Smoked Salmon Crostini

5 from 9 votes

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These simple but impressive smoked salmon crostini are one of the best crostini recipes. Perfect appetizer for holiday parties and gatherings.

Assembled smoked salmon crostini on a white serving platter.


 

These smoked salmon crostini are easy to make but complex in taste and texture. Dressed up with irresistible toppings, crostini are a perfect appetizer for any occasion!

The best part is you can make everything in advance and put them together right before serving. Or better yet, let your guests assemble their own crostini.

Why you’ll love this appetizer:

Smoked salmon takes any dish from ordinary to elegant. Toasted baguette gets a fancy makeover with herby cream cheese, fresh tomato relish, and thinly sliced smoked salmon.

  • One of the best crostini recipes
  • Ready-to-eat in 30 minutes
  • Can be prepared a day ahead for easy entertaining

Crispy toasted baguette complements the buttery texture of the salmon. Creamy filling infused with capers and dill is soft and doesn’t overpower the delicate salmon flavor. And tomato relish adds freshness to every bite!

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • Tomato – Roma tomatoes is ideal for the relish, as it has low water content and meaty flesh.
  • Red onion – The spicy and slightly sweet flavor makes the relish absolutely divine.
  • Cream cheese – Full-fat cream cheese will give you the creamiest spread, but fat-free cream cheese works too.
  • Lemon juice – I’m not a fan of bottled lemon juice, so naturally I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice. I try to always have lemons on hand. They brighten up any dish! 
  • Capers – Capers pack a bright and briny punch to the rich cream cheese. They are typically in the condiment aisle with pickles and olives.
  • Dill – While fresh dill is preferred, it’s not always available at our local stores. And I’ve used dill paste and freeze-dried dill instead. They work great!! Dill paste is just fresh dill that has been washed, chopped, and packed into a squeezable tube. It’s in the refrigerated section near the produce.
  • Baguette – While you can buy pre-sliced crostini from the store, a freshly sliced and toasted baguette will give you the best results.
  • Smoked salmon – Wild-caught, cold-smoked salmon is your best buy. It has a silky texture, fresh taste, and it’s packed with nutrients. It’s typically near the fresh seafood in vacuum-sealed packs.

How to prepare this brunch spread:

There are three quick elements to this smoked salmon appetizer. Each one complements the smooth and smoky flavor of the salmon.

1. Make the tomato relish

Combine the tomatoes, red onions, salt, and pepper. Let it sit and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 1 day in advance.

Step by step images of making tomato relish.

2. Make the cream cheese spread

Stir together the cream cheese, lemon juice, capers, and dill.

Step by step images of making cream cheese spread.

Tip

Let the cream cheese soften first, or it will be tricky to stir!

3. Toast the baguette slices

Thinly slice a crusty baguette and drizzle each slice with olive oil. The olive oil encourages the bread to crisp and caramelize.

Heat a large skillet on medium and toast both sides of the bread in the pan until golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast the crostini in an oven! Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil. Bake at 400°F until lightly golden and crisp.

Side by side images of making crostini.

Tip

A serrated bread knife works best to cut your bread into thin slices.

4. Assemble

Right before serving, spread the cream cheese filling onto the toasts, then top with the tomato relish and smoked salmon.

Alternatively, arrange all the components on a large serving platter and let your guests assemble their crostini.

A platter of crostini, smoked salmon, and bowls of cream cheese spread, tomato relish and capers.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • The toasts, tomato relish, and cream cheese filling can be made a day in advance. Store the cream cheese filling and relish in the fridge and the toasted bread in an airtight container.
  • Wait until the bread is room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Otherwise, the heat from the bread will create condensation and make it soggy.
  • Assemble the crostini right before serving, or lay everything on a platter for your guests to assemble it themselves.

Storing Tips:

  • While the individual elements can be made ahead of time, it’s best to assemble them right before you plan to enjoy them. Otherwise, crostini will get soggy and you won’t have that satisfying crunch.
  • If you have leftover crostini, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

More crostini recipes ideas:

Crostini can be topped with whatever you like! Here are a few delicious combinations to try.

