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Smoked salmon toast is ideal for brunch, easy lunch, or as a party appetizer! This simple idea is a study in contrasts of flavor and texture.

Salmon Toast

Here’s an idea that works for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and a party appetizer at at once: Smoked Salmon Toast! We’re all about simple around here, especially recipes that are low effort and high impact. Salmon toast is just that: a simple toast of artisan bread loaded with fluffy whipped ricotta, smoked salmon, capers and fresh dill. The electric pink salmon is stunning against the delicate green dill fronds. Each bite is a burst of smoky, creamy, rich, briny, salty and fresh! It’s more of an idea than a formal concept: which makes it even more fun.

Ingredients for smoked salmon toast

Smoked salmon toast is a flexible concept: so feel free to get creative! Here are the base ingredients you’ll need:

  • Smoked salmon: We prefer cold-smoked (with a soft texture) to hot-smoked salmon (flaky and more like cooked fish), but either works!
  • Whipped ricotta or whipped cottage cheese: this makes a creamy, fluffy topping that’s the ideal contrast to the salmon.
  • Capers: Capers are often served with salmon; they’re the berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean and have a salty, briny flavor.
  • Red onion: Onion adds just the right savory freshness. Substitute shallot or green onion if you prefer.
  • Fresh dill: It’s essential for the flavor and visual of this salmon toast: grab it if at all possible!
  • Artisan bread or crostini: Use the best artisan bread loaf you can find, though any bread will do. For a party appetizer, use purchased or homemade crostini or a mini party bread (rye makes a nice Scandi vibe).
Smoked salmon toast

Whipped ricotta vs cottage cheese (and some variations)

The spread for this smoked salmon toast is whipped ricotta or whipped cottage cheese, but you can also use a few stand ins. We like the whipped toppings because they’re luxuriously fluffy, a great contrast to the crunchy bread and chewy salmon. Here are some notes on each:

  • Whipped cottage cheese is the easiest: simply whip cottage cheese in a food processor until fluffy and season with salt. You can also find packaged whipped cottage cheese in grocery stores.
  • Whipped ricotta requires olive oil and milk to get an ultra fluffy texture, and it’s our favorite choice here. You can also use plain ricotta and stir in a bit of salt and pepper to season it.
  • Variations on the spread? Try it with goat cheese (chevre) or cream cheese. There are also herbed cheese spreads that are easy to find at the grocery.
Cottage Cheese on Toast
Skip whipping the cottage cheese for an even simpler toast

Serving smoked salmon toast

Another thing we love about smoked salmon toast? It’s endlessly versatile. Here are a few ways to serve it:

More salmon recipes

Salmon is a healthy, versatile fish that’s ideal for any meal of the day! Here are a few more favorite smoked salmon recipes and salmon recipes:

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Salmon Toast

Smoked Salmon Toast

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 large toasts or about 20 appetizer toasts 1x


Smoked salmon toast is ideal for brunch, easy lunch, or as a party appetizer! This simple idea is a study in contrasts of flavor and texture.


  • 4 to 6 large slices bread (or 20 small crostini or party-size toasts)
  • 1 recipe Whipped Ricotta or Whipped Cottage Cheese*
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon or lox
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced or chopped
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • Fresh dill sprigs


  1. Toast the bread or make the crostini.
  2. Make the Whipped Ricotta or Whipped Cottage Cheese, seasoning the cottage cheese with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Top each toast with smoked salmon, sliced red onion, and capers. Top with fresh dill sprigs. Add fresh ground black pepper if desired.


*You can also use plain ricotta, seasoned with salt and pepper, goat cheese, or cream cheese as a spread.

  • Category: Brunch or Main Dish
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Salmon toast, smoked salmon toast

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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