Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Cucumber and Lemon Dill Cream Cheese
This easy smoked salmon appetizer is as tasty as it is pretty. Individual little cucumber rounds are topped with smoked salmon and lemon dill cream cheese. It's always a hit at parties, and it takes just 15 minutes to make!
For easier appetizer recipes, try our blue cheese grape appetizer, beet chip and goat cheese appetizer, or bacon scallop lollipops.
These have got to be the cutest little appetizers ever. They're perfect for special occasions like Mother's Day, birthdays, and bridal showers. But they're also so easy enough for simple dinner parties.
We're being completely honest when we say this is the only smoked salmon appetizer recipe you'll ever need. There, we said it.
They're easy, elegant, and everything we're looking for in a party appetizer. But don't let their appearance fool you; They're deceivingly easy and quick to make!
We use mini cucumbers so they're truly bite-sized. Then we top them with tiny slices of rolled-up smoked salmon and pipe on some lemon dill cream cheese. It's that delicious classic combination of smoky salmon, crunchy cucumbers, and lemony cream cheese all prettied up.
Trust us when we say that this party-perfect appetizer will disappear quickly. Make a big salmon appetizer platter so you don't miss out!
Why you'll love this smoked salmon appetizer
- It's super easy to make (they'll make you look like a kitchen rockstar).
- The flavor and texture combinations are out of this world delicious!
- It's elegant enough for special occasions.
- It's a naturally gluten-free appetizer, making it a great option for gluten-free guests.
- Everyone loves them!
Salmon cucumber appetizer ingredients
Here's what you'll need to make the flavorful lemon dill cream cheese:
- Cream cheese – make sure to use regular cream cheese, not light. That full-fat flavor and creamy texture is what we're after.
- Greek yogurt – thick, plain Greek yogurt is what we use.
- Lemon zest + lemon juice – lemon zest and juice offer the perfect pop of bright citrus flavor that marries so well with the other ingredients.
- Fresh dill – for lots of fresh, citrus-like flavor.
- Garlic – one clove is the perfect amount of flavor a kick.
- Sea salt – enhances all the other flavors.
This is what you'll need to assemble the appetizer:
- Mini cucumbers – mini cucumber slices are the perfect pallet for this bite-sized appetizer.
- Smoked salmon – a lox-style smoked salmon sliced into tiny slivers and rolled.
- Dill and fresh cracked black pepper – for garnish.
How to make this smoked salmon appetizer
When it comes to entertaining, we love quick-win recipes like this one that are fun, flavorful, and come together quickly. You can save yourself some prep time by mixing the cream cheese up to two days in advance and storing it in the fridge.
Here's how we make these smoked salmon appetizer bites in just a few simple steps:
- Mix all the lemon dill cream cheese ingredients together. If you're using it right away, transfer it into a piping bag or a resealable bag with a hole cut in the tip. This is way easier (and prettier) than using a spoon. Using it later? Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- Lay out the sliced cucumbers on a plate or serving platter, and top them with tiny slices of smoked salmon.
- Now the fun part! Pipe some cream cheese on top, then garnish with fresh dill and cracked pepper. Voilà!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Yes! Make the lemon dill cream cheese up to two days in advance and keep it in your fridge until you are ready to assemble.
For sure! We love the fresh juicy taste of cucumber, but you could easily swap it for small slices of fresh bread, little toasts, or crackers. You can also slice the cucumber really thinly and layer the whole thing on bread or crackers.
We think so! With cucumber, smoked salmon, and fresh herbs this appetizer is filled with protein, healthy fats, and lots of nutrients. It's also completely gluten-free.
What to serve with this smoked salmon appetizer
These smoked salmon cucumber bites are the perfect light start to dinner and pair perfectly with a crisp glass of white wine or a refreshing cocktail like our salty dog cocktail.
Bite-sized appetizer recipes that pair well with this smoked salmon appetizer
If you love smoked salmon, also try these recipes
More smoked salmon appetizers
Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Cucumber and Lemon Dill Cream Cheese
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
The Lemon Dill Cream Cheese
- ¾ cup cream cheese, do not use light cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- 1 small garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
- A pinch of sea salt
- 3 mini cucumbers, sliced
- 5 ounces cold smoked salmon, lox
- Dill and fresh cracked pepper, to garnish
- Add all of the lemon dill cream cheese ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Use electric beaters to whip together. Transfer the cream cheese to a piping bag fitted with a star attachment, or use a small resealable plastic bag and cut off the tip.¾ cup cream cheese, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, Zest from 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, 1 small garlic clove, A pinch of sea salt
- Lay the cucumber slices out on a serving tray. Roll small strips of the smoked salmon and place them on top of the cucumber slices.3 mini cucumbers, 5 ounces cold smoked salmon
- Pipe the cream cheese on top of the salmon and garnish with a little fresh dill and fresh cracked
The perfect party appetizer! So simple and looks way more involved than it actually is to prepare. I did alternating rows of cucumber rounds and whole wheat baguette slices to provide some variation to the platter. Loved the combo of cream cheese and greek yogurt – a winner.
