This smoked salmon spread is an excellent addition to any cocktail party or holiday dinner. Also called a “savory cheesecake”, it is a blend of smoked salmon, Gruyere cheese, and fresh dill. I first made this recipe in 1984 and it’s been a holiday staple ever since. (This post was originally published on December 24th, 2012. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
This smoked salmon spread is perfect as part of a cocktail party buffet table, or cut it into thin wedges and served as an appetizer for an elegant dinner party. But it’s equally at home for a brunch or luncheon. I usually make one large one around the holidays and then cut it into 4 wedges. I keep the wedges frozen for last minute entertaining or I’ll bring one to a friend’s party. There’s always an extra piece for New Year’s Eve too!
For years I’d make the full cheesecake and cut it into wedges. This year, I’ve cut the recipe in half and use three small springform pans instead. The round shape and smaller size is ideal for a group of 6-8.
- Food processor or mixer
- 3 small springform pans
- Roasting pan
- Smoked salmon
- Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- Cream cheese
- Bread crumbs
- Half and half
- Fresh dill
What kind of smoked salmon is best for this cheesecake?
This is one time when you don’t have to use the prettiest pieces of smoked salmon. I’ll often look for the bits and ends, because they’re going to be blended well with the cream cheese. (Trader Joe’s sells bits and pieces next to the more expensive cuts) I’ve used traditional lox, Scottish smoked salmon as well as cold smoked salmon. I do prefer wild caught salmon over farm raised or Atlantic salmon.
What kind of cheese is best?
The original recipe called for Gruyere cheese which is a type of Swiss cheese. Trader Joe’s makes a Gruyere/Swiss blend that is more budget friendly than Gruyere. In addition to Swiss cheese, you’ll need cream cheese. The springform pans are dusted lightly with bread crumbs, fresh dill, more finely grated cheese. You could certainly use finely grated Parmesan cheese for this.
What kind of bread crumbs can I use?
I like to keep it gluten free, so I use gluten free bread crumbs, but any kind of bread crumbs will work.
Is this smoked salmon cheesecake low carb?
Whether or not you use gluten free or regular bread crumbs, the carb content for a serving is just around 3 grams per serving.
Do I need a water bath?
To keep your cheesecake from cracking on the top and to ensure an even bake, a water bath is essential. This is as simple as putting the springform pans into a larger roasting pan and filling it with hot water. I use a water bath when I’m making my Egg Bites and the smooth and creamy texture makes it totally worth the extra step.
Can I freeze it?
It freezes nicely and should last about 1 month, if wrapped well. Defrost in refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
How to make savory smoked salmon cheesecake
Toast bread crumbs and mix with fresh dill and finely grated cheese. Butter the sides and bottom of the springform pans, and coat them with the bread crumb mixture.
In a sauté pan, over a medium heat, melt butter, and cook the minced shallots until translucent.
In a food processor or electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, blend the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, cheese, half and half, dill and salt. Pulse until mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add salmon and sauteed shallots and pulse again until just mixed. Filling should retain some texture.
Place springform pans into a larger baking dish. Fill the baking dish with boiling water about 1/2 way up the side of the springform pans.
Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees F. or until center of cheesecakes are just done. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. Allow the cheesecakes to cool an additional hour.
How to double the recipe
If you’d like to double the recipe for this smoked salmon spread, use a 9″ springform pan and bake it for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
What to do with leftover salmon?
If you have leftover salmon, you can make this Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Eggs Royale, Vegetable Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, or Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches.
This recipe for savory smoked salmon cheesecake, (smoked salmon spread), is one that I adapted from a 1983 edition of Bon Appetit.
Smoked Salmon Spread
For the springform pans
- 1 Tablespoons unsalted butter for pan
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs gluten free bread or regular bread crumbs, lightly toasted.
- 3 Tablespoons finely grated gruyere cheese If you can't find gruyere you can substitute Swiss
- 1 teaspoon minced dill
- 3 Tablespoon butter
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 pound cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup gruyere cheese or Swiss, grated
- 1 teaspoon dill minced
- 3 Tablespoons half and half
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces smoked salmon (I buy the bits and ends which are a little cheaper)
- Butter the springform pans.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter sided and bottom of three 4" springform pan.
- Mix bread crumbs, 3 Tablespoons gruyere, and 1 teaspoon minced dill and coat the buttered springform pans. Refrigerate.
- Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add shallots, and cover and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Mix cream cheese in food processor until smooth, add eggs, cheese, 1/2 & 1/2, dill and salt. Pulse until mixed. Add salmon and shallots and pulse again. Filling should retain some texture.
- Pour into prepared pan. Set pan in roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come half way up sides of springform pan. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees F.
- Turn off oven and cool cheesecake in oven with the door ajar for another hour. Transfer to rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for up to two days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Can be frozen for up to a month. Wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil.
- To double the recipe, use a 9" springform pan and increase the baking time from 1 hour, to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Toby @ Plate Fodder says
I love (that just doesn’t say enough) ADORE smoked salmon, and a smoked salmon spread is a common occurrence around here. That cheesecake way of presenting it is definitely something I can (and will) get on top of. Thanks for the inspiring nudge!
You will love it Toby! Plan on serving it for a big group, since it’s rich, it goes a long way.
This patė was their of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted. A photograph can’t do it justice. Thank you!
*one of the most. Not “their of the most”
Glad you liked it! Now you know how easy it is to make too!
Heather at Basilmomma says
How original! I love this take on a savory cheesecake 🙂
Thank you Heather!
Could I also use chicken gizzards with the livers? I have bags and bags of all the chicken parts from my roasters.
You know Joanna, I would probably just stick with the chicken livers…they’re pretty inexpensive and you want a clean flavor.
Judy at My Well Seasoned Life says
This was so very good. Will be making this and spreading the goodness.
Thank you Judy! I love your new blog/website!
Taylor@Food Faith Fitness says
Perfect for NYE!!!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
This is SO 1983 and I absolutely LOVE it! The idea of a savory cheesecake is just genius, awesome recipe 🙂
Karen @ The Food Charlatan says
This is such a great idea! I love the looks of this savory cheesecake. I’ve never made one before. I’ll start here!
I’ve never had this but loved smoked salmon, so what’s not to love with added cheese! Perfect for a holiday party! Thanks for passing this on.
Thank you! It’s a holiday hit every year!
“Cheesecake” is a bit of a misnomer…It’s pretty much like a smoked salmon dip in a pie shape…so yummy though! I made one and divided it into 4 parts for the holidays.
Such a fun and unique way to enjoy smoked salmon! The hint of dill was delicious.
Thanks so much!
Stacey Crawford says
I’m making this for Christmas brunch. The smoked salmon with creamy cheeses and herbs is so tasty!
Perfect for Christmas brunch!
Such an easy recipe for a great result! Love the three mini cheesecake version best as I like to freeze two and use them on cheeseboards! Thanks so much!
Thank you! Glad you like it!
Trudy A. says
So easy and delicious! Thank you for this great recipe!