to try your recipe to get a real sense of the flavors.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 8:28 AM - Reply

      It was to me an interesting combination of flavors. The beet and horseradish stood up to the salmon, but all was tempered by the cream cheese.

  3. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons March 8, 2017 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    I have one of those smokers in my garage, gathering dust. Thank you for the inspiration. This looks like a wonderful dish to serve at a party, delicious.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 8:28 AM - Reply

      Oh no! Get it out! You’ll be addicted once you use it – especially with salmon!

  4. kitchenriffs March 8, 2017 at 11:50 AM - Reply

    I love smoked salmon! I use a jury-rigged aluminum foil contraption whenever I do this (not very often — more typically I’ll grill it outside), but should really get one of those smokers. They look like fun! And a lot easier to use than my method. :-) Good spread — thanks.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:21 AM - Reply

      I love it. The smoke really bothers my husband. It just smells like salmon to me, but it’s like breathing in smoke I guess, if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing. Like a fire burning outside – not cigarette smoke! We just have to air the house out. You could put the smoker over a gas grill flame I guess, too, so the smoke stays outside.

  5. sa.fifer March 8, 2017 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    That looks so good!

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:22 AM - Reply

      Thank you! It was a delightful set of flavors and textures!

  6. Gerlinde/ Sunnycovechef March 8, 2017 at 3:52 PM - Reply

    I love smoked salmon but have done it myself. There is always a first time. This looks like a wonderful spread.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:22 AM - Reply

      This dip I don’t think would be much different with just seasoned grilled salmon. I just wanted to try it the way it was suggested.

  7. ruthann1 March 8, 2017 at 4:41 PM - Reply

    Dear Chef Mimi,

    I need a new exciting spread recipe. This looks perfect. Will let you know how it turns out.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:23 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it – and it’s perfect timing if it’s spring where you live!

  8. Blogtastic Food March 8, 2017 at 4:49 PM - Reply

    What, what a wonderful dish to serve in the middle of the table (:

  9. anotherfoodieblogger March 8, 2017 at 7:13 PM - Reply

    Wow, what an exciting presentation and beautiful dip! I love all the flavors except the beets, but they sure do add a pop of color. I wonder how it would taste without it? Just thinking out loud. Great recipe Mimi!

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM - Reply

      I bet the inspiration of using beets was the color. They really aren’t that beety with all of the other strong flavors. You could make the cream cheese with the feta, add a little horseradish and lemon zest. But do use the radishes, capers, and green onions. Those were tasty and texturally fun additions!

      • anotherfoodieblogger March 10, 2017 at 1:39 PM

        Definitely Yes on all the other ingredients, I love them all!

  10. chezlerevefrancais March 9, 2017 at 5:10 AM - Reply

    I love all of the colours and flavours in this spread. I’m intrigued by the stove top smoker too so itching to have a go!

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM - Reply

      I’ve mostly used it for salmon, but also chicken. It’s very handy.

  11. Cocoa & Lavender March 9, 2017 at 7:52 AM - Reply

    The beats are such a surprise in this dish! Ever since you posted on the Cameron smoker, I’ve been meaning to buy one. Here I am again – fingertips at! I use a lot of hot smoked salmon and this could save me a fortune! And, I will get to try this wonderful dip. Can’t wait!

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 10:27 AM - Reply

      It would save money… And t’s so handy. Honestly this spread would be just as good with grilled salmon, but if you love hot-smoked salmon, the contraption isn’t expensive and I love it!

  12. Melissa Gillan March 9, 2017 at 5:15 PM - Reply

    Incredible flavour combos here. Must taste just incredible.

    • chef mimi March 10, 2017 at 7:26 AM - Reply

      It was delightfully fresh and flavorful!

  13. camparigirl March 11, 2017 at 1:19 PM - Reply

    Extremely inventive and unusual. It looks perfect for a party (although I am not smoking my food just yet – good for you. I am very impressed)

    • chef mimi March 11, 2017 at 7:05 PM - Reply

      Cause it doesn’t all fit in the pipe, right?!!!

  14. eliotthecat March 13, 2017 at 9:21 AM - Reply

    That is such a lovely presentation!

    • chef mimi March 13, 2017 at 10:29 AM - Reply

      Thank you! The photo from the recipe is just stunning. But then, I’m no food stylist!

  15. sugarlovespices March 13, 2017 at 6:59 PM - Reply

    That is a true beauty! Love the color, flavor and overall texture of this dip! I’ve never used a smoker, so I was really intrigued :-)

    • chef mimi March 13, 2017 at 7:40 PM - Reply

      Oh I love that smoker! I should probably smoke more than salmon and chicken, but that’s all I’ve done!

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