savory smoked salmon cheesecake

Heads up everybody, this smoked salmon cheesecake is a-mazing.  I think it’s got everything you could ever want in an appetizer – great looks, personality, a wonderful smoky flavor, and you can spread it on a cracker!  What’s more, it travels well, freezes well, and wows everybody who tastes it.  Try it once and I bet it’ll become ‘the thing you bring’ to every party going forward.  You’ll be famous for it, mark my words.  Go ahead, claim it as your own, no one needs to know you found it here, I won’t tell.  I adapted it from Cynthia, who’s made it every Christmas for years.  It’s that kind of recipe, once you try it, you’ll want to make it your signature dish.

smoked salmon and smoked gouda cheese baked up in a savory cheesecake

This is perfect for any occasion, but since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, that’s what I was thinking about.  I made it in two small sized cheesecake pans, each 4 1/2 inches in diameter.  I figure you can eat the first one and freeze the second for a later rendezvous.  The recipe is easy to put together, and the concept is fun.  The name alone….savory smoked salmon cheesecake…lets you know this is seriously sensuous stuff.

smoked salmon cheesecake

The ingredients really speak for themselves…smoked salmon, smoked Gouda cheese, shallots, cream cheese, lemon and dill are the main players.  A couple of eggs bind it all together.  It’s simple straightforward comfort food, packaged as a fancy appetizer…brilliant.  I used Wild Smoked Keta Salmon from Morey’s Fine Fish and Seafood, which is naturally hickory smoked, and the flavor is just perfect for this cheesecake.  The fish has a firm texture, too, which is important, because you want the finished cheesecake to have obvious bits of that glorious pink salmon throughout.  Just pulse it lightly in a food processor for the right texture.  The smokey flavor of the salmon is enhanced by the smoked Gouda cheese, and the whole experience is lovely.

making smoked salmon cheesecakes

The cheesecakes bake gently in a low oven, and a water bath helps everything cook evenly, just like you would do with a dessert cheesecake.  I cooked them until there was no more jiggling and the center felt firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.

savory smoked salmon and smoked gouda cheesecake

I blended sour cream and lemon juice for the topping which gives it a nice zing.  You can decorate the cake any way you like, but I think it lends itself to sprigs of dill and tiny blossoms from the yard.

savory smoked wild salmon cheesecake appetizer

Absolutely change out the salmon for another smoked fish like trout or whitefish.  Switch out the Gouda for Jarlsberg, Swiss, or really anything you like.  Make it your own, after all, you’re going to be famous for it :)

Savory Smoked Salmon Cheesecake

Yield: makes 2 small cheesecakes, serves 8-10


  • 1/4 cup panko, or Japanese, breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp finely minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • butter for greasing the pans
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • an 8-oz package of cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a 4.5 oz package of Morey's Wild Smoked Salmon
    sour cream topping
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Butter 2 small cheesecake pans (mine are 4.5 inches in diameter) and wrap the bottoms and sides with foil to prevent leakage in the water bath.
  3. Mix the bread crumbs with the tablespoon of cheese and dill, use your fingers to lightly toss them to combine. Coat the bottom and sides of each pan with the mixture. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs along the bottom of each pan.
  4. Meanwhile melt the butter in a skillet and saute the shallots for about 5 minutes until they are translucent. Set aside to cool.
  5. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and run the machine briefly to soften it. Blend in the eggs and process until well combined.
  6. Add the cooled shallots, smoked Gouda, dill, salt, and lemon juice to the bowl and pulse several times to combine.
  7. Add the smoked salmon to the bowl, breaking it up into large chunks as you add it. Pulse the machine a few more times, just until everything is well combined but not pureed. You want a little bit of texture in the mixture.
  8. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans, smoothing over the top with a flat knife.
  9. Set the pans in a baking dish. Pour an inch or two of hot water into the baking dish to form a water bath.
  10. Bake the cheesecakes for about 50 minutes, or until they are no longer jiggly in the center and the tops feel firm.
  11. Let the cheesecakes cool before removing them from the pans and 'frosting.
  12. Make the sour cream topping by whisking together the sour cream and lemon juice. Spread over the top of the cooled cheesecakes.
  13. Decorate the cakes with some sprigs of fresh dill and tiny blossoms. Serve with crackers and lemon wedges.

smoked salmon cheesecake with crackers

Cut the ‘cake’ into small wedges and spread on good crackers.  It has a soft pate, or mousse-like consistency, and there are nice chunks of salmon and little bits of shallot and dill throughout.  Be sure to serve little slices of lemon along with it so everybody can squeeze a bit of juice onto each bite.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

smoked salmon and smoked gouda cheese baked up in a savory cheesecake

Morey’s has been fishing sustainably and environmentally responsibly since 1937, and that’s important to me since we all have choices when it comes to what we buy and eat.  Morey’s smoked and frozen fish comes in so handy when I don’t have the time to go out and buy fresh fish for dinner.  I keep a couple of packages of smoked fish in the freezer for this cheesecake, but also for quick pasta and egg dishes.  Grant likes to eat it plain, with cream cheese and crackers.  You can find their products in national and regional grocery store chains.

savory smoked salmon cheesecake


*This post is in association with Morey’s, but of course all opinions are my own.


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50 Responses to Savory Smoked Salmon ‘Cheesecake’

  1. Janice says:

    This complete genius, I love it and wil be making it soon.

