If you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer that’s sure to impress, look no further than this simple Salmon Cream Cheese Dip recipe. Infused with salty feta and aromatic basil, this elegant spread is a perfect pair for spicy, garlicky crostini.
Best of all, it comes together in just 15 minutes!
Why This Appetizer Is The Best
If you’re anything like me, entertaining is the way you show your friends and family how much you care. As such, I always want to go all out — soup to nuts! — to make sure everyone leaves with happy bellies and full hearts.
However, sometimes the only time I can round up a group of loved ones is on a school night. What’s a gal to do? Why, turn to some super speedy, tried-and-true recipes of course! This salmon dip recipe with cream cheese totally fits the bill. It is:
- Quick & Easy. All you need is 15 minutes, and that includes making homemade crostini! Your friends will never be the wiser.
- Made Using Just 11 Ingredients. The shorter the grocery list, the less likely my harried Mom brain is to forget something.
- Rich & Creamy. This salmon, cream cheese, and feta dip is simply luxurious. I can practically guarantee everyone will be begging you for the recipe!
Salmon Cream Cheese Dip Ingredients
As promised, you don’t need much to make this creamy, dreamy salmon dip. Here’s what to grab:
- Cooked Salmon - If you happen to have a portion of salmon left over from an earlier dinner, this is a great way to give it new life. You can also use a can of drained, flaked salmon (this is a super budget-friendly way to go) or even smoked salmon if you prefer!
- Cream Cheese - I generally prefer to avoid non-fat dairy options that are filled with artificial ingredients and stabilizers. If you want to go a little lighter, feel free to swap in Neufchatel cheese instead.
- Feta Cheese - I always recommend getting the blocks that are packed in brine whenever possible. They have a longer shelf life, generally taste better, and come with a secret, free ingredient: the brine! Use it to marinate the meat of your choice for an extra boost of flavor and tenderness.
- Sour Cream - Full-fat Greek yogurt can also be used here.
- Fresh Basil - For a bit of freshness. Feel free to experiment with different fresh, tender herbs here. Parsley, tarragon, and dill would all be lovely.
- Garlic - You’ll definitely want fresh cloves for this recipe.
- Salt & Pepper - For seasoning.
- Paprika - For a hint of savoriness and a pop of color. I used sweet paprika, but you can easily swap in smoked paprika or hot paprika for different takes on this tasty dip.
- Baguette - Or any other bread with a nice crusty exterior and a stretchy interior.
- Olive Oil - No need to grab the finishing oil; your regular cooking oil will be perfect here.
The simplicity of this gorgeous appetizer spread doesn’t end with a short ingredient list. Here are the only pieces of kitchen equipment you’ll need:
- Food Processor
- Serrated Knife & Cutting Board
- Cast-Iron Skillet
How To Make Salmon Dip With Cream Cheese
This cream cheese salmon dip comes together in just a few minutes’ time. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Pulse cream cheese, feta, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and basil until the feta is all broken up then blend until smooth and creamy.
Step 2: Stir in the flaked salmon.
Step 3: Plate salmon dip in a shallow bowl or dish. Top with basil chiffonade and a sprinkle of paprika.
Step 4: Make Garlic Crostini. Drizzle the olive oil on the sliced baguette bread and toast on a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. After cooling enough to handle, rub each crostini with the clove of garlic.
Step 5: Serve the salmon dip at room temperature or chilled with a side of garlic crostini. Enjoy!
Swaps & Substitutions
This salmon and cream cheese dip is a smash hit as written, but there’s always opportunity for customization here in the White Kitchen Red Wine world. Here are a few variations to consider:
- Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Dip. Kick up the savory flavors a notch by swapping in smoked salmon. Feel free to use either canned, hot-smoked salmon or chopped lox-style cold-smoked salmon or gravlax.
- Dairy-Free Salmon Dip. Swap in your favorite plant-based cream cheese and sour cream substitutes and use tofu feta to turn this into a dairy-free delight.
FAQs & Tips
How long does homemade smoked salmon cream cheese spread last? Any leftovers can be kept in a clean, airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How long can this salmon spread with cream cheese safely stay out of the fridge? Because of the perishability of both dairy and fish, this dip shouldn’t be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
How should I store crostini? Once toasted and cooled, crostini can be placed in an airtight container or zip-top bag and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To keep crostini crispier for longer, toss a leftover packet of silica from an old bag of beef jerky or your newest pair of ankle booties into the airtight storage container of your choice. It will help keep them nice and crisp for up to 5 days!
- To re-crisp stale crostini, place them on a baking sheet and toast at 250F for about 6-8 minutes.
More than just a smoked salmon appetizer, this salmon and cream cheese dip has many uses. Here are a few of my favorites:
- With garlic crostini as a starter.
- On your morning bagel as a cream cheese salmon spread. Bonus points if you add a runny egg and some peppery arugula.
- With crackers and crudites as a grown-up Lunchable.
- As an omelet filling for a fancy feeling (but easygoing) brunch.
More Tasty Salmon Recipes
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Whipped Feta
- Crunchy Thai Salmon
- Honey Mustard and Pecan Salmon
- Salmon with Poblano Sauce
Salmon Cream Cheese Dip
- 6 oz cooked salmon about 1 large filet, could substitute sliced smoked salmon
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 4 oz feta cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Sliced baguette bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- In a food processor combine cream cheese, feta, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and basil.
- Pulse until the feta is all broken up then turn on the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the cheese mixture to a mixing bowl and carefully stir in the flaked salmon.
- Plate in a shallow bowl or dish and top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Toast the bread by heating a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Drizzle the olive oil on the sliced baguette bread and toast on the skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Remove the bread and set aside, rub each slice of baguette with the clove of garlic to infuse the flavor into the bread.
- Serve the salmon dip right away at room temperature or chilled with the side of toasted bread.