This gorgeous cream cheese board is the perfect appetizer to serve a crowd. It’s my fun spin on the viral butter board trend taking over social media and is like a loaded salmon and cream cheese bagel but in dip form and every bite scooped onto a bagel or cracker is packed with flavor. This has quickly become one of my favorite appetizers to serve for special occasions. During the holiday season I am always on the hunt for new easy make ahead appetizers that I can simply pull from the fridge and serve to house guests. I am very slow to the trend but this is one of my interesting takes on the viral butter boards that were taking over the internet earlier in the year. For this cream cheese board recipe, I did a spin on one of my favorite flavor combinations, cream cheese, smoked salmon and all of the flavorful toppings. This is a simple appetizer that is a great alternative to a charcuterie board and the perfect addition to your holiday spread. 

Why You Will Love This Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Board

  • When it comes to an easy recipe that can be served in a variety of ways, look no further than this smoked salmon appetizer recipe. It is the perfect plate to serve for brunch with bagels, (it would be wonderful for a mother’s day or easter brunch), or is the perfect appetizer to make for a dinner party or holiday party (I have made it for all of my holiday gatherings this year).
  • It’s such a vibrant and gorgeous dish made with fresh ingredient and guests will go crazy for the beautiful presentation
  • It’s a great make ahead dish that you can prepare a few hours before and then simply pull out of the fridge and serve, so easy and perfect for your next party. 
  • This easy smoked salmon appetizer can be made in under 10 minutes and requires no ovens or heating, it’s so easy!
  • It’s a fun twist on a cream cheese, bagel and smoked salmon spread, and doesn’t require guests to assemble it, all they have to do is scoop! Every bite is packed with so much flavor. 


What You Need To Make This Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Board

  • Cream Cheese: I use a plain block of cream cheese, but feel free to use low fat cream cheese or dairy free cheese. 
  • Smoked Salmon: thinly sliced smoked salmon lox
  • Scallions/Green Onions: Feel free to use scallions or chopped chives for a more subtle flavor
  • Capers: I like to roughly chop the capers before adding them so that their salty flavor isn’t too overpowering. 
  • Red Onion: I like using red onion because it’s a more vibrant purple color and really stands out on the plate, but for a more mild flavor you can use finely diced shallots
  • Lemon Zest: Use a lemon zester, or alternatively for larger sized pieces of lemon that add a bit more flavour to each bite, I like to use a vegetable peeler to get long thin strips of lemon peel, and then use a knife to cut them into small pieces.



How To Make This Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Board

  1. Start by making the cream cheese mixture. In a food processor combine the cream cheese, water, lemon juice, onion powder and garlic powder and blend for 2-3 minutes until the cream cheese is blended into a light and fluffy consistency.
  2. Spoon the lemony cream cheese out onto a plate, platter or cutting board and use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer across the whole board
  3. Top top the cream cheese with small pieces of smoked salmon, red onion, chopped scallions or green onion, lemon zest, chopped capers and everything but the bagel seasoning. 


What To Serve With This Smoked Salmon Appetizer

This Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Board is incredibly versatile and can be served with a variety of things. For brunch I recommend serving this smoked salmon platter with toasted bagels or little toasts (mini bagels are fun too!) and a big spoon to scoop the dip up and spread it over the bagels. As an easy appetizer I like serving this with bagel chips, cucumber slices, pita chips or my favorite crackers and a butter knife to spread the dip. 

What Can I Use In Place Of Everything But The Bagel Seasoning?

I love the Everything But The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joes, but more and more stores have started selling a version of this and i’ve noticed that even my local grocery store now sells it. Alternatively there is also a wide selection of Everything But The Bagel Seasonings on Amazon. If you are in a pinch and don’t have any, I recommend mixing in a bowl the following: 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes, dried minced garlic, black sesame seeds, flaked sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds. 


Ways To Modify This Cream Cheese Board Recipe

  • Add more fresh herbs such as chives or fresh dill
  • Use any flavored cream cheese options you like such as herb and garlic or lemon dill cream cheese
  • Use candied salmon or poached salmon broken into flakes which has less of a strong salmon flavor 
  • Feel free to get creative with any of your own toppings that you think will work such as a drizzle of honey (or hot honey), arugula, fresh figs or another type of cheese 

Can I Make This Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Board Dairy Free?

Absolutely! Feel free to swap the regular cream cheese for any type of your favourite dairy free or vegan cream cheese for the cream cheese spread. Depending on the consistency of the cream cheese you may need to reduce the amount of lemon juice and water added when blending so that it’s not too liquidy when spread on the plate. 



Can I Make This Cream Cheese Board Paleo? 

​You can! There are a wide variety of paleo cream cheese recipes on the internet. I have made this recipe before using the vegan cheese recipe from my goat cheese tower and its turned out wonderfully! I even served it to guests and everyone loved it and had no idea it wasn’t regular cream cheese. If you are using my vegan cream cheese recipe, spread the mixture directly on the plate and skip the process of blending it with water and lemon juice. If you are making this recipe and want to sure that it’s paleo, be sure to check the ingredients list on the salmon to ensure that there is no sugar or other sneaky ingredients. 



Can I Make This In Advance?

You can! To prevent the cream cheese mixture becoming slightly watery I recommend limiting preparation to the day of (ie you can make it in the morning and serve it in the evening). I like to bring the cream cheese plate out of the fridge about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. Alternatively if you would like to make it further in advance, the cream cheese can be blended a day or two in advance and the salmon and other toppings chopped and stored separately in airtight containers. The plate can then be assembled the day of serving. 



What About Leftovers?

You can wrap the plate with plastic wrap, or alternatively I like to transfer it all to an airtight container stored in the fridge and then enjoy them over the following 3-4 days spread over a toasted bagel or sliced cucumber.  


Here are a few more easy salmon recipes that you might enjoy:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Board

Every Last Bite
This gorgeous cream cheese board is the perfect appetizer to serve a crowd. It's my fun spin on the viral butter board trend taking over social media and is like a loaded salmon and cream cheese bagel but in dip form and every bite scooped onto a bagel or cracker is packed with flavor.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Diets Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo
Servings 6
Calories 66 kcal


  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 oz smoked salmon cut into approx ½ inch sized small pieces
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped capers
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp everything but the bagel seasoning


  • In a food processor add the cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice and water and blend for approximately 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy in texture.
  • Spoon the cheese onto a plate or board and spread it out evenly in a thin layer.
  • Arrange pieces of the chopped smoked salmon all over the cream cheese and the evenly sprinkle the chopped capers, scallions, red onion, lemon zest and everything but the bagel seasoning.
Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 10gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 414mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 2gCalcium: 138mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!