Smoked Salmon Appetizer – Four Ingredients

Smoked Salmon Appetizer - A quick & easy appetizer of smoked salmon, capers and onion


This smoked salmon appetizer is a delicious bite that will make everyone happy, and that honestly takes no more than 15 minutes to make, provided you don’t smoke the salmon yourself.  You’ll love hearing your guests going “YUM” with the first bite.  So if you enjoy smoked salmon and want to celebrate its flavor, not hide it, this is a great little appetizer.  Four ingredients are all you need – salmon, capers, onion and just a touch of mayo. Crackers or crispy toasts (o.k. that’s five) are used to serve it. Apples can be used in place of crackers or just added to the plate as a sweet crispy accompaniment.

Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Smoked Salmon Appetizer - A quick & easy appetizer of smoked salmon, capers and onion #salmon #appetizer @mjskitchen

Smoked Salmon, Capers & Onion Appetizer - Recipe
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
A quick and easy appetizer that your guests will love.  Can easily be doubled or tripled.  The basic recipe below yields about 1 1/2 cups.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Appetizer
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 6 - 7 ounces smoked salmon with about 1 Tbsp. of juice if available*
  • 2 tsp. capers*, rinsed and minced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. sweet onion or shallot, minced
  • 1 heaping tsp. mayonnaise*
  • Crackers*
  1. Put the salmon in a mixing bowl and break it up with a fork.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except for crackers) and mix to combine.
  3. Taste. Adjust ingredients if needed.*
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with crackers, toasts, and/or apple slices.
Kitchen Notes

Smoked Salmon - Not all smoked salmon is the same, so use what you enjoy.  We buy the ready-to-eat packets from Seabear.  We love their salmon and the little individual packets can be stored in the pantry without taking up a lot of space. Each packet has just enough juice to add some to this appetizer and to share the rest with the cat.


Capers - The amount of capers you use if really based on your personal taste.  Even Bobby and I disagree on the amount of capers.  He likes more than I do, but I find more than 2 tsp. makes this appetizer too salty.  So start with 2 tsp. and go up from there.


Mayonnaise - The mayonnaise is used to just hold things together so you can transfer it to a cracker; that is why you only need 1 teaspoon. If the salmon doesn't have any juice with it, then you might need to add a little more mayonnaise.


Crackers - We've eaten this with several different types of crackers.  Our favorite is the Absolutely Everything Flatbread from World Market, but most any cracker works.  And as I mentioned before, slices of apples can also be used in place of crackers.


This smoked salmon appetizer is a great dish for many occasions – an appetizer, light lunch, afternoon snack, picnic or potluck.


Smoked Salmon Appetizer - A quick & easy appetizer of smoked salmon, capers and onion #salmon #appetizer @mjskitchen


If you enjoy smoked salmon, then you’ll also love this smoked salmon with cucumber salad that my friend Su Anne turned us onto a few years ago.  Adding a packet of smoked salmon to this Asian noodle dish makes a nice high protein lunch.




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52 Responses to “Smoked Salmon Appetizer – Four Ingredients”

  1. GiGi Eats January 12, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    I need to make this… Oh you know, TODAY… For lunch. Yes I certainly do! 🙂

    • mj January 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks so much Gigi! Hope you enjoy!

  2. Anna @ shenANNAgans February 18, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

    Smoked salmon is my fave. I am trying to teach my mom to enjoy salmon, going to add this to the list of educational eats. Thanks love. 🙂

    • mj February 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      Good luck with your Mom! 🙂 Thanks Anna!

  3. Sissi February 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    How come I have missed this gorgeous appetiser??? (Sorry for being so late).
    It looks so elegant and sounds absolutely luscious, easy and healthy, so… what am I waiting for??? It’s just perfect!

    • mj February 16, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      You’re right…what are you waiting for? 🙂 If you are a smoked salmon fan there is not an easy or tastier way to enjoy it. If you try it, let me know how you like it. Thanks Darlin!

  4. Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina February 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    I love salmon in any way! Just made a salmon appetizer a few weeks ago too, isn’t that weird? I’ve always loved your culinary mind, MJ! Thanks for sharing! Pinning on my group entertainment board!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • mj February 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks so much Roz! And thanks for pinning!!!

  5. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    And you forgot to mention how easy it is to put together! I’m ging to try this – I have Japanese mayo but I think it’ll work out. We love smoked salmon and my son and I love capers, so we will probably finish most of this alone. 😉 Sounds delicious and simple!

    • mj February 14, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      Japanese mayo should be just fine. Hope you enjoy and yes…it is SO SIMPLE!!!! Thanks!

  6. Adina February 11, 2016 at 12:53 am #

    I love smoked salmon, this recipe is such a good idea!

    • mj February 14, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Thanks so much Adina!

  7. lynn @ the actor's diet February 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Love how easy this is!