  • Caprese – Top toasted baguette slices with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomato. Bake until the cheese is warm and melty then top with basil and balsamic glaze.
  • Goat cheese & honey – Spread goat cheese onto the crostini and top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
  • Hummus & sundried tomato – Spread hummus onto the toasted bread then top with chopped sundried tomatoes and feta cheese.
  • Pesto – Spread pesto onto the toasted baguette then add a slice of mozzarella.
Assembled smoked salmon crostini on a white serving platter.

FAQs:

What is crostini?

They are basically small slices of bread, typically baguette, toasted with some olive oil and topped with different veggies, meats, or whatever your heart desires. 
Actually, topping is optional! Seasoned with simple salt and pepper, plain crostini are just as good. Basically, crostini = small Italian toasts.

What’s bruschetta?

Bruschetta is also a toast, but bigger in size. Think rustic Italian bread, sliced into large toasts.
Crostini, on other hand, are made of small, thin slices of fine-textured bread, like a baguette.
Bruschetta is often topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

More smoked salmon appetizers:

I adore smoked salmon! It’s an easy way to elevate an appetizer! Try one of these crowd-pleasing apps at your next party or gathering.

Assembled smoked salmon crostini on a white serving platter.
5 from 9 votes

Smoked Salmon Crostini

These simple but impressive smoked salmon crostini are one of the best crostini recipes. Perfect appetizer for holiday parties and gatherings.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 30 crostini

Ingredients

For tomato relish:

  • 2 medium tomato chopped Note 1
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For cream cheese spread:

  • 8 oz (230g) cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers finely minced Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon dill Note 3

For crostini:

  • 1 white baguette Note 4
  • Olive oil
  • 10 oz (300g) cold-smoked salmon Note 5

Instructions 

  • To make tomato relish, in a medium bowl, mix together chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to marinate.
  • To make filling, in a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, capers and dill paste and mix until well combined.
  • To prepare the toasts, slice the baguette into thin slices and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Warm up a large skillet and toast the bread slices on each side until nice and toasty, about 2 minutes on each side.
  • To assemble, spread the cream cheese filling on toasts, and then top with tomato relish and smoked salmon. OR you can serve toasts, tomato relish, cream cheese filling and smoked salmon separately on a platter.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Roma tomatoes is ideal for the relish, as it has low water content and meaty flesh.
Note 2: Capers pack a bright and briny punch to the rich cream cheese. They are typically in the condiment aisle with pickles and olives.
Note 3: While fresh dill is preferred, it’s not always available at our local stores. And I’ve used dill paste and freeze-dried dill instead. They work great!! Dill paste is just fresh dill that has been washed, chopped, and packed into a squeezable tube. It’s in the refrigerated section near the produce.
Note 4: While you can buy pre-sliced crostini from the store, a freshly sliced and toasted baguette will give you the best results.
Note 5: Wild-caught, cold-smoked salmon is your best buy. It has a silky texture, fresh taste, and it’s packed with nutrients. It’s typically near the fresh seafood in vacuum-sealed packs. 
Make-Ahead Tip:
– You can make toasts, tomato relish and cream cheese filling a day in advance.
– Store the cream cheese filling and relish in the fridge. Toasted bread will keep well in an air tight container.
Storing Tips:
While the individual elements can be made ahead of time, it’s best to assemble them right before you plan to enjoy them.
– If you have leftover crostini, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Nutrition

Calories: 62kcal
Carbohydrates: 5g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 3g
Sugar: 1g
Sodium: 196mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on October 13th, 2014.

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Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

5 from 9 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very tasty! I got constructive criticism from my wife regarding how I made her crostini: too much salmon, too much onion and not enough cream cheese. Both sons liked them but due to the size said they could probably only eat a couple. I enjoyed all the flavors!

    1. Hi, Mark! So happy you tried my recipe, and the best part it’s so customizable and everyone can construct theirs how they like it. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  2. 5 stars
    I also love smoked salmon and loved this recipe. To make the crostini, I brushed them with live oil and baked at 350 for 10 minutes. This seems a little easier to me. Thank you!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Everything came out delicious!!
    A little time consuming to prep, but still great! A shortcut is that instead of making tomato relish and chopping up tomatoes and onions, slice them- easier to assemble.

  4. 5 stars
    Easy recipe, delicious results. Made this for the first time today, was a hit! Will definitely be making again.