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Salmon Party Log Recipe

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This Salmon Party Log Recipe has been a family favorite since the first time it was brought to a family gathering! It comes together quickly and is the perfect party appetizer for the Holidays or any time!

Salmon Party Log on a small cutting board with crackers and holiday decor in the background.

Years ago, at a family Christmas Party, my Aunt Marsha brought a Salmon Party Log with a box, or two, of wheat thins!

I was a mere teenager at the time…and really didn’t know much about Salmon or “Party Logs”! That doesn’t mean my taste buds were dead to anything other than hamburgers, fries, or pizza! That Salmon log was covered in chopped pecans, and I’ve always loved nuts! My uneducated teenage taste buds ventured out and tried a bit of that Salmon cheese log on a wheat thin. I was instantly in love! I remember eating a LOT of salmon slathered crackers that day!

Needless to say, that Salmon Party Log became a family “must have” at all Holiday family gatherings. I’m not sure Aunt Marsha knew what she was getting into that day? I’m just glad she brought it, and it’s now a part of our Holiday Cheese Board every year!

I love how easy this recipe is to make, much like a cheese ball, and there is no cooking involved! If you love Salmon, you’re sure to love this recipe.

How To Make A Salmon Party Log with Cream Cheese

Oddly enough this recipe begins with Salmon! (I know! Kind of a shocker! Lol I’m all about curveballs!)

In all actuality you will need one 16 oz. can of pink salmon. Drain and flake the salmon. Remove the skin (yuck) and bones! I know…this is disgusting, and I’ve just lost half you! Get back here!! You can do this!

You’ll notice in the photo that my Salmon is not “Pink”! Thank you, Walmart Shopper for another stellar day of customer service! (lol…I just heard y’all moan! Been there and done that! Right?) We’re going to pretend my salmon was pink!

TIP: First you need to know you will NOT remove every single bone. It’s okay, most of the smaller bones fall apart from the canning process, and are extremely tender. However, you do need to remove the bigger bones.

To remove the bones, split the salmon pieces in half-length wise. Carefully remove the backbone. Using a fork lightly scrape it across the inside of each half, just below the backbone, until it flakes off. The skin is easiest to remove by running it under warm tap water and brushing it away with your thumb and forefinger.

Canned Salmon in a colander draining.

Flake the Salmon into a medium size bowl. Carefully go through the flakes and remove any additional bones.

Add 1 – 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of grated onion, 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, and 1/4 teaspoon salt…

Adding onion and cream cheese to salmon in medium mixing bowl.

Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke! (Look at that! The Salmon looks light pink! What good imaginations y’all have…or I’m a horrible photographer and don’t know lighting? Hmmm!)

Adding lemon juice and liquid smoke to salmon.

Combine ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Cover and chill for 2–3 hours before shaping into logs.

Ingredients in a bowl thoroughly combined.

How To Finish Salmon Party Logs

Chop 1 cup of pecans and 3–4 Tablespoons of fresh parsley! I prefer to use my mini food processor to chop the nuts. I finely chop the Parsley too. Appetizers equal “bite size” so always keep that in mind when preparing them. No one wants a big ol’ hunk of nut or parsley with their salmon cheese spread!

Place the chopped pecans and parsley on a sheet of parchment, or wax paper. Lightly mix them together with your fingers.

Chopped Pecans and Parsley on Parchment paper.

Remove chilled Salmon and cheese mixture from the refrigerator. Using your hands shape into an 8-10 inch log. It’s a sticky process!

TIP: You can spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray to make it easier.

Shaped Salmon log waiting to be rolled in pecans and parsley.

Let’s stop here for a second and chat!

I have found that it is better to make three smaller logs, than to make two larger logs! Depending on the size of the guests you will be serving. No one wants to save a leftover cheese ball that has been dug into! Just something to keep in mind! You can always pull out another Salmon Log if need be!

Rinse your hands, and gently roll the formed Salmon Log in the chopped pecans and parsley until fully covered. Don’t forget the ends!

Salmon Log after being rolled in pceans and parsley.

Storing Salmon Logs

Wrap each prepared Salmon log in parchment paper, or wax paper. Twist, or fold the ends. Wrap again in a sheet of foil and twist the ends closed. Chill.

The parchment, or wax paper, keeps the log from sticking, and the foil gives it a little extra protection in the refrigerator.

I would NOT freeze this prepared Salmon Log! This is better when served within 24–48 hours of preparation.

Wrapping Salmon log in parchment paper.

Serving A Salmon Party Log

I love serving these beautiful nutty Salmon Logs on a small wooden cutting board with my favorite crackers!

Isn’t it a stunning presentation. Make sure you have a small cheese ball, or Salmon log, knife nearby for your guests to serve themselves.

Also, keep in mind, you don’t have to have just one type of cracker. You can use a mixture of crackers! Get creative.

Salmon Party Log on a cutting board with crackers ready to serve.

I love the flavors in this Salmon Cheese Log! The pecans give a nice toasty crunch, the Salmon is tender and flaky, encompassed in the smoky cream cheese with hints of lemon! The cream cheese really subdues the overly fishy flavor of the Salmon! Which is one of the reasons I think this is such a beloved recipe of party goers!

