A smoked salmon platter makes an easy and elegant appetizer or brunch spread. Dress it up with as many or as few toppings as you’d like. Dill, capers, and something creamy (cream cheese, sour cream or crème fraîche) is classic, but let your imagination run wild! Use what you have on hand and what’s in season.

Why We Love This Recipe

For starters, we’re seriously salmon-obsessed here. But more than that, we love a no-fuss stunning appetizer or boozy brunch spread. And this salmon platter is that through-and-through. Stunning, simple and totally versatile.

We love how you can play around with the flavors and accompaniments. Here, we’ve arranged it for a winter brunch. In the summer, swap out the oranges for fresh berries and melon. In the fall opt for apples and warm-spiced jams.

large white platter filled with smoked salmon, mini buckwheat pancakes, dill cream cheese, chives, and caper. Set on an orange table with mimosas and a bottle of sparkling wine

Ingredient Notes

Make this board as simple or as involved as you like. We prefer a more simple and streamlined approach with only a handful of classic toppings. Not only is it easier on you as the cook, but it’s refined, elegant, and easier to eat.

Buckwheat Blini

Blini are a classic vehicle for smoked salmon and cream cheese. If you’re looking for something less hands-on, try mini bagels or crackers.

Smoked Salmon

Plan for about two ounces per person as an appetizer and three ounces per person as a brunch spread. Use cold-smoked salmon or lox. 

Creamy Spread

Feel free to use regular cream cheese, sour cream or crème fraîche. Creme fraiche is a bit more elegant, while cream cheese and sour cream are more familiar. For a healthier option, use labneh (thick strained yogurt spread, or “yogurt cheese”). We like to stir some fresh dill into whatever creamy spread we’re using.


Every great salmon platter needs some form of onion. Use what you like or have on hand. Chives, scallions, shallot or red onion are all great options.

Briny Toppings

Include something briny and tangy such as capers, cornichons, or minced dill pickles. We also like olives, or even pickled onions


Fresh dill is an obvious choice, but parsley is also a great option. Fresh lemon wedges are also welcome.

small buckwheat pancakes topped with cream cheese, salmon, capers and dill on a brown plate

Other Topping Ideas

Adapt this board to include toppings you like. Consider what’s in season and what you already have on hand. Here are some additional ideas:

  • Fresh fruit (berries, oranges, watermelon)
  • Sliced cucumbers (English or Persian)
  • Cooked bacon
  • Soft cooked eggs (jammy 6-minute eggs)
  • Minced hard boiled eggs
  • Avocado 
  • Fresh sweet corn
  • Sliced radishes
  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Honey or maple syrup

Make it a menu and serve this smoked salmon board with these stunning Ginger Blood Orange Mimosas!

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Use a large platter so everything can be all in one place. 
  • Add something sweet whether that be fresh fruit or jam to balance out all of the savory flavors.
  • Use high-quality lox or cold-smoked salmon. Avoid any packages where the salmon has appeared to brown around the edges. Always check the best by date on the package and opt for smoked salmon with few additives and little added sugar.
  • Plan for about 2-ounces per person as an appetizer and 3-ounces per person as a brunch spread.
  • Always add something fresh. Smoked salmon is bold in flavor and benefits from fresh veggies and herbs. 

Other Recipes to Try

If you love salmon, be sure to check out my go-to Pan Seared Salmon and these delicious Salmon Poke Bowls.

small buckwheat pancakes topped with cream cheese, salmon, capers and dill on a brown plate


How should I serve smoked salmon on a platter?

Tear the pieces apart into smaller bite-sized pieces then layer them into a large pile. Add a fork or small set of tongs for serving.

How many people does a smoked salmon platter feed?

The short answer is 4-6. The longer answer—plan for about 2-ounces per person as an appetizer and 3-ounces per person as a brunch spread.

Instead of a spread, I want a dill sauce for a smoked salmon platter. Any recommendations?

We have two options for you! Try our Dill Ranch Dressing or make our Lemon Butter Sauce and add some chopped fresh dill.

Can I use hot-smoked salmon instead of cold-smoked salmon?

Absolutely. It’s all about preference. Use the smoked salmon you like best. If you are serving hot-smoked salmon, plan to include a bit more sauce.

Smoked Salmon Platter with Blini

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 –6 servings
Category Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


This smoked salmon platter makes an elegant appetizer or gorgeous brunch spread. Mix and match the toppings by using what’s in season and what you have on hand. 


  • 8 ounces plain cream cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (2-3 ounce) jar capers, drained
  • 1 recipe buckwheat blini, or mini bagels/crackers of choice
  • 12 ounces cold-smoked salmon or lox
  • cup chopped chives


  • Fresh orange segments or berries
  • Minced shallot or red onion
  • Soft boiled eggs, 6-minute eggs or minced hard boiled eggs
  • Avocado
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Bacon
  • Salted butter
  • Jam/honey/maple syrup


  • Combine cream cheese, dill, and ½ teaspoon black pepper; season with additional dill and black pepper to taste. Transfer cream cheese to small serving bowl and set on larger platter. Add capers to separate small bowl and arrange on platter.
  • Arrange blini (or bagels/crackers), smoked salmon, and chives on platter around cream cheese. Garnish platter with fresh dill. (Add orange segments, if using to a small bowl and arrange on platter). 


Gluten-free: make blini with oat flour or 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. Or serve with gluten-free crackers.
Cook time listed includes blini cook time. If you opt for crackers or bagels, the cook time will be 0 minutes and this recipe will be ready in 10 minutes. 


Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 495kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 39gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1245mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5g
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!
large white platter filled with smoked salmon, mini buckwheat pancakes, dill cream cheese, chives, and caper. Set on an orange table with mimosas and a bottle of sparkling wine

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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, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. 5 stars
    Making this platter for our Christmas Eve party! Everyone in my family loves smoked salmon, this is going to be a real treat. (also making your French 75 and Kir Royale cocktails). Thank you for all the amazing recipes