The best easy smoked salmon dip recipe is a beautiful balance of flavors: smoky salmon in a creamy base that's brightened with capers and lemon, and laced with fresh dill and red onion. It's decadent but whips up in just 10 minutes, and is perfect for a special brunch or afternoon snack. And bonus, this salmon dip is naturally gluten free and low carb!
Welcome to your new favorite dip.
It's perfect for those times when you need a quick breakfast for you and your sweetie (just pick up a couple bagels and breakfast is served!).
Also, it's great for a special occasion or holiday brunch (you can easily scale up this recipe to feed a crowd if you need to!).
Additionally, if you want an easy yet elegant snack or appetizer that you can whip up on a whim or at a moment's notice, you found it.
This is the best smoked salmon dip. It's impressive, which makes it good enough to serve to guests, but easy, which means it's perfect for anytime!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make. No food processor needed! We just stir everything together in 1 bowl.
- Tastes like your favorite smoked salmon cream cheese bagel. But in dip form!
- Special diet friendly. This recipe is naturally gluten free, low carb, and keto. It has just 3g net carbs per serving!
The Inspiration for This Easy Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
We all know not to go grocery shopping hungry. Why do I try to defy the laws of nature and not heed this rule?
A while ago I was shopping on an empty stomach, foolishly thinking I was immune to impulse buys. I was zipping around the store, only grabbing items on my list. Maybe I got a little too overconfident.
I was in the fancy cheese area, which is next to the organic area in the store where I shop. One of my favorite places to look around, this is usually a dangerous spot for me. Just grab a block of Kerrygold butter and a brick of vintage cheddar and get the heck out of here!, I told myself.
And then I heard her. With the voice of an angel, she was offering samples of an imported Italian cheese (I can’t remember the name offhand) on top of a Mary’s Gone Crackers cracker. About to book it in the other direction, my stomach grumbled in hunger. I winced. I knew the store had won. Like the house, the store always wins.
I reluctantly sampled one of those fabulously delicious cheese-topped crackers, and then ended up buying two boxes. Because of course, if you buy one box, the other is $1 off. Yes, it turns out, I am not immune to impulse buys, lol.
Off I went with my crackers in cart, in search of something delicious to top them with. The good part about this story is that hunger truly is the creator of the best recipe ideas. I know it isn’t anything new, but it was new to me. Right there in the middle of the store I thought about how those crackers would be killer with a creamy smoked salmon dip spread on top. And so I made a detour to my shopping list and bought what I needed for it.
The Best Smoked Salmon Dip or Spread
I was right, the creamy-textured and slightly tangy, smoky-flavored dip was the perfect accoutrement for these seeded, nutty crackers.
But guess what? This dip is just as incredible with bagel chips! Or spread onto baguette slices, schmeared on to a fresh bagel, or thinly glossed onto a soft tortilla and rolled up.
It won’t be long before the ingredients to make smoked dip make their way to my shopping list again. With a little of this and a little of that, I followed my intuition and added what I thought sounded good. This was the best smoked salmon dip I've ever had.
And next time I’m in a recipe-developing rut, I think I might just plan a hungry grocery shopping trip for some inspiration!
Ingredients in Smoked Salmon Dip with Capers
- Cream cheese - the base ingredient in this creamy dip
- Sour cream - adds tanginess and more creamy texture
- Mayo - just a touch of mayo adds a lot of richness
- Red onion - to add a piquant "bite" and cut through the richness
- Smoked salmon - the star of the show
- Fresh dill - dill is a classic pairing with salmon and adds a fresh, bright flavor with grassy notes
- Capers - tangy capers cut through the creamy decadents of this spread
- Fresh lemon juice - save the bottled stuff for something else because fresh lemon juice wakes up the flavors in this rich creamy dip like nothing else
- Salt and black pepper - to season the dip
- Tabasco sauce - just a couple drops adds complexity
How to Make Smoked Salmon Dip the Easy Way (No Food Processor Needed)
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl, and stir to combine. If you have the time, chill 15 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe FAQs
How Long Does Smoked Salmon Dip Last in the Fridge?
Store this dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Stir it again before serving.
How Do You Serve Cold Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Dip?
You can serve this dip schmeared onto bagels for breakfast. Think of a it as a lox and cream cheese bagel with the works all in one!
Also, it makes a lovely addition to a brunch spread such as this breakfast board I made a while ago.
Additionally, if you want to serve this salmon spread along with crackers or sliced bread, it's a perfect snack or appetizer.
What Can I Serve with Smoked Salmon Dip to Keep it Low Carb?
If you're looking for a low carb or keto snack, this salmon cream cheese spread is perfect! Here are a few low carb things you can serve it with to keep the carbs down:
- Bell pepper slices
- Celery sticks
- Cucumber slices
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets
- Radishes, cut in half or quarters
- Green beans
- Low Carb Crackers (Buttery Sesame Almond Gluten Free Crackers)
- Keto bagels (from the Keto Bread cookbook)
More Cream Cheese Dip Recipes to Try
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
- Extra Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip with a Kick
- Easy Low Carb Chile Relleno Dip in 15 Minutes
- Oreo Fluff (aka Oreo Dip)
Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature or very slightly softened
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
- 2 ounces smoked salmon finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- ½ tablespoon capers chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon tabasco sauce or other hot sauce (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
- If you have the time, chill 15 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
- If desired, garnish the top with more fresh dill and minced red onion before serving.
- Net Carbs: 3g per serving (each serving is ¼ of the recipe, which is a heaping ¼ cup per serving)
- Storage: Store this dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Stir it again before serving.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on July 11, 2013, and I updated it on March 13, 2023. However, as a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).