Smoked Salmon Mousse

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is one of my most-requested recipes. It delivers a wonderful smoked salmon flavor, but uses relatively little of that costly ingredient. My secret? I work magic with canned salmon, which keeps the cost reasonable so I can serve this appetizer more often.

NotesI prefer to use canned sockeye salmon (instead of the pink variety) for its superior color and flavor. The mousse can be prepared up to 4 days ahead for easy entertaining.

To get more juice out of a lemon, roll on counter top or microwave at High for 20 seconds before squeezing.

Makes2 2/3 cups (650 ml) (¼ cup/50 mL per serving)


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party

Recipe Coursecold appetizer, hors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, high-calcium, kosher, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, rich, savory, smoky


  • 1 can (7½ oz/213 g) sockeye salmon
  • 1 package (¼ oz/7 g) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1½ cup (375 mL) light sour cream
  • 4 oz (125 g) smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced green onions
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh dill
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Dill sprigs and lemon zest for garnish


  1. Drain salmon and place juice in small measuring cup. Add enough water to make ¼ cup (50 mL). Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Microwave at Medium (50%) for 45 to 60 seconds or until dissolved.

  2. Remove any skin from salmon and discard. Place in a food processor with gelatin mixture, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in sour cream, smoked salmon, green onions and dill. Season with hot pepper sauce to taste.

  3. Spoon mixture into a serving dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (it should not touch surface of the mousse), refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish top with dill sprigs and lemon zest; serve with Melba toast or pumpernickel rounds.


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