Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball

Smoked salmon cheese ball on a platter.

This easy smoked salmon appetizer is at once familiar and unique because the pairing of salmon and cream cheese is a classic one. This salmon cheese ball is a blend of goat cheese, salmon, and cream cheese coated in everything bagel seasoning. I love this recipe because it’s a simple make-ahead, no-cook appetizer that everyone enjoys and goes equally well with a cold lager as it does a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc! Bonus! 

This post is sponsored by Corona Extra® / Kim Crawford. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Corona Extra.

It’s smart to have a supply of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Corona Extra on hand for both beer and wine lovers to suit everyone’s tastes.  So, in addition to soft drinks and bubbly water, we always stock up on these two universal favorites. They’re easy sippers and go well with so many foods.

Corona Extra is the # selling import brand in the US, and its crisp, clean, well balanced flavor goes well with so many foods. This is Scott’s go-to lager.

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Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc consistently over delivers on great taste at an affordable price. We first tried Kim Crawford at a local Wine and Food Festival and I’ve been buying it ever since.


This combination of Corona and Kim Crawford is always a winner with our friends and pairs well with all kinds of make-ahead, no-cook appetizers, like my Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball with Everything Bagel Seasoning. Entertaining is truly effortless when you rely on crowd-pleasing beverages and snacks like these.

ingredients for smoked salmon cream cheese hors d'oeuvres.

Speaking of…if you enjoy salmon and cream cheese on your morning bagel, you’ll really love this smoked salmon appetizer. In fact, it was that morning deli favorite that inspired this yummy salmon cheese ball…right down to the Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Ingredients For Salmon Cheese Ball

  • Cream Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Horseradish
  • Lemon Zest
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Chives
pulsing the smoked salmon appetizer in a food processor

I promised you easy, so here it is… If you’ve got 10 minutes and a food processor, you can make this salmon and cream cheese spread.


  • In a mini prep food processor, combine the cream cheese and goat cheese. Pulse until smooth.
  • Add the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and lemon zest. Pulse again to combine.
  • Add half of the smoked salmon and pulse until you have a creamy spread.
  • Transfer the salmon and cream cheese mixture to a small bowl.
  • Add the chopped chives.
  • Dice the remaining salmon very finely and add it to the cream cheese mixture.
  • Stir to combine and taste for seasoning.

At this point, you’ll have a very tasty smoked salmon cream cheese spread, which is very good on crackers. In fact, just to be sure the cheese to salmon ratio is right, this is a good time for a taste test (with a sip or two of Kim Crawford for me and Corona for Scott—hey, it’s for quality control, folks.) 

Mixing the ingredients together.

Forming the cheese ball

  • Use a small bowl that will hold all of the salmon and cream cheese mixture.
  • Line it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the sides of the bowl with plenty of overhang on all sides.
  • Fill the plastic lined bowl with the smoked salmon cream cheese mixture and use the back of a spoon or knife to smooth the surface.
  • Wrap the cheese ball with the overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Chilling will give the smoked salmon appetizer an opportunity to set up and for the flavors to marry.
chilling the salmon cheese ball and mixing the everything bagel seasoning.

DIY Everything Bagel Seasoning

You might be tempted to use a jar of pre-made Everything Bagel Seasoning for this dish but, trust me, you don’t want to do that… Here’s the thing. Most Everything Bagel Seasoning contains salt—more than you’d imagine—and the smoked salmon and Worcestershire sauce add enough salt to the salmon cheese ball without adding more. Believe me, I’ve tried it and depending on the brand—you could end up with a real SALT LICK. Not good. Besides, making your own seasoning mix is quick and easy.

Ingredients for seasoning mix:

  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Dried Onion Flakes
  • Dried Minced Garlic
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Poppy Seeds
coating the salmon and cream cheese ball with everything bagel seasoning.

How to coat the smoked salmon cheese ball with seasoning

  • Mix together all the ingredients and place them in a shallow dish or bowl.
  • Unwrap the chilled cheese ball and gently turn it out onto the poppyseeds. 
  • Turn the salmon cheese ball over and onto the sides to completely coat the cheese ball. 
  • If there are spots that didn’t quite cover, press a little extra everything bagel seasoning onto the empty areas.
  • Transfer the smoked salmon appetizer to a serving tray and serve. We like this with a mix of crispy bagel chips (of course), assorted crudité, and either Corona or Kim Crawford to wash it down. That’s the great thing about this easy hors d’oeuvre—it goes as well with a chilled sauvignon blanc as it does with an icy lager. Win-win!
a festive atmosphere with appetizers and Kim Crawford.

Party prep

For smaller groups (10 people or less), we like to fill a large beverage bucket with ice and merchandise the Corona and Kim Crawford so that guests can help themselves.

For a larger crowd, we load up a cooler (or even a {cleanbathtub) with ice, tucking the wine and lager into the cubes along with sparkling water and soft drinks. 

Popping open a bottle of beer to enjoy at the party.

This is my kind of relaxed entertaining. Everything ready in advance with a simple spread of quick, easy, and delicious nibbles and a help-yourself bar that includes everyone’s favorite libations

This tasty smoked salmon cheese ball is tangy and cheesy with a balanced but not overly fishy seafood flavor.

