What to Serve With Smoked Salmon Appetizer?

Discover delightful accompaniments to elevate your smoked salmon appetizer and make it a culinary masterpiece that will impress your guests.

Smoked salmon is a delicious and elegant appetizer that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, celebrating a special event, or just looking for something to snack on, smoked salmon is always a crowd-pleaser.

But what should you serve with this delectable dish? While smoked salmon can certainly stand on its own, pairing it with the right accompaniments can take your appetizer game to the next level. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best foods to serve with smoked salmon and provide some tips for creating an unforgettable spread that will have your guests coming back for seconds (and thirds!).

So let’s get started!

Accompaniments for Smoked Salmon

smoked salmon

While you could certainly serve your salmon on its own, pairing it with complementary flavors and textures will take your appetizer game to new heights. Here are some of our favorite accompaniments for smoked salmon:

Gourmet crackers and breads: A high-quality cracker or slice of artisanal bread is a perfect vessel for showcasing the rich flavor of smoked salmon.

Creamy spreads: Cream cheese, sour cream, and other creamy spreads provide a cool contrast to the smoky richness of the fish.

Herbed dips: Dips made with fresh herbs like dill or chives add brightness and depth to your appetizer spread.

Assorted cheeses: Cheese boards are always crowd-pleasers! Pairing different types of cheese with smoked salmon creates an elegant yet approachable snack that’s sure to impress guests.

Citrus-infused sides: The bright acidity in citrus fruits like lemon or grapefruit pairs perfectly with richly flavored foods like smoked fish.

Fresh salads: Lighter fare such as cucumber salad or mixed greens provides balance while still being flavorful enough not be overshadowed by strong flavors from other dishes on offer.

Pickled vegetables – Pickling adds tanginess which complements well against smoky flavours.

Seasonal fruit pairings – Fresh seasonal fruits such as berries can add sweetness that balances out salty notes from Smoked Salmon.

Capers & onions – Capers bring saltiness while onions bring sharpness which both complement well against Smoked Salmon.

Avocado creations – Avocado-based dips/sauces/creams have become increasingly popular due their smooth texture & mild flavour profile making them ideal partners for stronger flavoured foods such as Smoked Salmon.

Potato-based dishes – Potato based side-dishes (such potato salad) provide substance without overpowering delicate flavours found in Smoked Salmon.

Egg dishes – Eggs go well with smoked salmon, and can be served in various forms such as deviled eggs or egg salad.

Cucumber bites – Cucumbers are refreshing and light, making them a perfect pairing for the rich flavor of smoked salmon.

Crostinis and bruschetta – Toasted breads topped with different spreads provide an ideal base to showcase Smoked Salmon.

Pasta salads – Pasta salads offer a filling option that is still light enough not to overpower the delicate flavours found in Smoked Salmon.

Grain dishes – Grains like quinoa or couscous add texture while also being healthy options.

Tartlets- Tartlets filled with cream cheese & herbs make great vessels for serving bite-sized portions of Smoked Salmon.

Gourmet Crackers and Breads

They provide the perfect base for your appetizer, adding texture and flavor to every bite. When selecting crackers or breads, opt for those with a subtle taste that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the salmon.

Some great options include water crackers, sourdough baguette slices, pumpernickel rounds or rye crisps.

For an extra touch of sophistication try serving artisanal varieties such as rosemary focaccia squares or olive oil crostini which will add depth to your presentation while complementing the smoky flavor of your fish.

Creamy Spreads

One classic choice is cream cheese, which can be served plain or flavored with herbs like dill or chives. Another delicious option is crème fraîche, a tangy and slightly sour spread that adds a touch of sophistication to any appetizer platter.

For those who prefer something a little more adventurous, try serving your smoked salmon with boursin cheese – a soft and creamy spread made from cow’s milk that’s infused with garlic and herbs. Or go for something even more decadent like truffle butter – the rich earthy flavor pairs beautifully with the smoky taste of the fish.

No matter what type of creamy spread you choose, make sure to serve it at room temperature so it’s easy to spread onto crackers or breads without tearing them apart.

Herbed Dips

Whether you prefer creamy or tangy, there’s an herbed dip out there for everyone. Some popular options include dill and sour cream, chive and onion, or even a lemon-herb yogurt dip.

These dips not only complement the smoky flavor of the salmon but also provide a refreshing contrast to its richness.

To make your own herbed dip at home, simply mix together your favorite herbs (such as dill, parsley or basil) with some sour cream or Greek yogurt. Add in some minced garlic for extra zing if desired! You can also experiment with different combinations of herbs until you find one that suits your taste buds perfectly.

