Smoked Salmon Dip

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This smoked salmon dip is seriously the best I’ve ever tasted. The flavors are fresh and authentic, with juicy salmon lox, tangy cream cheese, and savory dill. It’s perfect for parties, brunches, and snacking!

Salmon is one of my favorite ingredients and it makes the most delicious appetizers. Try my chopped salmon salad and these prosciutto-wrapped salmon skewers, next.

Hand dipping a cracker into a bowl of dip garnished with smoked salmon, lemon, and a fresh dill sprig, surrounded by a platter of crackers and crudités.


You know how some recipes come about out of sheer necessity? That’s exactly how this smoked salmon dip was born. My husband, Goce, has a habit of buying tons of smoked salmon, and I needed a creative way to use it up. So, I put together this recipe! While this dip isn’t a new concept, my version is always better. 😉

I’ve always found that store-bought smoked salmon dips are kinda fishy, and they want to be smoky, but somehow… aren’t. While buying ready-made is cheaper, believe me, you won’t get THIS incredible flavor from a tub!

This homemade salmon dip with cream cheese is smooth and creamy, packed with real, fresh smoked salmon, tangy lemon, and dill. I made it for a family brunch recently and served it with crackers and crostini. The next day, I smeared leftovers over a bagel for breakfast. This dip is unmatched!

What Makes This the Best Salmon Dip

  • Authentic smoky flavor. This salmon dip has real salmon, tangy cream cheese, sour cream, and a burst of freshness from lemon and dill. The results are lightyears tastier than even the fanciest store-bought smoked salmon dip. You won’t believe the difference!
  • Quick to make. Using room-temperature cream cheese makes mixing the dip super quick. Just fold in your salmon and a handful of herbs, and pop the bowl into the fridge. It takes minutes to prep and 1 hour to chill, and you’re ready to serve.
  • Versatile. Parties, picnics, brunch tables, etc. This cool and creamy salmon dip is one of my favorite appetizers because I can take it anywhere. On days when it’s too hot or too short notice for baked shrimp dip (another favorite), I’ll make this cold smoked salmon dip– no oven needed!
Ingredients for smoked salmon dip with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Recipe Ingredients

Below are the basic ingredients needed to make the freshest smoked salmon dip recipe, with some notes on substitutions. For a printable ingredients list, scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Cream Cheese – You’ll want to use bricks of cream cheese (rather than tubs). Take the cream cheese out of the fridge ahead of time so that it can soften to room temperature.
  • Sour Cream and Mayonnaise – You can substitute these with plain yogurt or Greek yogurt for a lighter dip.
  • Lemon – Freshly juiced. Please skip the bottled lemon juice!
  • Salmon Lox – Lox is salmon filets that have been brined and then smoked. You’ll find unsmoked versions as well. Feel free to use whichever you prefer.
  • Fresh Dill – Trust me, stick with fresh dill! Dried dill just doesn’t have the same savory punch. I also chop up fresh parsley for an extra pop of green.
  • Red Onion – Finely minced. Feel free to use another mild onion, like yellow onion or shallot. You can also soak the minced onions in cold water for 5 minutes to remove some of the sharpness; just make sure to dry them well with a paper towel afterward.
  • Garlic – In a pinch, you can substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder per fresh clove, but I love the flavor of fresh garlic in this dip.
Close-up shot of a cracker dipping into salmon dip.

What Is Salmon Lox?

Salmon lox is a salmon filet that’s cured in brine. When browsing for lox in your grocery store aisle, don’t be surprised if you see a few different choices. There’s regular lox, which is brined, smoked salmon, which is brined and smoke-cured, and the Scandinavian gravlax, which is salt-cured with dill (like I use to make Eggs Halifax). Any good-quality lox will work in this dip. 

How to Make Smoked Salmon Dip

I usually make this dip with a hand mixer or stand mixer. However, with a little extra effort, you can fold it together by hand. First, mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and lemon juice until that’s smooth. Next, fold in the lox, dill, parsley, onion, and garlic. 

Afterward, the dip goes into the fridge to chill for an hour. I love this smoked salmon dip served cold with crackers, crostini, and veggies. See below for more serving ideas.

Use the Blender

If you have a blender or food processor, you can use it to make this dip! Blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo first, then blitz in the rest of the ingredients including the salmon lox. You’ll end up with a creamier dip since the salmon gets blended throughout. This version also makes a great bagel spread!

Overhead view of a bowl of smoked salmon dip garnished with lox, lemon, and a fresh dill sprig, surrounded by crackers and crudités on a platter.

What to Serve With Salmon Dip

The smoked salmon flavors in this dip go great with whole-grain crackers, buttery Ritz crackers, cheese crackers, crostini, and just about any of my favorite veggies and crudités. It’s the perfect appetizer or starter next to a plate of pinwheel sandwiches and a pitcher of hibiscus iced tea in the summer.

I also love serving this dip at brunch next to spinach quiche or a bacon frittata. For a sweet option, nothing beats blueberry crepes!

Close-up of a hand holding up a cracker dipped in smoked salmon dip with a bowl of dip in the background.

Storing Leftovers

The smoked salmon dip can be stored covered in the fridge for a couple of days. I usually refer to the salmon lox packaging to get an idea of the shelf life (your dip will stay fresh up until the salmon’s best-before date). 

Take the dip out ahead of serving so that it can soften up and stir in a little fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

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Smoked Salmon Dip

This homemade smoked salmon dip is fresh and authentic, with juicy salmon lox, tangy cream cheese, and savory dill. It’s the perfect appetizer for parties, brunches, and snacking!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 ounces salmon lox, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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  • Beat. In the bowl of a standup mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Put it all together. Fold in the lox, dill, parsley, red onion, and garlic.
  • Season. Taste the smoked salmon dip and season it with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Chill. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dip in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This will give the flavors a chance to meld.
  • Serve. Serve cold with crackers and veggies.



Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 611IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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