My Mom’s Smoky Salmon Spread

Way back in the day when my parents threw the occasional party, this little spread would be made. I still remember the sweet little silver plated bowl Mom put this in. It was a one of our dog’s trophies. Yep. There was a little engraving on the bottom! While there are more sophisticated spreads and dips made with Salmon, I really like this one a lot!

Smoky Salmon Spread
Smoky Salmon Spread

This smoky Salmon Spread tastes great, takes a couple minutes to make and it is made with the “dreaded” canned salmon, a budget protein, especially if bought during Lent. Plus, chances are, you very well may have all the ingredients right in your pantry and fridge. It’s a great recipe for this time of year, around St. Paddy’s Day, for Easter or for just for a Spring or early Summer party. Perfect for Showers, too. Perhaps with a sprig or two of chive sitting jauntily atop.

It’s so easy, though, it’s a shame to save it for just a special occasion – think of it when you’re sitting around watching a movie!

The smoky flavor keeps this little spread from being so delicate that it feels like “women’s food” as one friend sometimes accuses. Yeah, that would be the same one who comments if he spies a flowered something or other in my house. At the risk of sounding a bit sexist, guys really seem to go for this as much as my female friends do, and I’m assuming it appeals to some ancient DNA deeply imprinted somewhere! Fishing? Smoking stuff?

Smoky Salmon Spread
Smoky Salmon Spread

You could, if you wish, use left over Salmon for this recipe or go all out and cook your salmon for this recipe, perhaps poached with wine and lemon. You could leave out the liquid smoke and combine with a smoked salmon, but then we’re really getting pricier. You’ll need about 8 to 10 ounces total of fresh and smoked if you do. If you’d like, a few capers could be tossed in, which would be lovely and hold up to the smoke. I add a few thinly sliced green onions, sprinkled over the top, which add just a touch of freshness but doesn’t overpower the dip.

If you really want just a hint of Salmon flavor, you could use a smaller can but I like the more robust flavor of using the standard size. If you feel a bit squeemish about canned Salmon, I’ve got you covered with “What to do with that can of Salmon lurking in the Pantry.”

This is really good on any toast and today I put it on those little rye breads that can often be found in the gourmet section. Honestly it’s so much cheaper to make your own Rye bread, or even to cut Rye bread into little squares. I was going to use this on toasted Ballymaloe’s Irish Soda Bread, but Gibson had quite a snack and scarfed it down in seconds. Being the day before St. Paddy’s, all the other Rye bread at the store was gone! It’s great on crackers or Melba toast, too.

This spread is also good on thinly sliced cucumber, pear or apple if you’re thinking low carb, and although I haven’t tried it yet, perhaps a sandwich, layered with your favorite vegetables, dark bread, and a touch of Swiss or Gouda cheese might be lovely.

Smoky Salmon Spread
Smoky Salmon Spread

Smoky Salmon Spread

  • Servings: 40 teaspoons
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 can of Red Salmon, drained and picked over
  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened. mat use light
  • 1 teaspoon liquid Barbecue Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish (prepared)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • dash of lemon pepper (substitute a bit of pepper and finely grated lemon rind)
  • salt, if desired

Mix all ingredients together to desired consistency and serve chilled.

from the kitchen of, in memory of Mom

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Try this dip with trout or other fish that are robust enough to handle a little smoke.
  • Cut back on the fat by using a reduced Cream Cheese.

Nutritional Value:

1 teaspoon:Calories 26; Total Fat 2 3 %; Saturated Fat 1 7 %; Monounsaturated Fat 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 7 mg 2 %; Sodium 26 mg 1 %; Potassium 8 mg 0 %; Total Carbohydrate 0 0 %; Dietary Fiber 0 0 %; Sugars 0 g; Protein 1 3 %; Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 0 %; Calcium 0 %; Iron 0 %

Kitchen and Cooking Hacks:

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12 thoughts on “My Mom’s Smoky Salmon Spread”

    1. My little hometown always had all kinds of activities centered around the parade and church, when I was of legal age, it was the parade and “bars” as we called them. After I had kids, parade and church! And now, great food and friends! I live in the Twin Cities which has a huge parade, the longest running one since 1851, but braving the traffic is just a bit much for me these days!

      I will also will be wearing something green (besides my eyes! lol!) And eat corned beef and cabbage!

      And happy Saint Paddy’s day to you, too!

        1. Isn’t it though! I have always loved to learn about people, where they’re from, how they live, what they eat and do and other cultures and their histories! Oh yes, and the food! I did mention the food, right! 🙂

          But if you were here, I would take you to the parade! 🙂

  1. I haven’t had a good experience with canned salmon but wouldn’t mind trying baked salmon in this recipe. Is liquid smoke really useful? I remember my mom had a bottle of the stuff in the fridge and when they moved out to the county it stayed in there. I finally threw it out 5 or 6 yrs later. Never DID use it.

    1. Well, canned salmon is overcooked and boring, but that’s part of the reason this recipe works well with it.

      I use liquid smoke a LOT! It’s strong and is nothing more than the distilled essence of smoke. It will keep for years and years. I put a few drops in a lot of different bean soups, especially black bean or that 15 bean soup, if you have it there. I also dose up home-made barbecue sometimes when it’s not barbecued, but done inside. I might use it for cheeseballs, cheese dips, etc. I dunno, I love it!

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