This light smoked salmon dip is positively crave-worthy. Bonus - it comes together in 5 minutes! Serve it bagels, or as an appetizer with crackers and cucumber slices.
The inspiration for this 5-minute smoked salmon dip comes straight from my mum. When I was growing up, my parents often invited friends over for dinner and I could always be found hanging about the kitchen, hoping for the appearance of this smoky, salty dip.
My love for smoked salmon is well known in my family, and that adoration has crossed over to my recipe collection. This light appetizer, these little bites and this breakfast hash are exhibits A, B and C. It only made sense to add a lightened-up version of my mum's smoked salmon dip to the mix.
Coming up with a healthy smoked salmon dip was a breeze. First step, replace the full fat cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese, which has about a third of the fat. Neufchatel can be found right beside the boxes of regular cream cheese in the dairy section.
If you come across a recipe for smoked salmon dip, it typically includes sour cream or mayonnaise. Instead, I swapped in plain nonfat Greek yogurt, which provides the perfect amount of tanginess without the added calories and fat.
What you need for this smoked salmon dip recipe:
These are the main ingredients of this recipe (affiliate links may be included):
- SMOKED SALMON: Look for lox (thinly sliced) in the fish or deli section of most grocery stores.
- CREAM CHEESE: To keep things light, use Neufchâtel or light cream cheese. For consistent measuring, but cream cheese in a brick rather than the containers of whipped cream cheese. If preferred, use the full fat version instead.
- YOGURT: Plain nonfat Greek yogurt asks just the right amount of tangy flavor. Plus, it thins out the cream cheese, making the dip more spreadable.
- HERBS: Use fresh dill and fresh chives, both found in the produce section of most grocery stores.
- CAPERS: Pick up a bottle of small, non-pareil capers, which can be found near the pickles and olives in most grocery stores.
- GARNISH (if desired): To garnish the dip, use some minced dill or chives, or thinly sliced green onion.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙What’s to love about this salmon spread recipe:
▪️QUICK & EASY: The list of instructions is short because this recipe is a breeze to make! When I saw “5 minutes”, I mean 5 minutes.
▪️TASTE: If you love lox and bagels as much as I do, you’ll adore this dip! It’s dangerously delicious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
▪️MAKE-AHEAD: This salmon spread can be made ahead of time, making it ideal for entertaining.
How to make salmon dip with cream cheese:
In a food processor:
Start by roughly chopping the smoked salmon. No need to go overboard here – the food processor will do the rest of the work.
The cream cheese should be slightly softened. Place it a glass bowl (unwrap it first!) and soften it in a microwave at 50% power, checking it every 10 to 15 seconds. It should not be liquid-y.
Place the smoked salmon, cream cheese and yogurt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is almost smooth.
Add a teaspoon of capers, a couple of tablespoons of dill and chives, and pulse several more times until everything is combined. Done!
In a stand mixer:
If you don’t have a food processor and are making a double or triple batch of the dip, you mix everything together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. However, the smoked salmon will need to be very finely chopped beforehand and the final texture will not be as smooth.
Be sure to taste the dip. If you want to adjust the seasonings, try adding some black pepper or even a splash of lemon juice.
What to serve with smoked salmon dip:
This easy salmon dip can be served as an appetizer or with brunch alongside bagels. I love it with sesame bagels, a few capers and a couple of slices of tomato!
If including this dip on the appetizer table, scoop it into a bowl and place in the middle of a serving platter or on a pretty serving board. Surround it with a mixture of bagel chips or pita chips, raw vegetables (sliced cucumber works well), crackers, or sliced and toasted baguettes.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
This dip will last for up to 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
I don’t recommend it. Cream cheese dips, particularly ones made with Neufchâtel or light cream cheese, don’t hold up well in the freezer.
While it is certainly possible to use fresh salmon in this dip, it will not have the same smoky flavor as smoked salmon. Smoked salmon has a distinct, rich flavor that is essential to the overall taste of the dip. If you do choose to use fresh cooked salmon or canned salmon, you may need to add additional seasonings to achieve the desired flavor.
If you like this appetizer recipe, try these ones:
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and comment underneath the recipe card below. Thank you!
5-Minute Smoked Salmon Spread Recipe
- 4 ounces smoked salmon lox, roughly chopped
- 4 ounces Neufchatel light cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 teaspoon capers
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the smoked salmon, cream cheese and yogurt. Pulse until almost smooth.
- Add the dill, chives and capers. Pulse 4 to 5 times, to combine.
- Serve with crackers, pita wedges and raw vegetables.
This post was first published on December 14, 2017 and updated on December 29, 2022.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.