Have made often to rave reviews.
Needed an appetizer for a pot luck that was easy to make on our boat with no bbq or cooking, these were perfect and were absolutely delicious! Will definitely make again – I used a bit more lemon juice and garnish than the recipe called for.
Great for gluten-free friends! Despite what the recipe says, I used light cream cheese and no disasters ensued (I also used regular yogurt, strained slightly through a coffee filter). This seems to be a very forgiving recipe, and quite tasty! I topped some of them with chopped red onion. Would make again!
I made for Mothers Brunch for something light to add on. I wanted quick so I used Boursin herb and garlic cheese and it was great. I marinated the cucs for 30 minutes to get more flavor. Look for Atjar recipe great flavor enhancer to cucumbers. Super easy and everyone loved.
Loved this! Made for an Easter appetizer and it was a hit with everyone, including me who does not usually like smoked fish. Definitely a keeper!
I had a birthday party and they where great
These were a big hit. Yummy!
Amazing, I brought this to a family BBQ and everyone could not stop eating these little appetizer bites along with complements from all.
I made this yesterday for a wine tasting. They were, hands-down, the top appetizer of the evening. Even a friend who steers away from anything creamy loved them. Quick. Easy. Elegant.
May I use a pickling cucumber for this recipe?
Only in a pinch. English cucumbers or mini cucumbers are a much better option.
Can I substitute sour cream for the greek yogart?
That will work well!
This is amazing and delicious recipe . I really like it. SO easy and quick way to cook, thank you for sharing this wonderful article.
Tried this recipe at home, have came out really well, thanks for sharing this recipe
I am going to make these for a baby shower brunch! They look yummy. Can I use English cucumbers for these?
Yes, you can! You may want to double to cream cheese part as the cucumber slices will be bigger so you’ll want more topping. 🙂
I made these for my daughters bridal brunch. They were a hit. One lady commented “ I don’t like cucumber or salmon, but these are GOOD!”
haha I love it!!!
What white wine would you serve with this?
I would go for something crisp and easy like a pinot grigio. 🙂
This recipe is amazing Kristen! I treated myself to my favorite lox from Costco the other day and started googling recipes and came across yours. I was looking for one without bread pairing with for a change up.
In my veggie drawer, I had a couple of small cucumbers so I removed the seeds and made the smoked salmon cucumber boats. I had plain, vegan yogurt in my fridge so I used that instead of Greek yogurt with the whipped cream cheese. Squeezed fresh lemon and used freeze dried dill with freshly ground pepper.
Wow, just wow! The flavour exploded in my mouth. Light tasting – which is great because the salmon can be rich and feel heavy with cream cheese and bread.
This recipe will be a future staple for a beautiful appy for a gathering (*one day when the world opens up again) or for a very light summer dinner.
Thank you for sharing this simple, yet rather elegant eat.
Stay healthy and safe.
That’s so wonderful to hear! Thank you for letting us know you loved the recipe!
Followed recipe cumcumber slices were a bit too thick. Good flavor nice presentation.
I’m so happy to hear that the recipe as a hit!
These look delish. Why can’t you use low fat cream cheese?
Low fat cream cheese is not as thick as a brick of regular cream cheese and so, with the addition of the lemon juice, will be too thin for this recipe. 🙂
Where does the garlic come in?
It’s mixed into the cream cheese ingredients. 🙂
I cannot find lemony dill cream cheese….to go with the salmon/cumber apertisers….do I add lemon to the cream cheese or just use plain cream cheese
The recipe calls for regular cream cheese. The other ingredients in the list are there to give it the lemon dill flavor. 🙂
Sounds good but this is not vegetarian.
You’re right! Thank you for flagging that error for us. We’ve fixed it!
The cream cheese mixture was to “heavy” to pipe out on top of the salmon. Any suggestions??
I would suggest adding a little more lemon juice. And make sure that the cream cheese isn’t cold or it will be a lot more firm. 🙂
Can I make the ahead ?
You can make these a couple of hours ahead of time. To save more prep, you can make the cream cheese the day before so they simply need to be assembled. 🙂
These were amazingly easy to assemble and the lemon dill cream cheese was fantastic! Will definitely make again…elegant and delicious.
So happy that they were a hit! Thanks for coming back to let us know!
This looks delish except my son is allergic to dill, do you have any suggestions about what other herbs to pair with this?
I think cilantro would be nice. Or even just a little piece of flat leaf parsley for color. 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying these. How about capers instead of dill?
I think that sounds delicious!
Do ( have to cook the salmon to make a cheese spread?
Nope! The salmon used in this recipe is lox, which is a type of smoked salmon. It is cold smoked which gives it its unique texture. 🙂
These little bites look delicious, and I think the lemon is a perfect touch.
Thanks, Jeff! They really are tasty little bites. 🙂