bagel with smoked salmon spread with dill closeup sq

Smoked Salmon Spread with Dill

Bagels are always a favorite in my house. Fortunately there’s a good bagel source nearby, so we often have them on hand. We also like to keep something we affectionally call “salmon glop” – a smoked salmon spread with dill, spiked with lemon. It turns a plain bagel into a perfect brunch.

It tastes fantastic, but it’s also reasonably heart-healthy: we use Neuchâtel, a lower fat cream cheese. It’s also a good candidate for making ahead of time, as it keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for almost a week.

I don’t use lox in this spread. My local grocery store, bless them, hot-smokes their own salmon, so I have a ready source. You’ll also find blister-packed smoked salmon chunks (sometimes called kippered salmon) in the refrigerated section in a lot of grocery stores.

I don’t have a smoker, but for those of you who are smoking enthusiasts (and you know who you are!) here’s Alton Brown’s recipe. If you don’t have a smoker but are still interested in making your own smoked fish, you might want to check out this article on how to smoke salmon without a smoker (2 unique ways). Let me know how you like your home-smoked salmon,  or better yet, send me a sample!

bagel with smoked salmon spread with dill closeup sq

Smoked Salmon Spread with Dill

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bagel, salmon, smoked salmon, brunch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
This simple (and make-ahead) spread might be the best thing to have in your fridge for a quick and delicious brunch.
Print Recipe


  • 2 8-oz packages Neuchâtel, a light cream cheese or use regular cream cheese
  • 6-8 oz dry-smoked salmon
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice variable -- to taste
  • fresh or dried dill to taste


  • Soften the cream cheese. If you’re in a hurry, unwrap it and place in a medium-sized bowl. Zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir vigorously.
  • Remove the skin (and any bones) from the salmon. Cut it into small chunks and set it aside.
  • If you’re using fresh dill weed, chop it finely.
  • Stir the cream cheese well with a broad flexible spatula, then gradually add lemon juice. Taste as you go, and stop when the mixture has a definite lemony taste for you – that will be just about perfect to balance the flavor of the fish.
  • Next, stir in the chunks of smoked salmon. Any large bits of fish will begin to flake apart, which is exactly what you want.
  • Add dill and combine. Keep tasting it – you may find it takes a surprising amount, especially if you’re using dried dill weed. Just keep adding, stirring, and tasting the spread until you think the taste is perfect, then stop.


For the best ever no-work breakfast when you have guests visiting: make the smoked salmon spread with dill the evening before, and stash it, covered, in the fridge where the flavors will blend and mellow. Send someone out for fresh bagels in the morning, and make a pot of tea or coffee. Done!