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks Lynn!

  8. Karen (Back Road Journal) February 8, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    I’m probably one of the few people that doesn’t care for smoked salmon but my husband and our friends do. This would definitely make them happy.

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      My goodness – you don’t like smoked salmon? Well, there are foods that I don’t like that would surprise people, so you’re forgiven. 🙂 I’m sure it will make friends happy! Thanks!

  9. Chgojohn February 7, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

    This sounds so good, MJ, and only 4 ingredients! I use smoked salmon in a pasta dish but usually buy more than I need for that one dish. This would be a perfect — and tasty — way to use the leftover salmon. Serving it with sliced apple would be wonderful!

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:52 am #

      I love smoked salmon and pasta as well! I make a pasta with smoked salmon and asparagus during asparagus season. Love it! Apple works great – Thanks!

  10. Hotly Spiced February 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    I love how this can be made so quickly! And it’s so beautifully presented. There are a few in this house who just adore smoked salmon xx

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      Thanks so much Charlie!

  11. Debra February 6, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    Sounds delicious but I must add that I thought it was a bowl of granola in the first pic. Then, I saw the light. 🙂 Great appetizer for SB50!

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      Yeh, I kind of overdid it on the granola. 🙂 SB50 – that’s my plan!

  12. Evelyne CulturEatz February 5, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    My kind of appetizer for sure, so tasty and simple. And I love capers but not always easy to use.

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:50 am #

      Capers do tend to be salty, but they really do a job complementing the salmon.

  13. Judy @Savoring Today February 5, 2016 at 8:12 am #

    Oh simplicity! I like the addition of capers — just the right balance with sweet salmon. Nice one, MJ.

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      Thanks Judy! The capers are a must!

  14. Ramona W February 5, 2016 at 5:51 am #

    Mmmm… this looks so yummy! I love all the flavors you have going on here. I don’t know if I could share this with anyone… i would hide and eat it all by myself happily. 🙂

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      I have a hard time sharing it as well.:) Thanks!

  15. Bam's Kitchen February 4, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    So delicious and so easy. This appetizer is right up my alley!

    • mj February 9, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      Thanks Bobbi!

  16. Viviane Bauquet Farre February 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Sounds delicious, and I love the idea of serving it with apples — such a cool contrast!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

      Thanks Viviane! The apples are really a great condiment for this.

  17. Deb|EastofEdenCooking February 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Locally, Phil’s Fish Market always has the best smoked salmon. Last time I visited I almost brought some home, but wasn’t sure how to prepare it. Next trip, I’m bringing some home to make this fabulous appetizer!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks Deb. Oh to have a local source to buy great smoked salmon! Hope you do give this a try!

  18. Gourmet Getaways February 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    I love smoked salmon, I would happily eat it breakfast lunch and dinner!
    This would make a delicious starter, capers and smoke salmon belong together 🙂
    Thanks for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Julie! Capers and salmon are a perfect match aren’t they?

  19. Tamara February 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Great idea for a quick and tasty appetizer MJ! Smoked salmon and capers are a “perfect pairing”… Your photos are really pretty too. 🙂

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      Thanks so much Tamara!

  20. Donalyn@The Creekside Cook February 4, 2016 at 8:07 am #

    My husband would absolutely love this – maybe it will be his game day nosh this weekend!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      It’s going to be ours. 🙂 Thanks Donalyn! Hope you’re doing well!

  21. Vicki Bensinger February 4, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    I love smoked salmon so this sounds wonderful to me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it though where you can store it in the pantry vs. the refrigerator.

    Nice recipe!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks Vicki! You should check out Seabear Wild Salmon. They have a huge selection, but the eat and go packs are great!

  22. Angie@Angie's Recipes February 3, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    A quick and elegant appetizer!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      Thanks Angie!

  23. John/Kitchen Riffs February 3, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    Capers! Yes! What a great idea. We make something somewhat similar, but have never used — nor thought of! — adding capers. Definitely will — this is awesome. Thanks!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      Oh…you’re going to love the capers! Let me know if you try it! Thanks John!

  24. wok with ray February 3, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    I like this smoked salmon appetizer and for just 15 minutes. . . very doable for me. I chuckled on your “provided you don’t smoke the salmon” caveat there. But if you do, add another 6 hours there. Hahaha! I hope you are having a fun week, MJ. Take care my friend.

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

      The price of smoked salmon is so worth it. 🙂 This is really one of my favorite ways to eat it. I am having a great week thank you! Hope you are having a good one as well.

  25. Abbe @ This is How I Cook February 3, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    I can eat smoked salmon every which way, though I hated it as a kid! Great appetizer!

    • mj February 4, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

      Growing up in Louisiana, we didn’t eat much smoked salmon. Lots of catfish and other fresh water fish, but never salmon. Once I tried it as an adult, I was in heaven. I think you’d love this snack!


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