The Best Salmon Spread


Another salmon spread? There are so many out there, and I even have a few on this blog, but I love salmon in all forms. What makes this spread different is that both grilled salmon and smoked salmon are used, and it’s served warm.

So it’s not just a cream cheese mixed with bits of smoked salmon, or rillettes, or a layered concoction. (All of which are wonderful!) It’s a warm, delightfully sensorally captivating salmon spread.

It’s not terribly pretty. In fact, it’s probably best used for canapés. But if you’re not serving the Queen of England, it’s perfect to serve alongside pumpernickel bread or crackers to normal folks.

Double Salmon Spread

3 tablespoons butter
10 ounces salmon filets
Old Bay seasoning
10 ounces smoked salmon (lox), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup drained small capers
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Chives or dill leaves, optional

Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. A little browning of the butter is fine. Sprinkle salmon filets with Old Bay.

Add the filets to the skillet and sauté until barely opaque in the center, turning over halfway through cooking. Remove the skin if they aren’t skinless.

Using a spatula, flake the cooked salmon into bits that aren’t too small.

Meanwhile, weigh out the smoked salmon and chop it. Place in a mixing bowl.

Add the capers, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice.

Then stir in everything from the skillet, including the warm butter. Gently stir and combine the ingredients well. Taste for seasoning.

To serve as canapés, spread a generous amount of the salmon mixture on each toast, and top with a dill sprig or chopped chives.

If preferred, serve the dip in a bowl on a serving platter surrounded by your favorite toasts and crackers.

The most important thing with this spread is that it’s served warm. Then you really get all of the flavors from the cooked and smoked salmon.

If you’re not a big fan of the generous amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream, simple reduce the amounts to 1/3 cup each.

If I’d made this in the summer, I would have used fresh dill on top of the spread, but chives will have to suffice for now!

67 thoughts on “The Best Salmon Spread

  1. Indeed, this one sounds very different from any other I’ve tried. Since we have a smoker at home, I am super interested in trying it…

    will keep you posted

  2. Mimi, I too love all that is salmon and your s warm salmon dish will be no exception. This will tried at our Easter dinner. Thank for sharing.

    • I do too. But, I love the flavors that are revealed when the dip is served warm, or just prepared. It’s really nice.

    • Yes! But I think the fact that this dip/spread is served warm is what really sets it apart. You can taste the salmon, but also the butter and mayo flavors.

  3. My mom used to make a tuna sandwich with ahi and some sort of smoked fish such as trout, mackerel or herring so I know that the salmon two ways thing will be delicious! GREG

  4. I’m with you, Mimi – I have no time met a salmon spread I didn’t like. I love that this one is served hot, too – nice for a chilly evening!

    • It really is. But the salmon crudo I made for the blog has to be my number one way to serve and eat salmon. Have you ever made it? I’m assuming it’s Italian.

  5. Everyone in my family loves salmon — all ways. Love that you have it two way in this recipe. I would love it in a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, as well as, as a dip. Delicious!

  6. I’m so with you about loving salmon in any form! The ingredients together in this dish sound divine. I have some salmon fillets in my freezer right now that i need to pull out to make this recipe of yours. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Like you, Mimi – I love salmon in all its forms. This spread would make a fine lunch with some pumpernickel bread or rye crackers. Or, I suppose I could share it. 😉

  8. We had a wonderful white fish mousse at my favourite French restaurant in the city on Friday, so I have been obsessing about recreating the dish. This spread, although not at all similar made me think of the mousse again. I just love salmon too and will have some leftovers from a brunch I am hosting on Sunday, so this spread will definitely inspire something special.

    • You are so welcome! I’m behind on blogs because I’m in Brazil right now – I’ll try to catch up quickly when I get back!

  9. Actually I think it does look particularly beautiful and appetising! I make tuna and mackerel spreads with capers too. I must try with smoked salmon one day. I’d never think of frying smoked fish! Wonderful idea!

  10. Salmon is my favorite fish and I think capers are the best things in a jar! Seriously, can’t wait to make this and eat it for dinner one night with a loaf of pumpernickel bread. The Queen wishes she had it that good. lol!

    • It is. It’s a great dip or spread, but I especially love that it’s served warm so you can taste all of the flavors.

    • I’m the opposite with smoked salmon, actually, however if it was all smoked salmon it would be a bit strong and salty. You will probably like the combination.

  11. Yum – I like the sound of this and also think it looks quite pretty. I have not heard of that particular seasoning mix, it’s not one I think is available in Australia, or at least Sydney, but I’m sure I can find some seasoning which will work well. I really like the idea of serving with pumpernickel….

    • The seasoning isn’t really important, certainly salt can be used or an herbal mixture that’s fairly mild. Can’t wait to catch up on your blog – I’ve just gotten back after a lengthy vacation!

  12. One of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta served a warm salmon spread with homemade thick potato chips. I miss that appetizer so much! This recipe sounds similar, though. I’ll have to give it a shot next time I’m looking for a fun entertaining snack!

    • It’s the warmth that makes it so good, just like how a room temperature dip is better than one chilled, to enhance flavors. Hope you like it!

  13. Just reading this recipe, I can tell how good this would taste! The only salmon “spread” I’ve made is for salmon sandwiches … your recipe certainly takes it to a few higher levels.

    • What really makes it stand out, I think, is that when served warm, the salmon, both kinds, really are at their flavor peak. You can also taste the butter and cream components. HOpe you try it!

  14. YUM! I love the combination of flavors and colors. Healthy, filling, and delicious. Definitely going to try for my kiddos. What happens if i leave out the lemon?

    • You wouldn’t notice a huge difference in a side by side taste comparison. It adds a brightness. Are you allergic?

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