Assorted Cheeses

Soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese pair well with the smoky flavor of the salmon, while harder cheeses like cheddar or gouda provide a nice contrast in texture. Blue cheese lovers will appreciate its bold flavor when paired with smoked salmon.

When selecting your assortment of cheeses, consider offering a variety of textures and flavors to cater to all tastes. Arrange them on a platter alongside your smoked salmon appetizer for an elegant presentation that’s sure to impress your guests.

Citrus-infused Sides

The bright, tangy flavors of citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange can help cut through the richness of the fish and add a refreshing twist to your appetizer spread. Some great options for citrus-infused sides include roasted asparagus with lemon zest, grapefruit segments with honey and mint, or blood orange slices drizzled with olive oil.

You could also try serving up some grilled pineapple skewers or mango salsa for a tropical touch that will transport your taste buds straight to paradise.

When it comes to pairing smoked salmon with citrus-infused sides, there are no hard-and-fast rules – just let your creativity run wild! Experimenting is half the fun when it comes to creating an unforgettable appetizer spread that will have everyone talking long after the party’s over.

Fresh Salads

A simple green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices is always a crowd-pleaser. For something more substantial, try adding some protein-rich ingredients like hard-boiled eggs or grilled chicken breast.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider making an Asian-inspired salad with shredded cabbage or kale as your base. Top it off with mandarin oranges or sliced mango for sweetness and crunchiness that will balance out the smoky flavor of your salmon appetizer.

Another great option is beetroot salad – roasted beets paired perfectly well with smoked salmon’s earthy taste while goat cheese adds creaminess to this dish.

Pickled Vegetables

The acidity of the pickling liquid helps cut through the richness of the fish, while also providing a refreshing contrast in texture. Some popular pickled vegetable options include cucumbers, red onions, carrots, and beets.

You can either make your own pickles or purchase them pre-made from your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different types of vinegar (such as apple cider or rice wine) and spices (like dill seed or mustard seed) to create unique flavor combinations that complement your smoked salmon perfectly. And don’t forget about presentation – arranging colorful jars of homemade pickles alongside slices of smoked salmon on a platter is sure to impress even the most discerning guests.

Seasonal Fruit Pairings

The sweet and tangy flavors of fresh fruit can perfectly complement the rich and smoky taste of salmon. In summer, try serving your smoked salmon appetizer with juicy watermelon slices or a refreshing strawberry salad.

For fall, consider adding some sliced apples or pears to your platter for a touch of sweetness that’s perfect for cooler weather.

In winter months, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits pair beautifully with smoked salmon thanks to their bright acidity that cuts through the richness of the fish. And in springtime when berries are at their peak freshness, you can’t go wrong by incorporating them into your dish.

Capers and Onions

Capers, which are small pickled flower buds, have a briny taste that complements the richness of the salmon. Onions, on the other hand, provide an earthy sweetness that balances out the saltiness of both capers and smoked salmon.

To serve capers and onions with your smoked salmon appetizer, thinly slice red or white onions into rings or half-moons. Rinse capers under cold water to remove excess salt before adding them to your onion slices.

Arrange this mixture around your platter of smoked salmon for guests to enjoy as they please.

For an elevated twist on this classic combination, try making caramelized onion jam instead of using raw onions.

Avocado Creations

Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it an ideal ingredient for creating delicious appetizers. One of the easiest ways to incorporate avocado into your smoked salmon spread is by making simple yet flavorful avocado toast.

Toast some bread, mash up some ripe avocados, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and top it off with thin slices of smoked salmon for a tasty treat that’s sure to impress.

If you’re feeling more adventurous in the kitchen, try making mini avocado boats filled with diced tomatoes or red onions alongside your smoked salmon bites. You can also whip up an easy guacamole dip using mashed avocados mixed with lime juice, chopped cilantro leaves, diced tomatoes or jalapeños if you like spicy food.

Another creative way to use avocados in your appetizer spread is by stuffing them full of crab meat or shrimp salad before topping them off with small pieces of smoky fish on top as garnish.

Potato-based Dishes

When it comes to pairing them with smoked salmon, there are several options that will complement the rich flavor of the fish. One classic choice is potato salad, which can be made with a variety of dressings and seasonings to suit your taste preferences.

Another option is roasted potatoes, which can be seasoned with herbs like rosemary or thyme for an extra burst of flavor.

For something more unique, try making potato latkes topped with smoked salmon and crème fraîche for a decadent appetizer that’s sure to impress your guests. Or whip up some mini baked potatoes filled with cream cheese and chives before topping them off with slices of smoked salmon.

Egg Dishes

The rich, buttery flavor of the eggs complements the smoky taste of the salmon perfectly. One popular option is to serve smoked salmon on top of scrambled eggs or an omelet.

