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This canned salmon salad is shockingly good! Inspired by the smoked salmon dip from J. Alexander’s, but without actually needing any smoked salmon, this recipe is easy to make, budget-friendly, and does NOT taste canned! You can serve it as a sandwich, on leafy greens, or as a dip with crackers or toasts.

A woman's hand holding a crostini used to scoop salmon salad out of a large bowl.

🐟 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Canned salmon salad is a ridiculously easy recipe to throw together in no time. Really! There’s zero cooking, and barely even any prep. Just mix up the salmon, make a quick dressing, then stir it all together. Voila! If you like tuna salad, you’ll love this.
  • Don’t tell anyone it’s made with canned salmon and I guarantee, they’d never guess it on their own. It doesn’t taste canned at all! The liquid smoke, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt help to mimic the flavors of cured and smoked salmon. It’s a great little hack to elevate the canned fish easily and cost-effectively.
  • If you’ve ever eaten at J. Alexander’s, this canned salmon salad will definitely remind you of their smoked salmon dip! Of course, they use in-house-smoked salmon, not canned, but other than that. Their dip has more of a creamy, paste-like consistency than our salad version. If you want something more along those lines, make the salad as instructed below, then pulse everything in the food processor a few times.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • You can buy canned salmon two different ways – boneless & skinless, or “traditional style”, which includes bones and skin. The “traditional style” usually has more flavor and is much richer than the boneless alternative. If you’re not used to seeing those little bits, though, they can be kind of off-putting. You’re welcome to pick them out of the salmon if you want, but! They’re safe to eat and essentially disappear once the salmon’s mixed with everything else.
  • The dressing for this particular canned salmon salad is similar to my creamy dill sauce that I use on air fryer salmon and salmon patties. Just like with tuna salad or ham salad, though, you can absolutely change or omit ingredients based on your tastes and needs. Capers, scallions, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, red onion, celery, avocado… SO many delicious flavors go with salmon!
A bowl of canned salmon salad surrounded by crostini, with a slice of crostini in the dip.

🥘 More Irresistibly Delicious Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 1 vote

Canned Salmon Salad

Prep 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Canned salmon, fresh dill, creamy mayo, and other ingredients give this salmon salad its rich, smoky, sweet, slightly citrusy flavors. Inspired by the smoked salmon dip from J. Alexander's, but with no smoked salmon required!
8 servings


  • medium mixing bowl
  • Silicone spatula or large wooden spoon
  • small mixing bowl


For the Salmon

  • 2 14.75-ounce cans salmon drained well, flaked; see Notes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste

For the Creamy Dill Dressing

  • cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper more or less to taste

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • crostini
  • buttery crackers
  • lettuce cups


  • Add 2 14.75-ounce cans salmon, 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke, 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon salt to medium mixing bowl. Stir gently until ingredients are well combined, then set bowl aside to let salmon "cure".
  • Add ⅓ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, ¼ cup minced shallot, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, and ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper to small bowl. Stir well until ingredients are fully incorporated into creamy mixture.
    Creamy dill dressing in a small glass bowl next to a bowl of canned salmon.
  • Transfer dill dressing into bowl of salmon. Gently fold dressing into salmon, stirring until all ingredients are well blended.
    Creamy dill sauce added to a bowl of canned salmon salad with a wooden spoon.
  • Serve salmon salad immediately, or cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Canned Salmon: If you’re using “traditional style” canned salmon, you may notice the salmon contains bones and skin. You can remove them if you want, or you can leave them in. They’re safe to eat and typically not noticeable once the salmon’s mixed with everything else in the recipe.
  • Leftovers: Refrigerate leftover salmon salad in an airtight container up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 230calProtein: 25gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 773mgPotassium: 405mgTotal Carbs: 5gFiber: 0.4gSugar: 4gNet Carbs: 5gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 310mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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    1. We aren’t medically trained and aren’t able to make any medical recommendations. Definitely check with your medical professional as they’ll be familiar with your specific pregnancy and needs!

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