It is SO good! Don’t you just want to reach through the screen and grab that cracker! I know I do!

Salmon Party Log spread on a cracker ready to eat.

Other Favorite Holiday Appetizer Recipes

I hope this delicious appetizer, and some of the others listed above, make it onto your Holiday Party list this Christmas Season!

Have a Wonderful Day, and Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting with me today!

Happy Nesting!

Photo of Norine from Norine's Nest leaning on a kitchen counter.
Yield: 3 cups

Salmon Party Log Recipe

Salmon Party Log on a small cutting board with crackers and holiday decor in the background.

This Salmon Party Log Recipe has been a family favorite since the first time it was brought to a family gathering! It comes together quickly and is the perfect party appetizer for the Holidays or any time!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes


  • 1 Can Pink Salmon (16 oz.)
  • 1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3-4 Tablespoon snipped parsley


  1. Drain Salmon. Remove skin and bones. Flake Salmon into a medium size bowl.
  2. Add softened cream cheese, lemon juice, grated onion, prepared horseradish, salt, and liquid smoke. Mix until well combined. Cover and Chill 3 hours.
  3. Combine nuts and parsley on a large sheet of parchment, or wax paper.
  4. Divide Salmon mixture into halves, or thirds. Shape into logs about 6-7 inches long. Roll each log in nut/parsley mixture. Pat the ends in the nut mixture as well. Wrap in wax paper, or parchment paper. Twist ends. Wrap each wrapped log in a large piece of foil and twist ends. Store in refrigerator, up to a week, until ready to serve.
  5. Remove from wrapping and serve with crackers.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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Saturday 10th of February 2024

I made this Salmon Party Log yesterday for a dinner party I was hosting. Followed the recipe exactly as stated. Guests loved it. However, I think it lacks a bit in taste. I will add a bit of salt next time and a few drops of tabasco to the mix. I did that with a leftover "log" today and my husband and I liked it much better. I definitely recommend this appetizer.

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Monday 12th of February 2024

Hi Vivian! Thanks so much for sharing! You could also add a little "old bay" and that would add extra flavor. I love it "as is" but I understand why others might find it bland. I always love when people adjust and play with my recipes. Creativity is key in cooking! Have a great week and please come back soon. Norine


Thursday 14th of December 2023

I've been making this recipe for over 30 years for Christmas Eve. My family has always loved it. It's much easier to use 3 cans of Chicken of the sea pink salmon. No bones to pick out.


Saturday 30th of December 2023

@[email protected], But the cats love the scraps.

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Monday 18th of December 2023

Hi Judy! THANK YOU for the GREAT tip! I'm adding Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon to my grocery list. Can't believe I didn't think of this! I hate picking through those bones. Have a Very Merry Christmas and Thank You again! Norine


Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

This was in the 1969 BH&G red/white plaid cookbook (may have been in an earlier one) I have made it every New Year's Eve since 1970. This year found recipe online and made it before I realized it contained Worcestershire sauce instead of liquid smoke. Never again this is the definitive recipe. Happy New Year to all and I will be making this again long before NYE 2023.


Saturday 30th of December 2023

@[email protected], I took this to a party several years ago and some of my co-workers stood in the kitchen and ate the entire log before the hostess could put it on the serving table. I confess I'm not upset some of my children now grown don't care for salmon. More for me. Happy New Year 2024! Be safe and may we all be blessed with peace and good health.

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Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Hi Anita! Thank you so much for sharing! I honestly had no idea where this recipe originated from and love that you knew the information. I can't even imagine replacing the liquid smoke! YIKES! So glad you are keeping to the original! It's simply the best! Happy New Year! Norine


Saturday 24th of December 2022

I am sooooo curious as to where you got this recipe!! This was my Father's Salmon logs that he made when I was growing up. And I still make them to this day. Found this by accident, and was just blown away! I have never seen anyone else make these! These, cheese balls, and cathedral windows are the special foods that I still make that have been lost to younger generations that don't care anymore!


Tuesday 19th of December 2023

I have been making this recipe for 49 years. Came out of the Better Homes And Garden Cookbook I received as a wedding gift many decades ago. Great party food. It also makes great sandwiches.

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Thursday 29th of December 2022

Hi Bryan! This recipe was originally given to me by my Mom who got it from my Aunt! My Aunt made these Salmon logs every year for our annual big Christmas gathering. I'm honestly not sure where she got it...but it is one of my absolute FAVORITE spreads for the holiday! I agree it's sad that so many generational recipes are being lost on the younger generations. Thankfully some of my kids have inherited my love of cooking and traditions. I think food speaks directly to our ancestry! It makes me happy to know there is someone else out there making these salmon logs! Keep those traditions going!! Have a wonderful New Year! Norine

Barbara Miller

Monday 13th of December 2021

I'll be making this Salmon Party Log this yr. Looks Delicious.TY.

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Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Hi Barbara! Hope you enjoy this recipe! It's such a great easy appetizer for the Holidays! Thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Norine

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