Creamy Salmon Spread

Creamy Salmon Spread

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Refrigeration: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
268 Calories
23g Fat
6g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 268
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 315mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 166mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it comes to appetizers, everyone loves a classic, like this creamy salmon spread. It is a flavorful blend of cooked salmon, cream cheese, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish, and is delicious served with crackers, toasted bread, and fresh vegetables.

This recipe calls for cooking the salmon fillets in butter, but you can use leftover cooked salmon if you happen to have some. The salmon spread needs to chill in the fridge for an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld, making it perfect for parties since it can be made ahead of time. This recipe can be easily doubled if need be.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/2 pound salmon fillet

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • Crackers, fresh vegetables, or toasted French bread, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamy salmon spread ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the salmon fillet and reduce the heat to low.

    Butter and salmon fillet in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cook, turning once, until the salmon is just cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. The salmon's internal temperature should be at least 145 F. 

    Salmon fillet and butter cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Remove the salmon from the saucepan and cool. Flake the salmon into small pieces.

    Flake the salmon into small pieces

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese using a hand mixer until soft and fluffy.

    Beat cream cheese with a hand mixer

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Gradually add the mayonnaise and lemon juice and beat well. 

    Mayonnaise and lemon juice added to the cream cheese

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Stir in the mustard, horseradish, salt, pepper, and thyme.

    Mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme added to the cream cheese mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Fold in the flaked salmon.

    Flaked salmon added to the cream cheese mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to blend the flavors.

    Salmon spread in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Serve straight from the fridge or let sit out for 20 minutes. Accompany with crackers, fresh vegetables, or toasted French bread.

    Creamy salmon spread in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • This is also a great dip to use smoked salmon, whether it's cold- or hot-smoked. Add about 1/2 pound of smoked salmon in place of the salmon fillet.
  • In a pinch, you can use canned salmon, but the texture won't be as delicate.
  • To make this salmon spread a little lighter, swap out the regular cream cheese for reduced-fat or nonfat cream cheese and substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise.
  • Feel free to add some fresh dill as this herb pairs perfectly with salmon and will offer a nice pop of color to the dish.
  • For a little spice, shake in a dash or two of hot sauce or Sriracha.
  • Dijon mustard is ideal in this recipe, but you can use a grainy or spicy mustard if you prefer.
  • For a pretty presentation, spoon a tablespoon or so of the spread onto round crackers and arrange on a platter.

How to Store

The creamy salmon spread will keep in the fridge for three to five days stored in an airtight container.