This easy Salmon Dip makes an elegant and unique appetizer for holidays, dinner parties or appetizers-for-dinner kind of nights. This salmon dip is made with canned salmon, cottage cheese, dill and a touch of horseradish. It’s creamy and luscious and gets topped off with zesty olive-drenched olives. It’s a retro yet elevated appetizer that will impress. 

Ingredients Needed

  • Cottage cheese: use whole milk cottage cheese for the creamiest flavor. You’ll need 1 cup, so if you buy a big container use the leftover cottage cheese to make my Cottage Cheese Cake, Cottage Cheese Pancakes or Cottage Cheese Lasagna
  • Salmon: this salmon dip is made with canned salmon. You’ll need 1 (6-ounce) can of wild salmon. I like to use Wild Planet Salmon for this dip and to make my Salmon Patties
  • Herbs: for this recipe you’ll need some fresh dill and fresh chives. I have tons of recipes that use both herbs, so don’t worry if you have leftovers. Use both in my Sour Cream Potato Salad as well as my Shrimp Rolls
  • Mayonnaise: just a tablespoon is needed to add some savoriness and depth of flavor. 
  • Horseradish: use purchased horseradish sold in the refrigerated section. Avoid the creamy prepared horseradish. You’ll need 1 tablespoon. 
  • Olive Oil, salt and pepper: three pantry ingredients! Use good olive oil. I develop my recipes with Morton kosher salt which is saltier by weight than Diamond Crystal. If you are using Diamond Crystal, use a bit more or just be sure to season to taste at the end. 
  • Olives: you’ll need pitted green olives, I recommend using Castelvetrano or Frescatrano olives. One thing to keep in mind, if they’re cheap, they’re cheap for a reason. 
  • Lemon: you’ll need just 1 lemon and you’ll be zesting it. Save the zested lemon for juicing for another recipe.
A can of salmon, drained green olives, pepper grinder, mayonnaise, horseradish, cottage cheese, salt, olive oil, cill and lemon set out on a counter.

How to Make Easy Salmon Dip

  1. Drain the cottage cheese in a fine mesh strainer for 15 minutes. Straining the cottage cheese with remove excess liquid and make for a very creamy and rich dip. 
  2. Blend the drained cottage cheese in a mini food processor until very smooth, about 1 minute. (A large food processor won’t process 1 cup of cottage cheese as smoothly as a mini food processor. If you don’t have a mini food processor, use a blender.)
  3. Add the salmon, dill, mayonnaise, horseradish, olive oil, salt and pepper to processor with cottage cheese and process until smooth. Spread the dip onto a medium plate.
  4. Add the drained olives to a medium mixing bowl. Pat the olives dry a bit with a paper towel then toss the olives with olive oil, zest of 1 lemon and chives and toss to coat
  5. Spoon the olives over the dip and serve with chips
Olives and chives on top of a creamy salmon dip on a plate.

What to Serve Salmon Dip With


Do you think trout would work just as well with this recipe?

Absolutely, that sounds delicious! I also have a Smoked Trout Dip recipe if you’re interested in that. 

Can I add a few drops of liquid smoke to make this a smoked salmon dip? 

Sure, that sounds delicious! And a great way to add flavor. If you want to make a salmon dip with smoked salmon, try this Smoked Salmon Dip.

What can I use instead of cottage cheese?

Whole milk Greek yogurt will do. 

Olive on top of a creamy fip on a plate with a rippled potato chip dipping in it.

More Dip Recipes to Try

  • My Labneh Dip is another dairy dip that’s loaded with protein and delicious tangy. I top mine with picked dried cherries and a pistachio dukkah
  • Edamame Hummus is a vibrant and satisfying dip. It’s a really fun take on a classic hummus. If you’re in the mood for hummus, try my Sweet Potato Hummus too! 
  • Ajvar is a really delicious and unique roasted red pepper dip hailing from the Balkans. It would pair nicely with the salmon dip. 
  • If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, try Roasted Tomatillo Salsa or Tomato Chipotle Salsa

Salmon Dip Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Category Appetizer
Cuisine American


This salmon dip is made with canned salmon, cottage cheese, dill and a touch of horseradish. It’s creamy and luscious and gets topped off with zesty olive-drenched olives. It’s a retro yet elevated appetizer that will impress.


  • 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • 1 (6-ounce) can Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pitted green olives, drained
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Potato chips, for serving


  • Place 1 cup cottage cheese in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl; drain 15 minutes.
  • In a mini food processor, blend drained cottage cheese until smooth; about 1 minute.
  • Drain and add 1 (6-ounce) can wild salmon, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Blend until smooth; season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.
  • Spread dip onto a large plate.
  • Add drained olives to a medium bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced zest of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Spoon olives over top and serve with potato chips.


It’s important to drain the cottage cheese—this will remove excess moisture and make for a creamy dip. 
Use whole milk cottage cheese for the best texture and flavor. Lower-fat cottage cheese will make for a less creamy, more watery dip. 
This dip can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Leftovers will last for 3 days in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 1/6 recipeCalories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 647mgSugar: 1g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Olives and chives on top of a canned salmon dip on a plate with potato chips set next to it.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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