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!

By Published On: March 15th, 201969 Comments on The Best 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. sallybr March 15, 2019 at 6:06 AM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi March 15, 2019 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      I really love that it’s served warm. Was just in Rio!!!

      • sallybr March 15, 2019 at 7:10 AM

        we are in Sao Paulo, leaving back to US tonight…

      • chef mimi March 15, 2019 at 11:05 AM

        Going to Lake Iguacu next. It’s a beautiful country.

  2. Travel Gourmet March 15, 2019 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    I think it looks great and sounds delicious!

    • chef mimi March 15, 2019 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      Thank you Kay!

  3. Ron March 15, 2019 at 7:29 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi March 15, 2019 at 11:04 AM - Reply

      Aw, thanks Ron! Not too pretty, but so so flavorful and pleasing.

  4. Sherry M March 15, 2019 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    Oh yum this sounds absolutely delicious Mimi. I do love salmon!

    • chef mimi March 15, 2019 at 11:03 AM - Reply

      Thank you Sherry. Salmon is so incredible and versatile !

  5. Gloria Roa Baker March 15, 2019 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    Mimi this looks wonderful, I love salmon!!

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      And it’s so versatile!

  6. Jack & Barbra Donachy March 15, 2019 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    Mmm. Pumpernickel bread. What a great idea!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2019 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  7. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso March 15, 2019 at 12:22 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious. Love the combination of cooked salmon and smoked salmon.

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:06 PM - Reply

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

  8. Fran @ G'day Souffle' March 15, 2019 at 4:16 PM - Reply

    Yum, looks good enough to eat as a main course!

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:05 PM - Reply

      I certainly could!

  9. March 16, 2019 at 6:53 AM - Reply

    Sounds like a winning combination as I love both!

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:05 PM - Reply

      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.

  10. March 16, 2019 at 10:51 AM - Reply

    You say this salmon spread isn’t terribly pretty Mimi but I think it looks absolutely delicious. And I would especially love this on pumpernickel bread. Yum!

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:04 PM - Reply

      Thank you kind sir! Maybe it’s just not easy to photograph. But it is good!

  11. sippitysup March 16, 2019 at 1:31 PM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:03 PM - Reply

      Yes, and what I really enjoy is the dip served warm. All of the different flavors are enhanced.

  12. Tabula Rasa March 16, 2019 at 3:56 PM - Reply

    The queen would love it 😀

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 4:01 PM - Reply

      Indeed !

  13. Kim Bultman March 16, 2019 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    I am SOOOO printing this, Mimi. (Just printed it!) Thank you.

  14. Kim Bultman March 16, 2019 at 4:36 PM - Reply

    Did I mention MAKING it? EATING it? Oh my, yes.

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 7:44 PM - Reply

      You’re so funny!

  15. David March 16, 2019 at 7:12 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi March 16, 2019 at 7:44 PM - Reply

      More like warm, just to enhance the flavors, but I’ve made it also in the warmer months with no protests!

  16. Frank Fariello March 17, 2019 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    Hard to go wrong with salmon, it’s such a tasty fish. And smoked salmon, well, pure ambrosia!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2019 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      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.

  17. cookingontheweekends March 17, 2019 at 8:12 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2019 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      I make sandwiches with leftover cooked salmon as well. Such a fabulous fish!

  18. Linger March 18, 2019 at 11:26 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi March 25, 2019 at 7:08 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome! I can’t wait to catch up with your blog – I’ve been on a very long trip!

  19. Laura March 18, 2019 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    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. 😉

    • chef mimi March 18, 2019 at 5:12 PM - Reply

      Eh, sharing is over rated!

  20. Eva Taylor March 18, 2019 at 12:49 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi March 18, 2019 at 5:12 PM - Reply

      Thank you! You’ll love it. Just make sure to serve it warm!

  21. 2pots2cook March 19, 2019 at 1:27 PM - Reply

    This is so inviting version ! Keeping for Good Friday ! Thank you Mimi !

    • chef mimi March 20, 2019 at 5:42 AM - Reply

      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!

  22. Sissi March 19, 2019 at 3:55 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi March 20, 2019 at 5:41 AM - Reply

      Thank you. The recipe calls for cooked salmon and smoked salmon, but now you have me thinking!

  23. kitchenriffs March 20, 2019 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    Love salmon spreads! Haven’t had a warm one, though — this looks great. Fun recipe — thanks.

    • chef mimi March 20, 2019 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      It’s even better than at room temperature. All the flavors pop.

  24. karrie March 21, 2019 at 11:50 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi March 21, 2019 at 4:02 PM - Reply

      Funny! It’s just really really good, and I’ve had lots of salmon preparations for appetizers !

  25. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen March 21, 2019 at 12:37 PM - Reply

    I love the addition of fresh salmon in this recipe! I try to buy wild caught salmon whenever possible and this sounds like a delicious way to use it.

    • chef mimi March 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM - Reply

      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.

  26. Christina Conte March 21, 2019 at 4:27 PM - Reply

    What a lovely way to serve salmon, and two kinds at that! Love the idea of having it warm, too!

    • chef mimi March 21, 2019 at 4:36 PM - Reply

      It’s really the warm temp of the dip/spread that makes it special I think.

  27. Jeff the Chef March 22, 2019 at 6:02 AM - Reply

    Mmm, that is interesting. I’ve never had anything like it. I think I would like it, because I often find that a little smoked salmon goes a long way.

    • chef mimi March 22, 2019 at 8:47 AM - Reply

      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.

  28. Kathryn March 23, 2019 at 9:58 PM - Reply

    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….

    • chef mimi March 24, 2019 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      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!

  29. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 25, 2019 at 10:25 AM - Reply

    I don’t think I have ever had a warm salmon spread and since I will not be expecting the Queen of England anytime soon, I don’t care about how it looks. :D

    • chef mimi March 25, 2019 at 10:50 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Karen! I appreciate the sentiment! She’s never dined here…

  30. David @ Spiced March 28, 2019 at 7:00 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi March 28, 2019 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      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!

  31. Marlene Cornelis March 31, 2019 at 5:27 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi April 12, 2019 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      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!

  32. Shams May 12, 2019 at 1:37 AM - Reply

    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?

    • chef mimi May 13, 2019 at 7:18 AM - Reply

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

  33. marymtf October 13, 2019 at 6:58 PM - Reply

    You’re wrong, Mimi. The Queen of England is always looking out for something different.

    • chef mimi October 14, 2019 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Perhaps you’re right!

  34. Madalaine August 28, 2022 at 12:08 PM - Reply

    My mom used to make a salmon spread but it was more like a mousse. I liked that one a lot, but this one looks even better!!! Thanks for another great recipe, Mimi. 😋

    • Chef Mimi August 28, 2022 at 12:28 PM - Reply

      A mousse would be a beautiful first course. This really is more like a dip, unless you make canapes…

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