7 Layer Smoked Salmon Dip because everybody needs a show stopping appetizer up their sleeve for the holidays, am I right? This Scandinavian inspired layered dip can be made a day ahead, and it only improves as it hangs out in the fridge ~ perfect for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve!
This beautiful Scandinavian inspired layered salmon dip is a stunning appetizer for any gathering. I’ve given you suggestions for the layers, but you can definitely customize it, there are so many possibilities. Truth be told I went over the 7 layer limit, I think I’ve got 9 or more layers in mine ~ I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.
tip: get a good snap of this dip before you serve it, ’cause it’s gonna get attacked pretty quick!
ingredients for 7 layer dip (the colors are awesome)
- hot-smoked salmon ~ note that hot-smoked salmon is different from cold-smoked salmon. Hot-smoked salmon comes in a chunk form, and is smoked over heat. Cold-smoked salmon is sold thinly sliced, and is smoked without heat. You want the chunk.
- dilled whipped cream cheese ~ this stuff is heavenly! I process whipped cream cheese, loads of fresh dill, a good pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon in my food processor. It comes out pale green and delicious.
- finely chopped radish and red onion ~ these add a nice sharp bite
- whipped goat cheese and thin sliced cucumbers ~ why whipped? It’s lighter and easier to spread.
- marinated roasted red peppers ~ note: I think I would leave this out next time, I didn’t love how the flavor worked with the rest.
- Boursin cheese
- cranberry relish with horseradish and sour cream
how to make this 7 layer smoked salmon dip
- Line an 8 inch cake pan with plastic wrap. You can use other containers, just be sure they’re neither too big nor too shallow; you need to stack 7 layers into it. 6-8 inches in diameter is a good size for this recipe.
- Spread or scatter each ingredient into an even layer, making sure to get out to the very edges.
- Press each layer down firmly before proceeding with the next. This helps the dip hold together nicely.
- When you’ve finished layering, cover and refrigerate for an hour or two, or overnight. The dip will get a chance to firm up and the flavors will develop.
- When you’re ready to serve, flip the dip over onto a serving plate and gently lift the pan off. Carefully peel away the plastic wrap.
- Shower with lots of fresh snipped chives, and serve.
what to serve with smoked salmon dip
- I served mine with crunchy Russian Rye Crisps I found at the supermarket, and some fresh endive leaves for a low carb option.
- You could also use a thinly sliced baguette.
- Regular crackers work well, just be sure they’re plain and not heavily flavored.
- Scandinavian rye crisp crackers would be great.
- Bagel chips would also be appropriate.
- Be sure to provide several spreading knives around your plate so several people can go at it at the same time.
tips for assembling your layered dip
Layered dips are lots of fun, and can be stunning, but keep these tips in mind…
Make the layers thick enough so they will show up as a definite stripe in the final product, at least 1/4″.
Tamp down each layer as you go to ensure they’ll hold together well once un-molded. Take care to get them even and all the way to the edge of your mold.
Don’t add anything with excess liquid to the layers because it can leak out when serving. Be sure to drain before adding, if necessary.
Allow at least an hour or two for the dip to chill in the refrigerator. Overnight is fine too.
Keep your dip chilled and serve cold.
variations for different layers
- beets, thinly sliced or chopped
- beet horseradish
- Shredded carrots, pickled or not
- chopped dill pickles or gherkins
- sliced hard boiled egg
- caviar or roe
- pickled onions
- sprouts or microgreens (for the top)
we’re crazy about salmon ~
- Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon
- Finnish Salmon Soup
- Salmon Cobb Salad
- Salmon and Zucchini Burgers
- Savory Smoked Salmon ‘Cheesecake’
7 Layer Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
- an 8 inch cake pan or equivalent
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 2 big handfuls fresh dill leaves (discard tough stems)
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb hot-smoked salmon, skin removed and flaked
- 1 bunch radishes (about 8) finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
- 5.3 ounce tub of whipped goat cheese (or the equivilent)
- 2-3 small Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced, do not peel
- 6 ounces marinated roasted red pepper strips
- 5.2 ounce package of Boursin cheese
- 4 ounce jar of capers, drained
- 8 ounces (about 1 cup) cranberry relish with horseradish and sour cream, Find recipe here.
- 1 bunch fresh chives, snipped
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Line an 8 inch cake pan with 2 sheets of plastic wrap so it covers the bottom and all sides.
- Put the whipped cream cheese and dill in a food processer and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides to get it all incorporated. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Put half the salmon on the bottom of the pan, spreading it out evenly and pressing down firmly. Top with an even layer of the dilled cream cheese. Drop it in dollops first and then spread, trying not to disturb the salmon layer.
- Toss the radishes and onions together and spread over the dilled cheese, and press that layer down gently.
- Dollop the goat cheese across the top and spread out gently, again trying not to disturb the layer underneath. Top with the sliced cucumbers.
- Arrange the red peppers (if using) evenly over the cukes.
- Next crumble the Boursin over top, along with the capers. Press down gently.
- Spread the cranberry relish over that, and finish with the other half of the smoked salmon. Note: in the post photos I did this step backwards.
- Press the whole thing gently down, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the plastic covering and place your serving plate over the dip. Invert the plate and dip together. Carefully lift the pan off, and then gently peel off the plastic liner, being careful not to disturb anything. Scatter a good amount of snipped chives over the top of the dip before serving. If any liquid has seeped out, drain it off or dab with paper towels.
- Serve with rye crisps and crunchy endive leaves, or see notes in the post for other suggestions. Will keep for 2 days, refrigerated.
- Yes, you could use another smoked fish like trout or whitefish, for instance. You might also consider tiny baby shrimp, or crab.
Questions and Reviews
I know you said to use hot smoked salmon but could you use cold smoked salmon? Someone just gave me a pound and I would love to use it for this dip. Another question: could you make this recipe with smoked trout?
Well, I don’t see why you couldn’t use cold smoked salmon. The texture would be different, of course, but it should work.
This is delicious. It takes a fair amount of time to make but it’s worth it!
Showstopper and tasted even better! Can’t wait to make it again and share it with friends.
Thanks Julie, so glad you enjoyed it.
I am excited to make this tonight. Could I start with a regular block of cream cheese, whip it in a mixer with whisk attachment, then add the dill and whip again, do you think? Or would it still be too heavy?
Secondly, I’m thinking of making this in in 6 individual straight-sided ramekins, so I can share with friends. Any ideas on logistics for that?
Thanks so much, I really enjoy your recipes. Happy New Year!
I think you could whip the cream cheese to a soft consistency, for sure. And the only issue I can see for the small ramekins is having enough room for the layers, you might want to cut down to 4 or 5 to make it feasible.
Wow! Absolutely gorgeous – and as a major smoked salmon fan this is right up my alley. I’m having a New Year’s Eve party and I was wondering what my showstopper was going to be. Not any more! Once again – thank you! This blog is amazing!
This is perfect for NYE 🙂