Smoked Salmon Canapés

smoked salmon canapes FI

These smoked salmon canapés are a quick, easy and elegant appetizer with only 8 ingredients. And, you can make them in only about 15 minutes! 


Units Scale
  • 2 - 3 pieces thin-sliced rye bread (see notes 1 - 2)
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or more to taste, plus additional dill sprigs for garnish
  • 4 ounces (113 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces (113 g) smoked salmon


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). (This is only to toast the bread; you can use a toaster oven instead if desired.)
  2. Cut the bread slices into approximately 1 1/2 inch (3.8 cm) squares, removing the crusts first if needed (see notes 1 - 2). You will need a total of 16 squares; depending on the size of your bread slices, this should take between 2 - 3 slices of bread.
  3. Place the bread squares onto a small tray and bake in the preheated oven for 2 - 3 minutes, then flip the squares and bake for an additional 2 - 3 minutes, or until the squares of bread are toasted. (Alternatively, you can toast the squares of bread in a toaster oven.) Remove the toasted squares of bread to a platter, set aside.
  4. Mince the red onion and fresh dill, set aside.
  5. Place the room temperature cream cheese in a small bowl. Mash the cream cheese with a fork until it's smooth.
  6. To the bowl of cream cheese, add the minced dill and two tablespoons minced red onion (reserving the remaining tablespoon of red onion for garnish). Add in 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Use the fork to mash the ingredients together until evenly combined. 
  7. Season the cream cheese mixture with salt and pepper, mix with the fork to combine. Taste the cream cheese and mix in more lemon juice, minced dill, salt and/or pepper if needed. (Optional: for better flavor, cover the cream cheese mixture and place in the fridge for 1 hour, or up to 2 days in advance. See note 4.)
  8. Spread the cream cheese on the toasted squares of bread. 
  9. Carefully tear off a small strip of the smoked salmon, roll it into a rose shape, and place on top of one of the bread squares. Continue this process until all of the bread squares are topped with smoked salmon.
  10. Garnish each canapé with a few pieces of minced red onion and a small sprig of dill. For best results, serve immediately. Or, if needed, loosely cover the serving tray with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours before serving. (See note 5.) 


The brand of rye bread I used is called Mestemacher. It is a very thin, dense, and firm bread with no crusts. This works well for canapés because although thin, it provides enough structure to hold the toppings well. And, because there are no crusts to cut off, you can use the entire piece of bread. If you can't find or don't like Mestemacher rye bread, you can use any type of rye bread. Or, substitute pumpernickel, or your favorite type of bread. 

If you are using a different type of bread besides Mestemacher and want the bread to be thinner, you can gently roll the bread with a rolling pin to flatten it some before cutting the slices into squares. But, try not to completely flatten the bread paper-thin; you still want it to have enough structure to hold up the toppings.

If you don't like dill, feel free to substitute a different fresh herb. Some good substitutions are parsley, chives, or tarragon.

You can make the cream cheese mixture up to 2 days in advance, stored in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. If the cream cheese has been in the fridge for longer than 1 hour, allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes before spreading on the toast squares.

Keeping the assembled canapés in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours before serving will work best if using a dense, firm bread like Mestemacher. Use your best judgement if using a soft, tender bread like white sandwich bread, because the bread will begin to soften and lose its crispness as it sits.

The nutrition information below is an estimate only, provided by an online nutrition calculator. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brand and exact amounts of ingredients used. This nutrition estimate should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.


Keywords: smoked salmon canapés, smoked salmon appetizer