What to serve with the cheese ball

  • It’s great on any type of cracker or crostini but to tie the whole lox and schmear vibe together, we really like it with toasted bagel crisps.
  • For the low-carb or gluten-free crowd, an array of gluten-free crackers or sliced English cucumbers, radishes, jicama, or carrot sticks make a great accompaniment.
pouring sauvignon blanc and enjoying the hors d'oeuvres.

More smoked salmon appetizers:

More cheese appetizers:


sipping and snacking at the party.

More Make Ahead Appetizers: 

A smoked salmon cheese ball on a crudite platter.
Print Pin
4.56 from 18 votes

Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball

An easy, elegant, make-ahead appetizer for all your holiday gatherings and game day get-togethers. Serve your smoked salmon cheese ball with crunchy bagel chips.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese ball, cream cheese, goat cheese, smoked salmon
Dietary Restrictions Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Pescatarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12


  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon chives minced


  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • teaspoon poppy seeds


  • bagel chips or crackers
  • sliced cucumber rounds
  • sliced jicama
  • radish halves
  • carrot sticks


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
  • Corona Extra® 12-ounce bottles
  • Bottled Water
  • Sparkling Water
  • Soft Drinks



  • Place the goat cheese and cream cheese in a mini prep food processor and pulse until combined and very smooth and creamy.
  • Add the lemon zest, horseradish and worcestershire sauce and pulse several times until well incorporated.
  • Add about half of the smoked salmon to the cheese mixture and pulse until it’s smooth and creamy and no lumps of salmon appear.
  • Transfer the salmon mixture to a small bowl. Mince the chives and add to the salmon. Mince the remaining salmon and add to the cheese mixture. Stir the salmon and chives into the cheese mixture until it’s evenly incorporated.
  • Line a small 1 cup bowl (that has the basic shape that you’d like your cheese ball to be) with plastic wrap, leaving the ends hanging over the bowl. Transfer the cheese mixture to the bowl and gently wrap the ends of the plastic wrap over the cheese ball. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24.


  • In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, minced onion, garlic, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds until evenly mixed.


  • Spread the seasoning in a small shallow bowl or plate. Pick up the chilled cheese ball in plastic wrap and carefully remove the plastic from the bottom of the ball. Rest the cheese ball in the bagel seasoning and carefully turn it over until it’s well coated. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving platter and sprinkle with extra chopped chives.
  • Serve with bagel chips and crudite. This is a versatile cheese ball that goes equally well with beer or wine and is always a crowd pleaser.


Calories: 80.74kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.96g | Protein: 3.98g | Fat: 6.46g | Saturated Fat: 3.66g | Cholesterol: 16.91mg | Sodium: 121.64mg | Potassium: 53.87mg | Fiber: 0.29g | Sugar: 0.9g | Vitamin A: 259.82IU | Vitamin C: 1.18mg | Calcium: 39.63mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Pin “Everything Bagel Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball” For Later!

smoked salmon appetizer with everything bagel seasoning and libations.

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  1. 5 stars
    This is so easy to make and so delicious!! I usually make cheese balls ahead and freeze over the holidays. Cheese balls freeze very well. I think the first time I made this I had a large log of goat cheese so I only used that. Next time I used both cheeses. This is the best cheese ball recipe I have made by far! The only thing I did different was more smoked salmon and I rolled it in Everything Bagel topping which I bought at Costco.

  2. Can you use something other than goat cheese? (Not a fan)

  3. Trish Bozeman says:

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh. I have actually never made a cheese ball, but LOVE eating them. I had no idea they were so easy to make and that you line a bowl with plastic to make the ball! I happen to have some Everything seasoning in my drawer that I’ve been wondering what to do with. I know what I’m making now! Definitely gotta get some of that wine and beer to have on hand during the holiday season. Perfection!

  4. Jenni LeBaron says:

    5 stars
    What a delicious appetizer to serve for the holidays! I would definitely be the girl in the corner of the party hogging this smoked salmon cheese ball to myself. I would also serve this on top of a bagel for breakfast too!

    1. You think like me, Jenni! It’s really great on a morning bagel!

  5. 5 stars
    Would it be wrong if I ate this like an apple? Haaa. (I’m only semi-joking.) I’m obsessed with both smoked salmon and Everything Bagel seasoning. So this cheeseball is calling for me. It’s so different from the usual holiday cheese ball with the nuts and dried fruits. I can’t wait to make this and go to town on it.

  6. I’m a blue cheese aficionado! And we always have the welcome mat out for friends and family (as well as a fully stocked 2nd fridge of Corona and yes, Kim Crawford wine! So this cheeseball is definitely a will do for our holidays. Thanks for the inspiration Lisa!

  7. 5 stars
    This is perfect for the holiday parties. I just bought some everything season. I always have smoked salmon in the freezer. I even have some cream cheese in the fridge. Looks like a plan for the weekend!! Awesome….and the flavour combination is fantastic.

  8. 5 stars
    What an elegant looking cheeseball! My guests will love the look and taste of this fabulous appetizer!

  9. Denay DeGuzman says:

    5 stars
    This beautiful salmon cheeseball looks absolutely stunning and so delicious! I’m adding all the ingredients to my online grocery cart, including the Corona and wine. Thank you so much for the pairing suggestions!

    1. It’s a great, easy recipe Denay! I love that it goes so well with beer and wine because that’s pretty much what my posse drinks.

  10. 5 stars
    This cheeseball is amazing! Love your pairing suggestions, too. They’re perfect!

  11. 5 stars
    This is soooooo good. My cheese / everything bagel loving family thought it was great!!