This Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball tastes like a smoked salmon sandwich but less expensive. Full of bright dill, briny capers, and smoked salmon. Easy, festive, delicious, and affordable.
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It is no secret that I love smoked salmon. I clearly remember having it as a rare treat when I was very little. Back then in Soviet Union it wasn’t something that was easily accessible.
I remember my grandma spreading a thin layer of butter on a slice of rye bread and then adding bite sized pieces of smoked salmon over it. Tiny pieces were easier to eat for a child. Years later and it is still my favourite way to eat Smoked Salmon.
I serve smoked salmon often when I entertain but although it is an easily accessible ingredient, it is not cheap. So I always try to find budget-friendly ways to use smoked salmon that have a lot of flavour and punch but don’t cost too much.
This Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball is one of those affordable ways to serve smoked salmon without braking a bank. It is creamy and delicious, full of bright dill, briny capers, crunchy red onion, and, of course, delicious smoked salmon. It is like eating a smoked salmon bagel sandwich but less expensive and more fun!
By the way, Lox vs. Smoked Salmon: What’s the difference? I personally prefer smoked salmon but many people prefer lox. Both will work great in this recipe.
How to make Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
Making Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball is extremely easy. Just mix room temperature cream cheese with all the other ingredients, shape, and serve.
You can use a spoon or a spatula (like I did in the video) or you can use a hand mixer ti make it even easier. Room temperature cream cheese is the key though, you want it to be soft and pliable.
Do you need to chill Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball?
I do not chill it. I only wrap the mixture into plastic wrap to shape it into a ball. I like when the Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball is at room temperature and soft.
However, you can totally chill it if you’d like. If you want to roll the ball in nuts or herbs, chilling for a few hours will help you handle the ball without damaging it.
How to serve Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
This cheese ball is not only delicious and affordable, but it is also very pretty! So, you have a few variations on how to serve it.
Serve on a medium sized platter with a lot of various “vehicles” for the smoked salmon cheese ball: crackers, bagel crisps (to mimic the famous smoked salmon bagel), sliced cucumbers, sliced radishes, sliced carrots or even peppers.
Or, you can go all out and serve it as part of a big and impressive seafood platter (less affordable but stunning): arrange a few different kinds of smoked fishes, slices of lemon, bunches of dill, and the Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball. Serve with fresh baguette, crackers, and vegetables.
Don’t forget to read my 12 Tips for Easy and Stress-free Entertaining for some more entertaining ideas.
What are the ingredients in Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
I use just a handful of ingredients that I personally love on a good smoked salmon sandwich:
- Cream cheese
- Lemon juice and lemon zest
- Red onion
- Smoked salmon
I do not add any extra salt or seasonings as I find that there’s enough salt in cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon but you can season to taste.
Variations for Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
This is a very versatile recipe, use whatever you like in a good smoked salmon sandwich, or add some fun twists and textures. Whatever you do, most likely everyone will love it as everyone loves smoked salmon.
- Add horseradish for a fun spicy twist
- Add cayenne and/or paprika for a beautiful pink colour
- Use mayo instead of yogurt
- Use half cream cheese and half soft goat cheese
- Use parsley instead of dill (or in addition to dill)
- Omit red onion or use sweet onion or green onion
- Add hot smoked salmon for a double punch of smoked salmon flavour
- Roll the Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball in chopped dill for a beautiful presentation
- Roll the Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball in chopped peanuts or slivered almonds for texture
More smoked salmon recipes:
Don’t forget to read my great round up of 16 Delicious Budget-Friendly Smoked Salmon Recipes.
Also, if you love smoked salmon as much as I do, you should check out my cookbook (great gift for a foodie), The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook, it has a delicious recipe for an egg-in-a-hole with smoked salmon. In fact, you can preview my recipe for Smoked Salmon Egg in A Hole that Gloria from Homemade & Yummy shared.
Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
- 250 g room temperature cream cheese (1 block)
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1/2 lemon juice and zest
- 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
- 4 teaspoons chopped capers
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 1/2 cup chopped smoked salmon (about 2 ounces)
- salt to taste (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix really well using a spatula or a hand mixer.NOTE: it is important to use room temperature cream cheese, otherwise you won't be able to mix well.
- Shape into a ball and serve with crackers and fresh vegetables such as cucumbers and radishes.NOTE: the easiest way to shape the mixture in a bowl is to wrap it in plastic wrap.