For a more elegant presentation, try making deviled eggs and topping them with small pieces of smoked salmon and fresh dill.

Another delicious egg-based dish that pairs well with smoked salmon is quiche. A savory pastry filled with creamy custard, cheese, vegetables (such as spinach or mushrooms), and topped off with slices of delicate pink-hued fish makes for an impressive brunch spread.

If you’re looking for something lighter than quiche but still want to incorporate eggs into your menu plan then consider serving poached egg over avocado toast topped off by some flaky bits from your favorite brand’s smokehouse selection.

Cucumber Bites

Thinly slice cucumbers into rounds or cut them lengthwise for larger pieces, then top with cream cheese, dill, and a small piece of smoked salmon. For an added crunch, sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top.

These cucumber bites are not only delicious but also visually appealing with their vibrant green color contrasting against the pink hue of the salmon. They’re perfect for summer gatherings or any time you want to serve something light and healthy alongside your indulgent smoked salmon appetizer.

Crostinis and Bruschetta

These crispy bread-based bites provide a satisfying crunch that complements the silky texture of the fish. Crostinis are small slices of toasted baguette, while bruschetta is made from larger slices of rustic bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

To create a delicious crostini or bruschetta to serve alongside your smoked salmon, start by brushing your bread slices lightly with olive oil before toasting them in the oven until they’re golden brown. Once they’re done, you can top them off with any number of flavorful ingredients.

For example, try spreading some creamy goat cheese on top of each slice before adding a few thin strips of smoked salmon and finishing it off with some chopped fresh herbs like dill or chives for an extra burst of flavor. Alternatively, you could mix up a simple tomato salsa by combining diced tomatoes, red onion, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar together in bowl then spooning it over each slice for an easy yet impressive appetizer option.

Pasta Salads

The key is to choose a pasta shape that will hold up well in the salad, such as fusilli or penne. Toss the cooked pasta with some olive oil and vinegar dressing, then add in your favorite ingredients like cherry tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, and fresh herbs.

You can also incorporate some protein into your pasta salad by adding grilled chicken or shrimp.

For an extra burst of flavor that complements the smokiness of the salmon perfectly try adding capers or pickled onions to your pasta salad recipe. These tangy additions will provide just enough acidity without overpowering any other flavors on your plate.

Grain Dishes

Quinoa, couscous, bulgur wheat, and rice are all excellent options that can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. For a Mediterranean-inspired twist on your grain dish, try adding chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions or olives for an extra burst of flavor.

You could also mix in fresh herbs like parsley or mint for added freshness.

Another option is to create a warm grain-based side dish such as risotto with mushrooms or barley pilaf with roasted vegetables. These dishes will provide warmth during the colder months while still complementing the coolness of the smoked salmon.


These bite-sized treats are easy to make and can be filled with a variety of ingredients that complement the smoky flavor of the fish. One popular option is to fill tartlet shells with cream cheese, dill, and lemon zest before topping them off with a piece of smoked salmon.

The result is an elegant and flavorful appetizer that’s sure to impress your guests.

Another great option is to use puff pastry as the base for your tartlets. Simply cut out circles or squares from thawed puff pastry sheets, prick them all over with a fork, then bake until golden brown.

Once cooled, you can top each one off with some crème fraîche mixed with chopped chives or scallions before adding slices of smoked salmon on top.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try making mini quiches instead! Mix together eggs and heavy cream in muffin tins lined with pie crusts before adding diced onions or shallots along with pieces of smoked salmon into each cup. Bake until set then serve warm or at room temperature.


What pairs well with smoked salmon?

Smoked salmon pairs well with crackers, softened cream cheese and capers, tossed into a green salad with a lemony dressing, or stirred into hot pasta with a light tomato sauce, green onions, fresh parsley and extra-virgin olive oil.

What cheese pairs best with cold smoked salmon?

Cream cheese pairs best with cold smoked salmon, but goat cheese, labneh, brie, and feta are also suitable options.

How much smoked salmon per person for appetizers?

For appetizers, allocate approximately two ounces of cold-smoked salmon or lox per person.

What types of crackers or bread work best with smoked salmon appetizers?

Types of crackers or bread that work best with smoked salmon appetizers include baguettes, blinis, and pumpernickel.

Which wine selections complement smoked salmon dishes?

Smoked salmon dishes are ideally complemented by wine selections such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir.

Can you recommend any vegetarian or vegan alternatives for those who don’t eat smoked salmon?

Some popular vegetarian or vegan alternatives to smoked salmon include smoked tofu, marinated carrot ‘lox’, and tomato-based ‘seafood‘ dishes.