Salmon is an extremely versatile ingredient used in tons of popular dishes around the world. We see salmon highlighted in all types of dishes from main courses to soups and appetizers. Salmon inherently makes us think of a fancy main dish, but there is something elegant about using salmon as an appetizer, no matter how simple the recipe is. The pink hue of salmon adds a pop of color to your dinner spread and can make your appetizer look and taste delicious!
Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite salmon appetizer ideas to give you some inspiration for your next awesome appetizer. Whether it’s a special event, or you're hosting the game day crowd, we’ve got you covered. We’ve included ideas for cooked, fresh, and smoked salmon, depending on which type of salmon you enjoy the most!
20 Salmon Appetizer Ideas
Cooked Salmon Appetizer Ideas:
Salmon bites are a delicious, gluten-free take on the traditional meatball appetizer and the perfect finger food for any occasion. They are super simple to whip up and can be a great way to use any leftover Oshēn Salmon you might have sitting in the fridge. Just shred your cooked salmon and combine it with avocado, ground flax, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Then, simply form your meatballs and bake until crispy on the outside!
Smokey Salmon Spread
With only four ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this smokey salmon spread. This spread is perfect to serve with pita bread or crackers and takes only five minutes to prepare. You’ll need cooked salmon, green onions, cream cheese and just a few drops of liquid smoke, and you’re good to go. Combine and serve!
Who doesn’t love a good dip as an appetizer? Dips are easy to make and fun to share as a group! For a crowd pleasing dip, blend cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated lemon peel, celery, green onion and of course, your cooked salmon. The zest of the lemon juice combined with that crunch from the celery makes for an awesome taste sensation.
Cream Cheese Salmon Ball
For a simple, yet elegant looking appetizer, try a cream cheese salmon ball. Cream cheese balls make for a thick and tasty dip that goes perfect with crackers. You’ll need cream cheese, cooked salmon, onion, lemon juice, horseradish, and chopped walnuts (for a nutty flavor and texture). Combine everything except the walnuts into your blender until mixed and then shape your salmon ball. Then, roll your ball in the walnuts until fully covered, chill, and serve!
Salmon Egg Rolls
Egg rolls are a classic appetizer - everyone loves a good egg roll! To make some delicious salmon egg rolls, you’ll need your cooked salmon, egg roll wrappers, whipped cream cheese, capers, scallions, dill, and lemon juice. Combine all the ingredients, wrap your egg rolls and fry until golden brown. To top off your egg rolls, consider dipping them in one of these sauces that go well with salmon!
Grilled Salmon Sliders
For a more elegant and healthy take on classic burger sliders - try grilled salmon sliders! First, you’ll need to grill your salmon. Then you can grab your buns, and start putting together some delicious sliders. You can top your sliders with sandwich ingredients such as lettuce, spinach, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise. And for a little something extra, add some dill and lemon juice to highlight the natural flavors of the salmon!
Salmon patties are the perfect appetizer because they can be served by themselves, on a small bed of lettuce or even on a slider. Plus, they're delicious and easy to make. Combine your cooked salmon with scallions, dill, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dijon mustard, egg, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix. Then, just form your patties into circles about the size of your palm and fry on each side until crispy!
Smoked Salmon Appetizer Ideas:
Creamy Smoked Salmon Spread
In this creamy salmon spread, the ingredients work together to highlight those natural smoked salmon flavors. Blend your smoked salmon with low fat greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and chives until smooth for a perfect, zesty spread. This spread is best served with your favorite chips, crackers or toasted bread.
Smoked Salmon Roll Ups
Salmon roll ups are super simple to make and they are the perfect finger food for any occasion. Grab your smoked salmon, flatbread, cream cheese, parsley, an English cucumber and a red onion, and let’s get started. Start with your flatbread, and add a layer of cream cheese. Then, add your salmon, cucumber, and onion - salt and pepper to your preference - and roll it up! It’s best to chill the roll for at least one hour before cutting and serving.
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups
For a fresh tasting appetizer that looks super fancy at gatherings, try salmon cucumber cups. Chef Williams, of Rooted Montauk, created this beautiful and delicious appetizer for the Kate Bock x Hamptons Magazine event. She sourced all local ingredients and Oshēn salmon for the dish! While it looks over the top fancy, it’s actually relatively easy to throw together.Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes
Salmon potato cakes are a delicious and crispy appetizer. Grab your smoked salmon, some shredded potatoes, onions, eggs and sour cream and let’s get started. Combine the potatoes, onions, and eggs into a thick mixture and patty your cakes out. Fry each one in a pan with oil until golden brown and then let them cool for a few minutes. Then, top your cakes evenly with sour cream and smoked salmon slices and eat up!
