This post may contain affiliate links.

These classic Smoked Salmon Canapés are super quick but impressive nibbles to include in a party buffet or as a festive starter. You can make them ahead of time too – ideal for when you’re busy cooking a main course in the kitchen.

A serving board filled with squares of Smoked Salmon Canapés.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who loves festive nibbles and appetisers as much, if not more, than the main course?!

This recipe is definitely one that ticks all the boxes. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for an easy make-ahead smoked salmon starter

You can serve these Smoked Salmon Canapés up for a celebration when hosting guests at just about any time of year.

They’re a little bit special, but thankfully still super simple, zero-faff and quick to make.

Why you’ll love this Smoked Salmon Canapé recipe

⭐️ Decadent and impressive

⭐️ Low cost and easy to make

⭐️ Can be made ahead to save time

Perfect party food on a serving board. Smoked Salmon Canapés topped with creme fraiche and dill.

About this smoked salmon starter

These Smoked Salmon Canapés work well for so many reasons, and they don’t involve searching high and low for special ingredients, as most supermarkets sell everything in the recipe. 

The saltiness of the salmon and creaminess of the crème fraîche are so delicious together and the presentation is simple yet special.

This recipe makes about 4 nibbles per person, but just scale up the ingredients if you’re feeding a crowd.

Other easy starters to make ahead

⭐️ Baked Camembert ⭐️

⭐️ Prawn Cocktail Canapès ⭐️

⭐️ Brie & Cranberry Canapès ⭐️

⭐️ Smoked Mackerel Paté  ⭐️

⭐️ Roasted Butternut Squash Soup ⭐️

Ingredients for smoked salmon canapes laid out on a counter top.

canapés with Smoked Salmon Ingredients

  • Wholemeal or granary bread – From an 800g loaf
  • Salted butter – Room temperature so it’s spreadable
  • Smoked salmon – Any type (especially if it’s on special offer!) is fine
  • Crème fraîche – Half fat or full fat is fine
  • Horseradish sauce – The type in a jar
  • Fresh dill – If you can’t fine this, you can leave it out
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to make smoked salmon on brown bread canapés

Slices of buttered brown bread on a chopping board for step 1 in the recipe for Smoked Salmon Canapes.

1. Butter the bread and cut into small squares.

Squares of buttered brown bread to make Smoked Salmon Canapes.

2. Cut the bread into bite-sized squares and add onto a serving plate.

Creme fraiche in a bowl to put on top of Smoked Salmon Canapes.

3. Mix the crème fraîche with horseradish sauce to taste.

Smoked Salmon Canapes on a plate being topped with salmon and creme fraiche.

4. Add strips of salmon to each canapé and dollop the crème fraîche on top. Finish with dill and pepper.


  • Toppings: If you have any guests who don’t like smoked salmon, you can be as inventive as you like with the canapé toppings. You can add meat or make them vegetarian.


In the freezer Leftover bread can be frozen for another nibbles day!

Top tips


Mix the horseradish and crème fraîche to taste. I always start with a teaspoon and add more if needed.


Do I need to use brown bread?

No, you can use other dense bread, like a rye or sourdough. Anything that holds its shape well so you can make it a couple of hours in advance without it going soggy.

Other types of breads will need to be made within about 30 minutes of serving or I’ve found they can go soggy.

Can I make these in advance?

You can make these up to 2 hours ahead of when you want to serve them (minus the sauce).

Just follow the recipe up to point 3, make the sauce and keep it and the canapés in the fridge. Then add the sauce and herbs just before serving.

You can also stir up the sauce the night before serving to save one job on the day!

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 11 votes

Smoked Salmon Canapés

A delicious starter or decadent nibbles when entertaining, these easy Smoked Salmon Canapés are simple yet impressive. Even better, they can be made ahead of time for convenient serving.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 Slices of wholemeal/granary bread, From 800g loaf
  • 50 g Salted butter
  • 100 g Smoked salmon
  • 150 ml Crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp Horseradish sauce, See notes
  • Fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Butter the bread, remove the crusts and cut into small squares (I do 4 per slice).
  • Cut the smoked salmon into strips and sit on top of each one.
  • Mix the crème fraîche with horseradish sauce (taste and add more if needed).
  • When you're ready to serve, dollop the sauce on and top with fresh dill and black pepper.


Smoked salmon: You can buy any that you prefer or your budget allows. Offcuts is ok. You can also buy ahead when it’s on special offer and freeze. Allow to defrost in the fridge before making the canapés
Bread: If your bread is smaller than a 800g loaf you may need to use more slices. You can also choose another type, such as rye or sourdough if you prefer
Horseradish: Mix this with the creme fraiche according to your taste. I start with a teaspoon and add more if needed
Crème fraîche: Half fat or full fat is fine
How to make these ahead of time: Make them up to 2 hours before you want to serve them, minus the sauce. You can make the sauce the night before and refrigerate to save more time.


Calories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 9gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 452mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 335IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snack, Starter
Cuisine: Family Food
Like this? Leave a comment and rating below!Mention @myusername or tag #myhashtag!

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.