Smoked Salmon Canapés feature chopped smoked salmon tossed with a creamy dijon sauce piled atop cucumber slices and garnished with fresh dill. Delicious, elegant, and so so easy!
Why Make This Recipe
- So easy! This recipe will take you less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Just chop up some smoked salmon and dill, then mix with a sauce of crème fraîche, dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Put it together on cucumber slices, and you’re done.
- Healthy and light, but still delicious! Appetizer spreads can be heavy on the high-calorie items with lots of fried foods, meats, and cheeses. This smoked salmon appetizer is light and low-carb, so won’t fill you up before the main course. Gluten-free too!
- So pretty! These little beauties will shine on your table with their bright colors and textures. Perfect for when you want to serve an elegant first course without slaving in the kitchen all day!
- Smoked Salmon: The best type of smoked salmon for this recipe is cold-smoked. See below for the difference between cold smoked salmon and hot smoked salmon.
- Cucumber: I’ve specified an English cucumber for this recipe, which is also known as a “seedless” cucumber. It’s not really totally seedless, but its seeds are smaller and less watery than a regular cucumber. Also, the skin of an English cucumber is not too tough to eat. Slicing your cucumber with skin intact will give you a beautiful color combination between the green cucumber edges and the pinkish-peach salmon. Mini cucumbers would also work well. Or, serve the smoked salmon on blinis or crackers instead.
- Crème Fraiche: If you can’t find crème fraîche, try replacing it with sour cream or greek yogurt.
- Dill: I love the combination of dill and salmon. If you can’t find fresh dill, using dried dill in the sauce is a good alternative. Use half of the fresh ingredient amount. You could also try replacing with fresh thyme, for a different flavor. Or stir in some chopped capers instead.
Slice an English cucumber into thin rounds (you will probably only need ½ the cucumber, depending on how thick you decide to make your slices). Place smoked salmon slices on top of each other and slice thinly, then rotate the cutting board and slice again so that you have small squares.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 T. crème fraîche, 1 t. lemon juice, 1 t. dijon mustard, ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh dill.
Gently fold in salmon. Spoon salmon on top of cucumber rounds, then sprinkle with additional teaspoon of dill and serve.
You can make this smoked salmon appetizer ahead of time, though I would not recommend making it much more than a few hours ahead of serving. You can prep all the ingredients, including slicing the cucumber, and stir together the salmon mixture. From there, refrigerate separately. When it’s time to serve, spoon the salmon onto the cucumber rounds and garnish with chopped dill.
If you have leftovers of these canapés, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Unfortunately, they won’t freeze well.
Salmon can be hot-smoked or cold-smoked. In this recipe, I’m using cold smoked salmon, which has a silky texture, and not much of a smoky flavor. Hot smoked salmon, on the other hand, has a flaky texture and a much smokier flavor. Hot smoked salmon is cooked at over 120 degrees for at least 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours. During that process, the salmon is fully cooked. Cold smoked salmon is not fully cooked, as it is smoked at a much lower temperature. However, the salmon is first salted before being smoked, which kills parasites and helps prevent the growth of food poisoning-causing microbes. As a result, unless your doctor advises you to avoid raw fish, it’s safe to eat both kinds of smoked salmon.
It’s easy to over chop your smoked salmon and turn it into mush. It will still taste good, but using a sharp knife to slice your salmon and cutting it carefully will give you the most visually pleasing result. That’s why I recommend stacking and slicing, then turning the board and slicing again. Doing a rough hard chop on the salmon might not give you the results you’re looking for.
Are you as obsessed with smoked salmon as I am? I love it so much—it may be one of my favorite foods of all times. If you’re the same way, you might want to check out two of my other favorite recipes that use cold-smoked salmon. The first is my Smoked Salmon Potato Chips with Everything Bagel Seasoning. So delicious, and super easy to make. Or, turn it into a main course with my Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pasta recipe.
More Healthy-ish Appetizers
So many delicious appetizers are unfortunately fat, calorie, and salt bombs. Those have their place, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re looking for some new ideas for appetizers that feature healthy real ingredients, here are a few of my favorites. Many are vegetarian and/or gluten-free as well! You can also check my Appetizers archive for more great ideas.
- Healthier Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Red Radish Crostini with Lemon Ricotta
- Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad with Paprika Toasts
- Blue Cheese and Pecan Endive Appetizer
- Sardines on Toast with Chickpea Salad
- Buffalo Cauliflower Dip with Fresh Herbs
- Old Bay Shrimp with Dipping Sauce
- Charred Tomatillo and Red Onion Guacamole
If you try this Smoked Salmon Canapés recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me. And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
- 1 English cucumber (seedless)
- 4.5 oz. (130g) smoked salmon or smoked salmon lardons
- 1 T. crème fraîche
- 1 t. lemon juice
- 1 t. dijon mustard
- ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 t. chopped fresh dill
- Slice cucumber into thin rounds (you will probably only need ½ the cucumber, depending on how thick you decide to make your slices).
- Place smoked salmon slices on top of each other and slice thinly, then rotate the cutting board and slice again so that you have small squares. (If you have smoked salmon lardons, then cut into small cubes.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together crème fraîche, lemon juice, dijon mustard, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the dill.
- Gently fold in salmon.
- Spoon salmon on top of cucumber rounds, then sprinkle with additional teaspoon of dill and serve.
Make-Ahead: You can make this appetizer ahead of time, though I would not recommend making it much more than a few hours ahead of serving. You can prep all the ingredients, including slicing the cucumber, and stir together the salmon mixture. From there, refrigerate separately. When it’s time to serve, spoon the salmon onto the cucumber rounds and garnish with chopped dill.
Storing Leftovers: If you have leftovers of these canapés, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Unfortunately, they won’t freeze well.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 1953mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.