What Cheese Goes Well With Smoked Salmon? (11 Top Choices)

Categorized as Foodpairing
What Cheese Goes Well With Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is a delicacy that can be enjoyed as part of an appetizer or main course. But what cheese goes with smoked salmon? Finding the perfect pairing of these two ingredients can make all the difference in your culinary creations.

In this article, we will look at 11 top choices and explain why they pair so well together. Whether you’re looking for something light and fresh or rich and decadent, there’s sure to be a match made in heaven here. So let’s get started exploring which cheeses go best with smoked salmon!

What Cheese Goes Well With Smoked Salmon?

Smoked salmon pairs well with milder cheeses such as cream cheese, parmesan, halloumi, bocconcini, mild blue cheese, goat cheese, brie and Neufchatel cheese. For more robust flavor pairings with smoked salmon consider feta, Boursin and ricotta cheeses.

1. Cream cheese

Cream cheese is one of the best cheeses to serve with smoked salmon, as its smooth texture and milky flavor beautifully complement the smoky flavors of the salmon. If you’re looking to make a delicious snack or appetizer, opt for a classic combo—smoked salmon and cream cheese spread over crusty bagels or slices of whole wheat bread.

Start by softening the cream cheese, then mixing it in a bowl with minced onion and dill (or any other herbs or spices that strike your fancy). Spread the mixture evenly over your choice of bread or bagel and top each slice with slices of smoked salmon. A sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper adds another depth of flavor to this already flavorful pairing.

2. Parmesan

Parmesan adds a nutty flavor and a little bit of saltiness to any dish. Not only does it draw out the rich salty and smoky flavors of the salmon, but it also adds some more texture with its grainy texture. When choosing Parmesan cheese for this dish, opt for freshly grated or shaved varieties, as opposed to pre-grated versions which tend to be less flavorful.

To create this delicious pairing, simply assemble thin slices of smoky salmon onto a piece of crusty bread and top with a generous layer of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For an additional hint of nuttiness and crunch, toast the assembled sandwich in a pan or oven until golden brown.

3. Halloumi

Halloumi cheese is an amazing accompaniment to smoked salmon for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it is a hard cheese that holds its flavor and texture well when cooked, grilled or fried, which makes it the perfect accompaniment for any dish featuring smoked salmon.

Additionally, halloumi has a very mild and creamy taste that can complement the subtle smokiness found in smoked salmon without overpowering its delicate flavor. Finally, the combination of halloumi and smoked salmon offers an array of textures that can add another layer of complexity to whatever dish they are featured in.

When preparing a meal with these two main ingredients, one should lightly fry or grill halloumi to enhance both its flavor and texture and create maximum contrast with the mouthfeel of the smoked salmon.

4. Bocconcini

Bocconcini, a fresh white cheese made of cow’s milk, is an excellent choice for pairing with smoked salmon. This soft cheese has a mild flavour that lets the salmon’s smoky taste take centre stage.

When selecting bocconcini for your dish, look for balls that are about the size of large grapes and are marbled with creamy-white streaks. It’s best served at room temperature, so be sure to let it sit out before serving it alongside the smoked salmon.

To really bring out the taste of both components, prepare a simple salad to serve as a base for your platter; combine mixed greens with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper as desired.

Place some slices of smoked salmon on top of the greens then arrange sliced bocconcini in between or around the fish. Any leftovers can easily be covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

5. Mild blue cheese

Mild blue cheese is a great way to add an extra layer of flavor and texture to your smoked salmon dish. It has a subtle yet distinct flavor that can highlight the delicate taste of the fish. Additionally, its buttery texture helps to elevate the smoky quality of the salmon.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when serving blue cheese with smoked salmon. Ensure that you use enough, but not too much, blue cheese so it does not overpower the other flavors in your meal.

Blue cheeses range from mild to pungent so be sure to select one that provides the flavor and texture profile you desire for your dish. Choose accompaniments like fresh herbs, crackers or toast points for adding crunch, onion, tomato and cucumber for lightness and sweetness respectively.

Finally, consider pairing it with some light white wine or sparkling cider to bring out the nuances of your food’s flavors even more.

6. Goat cheese

The creamy texture of the goat cheese makes it a great complement to the rich, smooth flavor of the smoked fish. Adding some tart cranberries or toasted nuts can also create contrasting textures and tastes that will take the dish to the next level.

When making a dish with this combination, it’s important to keep in mind that goat cheese can have a sharp taste that could overpower the delicate flavor of the fish, so go for a mild variety or mix it with something like cream cheese or sour cream to mellow it out.

Pairing flavors from other ingredients in the dish can also help bring out the best in both elements – think along the lines of adding dill, lemon juice, capers or onions alongside your goat cheese for a burst of wonderful flavors.

7. Brie

Brie is a soft, mild cheese, with a slightly rich, buttery body and an almost-sweet flavour that complements the smoky, rich taste of the salmon. The creaminess of the brie helps to bring out the salmon’s flavour while also adding a subtle complexity to the dish.

When preparing a dish featuring brie and smoked salmon, it’s best to dice both into small cubes so they can easily meld together, adding to their flavour combination.

For those looking to try something a bit different than traditional smoked salmon and brie pairings, why not try adding some herbs or pickled onions for an additional punch of flavour?

8. Neufchatel cheese

Neufchatel cheese has a soft and spreadable texture, so it can be easily spread onto crackers or toast points. The earthy, slightly salty flavor of Neufchatel complements the silky texture of smoked salmon beautifully and the combination is an absolute delight for any palette.

To make the most of your smoked salmon and Neufchatel pairing, select Neufchatel that has a higher fat content; this ensures that the cheese is perfectly creamy.

If desired, you can fancy up the presentation by topping toast points with thin slices of red onion before adding dabs of Neufchatel cheese and small pieces of smoked salmon.

9. Feta Cheese

Feta cheese has a salty, tangy flavor that works extremely well with smoked salmon. The creamy, salty flavor of feta contrasts nicely with the slightly smoky, oily taste of smoked salmon. Feta cubes can be added to a salad that includes smoked salmon for a delicious lunch or dinner.

For presentation purposes, you can also place small crumbled pieces of feta on top of thinner slices of smoked salmon accompanied by a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon wedges. Feta also makes an excellent topping for an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich on lightly toasted artisanal bread.

10. Boursin

Boursin cheese is a creamy and flavorful cheese that pairs deliciously with smoked salmon. Originally from France, this cheese offers a soft texture and is a combination of cream cheese, herbs and garlic.

Spread some Boursin on a cracker or baguette slice, then top it with a piece of smoked salmon for an irresistible snack. Another option is to create bite-sized pinwheels: roll up thinly-sliced smoked salmon around the Boursin cheese, then secure each roll with a toothpick for an easy yet delectable hors d’oeuvre.

11. Ricotta

Ricotta cheese is a great accompaniment to smoked salmon due to its creamy, slightly sweet taste and light texture. Ricotta pairs especially well with the rich and smoky flavors found in the fish.

To create a classic pairing that will melt in your mouth, try adding thinly sliced ricotta cheese on top of some smoked salmon.

If you would like to give the dish a bit more flavor, put a dollop of ricotta on top of a piece of smoked salmon and add some freshly chopped herbs such as chives or parsley. This simple yet delicious combination will be sure to wow your guests.


For those looking for the perfect cheese pairing for smoked salmon, there are many options that provide a range of flavors and textures. Whether you’re looking for a milder cheese to pair with your smoked salmon, or something a bit more robust, there is sure to be something here that will fit your taste. By exploring all of the different options, you can create a dish that is sure to be delicious.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!