This smoked salmon pizza with red onion is a perfect appetizer or light meal, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Warm a store-bought crust, schmear it with lemony dill cream cheese, and top with smoked salmon. If you’re feeling fancy, you can sprinkle over some capers for an inspired take on bagels and lox.–Angie Zoobkoff

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Red Onion FAQs

Are grated lemon peel and lemon zest the same thing?

Lemon zest is the thin, colored outer layer of the skin, and the peel is the whole jacket — everything but the flesh. Zest is where the wonderful citrus oils are, and is what is the most widely used.

What wine pairs best with smoked salmon?

Champagnes and/or sparkling wines are probably the most commonly paired with smoked salmon, but a crisp Chablis or Sauvignon blanc would be equally lovely.

What other types of appetizers could I serve alongside this smoked salmon pizza?

If you’re serving a collection of finger foods, try these crispy cheese sticks, roasted pear crostini, coconut shrimp, or baked mushrooms in foil packets.

A smoked salmon pizza with cream cheese, red onion, and dill with one wedge cut out.

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Red Onion

4.75 / 4 votes
This smoked salmon pizza with red onion and dill is an easy twist on buckwheat pancakes, or blini, topped with sour cream and smoked salmon. It’s more approachable yet no less elegant and an infallibly impressive appetizer.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories101 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes


  • One store-bought, fully baked thin pizza crust
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon prepared white horseradish, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) or according to the pizza crust package directions.
  • Place the pizza crust on a heavy, large baking sheet. Bake until crisp at the edges, 5 to 13 minutes, depending on whether you're warming a store-bought crust or baking crust from dough.
  • Transfer the crust to a wire rack and let it cool to lukewarm or room temperature so its heat won't melt the cream-cheese topping or partially cook the salmon.
  • Stir the cream cheese, onion, dill, lemon peel, and horseradish to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust, leaving a 1-inch plain border. Drape the salmon slices atop the pizza. Cut it into wedges, transfer to a platter, and serve with chilled white wine or rosé, preferably one with some effervescence to cut the richness.
The Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild

Adapted From

The Bon Appétit Cookbook

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 101 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 6 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 27 mgSodium: 287 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2006 Barbara Fairchild. Photo © 2006 Kitty Leaken. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The popular lox on a bagel is reinvented into a delectable smoked salmon pizza that’s suitable for summertime entertaining. This appetizer dons a creamy, cool layer of cream cheese and ribbons of smoked salmon on a thin, crisp pizza crust. The tried-and-true combination of lemon, dill, red onion, and horseradish mixed into whipped cream cheese compliments the salmon perfectly.

I’d recommend making the spread a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to blend—and to cut down on prep time the day of your gathering.

I’d cut the pizza into small, finger-sized pieces, as I thought the wedges were too big.

Make this smoked salmon pizza one of your a-list appetizers. I’m sure it will please you and your guests.

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and red onion are classic toppings for fresh, chewy bagels, but this recipe proves that they work equally well on pizza. It’s just a great blend of flavors, especially when you add some dill, horseradish, and lemon.

This recipe was super easy to make, and everyone enjoyed it. We used it as a main course with a salad on the side, so we got 3 servings.

I made the Leite’s semolina pizza dough, which also was easy and came together quickly. I didn’t have a terribly uniform thickness in the dough, so some spots were nicely crisp, and others were chewier. I wanted to cook it longer but worried that the thin spots would burn. The whole thing was good, but we really liked the crispy pieces.

Also, dropping a few capers on top wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Wow! Who would have thought smoked salmon on a pizza crust would be so delicious? I used a store-bought crust, and the whole thing came together in under 30 minutes. The sauce mixes together in the time the crust takes to bake and cool. We didn’t serve this as an appetizer but as a light dinner.

The lemon zest provided a light citrus note and the cream cheese was a perfect bed for the sliced smoked salmon. I sprinkled a few rinsed capers on the side in case someone wanted them and topped it with a little more chopped dill.

We chose not to use the horseradish this time as it was optional. However, I can see where it would add a very nice kick of heat to the dish. I may try that the next time I make this.

Two of the pizzas were just the right amount for 4 people with a side salad. It was fresh and light, perfect for a hot summer evening when dinner outside was what all we wanted. I can see if cut into very small wedges or squares 1 pizza would make enough appetizers for 6 people.

I think this recipe would work equally well with a gluten-free, keto, or paleo crust.

I baked the crusts at 400°F for 8 minutes as directed on the package but they were probably ready in 5 minutes. This produced a very crisp crust, almost too crisp. Next time I would only crisp it for 5 minutes so parts of the crust won’t shatter when cutting it. Better yet, I’d use a proper pizza dough so it would be more authentic. This would also work well with a gluten-free or keto crust instead of a regular crust.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe made for an easy summer supper on the patio. Per the suggestions above, we used two roasted garlic naan and two seven-inch “thin & crispy” pizza crusts from the store, all of which fit in the toaster oven. I forgot to test and then soak a very bitter red onion before using so the first batch of cream cheese was a little strong. Other than that, the pizzas required only a fairly effortless assembly for dinner; the big broccoli salad we served alongside took more time. We scattered chives from the garden on top, and report that both prosecco and sauvignon blanc were good companions.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this with toasted mini naan bread and assembled them at work with a small side salad. Best lunch all week!