Smoked Salmon Crostini
Smoked Salmon Crostini

This holiday-ready appetizer is topped with a cream cheese spread made with lemon, capers, chives, and dill, then topped with pickled cucumbers and thin slices of smoked salmon.

In this recipe

  • What are crostini?
  • How to pickle the cucumbers
  • How to make the cream cheese spread
  • How to assemble crostini
  • Swaps and Substitutions
  • Storage Instructions

If you’re a fan of bagels and salmon, you’ll love this appetizer!

A baguette is thinly sliced ​​and toasted with crostini, the base for this bite-sized appetizer. The toppings are delicious layers of flavorful cream cheese, pickled cucumber, and salted salmon. The combination of crusty toast, velvety cheese, spicy pickles and salty seafood makes for a crowd-pleaser as an hors d’oeuvre.

What are crostini?

Crostini are versatile Italian appetizers that use thinly sliced ​​toasted bread. Whatever you can think of, sweet, savory or both can be added on top. It is meant to be eaten in a few hearty bites before the main meal.

I prefer skinny baguettes – they’re sturdy enough to support the weight of the toppings and bake up nice and crispy. Slice them 1/2-inch thick and brush extra virgin olive oil over them for flavor.

The oil acts as a protective layer to prevent the bread from soaking through the topping. Bake them until lightly golden brown – this only takes about 10 minutes.

How to pickle the cucumbers

One of my favorite ways to add instant crunch and zing to any dish is to make quick pickles. All you need is red wine vinegar and honey. I use a ratio of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part sweetener.

The beauty of this concentrated brine is that it only takes 15 minutes to soften and flavor the thinly sliced ​​cucumbers. I like to make a large batch to add to sandwiches, burgers, and tacos for a flavorful topping.

How to make the cream cheese spread

Smoked salmon and cream cheese are a classic flavor couple. You could leave the cream cheese plain, but I like to enhance the flavor of the smoky seafood by adding lemon zest and juice, chopped capers to complement the rich slices of fish, chives for its subtle onion flavor, and dill for its grassy undertone.

If you have leftover cream cheese, I highly recommend spreading it on your morning bagel or scrambling it into your scrambled eggs. It is so good!

How to assemble crostini

Assemble the crostini just before serving. Spread the cream cheese spread thinly on the toast. Drain the pickled cucumbers well and place two or three slices on the cream cheese. I like to roll up a small slice of smoked salmon to give it height and then place it on top.

Freshly ground black pepper and dill make for a pretty garnish. Enjoy within an hour for the best flavor. Don’t worry, they won’t last that long!

Swaps and Substitutions

There are easy ways to modify the quick pickle and cheese spread ingredients. Try these delicious swaps:

  • Swap out the pickle brine for what you have in your pantry. White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar are well suited. Equal amounts of granulated sugar or maple syrup are good substitutes for honey.
  • Instead of cucumbers, you can put thinly sliced ​​beets or radishes.
  • Add other herbs like parsley, mint, or basil to the cream cheese spread.

Storage Instructions

The baguette slices can be baked five days in advance. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze them in a resealable plastic bag for up to a month. Bring them to room temperature before assembling.

Assembled crostini can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated up to two hours in advance. Don’t leave them in longer, the humidity in the fridge will soften the toast!

Crostini with smoked salmon

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
10 mins

total time
40 minutes

12 servings


For the pickled cucumbers

  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon honey

  • 1 English cucumbercut into approximately 36 1/8-inch rounds

For the crostini

  • 1 Baguettecut into 12 1/4 inch slices

  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed for brushing

For the cream cheese spread

  • 4 ounces cream cheesesoftened

  • 1 teaspoon Lemon peel

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon capersdrained and roughly chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chivesfinely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dillchopped, plus more for garnish

To assemble the crostini

  • 6 ounces smoked salmonthinly sliced

  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven Oven:

    Set the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350ºF.

  2. Pickle cucumbers:

    Whisk together vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Add the sliced ​​cucumbers, turning to coat in the marinade and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Stir once halfway through.

  3. Toasting bread slices in the oven:

    Using a pastry brush, brush each side of the bread slices with olive oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them until dry, lightly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.

    Turn the bread halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet.

  4. Prepare the cream cheese spread:

    In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, chives, and dill. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  5. Assemble crostini:

    Drain the pickles in a colander over the sink. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of the cream cheese onto each piece of crostini.

    Top each with three pickled cucumbers and a slice of smoked salmon. Garnish each with chopped dill and black pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve

nutritional information (per serving)
215 calories
6g Fat
31g carbohydrates
9g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!