It’s Smoked Salmon Crostini, with a twist. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds make this crostini taste just like a Philadelphia sushi roll!

Earlier on in this whole 2020 “experience,” I was really craving the two things that weren’t available for carry-out or curbside pickup: Lebanese food, and sushi.

My favorite restaurants for each of those things were closed, and others in the area simply don’t compare.

But if 2020 has proved anything, it’s that we can be resourceful. My homemade kafta recipe stood in for Lebanese takeout, and the sushi craving was momentarily quelled by this little snack (although I often had several for a light lunch).

While I spent one day of culinary school learning to roll sushi rolls, let’s just say I don’t really have enough training to want to go down that path at home.

So, I swapped the rice for crostini, but my stomach said I still did justice to the flavors I was craving.

What is a Philadelphia Roll Salmon Crostini?

When you see a “Philadelphia roll” on a sushi menu, you’ll know to expect a combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese (the “Philadelphia” in the name of the roll being derived from the Philadelphia cream cheese brand).

This distinctly American sushi roll often includes other ingredients like avocado, scallions, sesame seeds, and cucumber.

While you would probably never find a roll like this in Japan, the research I’ve done on the history of the Philadelphia roll indicates that by combining foreign foods like sushi with ingredients Americans were accustomed to, like cream cheese, Japanese expat chefs and restauranteurs in America were able to make sushi less intimidating.

How interesting, right?

Why you’ll love Smoked Salmon on Crostini

  • The vibrant colors of the salmon, avocado and cucumber make for an elegant presentation. They’re perfect for an upscale party!
  • Straightforward and easy to prepare. Quick but impressive is what we’re going for.
Ingredients for salmon bruschetta arranged in small bowls on white tabletop. Avocado spread, sliced cucumber, seaweed, smoked salmon, cream cheese, sesame seeds, sliced baguette.

Smoked Salmon Baguette Crostini Ingredients

  • baguette – the base of this crostini, providing a crunchy and sturdy foundation for all of the toppings we’re going to pile on!
  • olive oil – for coating the baguette slices before toasting them. I like to just use olive oil cooking spray for ease, but you can also lightly brush the bread with olive oil.
  • smoked salmon – the savory, smoky star of this crostini.
  • avocado – the rich, creamy texture of the avocado compliments the smoked salmon so well.
  • cream cheese – we’re going to mash this into the avocado to add richness and some of that signature Philadelphia roll flavor.
  • wasabi – this is optional, if you want to add a little kick of heat to the avocado-cream cheese mixture.
  • cucumber – adds a refreshing crunchy element.
  • nori – crumbling a small piece of a nori sheet over these crostini adds a subtle umami and reinforces the sushi flavors.
  • sesame seeds – for a mild, nutty crunchy.

How to find the ingredients for this Smoked Salmon Crostini:

You should be able to find most of the ingredients at your regular grocery store – baguette, avocado, smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds.

If your grocery store doesn’t carry smoked salmon, my favorite trick is to stop by a bagel shop and just ask for a small portion of smoked salmon in a to-go container (I often do this when I want to make a savory cottage cheese breakfast bowl or a smoked salmon platter).

Now, for the the nori. It’s completely fine to skip this ingredient if it’s too hard to locate in your area. But, it does add a big burst of umami to the crostini, so I do love it.

While my regular grocery store used to carry nori, it seems in recent months, some of the more “exotic” ingredients haven’t been a priority for them to stock (completely understandable).

So, I headed to my local Asian market to purchase nori. If you’d like to add wasabi to the cream cheese mixture for heat (optional), you’ll want to pick that up at an Asian market, too.

Avocado, salmon and cucumber crostini arranged on blue and white striped tray.

How to make this Smoked Salmon Appetizer

  1. TOAST BREAD. Place the baguette slices on a baking pan and spray or brush them with oil. Bake until they are very crisp.
  2. MASH. In a small bowl, mash together the avocado, cream cheese and wasabi.
  3. ASSEMBLE. Spread each piece of toasted bread with some of the avocado mixture, then top with cucumber and salmon. Sprinkle with nori and sesame seeds.

Home Chef Tips

  • Use the highest quality smoked salmon you can find for the best flavor and texture.
  • Take care to slice the baguette evenly so that the pieces toast uniformly.
  • If you have a mandoline slicer, use it for the cucumber to achieve consistent thin slices.

What to serve with smoked salmon crostini:

If I’m serving these crostini for a happy hour at home, as New Year’s Eve food, or a brunch along with a breakfast charcuterie board (see also: how to cook bacon in the oven), I love my best mimosa recipe.

The ginger also works well with the Asian flavors in the crostini. A non-alcoholic option like a Sparkling Mango Lemonade is also a great choice. y

If I’m serving these for a light lunch or dinner, a simple salad alongside would be great. Fresh greens dressed with miso dressing or citrus salad dressing are perfect.

If you’re serving them as one of a few brunch ideas for a crowd, a vegetarian quiche would be a great entree to go with this salmon recipe.

Crostini lovers should also check out my crostini pizza bar!

Toasted baguette topped with avocado spread, cucumber and smoked salmon, on top of blue and white striped serving tray.

Smoked Salmon on Crostini

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

It's Smoked Salmon Crostini, with a twist. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds make this crostini taste just like a Philadelphia sushi roll!


  • 1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (12 pieces)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon wasabi (optional)
  • 1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 12 small pieces
  • 1/4 sheet nori, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baguette slices on rimmed baking pan and lightly spray both sides with cooking spray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until very crisp, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mash avocado with fork until smooth. Add cream cheese and wasabi to taste, if using, and stir until smooth.
  3. Spread each piece of toasted bread with avocado mixture. Top with cucumber and salmon. Sprinkle with nori and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 590mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g

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