closeup of a smoked salmon crostini on a platter of ingredients

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Why I love this smoked salmon appetizer

I absolutely love smoked salmon. I love both hot smoked salmon and cold smoked salmon, but if I had to choose, I’d go for cold. When we lived in France, we had it all the time. In appetizers, in salads. It was everywhere, and I wasn’t complaining.

I even made smoked salmon crostini – along with tomato bruschetta – when I catered the English library’s annual fundraiser. Since then, I love to serve smoked salmon as a simple appetizer, but assembling crostini is just not my thing anymore.

Enter, the smoked salmon platter. It’s so simple and so genius. Everyone can assemble their own and you can offer more variety than you would if you were just making individual smoked smoked salmon appetizers.

smoked salmon platter with cucumber, dill dip, lemons and a variety of breads

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Let’s talk about ingredients

Smoked salmon. We like to use cold smoked salmon for our platter, but you could do hot smoked salmon, or even a mix of both. We got our smoked salmon at Costco, and I love that it’s enough for a large party, but it’s actually two packages and we typically freeze the second package if we aren’t serving a ton of people.

Creamy dill spread. We made our dill spread with vegan cream cheese and a bit of unsweetened coconut yogurt. You can also use regular dairy-based if that works for you (it obviously won’t be dairy free then). You can make this part of the platter in advance and store it in the fridge till you’re ready to serve it.

smoked salmon appetizer platter with garnishes

Crostini, toast and more. You can really use any crusty bread things you want when you’re serving your smoked salmon as an appetizer. We opted for crostini – we sliced baguette and toasted them in the oven – and a mix of rye and pumpernickel toast – which we toasted in the toasted and the quartered.

You can also serve your smoked salmon platter with bagels (bonus points if they’re sourdough bagels), which would be perfect for brunch and some bagel chips or crackers. Whatever you like will work. Just make sure you have a few options for your guests.

Everything else and eve more options. For our platter, I usually keep it pretty basic with cucumbers, capers, onion and lemon wedges. But the options are really endless. Here are some other ideas:

closeup of smoked salmon appetizer platter with dairy free dill spread

Tips for assembling your smoked salmon platter

Group items together. Start by placing any bowls onto the platter to make sure they get a solid space, and then add your smoked salmon. From there, place your items on the platter in groups, followed by garnish.

Garnish with green. While I like to keep individual ingredients together, I also like to add pops of color throughout the board. I find greens are the easiest way to do this.

I usually sprinkle capers directly onto the smoked salmon and a few extra sprinkles of fresh dill around the platter. I also like the put a few clusters of cucumbers around the board to add variety.

Don’t forget serving utensils. Make sure you add a small spoon for the dill spread – or a little butter spreader – and a few small forks or tongs for your guests to take what they want from the platter.

smoked salmon appetizer on small slices of marble rye bread

Questions about smoked salmon

Is smoked salmon cooked?

It depends. Some smoked salmon is cooked. This type is called hot smoked salmon and will be lighter pink in color and flaky like regular cooked salmon. Cold smoked salmon, is smoked without heat and is not cooked.

What flavors go well with smoked salmon?

Smoked salmon goes well with so many flavors. We love capers and fresh dill, but it also goes really well a variety of flavors.

Is smoked salmon ready to eat?

Yes. Both hot and cold smoked salmon are ready to eat and they don’t need to be heated before you consume them. You can, however, heat them if you want to, or if the recipe you’re using calls for it.

Do you eat smoked salmon hot or cold?

You can eat smoked salmon hot or cold, but this smoked salmon platter is meant to be served cold.

the best way to serve smoked salmon as an appetizer - smoked salmon platter

This smoked salmon appetizer platter would be great with

More salmon recipes you’ll love

hand holding an appetizer plate with smoked salmon canapes and a lemon wedge

Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter

This simple, yet stunning smoked salmon appetizer platter has everything your guests need to assemble their own canapés, complete with a creamy dairy free dill dip. It’s perfect for a holiday party or serve it as an appetizer at your next brunch.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8+ servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: No Cook



For the creamy dill spread:

  • 1 package vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion power
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the platter:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Capers
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Lemon wedges
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Baguette slices, toasted
  • Pumpernickel bread, toasted
  • Marble rye bread, toasted
  • Fresh dill


  1. To make the dill spread: Combine ingredients an a large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To assemble the platter: Arrange the ingredients as desired before serving. 

Keywords: dairy free, salmon, seafood, appetizer, crostini

Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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