Create the perfect dinner party smoked salmon canapés in 25 minutes.
Looking for an easy, yet super elegant dinner party appetizer idea? These smoked salmon canapés with cucumber are the perfect bite sized food. The canapés are made with seafood and a lemon artichoke cream cheese spread. These party snacks can be served cold, making them an easy dish to whip together. Serve the salmon canapé appetizers along with your other favorite hors d'oeuvres.
I've been obsessed with canapés ever since I saw these beauties. The thing that's brilliant about canapés is the fact that they're usually pretty simple to assemble, but they look super elegant and put together! If you need a fancy happy hour snack or a passed hors d'oeuvre for a dinner party or wedding, you should definitely consider serving canapés.
Be sure you're following along in our hors d’oeuvres series. Throughout this series, I'm teaching you how to create fun, bite-sized appetizers and hors d'oeuvres including a hummus platter, appetizer skewers, and so much more! Be sure to check out this post to find everything in the series.
What Are Canapés
Let's first start out by chatting about what canapés are. Essentially, they're a tiny, open-faced sandwich. They're known for their elegant, visually appealing look. To make canapés you need three parts:
- A Base: Something strong enough to hold everything on the sandwich. Typically, the base is also cut into an interesting shape. Some base ideas include toasted bread, cracker, cucumber, endive, or zucchini.
- A Spread: This is the part of the canapé that adds flavor. The spread is layered on top of the base, and it is sometimes even piped to add an extra visual detail. Some ideas include compound butter, pâté, pesto, tuna salad, or flavored cream cheese.
- The Garnishes: All of the food that sits on top of the base and spread to add substance, flavor, and a pretty visual element to the canapé. It's your choice if you want the garnish to dominate or complement the spread. Garnishes can range from smoked fish/meat to hard-boiled eggs, truffle slices, capers, or even herbs. Make sure to think about the end look of your canapés before selecting garnishes.
How To Prepare Canapés
Whether you're making these smoked salmon canapés or any other version of a canapé, the guidelines for preparing them are always the same. Here's how it works:
Prepare the base: If you're using bread as the base, make sure you toast it. If you're using a vegetable base, make sure it is washed. Then, cut the base into an interesting shape. I'd suggest having some cookie cutters on hand (like these circle ones) for this step.
Layer on the spread: First, spread a thin layer of butter to prevent the bread or cracker from becoming soggy (omit for vegetable bases). Then, smooth or pipe the spread on top of the base. Make this part pretty and very visually appealing.
Garnish on top: Add your garnishes to the top of the spread. There are lots of beautiful examples if you need a little inspiration. Remember to take your time and make the top really elegant.
How To Serve Canapés
My favorite way to serve canapés is on a simple white serving tray. With all the hard work you've put into crafting the canapés, you want them to stand out. So really any serving tray that is neutral and will make the appetizers shine is perfect!
If you're serving a lot of canapés for a party, you may want to think about buying flat trays that will allow you to get more canapés on a tray at one time. Also, remember to keep temperature controlled foods (like seafood or fish canapés) cold.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and No. If you need to prepare canapés ahead of time for a party, I would suggest prepping the spread and garnishes ahead of time (maybe even the base if you're using a vegetable). However, be sure to assemble the canapés right before you serve them to avoid anything becoming soggy. This is especially true if you're using bread or crackers as your base.
By no means is piping the canapé spread necessary. However, it does add a nice visual appeal to the appetizer. If you're making canapés for a special event, I think it's worth taking the extra time to pipe the spread. A piping bag and tip are only a few dollars and are worth the investment in my opinion.
It might seem silly to add a layer of butter on the base when we are also adding an additional flavored spread on top. However, the butter helps keep the bread base crisper. I would especially suggest adding butter to your base if you are making canapés for a large crowd and they will be sitting for some time.
It's important to keep your canapés cold, especially if they have a component like fish, seafood, cheese, or other temperature controlled foods. Some ideas to keep canapés cold include refrigerating or freezing the serving tray, place the serving tray on top of a tray filled with ice, or store food back in the fridge after the first round of guests have gone through the buffet line.
If you're serving canapés with other appetizers or hors d'oeuvres, plan on making about 2-3 canapés per person. For a full list of proper entertaining serving sizes (including how many appetizers to serve), grab my free food quantity printable.
Want More Appetizer Recipes?
Make sure to check out some of my other favorite appetizer & hors d'oeuvre recipes:
- Hummus Platter
- No Cook Appetizer Skewers
- Grilled Peach & Lemon Ricotta Crostini
- Sesame Blistered Edamame
- Spicy Marinated Feta
- Greek Appetizer Platter
25 Minute Smoked Salmon Canapés With Cucumber
- 4 slices pita bread
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 artichoke hearts tough outer leaves removed
- 2 cloves garlic outer paper removed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large English cucumber outer peel removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 6 ounces cold smoked salmon sliced into ½ inch x 1 ½ inch pieces
- Heat oven to 200°F.
- Toast pita bread straight on the oven racks for 15 minutes until golden brown and warmed.
- To a blender add in cream cheese, artichoke hearts, garlic cloves, lemon, parsley, and salt. Blend until thoroughly combined and no large pieces of artichoke remain. Add mixture to a piping bag fitted with Wilton 1M tip. Set aside.
- Using a vegetable peeler, carefully and slowly shave long ribbon-like strips of cucumber. Be careful not to break the strips as you peel. Set aside.
- To assemble the canapé, cut toasted pita into 2.5 inch circles using a cookie cutter or jar lid. Spread a thin layer of butter over the pita. Pipe cream cheese along the top of the pita, gently twisting as you pipe to help release at the tip. Take a strip of cucumber and gently fold it over on itself four times, being sure to tuck the ends behind the nicely folded ribbon. Place the cucumber ribbon on the piped cream cheese, making sure it sticks in place. Take two strips of salmon, and gently roll together form a rose. Place the salmon rose in the center of the canapé. Serve immediately.
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