An easy 20-minute recipe for smoked salmon mousse made with cream cheese and served on cucumber slices.
It's such a simple recipe but it produces impressive results! I like to serve it as an appetizer when I host, but I also make it often for my family.
This tasty mousse is such an easy appetizer, and one of those dishes that your guests will thoroughly admire, not realizing how easy it is to make. It's also great that you can make it ahead of time.
Smoked salmon is a delicacy, and when made into mousse it's even better. The cream cheese mitigates the intense saltiness of the smoked fish and adds wonderful creaminess.
You'll only need four simple ingredients to make this tasty salmon mousse. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Smoked salmon: I always try to use wild-caught or responsibly farmed salmon.
Cream cheese: I use reduced-fat cream cheese in this recipe, but full-fat works too.
Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed has the best flavor. I don't recommend using bottled lemon juice.
Black pepper: Freshly ground is best.
Cucumber: Sliced and used as a vehicle for serving the mousse.
Chives: Used as garnish. They are optional, but I do like the flavor they add and they also look so pretty.
Making this salmon mousse is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to place the smoked salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice, and black pepper in your food processor bowl.
Now, go ahead and process these ingredients until smooth. This should take about 5 minutes, and you'll need to stop the food processor twice to scrape the sides with a spatula.
Transfer the mousse to a pretty serving bowl and serve it with cut-up veggies.
As an alternative, you can transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and pipe it onto cucumber slices, just like I do in the video below.
As you can see, I don't add any salt to the mousse. Smoked salmon is very salty, so there's no need for added salt.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can. I do find that full-fat cream cheese is sometimes a bit too dense. But if you soften it in the microwave, it should be OK.
Yes. You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw it in the fridge and mix it again before serving. Keep in mind that the mousse won't be as light and fluffy after being frozen.
Yes. You can use smoked mackerel, herring, or whitefish, for example. Make sure you thoroughly remove the skin and bones and keep in mind that the color won't be as pretty if using pale-colored fish.
Sometimes I add a pinch of garlic powder to the mixture. A pinch of cayenne is interesting if you like spicy food.
As for the garnish, you can use chopped dill instead of chives. And again, if you like spicy food, try sprinkling the mousse with some red pepper flakes in addition to chives.
As explained above, if you want to get fancy, you can use a pastry bag to pipe the mousse on cucumber slices.
Or use kitchen scissors to cut the corner of a Ziploc bag and use that to pipe the mousse.
But you can also simply spoon the mousse on top of cucumber slices. Or just serve it in a pretty bowl, surrounded by cut-up vegetables, almond flour crackers, and cheese crackers. It's quite good with pork rinds, too!
For special occasions, I like to serve it alongside this creamy lobster salad.
You can keep this mousse in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. It's a good idea to remove it from the fridge 20 minutes or so before you plan on enjoying it.
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Smoked Salmon Mousse
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 8 oz neufchâtel cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese), softened 30 seconds in the microwave
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 20 cucumber slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish
- Place the salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice, and black pepper in your food processor bowl and process until smooth, about 5 minutes, stopping twice to scrape the sides with a spatula.
- Transfer the mousse to a pretty serving bowl and serve with cut up veggies.
- Or transfer the mousse to a pastry bag and pipe it onto cucumber slices, as shown in the video. Garnish with chopped chives.