Smoked Salmon Appetizer

2 reviews

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This Smoked Salmon Appetizer is light, fresh, and a great way to start a party. Smoked salmon combined with lemon dill cream cheese makes for a perfect flavor marriage. Stick the two on top of a crisp crescent dough crostini baked with everything bagel seasoning, and you have a true winner.

puff pastry with everything bagel seasoning topped with thin sliced smoked salmon and lemon dill cream cheese.

Classic Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Cream Cheese

This smoked salmon appetizer is one of those classics that you’ll come back to time after time. I personally think this makes the perfect appetizer for holiday parties, including Christmas and New Year’s. It’s not too heavy, and just light enough to give your guests a nice snack before the main course arrives.

I prepare my appetizers with homemade cold smoked salmon (you know I’ve got the best recipe out there!) There is nothing better than salmon you’ve lovingly prepared at home, especially for family gatherings. When you’re planning on making this appetizer, prep the salmon in advance, that way you’ll have plenty on hand and your appetizers will come together in just a few minutes.

How to Make Smoked Salmon Appetizer

This smoked salmon appetizer is easy to make, but it’ll look like it took you hours putting it together. Follow these steps below to wow your guests into thinking that you’re a master in the kitchen.

  1. Bake the crescent crostini. While your oven is preheating to 350 degrees F, roll out your crescent dough on a baking sheet. (Make sure you purchase the crescent dough sheet and not the individual crescent rolls). Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 24 equal squares. Spray the dough with baking spray and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. Bake for 12 minutes.
  2. Make the lemon dill cream cheese. Combine all ingredients for the lemon dill cream cheese in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Assemble the appetizer. Top each crescent dough square with a slice of smoked salmon, a spoonful of cream cheese (you can also use a piping bag to help them look nice and smooth), and top with a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until guests arrive.

smoked salmon appetizer on a wooden cutting board.

Variations for Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Whether you’re short on time, or you feel like playing around with this recipe a bit, I have some great suggestions for changes you can make to this appetizer to make it work for you and your guests.

  • Use a packaged crostini or baguette instead of the crescent dough. If you don’t have time to make the crostini from crescent dough, you are more than welcome to purchase packaged or pre-made crostini from the grocery store for this appetizer.
  • Use hot smoked salmon instead of cold smoked. If cold smoked salmon isn’t your cup of tea, I recommend using my recipe for Hot Smoked Salmon for this appetizer. It will still taste amazing, but it will give you a slightly different texture. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can make both hot and cold smoked salmon and offer both to your guests.
  • Add a slice of fresh cucumber for some extra crunch. If you want to make your appetizer a bit heartier, you can add a thin slice of fresh cucumber in between the cream cheese and the crostini. You can also substitute the crostini for a thick sliced cucumber.
  • Sprinkle some capers on the top. If you want to go for a full lox experience with your appetizer, try placing a few capers on top of the cream cheese. This will give the appetizer a big punch of saltiness.

How to Serve Smoked Salmon Appetizer

If you’re hosting a big party, you can either make these smoked salmon appetizers right before guests arrive, or make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until the party begins.

Once you have all your appetizers prepared, arrange them evenly on a nice serving platter (I like to serve mine on a large wooden cutting board). If your appetizers do not fit on the platter, do not squish them to make them all fit. You can always refill the platter as needed throughout the night.

You can also arrange your appetizers of a few serving platters, and have those situated around your house or venue for your guests to snack on as they work the room. I tend to go with this option so I’m not refilling an appetizer platter all evening.

wooden cutting board arranged with a dozen smoked salmon appetizers.

More Appetizers from Hey Grill Hey

Planning a big party this year? Hey Grill Hey is here to help take the stress out of planning your menu. Check out these other tasty appetizers to keep your guests happy while waiting for the main course.

Grilled Brie with Cranberry Jalapeno Relish
Smoked Salmon Dip
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Grilled Tomatoes

Smoked Salmon Appetizer Recipe

Follow the recipe below and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube!

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Smoked Salmon Appetizer

By: Susie Bulloch (
4.5 from 2 votes
This Smoked Salmon Appetizer is a great way to start a party. Smoked salmon combined with lemon dill cream cheese make for a perfect starter.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time22 minutes
Servings12 people


  • 12 oz cold smoked salmon

Crescent Crostini

  • 1 can crescent dough sheet
  • 1 Tablespoon everything bagel seasoning

Lemon Dill Cream Cheese

  • 1 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest and juice of ½ a lemon


  • Preheat the oven. Before you begin preparing your crescent squares, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make the crescent crostinis. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick baking spray. Roll out your crescent dough on the baking sheet. Cut the dough into fourths and then sixths (making 24 equal squares). Spray the top of the crescent squares with nonstick baking spray. Sprinkle the squares with everything bagel seasoning. Bake the crescent squares for 12 minutes until golden brown.
  • Make the lemon dill cream cheese. While the crescent dough is baking, add all ingredients for the cream cheese in a medium bowl and whisk together. Mix well and set aside. For easier preparation, spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
  • Assemble the appetizers. When the crescent dough squares are done baking, remove them from the oven all allow to cool completely. Once cool, top each crostini with a slice of smoked salmon, and then pipe or spoon a dollop of the lemon dill cream cheese mixture. Top each with a tiny sprig of fresh dill. Serve immediately.


You can purchase the smoked salmon pre-made from the store, or make your own using my recipe for Cold Smoked Salmon or Hot Smoked Salmon on my website.


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

6 Reviews

  1. Zac says:

    I liked this a lot but made one minor change. I added a few capers on the cream cheese. They go so well with the salmon.

  2. Suzanne says:

    We made this for new years and it was A-MA-ZING! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes in the future