These delicious smoked salmon canapes are full of flavour, easy to make, and sure to be a hit with your guests. They're also low carb and gluten free!
Today’s recipe is my low carb and gluten free version of an easy french appetizer - cream cheese canapes.
Canapes are a simple appetizer: little bites consisting of a bread or pastry base - usually a cut up slice of bread, rye bread triangles, mini toasts, and/or Melba toast - topped with ... something.
Cheese, meats, a spread, a fancy piece of vegetable or herb, a combination of the any of those... they can be pretty free form.
They just have to be a small bite, really.
You’ll generally see them at special occasions, often as passed hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party, or served in the hours before a dinner party - or even Christmas dinner, or a special Sunday brunch. (Like Easter).
My salmon canapes recipe is a more diet friendly - and allergy friendly! - version of traditional fish canapés.
Rather than use a bread base, I use cucumber slices.
Topped off with a flavourful cream cheese mixture and some smoked salmon, it’s not only an easy appetizer, it’s the perfect appetizer when dealing with gluten allergies and a need for lower carb alternatives.
I love it when a recipe is tasty for all, while also being inclusive of an individual’s dietary needs, and keto finger foods are a great way to do that!
This may be a ridiculously easy to make, but serve it up with a nice white wine - or sparking wine - and it feels a lot fancier than it has any right to be!
This recipe uses only a few simple ingredients that should be easy to find at most grocery stores. A few notes for you:
While hot-smoked salmon - like my Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon Recipe is fantastic, you’re going to want to use cold-smoked salmon fillets for this.
Hot smoked salmon is a cooked salmon, with the expected flaky texture. It could definitely be tasty on a canape, but not really as elegant.
Cold smoked salmon is cured, rather than cooked. This gives it a completely different texture - silky and pliable, rather than flaky.
You can generally find good quality smoked salmon on cards or in fancy boxes in the fish section of larger grocery stores.
I like to use a full fat cream cheese - plain cream cheese - softened to room temperature so it’s easy to mix - and pipe.
While crème fraîche is popular for salmon appetizers, it’s not really sturdy and won’t really hold its shape if piped.
So, aside from Neufchatel (generally higher carb), there aren’t really any good substitutions for the cream cheese in this recipe, IMHO.
I use both fresh dill and fresh chives, both in the flavored cream cheese and sometimes some additional fresh dill sprigs as garnish.
If you have to substitute dried, I’d go with half as much, and let the cream cheese chill before using, to let the flavour come out more.
Rounding out the recipe, you will need:
Fresh garlic cloves
Salt and black pepper
Optionally, consider having some lemon slices, capers, or dill for garnish.
How to Make Smoked Salmon Canapes
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is the pictorial walk through.
Use a sharp knife to slice cucumbers into rounds - I like to aim for about ¼" thick, on a bit of a diagonal.
Blot slices with a paper towel to remove excess moisture (this will help prevent the cheese from sliding right off!), set aside.
Prepare your flavour ingredients - press the garlic, zest the lemon, chop the dill and chives, etc.
Add dill, chives, garlic, and lemon zest to the cream cheese.
Stir well to combine cream cheese with the added ingredients, then, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
If you’ll be piping the cream cheese onto the canapes, spoon it into a pastry bag. I like to use one that’s been set with a coupler and star tip.
Spread or pipe cream cheese mixture on the cucumber slices, arranging on the serving plate as you go.
Place a piece of salmon on top of the cream cheese topped cucumber slices.
Top with capers and/or a small sprig of fresh dill, serve immediately.
Just know that room temperature cream cheese - or even warmer - is going to be a lot easier to work with, so you’ll want to heat it up a bit before piping it out.
More Keto Finger Foods
Looking for more low carb finger foods to serve at your next party, or bring to a potluck? Here are a few more ideas for you!
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Livers
Cucumber Shrimp Canapes
Greek Salad Skewers
Mojito Fruit Dip with Berry Skewers
Pumpkin Fat Bombs
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
Stuffed Grape Leaves
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Smoked Salmon Canapes
- 2 English Cucumbers
- 16 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup Fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoon Fresh chives finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves pressed or finely minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 2 packs smoked salmon ~11-12 oz total
- Capers optional
- Additional dill for garnish
- Use a sharp knife to slice cucumbers into rounds - I like to aim for about ¼" thick, on a bit of a diagonal. Set aside.
- Beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Add dill, chives, garlic, and lemon zest to the cream cheese. Stir well to combine, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread or pipe cream cheese mixture on the cucumber slices.
- Separate smoked salmon into slices, slice into long ribbons. Arrange smoked salmon on the cream cheese topped cucumber slices..
- Top with capers and/or additional dill, serve immediately.