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Boats
Smoked salmon cucumber boats are the perfect, healthy snack or appetizer. Plus, they are super easy to make and require minimal ingredients. To prepare the English cucumber, you will cut the cucumber down the middle from top to bottom, and scrape out a portion of the inside - your cucumber should look like a canoe. You’ll need smoked salmon, fat-free greek yogurt and diced red onion for your filling. Combine these ingredients until fully mixed to prepare your filling. Now, just cut your cucumber into 2 inch slices or boats, fill and serve!
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are quick to make, and they are a holiday and game day staple. You can make deviled eggs with a number of different ingredients, depending on your preference. No matter what herbs, mustards and spices you use to make your deviled eggs, a slice of smoked salmon on the top will transform them into a sophisticated, people-pleasing appetizer. Try it out by placing a thin slice of smoked salmon on top of your deviled eggs before serving, and feel free to garnish with a little bit of fresh dill.
Smoked Salmon Quesadillas
Quesadillas are a fun, yummy, and easy-to-share appetizer. Smoked salmon gives quesadillas a rich taste that is different from just any ordinary quesadilla. Of course, you’ll want to start by putting some cheese and smoked salmon in your quesadilla, but the rest of the ingredients are up to you! Common quesadilla ingredients are avocado or guac, beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, onions, sour cream, cilantro, and maybe even chipotle sauce. Feel free to mix it up and enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Tarts
Are you a pastry connoisseur? If so, this is the appetizer for you! All you need is smoked salmon, puff pastry bowls, spinach, and cream cheese. Combine your salmon, spinach, and cream cheese in a bowl and mix until soft and creamy. Prepare your puff pastry bowls, fill with the spinach/salmon mixture, and bake! If desired, adding some freshly crushed black pepper at the end can add an extra layer of flavor.
Smoked Salmon Bruschetta
Bruschetta is super easy to make and always looks elegant at a party. Grab your baguette and let's get started! First, we’ll mix cream cheese, lemon zest, and some salt and pepper - this is your bruschetta topping! Then, we’ll lightly toast our baguette slices with a bit of olive oil and apply our topping. Add some capers and dill leaves as garnish to add to the elegant look and to highlight the natural smoked salmon flavors.
Fresh Salmon Appetizer Ideas:
If you’re a lover of ceviche, then you’ve got to try salmon ceviche! Ceviche is a classic appetizer and it's sure to be a crowd pleaser. You can use many different ingredients for ceviche, depending on your preference. Some typical ingredients for ceviche are onion, cucumbers, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, tomato, mango, pineapple, and there are tons more! Combine your favorite ingredients with some fresh salmon, chill, and then serve! We also love this delicious twist! If you want something a little more different, try this refreshing watermelon ceviche with salmon.
Everyone loves a nice, warm chowder on those cold winter days. For a delicious salmon chowder, start by frying some bacon and make a broth with your leftover bacon grease, celery, onions, scallions, jalapeños, and garlic. Once everything is soft, add potatoes and the bacon and some cornstarch and cream to thicken into a chowder and boil. Finally, add your fresh salmon on top and simmer until the salmon is cooked to your preference! Grab a bowl and eat up!
Tartare, especially when prepared with salmon, is a light, fresh, and delicious appetizer. All you need to do to prepare this appetizer is finely chop your salmon and combine it with dijon mustard, capers, lemon, chives, and onion...and it's ready! Just shape into a patty about the size of your palm and serve on a bed of lettuce or celery! If you want to take your tartare to the next level, try this cured salmon tartare recipe from chef Scott Linquist!
This appetizer is for lovers of raw fish and sushi! Salmon sashimi is a light and healthy appetizer that takes no time to whip up. Simply cut your salmon sashimi style, choose your dipping sauces and serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger. Some popular dipping sauces to try are soy citrus yuzu ponzu sauce or soy sauce with wasabi and lemon, but feel free to try your own blend of flavors as you create this dish.
What is Your Favorite Salmon Appetizer?
Here at Oshēn Salmon, we hope we’ve inspired you to try a new salmon appetizer today! Check out this blog for more unique ways to cook salmon! While we love seeing salmon featured as the main dish, we know there are so many other ways to highlight salmon with all its natural flavors that can’t be left out. Do you have a favorite salmon appetizer that we didn’t mention here? Let us know below! And we invite you to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to get an inside look at what we do here. And for more recipes, tips and all things Oshen Salmon, check out the Oshen Salmon Blog!