  2. Daniela says:

    Looks and sounds like a wonderful treat. Looking forward to your new, inspiring ideas for next year, Happy Holidays, dear Sue!

  3. Alexandra says:

    Sue, this is a fantastic dish even though I had to use ordinary Gouda and farmed smoked salmon topped with my homemade sour cream! It is a very gentle appetizer which I served it yesterday on Christmas Day with a glass of bubbly. I will do it again, this time as you suggested with trout and serve a wedge as an entre with a delicate leafy salad and a lemony dressing.
    Thank you for this recipe, it is just so terribly incredibly right!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Alexandra. I think I’ll try the trout this winter, too, and I love the idea of making a dinner out of it it!

  4. lea says:

    if I do not have 2 small 4.5″ pans and use my regular 9″ how much more cooking time should I add? I will be making this for mother’s day brunch!!!

    • Sue says:

      I’m going to guess about an hour and 15 minutes, Lea, but check it as it bakes and see. It should not be wobbly in the center.

  5. Sarah says:

    I made this a month ago and brought one to a get-together and froze one. It was amazing fresh and everyone raved. This past weekend I defrosted the other one overnight in the fridge and served it the next day, but the texture wasn’t quite the same. It seemed to have dried out a little and gotten crumbly, even though i wrapped it well in plastic wrap and then tightly in foil. Any tips on ways to keep this from happening?

    • Sue says:

      All I can say is to make sure you use a good heavy freezer grade plastic, and wrap it well, but that being said, nothing is ever as good after it’s been frozen.

  6. savvy says:

    Made this for wine/cheese party last eve, and the night before! RAVE reviews- and requests to share! Hope it nets a few more readers for you- who will never be sorry!! thanks for helping me ‘re stock’ my freezer with the ‘right’ choice!

  7. This looks and sounds fabulous! I can’t wait to make it!

  8. Susan says:

    What a beautiful presentation this would make for a party! You’re decorative touches are lovely.

  9. love these photos and the styling!! :) i would love to try this salmon cheesecake.

  10. Wow, that looks absolutely amazing. I am drooling on the computer!

  11. jen says:

    I think I could make this!

  12. NADEEN WHITE says:

    oh my goodness!! these pictures!! yum! I have never heard of combining the two but they are two of my favorite things!

  13. Andi says:

    We eat a crazy amount of salmon on our house and this is such a beautiful and clever way to serve it!

  14. Okay my husband is like the King of Cheesecakes around here, but he never makes savory ones. I love smoked salmon, so I’m definitely going to give him this recipe!!

  15. This is such a great appetizer for a party! Or a great entree for a brunch! I love savory cheesecakes and used to make them fairly often. I actually prefer them over sweet ones. Thanks Sue!

  16. Catherine says:

    Dear Sue, This looks so good. My family would thoroughly enjoy this…and it looks so beautiful. I love this! Pinning for later. xo, Catherine

  17. Penny says:

    This is a genius recipe. I am so happy to have it! I have the small spring form mold and have made a ricotta and red pepper cheesecake. I know my hubs will love the smoked salmon version. Thanks Sue!

  18. I just discovered your blog and wanted to stop by to say this salmon cheesecake looks wonderful. It is such a beautiful, elegant, and delicious looking appetizer.

  19. What an inspired appetizer idea, and the presentation is so perfect for entertaining!

  20. Cathy says:

    Love your photos. Good to learn about Morey’s also- will check them out- thanks for the intro!

  21. Judith says:

    Looks totally yummy….never would have thought to freeze a 2nd. Excellent! Also, not sure how I didn’t now of Morey’s but just checked their site. Thanks~

  22. SallyBR says:

    Looks amazing indeed! My beloved doesn’t care for cheesecakes, but I bet a savory type with smoked salmon will wow him!

    perfect for V-day too…. I have no idea what we will cook this year, but it will be a home-cooked meal, that’s for sure!

  23. Guy23 says:

    Yum. I know Morey’s stuff well. Great firm texture and that hickory smoking’s done to perfection. Never would have thought of this, though. Sounds like heaven on a cracker.

  24. Joy says:

    I appreciate your generous spirit, illustrated by urging us to “make it your own, after all you’re going to be famous for it”! There’s something refreshing about open-hearted sharing. I’ve enjoyed your blog and recipes for a couple of years, (your popscicles drew me in), and this post puts my fandom over the top! Thank you!

  25. Wow! That is gorgeous! It reminds me of some really lovely Scandinavian savory style cakes. I bet it tastes amazing..

  26. clare says:

    This is so pretty and perfect for spring! Hickory smoked salmon sounds just mouthwatering…

  27. So glad you liked it sue! Now you’re making me crave it again! Beautiful photos!

  28. What a great appetizer. So beautiful, too! Love the smoked salmon/smoked Gouda combination.

  29. Christina says:

    This cheesecake is not only stunning, but sounds so delicious! What a great starter for a dinner party, or even at a cocktail party! I have to put this on my list of appetizers for my next get together. I’ve never heard of Morey’s, so thanks for the introduction.

  30. Susan says:

    I think I have been searching for this recipe forever. Can’t wait to try.

    • Sue says:

      All food blogger exaggeration aside, this is seriously a wonderful appetizer, it became an instant hit here. and I WILL be making it for every party I EVER throw :)

  31. Monique says:

    Very pretty little thing:)

  32. Wow – this is what I want when I come to see you one day! I could seriously hurt myself on this cake. The presentation is gorgeous!

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