Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (2024)

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Cathy Roma

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Smoked salmon, scallions and dill fleck whipped cream cheese filling that is tucked into these mini diplomas. An appetizer must for your graduation party!

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (1)

Today is the last day of school for my boys. It marks the end of homework, packed lunches and early morning wake-up calls for the next several weeks. It also marks the end of elementary school for my oldest son Jack. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. Come September, I’ll be mom to a middle-schooler. Life will be all pre-teen angst and mom-you’re-so-emabarrassing-eye rolls. Somehow mysweet, little round-faced boy has been replaced by this mildly surly kid thathas put the kibosh on any “mom contact” outside of ourhouse. As middle school approaches, I expect my very presence will be enough to mortify him in front of his friends. But the truth is, I not only get it, I welcome it.

I remember a day when I was probably around Jack’s age when I began to strive for my own independence. I was walking down the street with my mom, when she reached out to hold my hand as she normally would. I took hold at first, then quickly dropped mine away. My mom looked crushed. And while my heart twisted when I saw thatlook on her face, I kept on walking, hands at my sides, trying to act like that grown up girl I so wanted to be.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hold her hand. Of course I did. It’s just that I wanted to be that girl that didn’t need to hold her mom’s hand just a little bit more. And now I see that transformation happening within my own son. He’s still a ball of love at home, but one foot out that door and his game face is on.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (2)

While it does sting a bit not to be able to give him a squeeze at the end of a winning baseball game or when I drop him at a friends, I also know that it’s all part of the job. I recognize that he needs to push me away just enough so he can continue to move forward. And I need to be able to give him that space so he can develop, occasionallyfall down and hopefullypick himself up without me reaching out to give him a hand.

Even thoughI usually fall into the “it’s not really graduationuntil you’re a senior” camp, todayI’mtaking a moment to get a little warm and fuzzy. I’m celebrating my elementary school graduate with a special little appetizer diploma. I’ve blended cream cheese (his favorite) with dill, smoked salmon, lemon and scallions and wrapped it up with crunchy cucumbers and smoked salmon inside a whole wheat wrap. It’s knotted together with a chive and rolled to look like a diploma…the perfect appetizer to serve at a graduation party.

As my little graduateheads out the door for his last day of elementary school today, chances are he won’t look back to see me waving goodbye. But I think he knows how proud I am of the young man he’s becoming and how grateful I am to behis mom. And I have a feeling that when he rushes in after he hops off the bus at the end of the day, I’ll get that big hug I’ve been waiting for. I’ll just be sure to close the door first.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (3)

3.73 from 11 votes

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (4)


Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

Smoked salmon, scallions and dill fleck whipped cream cheese filling that is tucked into these mini diplomas. An appetizer must for your graduation party!


Servings: 32 diplomas

Author: Cathy Roma | What Should I Make For...


  • 2 - 8ozpackages cream cheesesoftened
  • 2 - 4ozpackages smoked salmondivided
  • 3scallionswhite and pale green parts chopped
  • 2Tbspdillchopped
  • 2lemonszested and juiced
  • 2tspprepared horseradish
  • 3tspcapers
  • 1/2tspkosher salt
  • 1/4tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • 1english cucumbersliced into matchsticks
  • 8whole wheat wrapscut into squares and then cut into fourths
  • Chives for ties


  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine cream cheese, one - 4 oz package of smoked salmon (chopped), scallions, dill, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, capers, salt and pepper and process until well combined.

  2. Thinly slice the remaining smoked salmon.

  3. Lay out a single chive horizontally and place a whole wheat square on top. Add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the whole wheat square and top it with a couple of cucumber matchsticks and a piece of sliced salmon. Roll up and tie with chive. Trim the ends of the chive and serve.


About Cathy Roma

My food philosophy is simple: everything in moderation. Sweet, savory, healthy, decadent…food, like life, is all about balance. I rely on my background as a trained chef/mom to create family-friendly recipes that will inspire you to cook, not complicate your life.

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Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (5)

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (6)
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Reader Interactions


  1. rebecca | DisplacedHousewife says

    What a sweet post Cathy!! I hope you guys have a wonderful day…these look like the perfect way to celebrate. xo


    • Cathy says

      Thanks Rebecca. We had two fantastic celebrations with friends and of course lots of food!

  2. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says

    I’m in love with this post Cathy since I have two grown boys of my own. So sad when they can make it on their own and seem to need us a little less! This is the perfect little elegant graduation appetizer!


    • Cathy says

      Thanks Mary Ann. It really is bittersweet!

  3. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says

    Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (7)
    This is such a touching post, Cathy!! We don’t have children (well, we do- but they have fur), but I can imagine how bitter sweet it is when they grow up and slowly start to gain more independence. Congrats to your son, Jack!! Middle school is a big deal!! Hope he has a wonderful few years there! These little diplomas are so perfect for a graduation celebration! I LOOOOOVE smoked salmon with cream cheese – seriously THE BEST – so these rolled beauties are calling my name! Pinned! Cheers, dear friend!


    • Cathy says

      Thanks so much Cheyanne. Middle school is a big deal. He’s not my baby anymore! And is there any better pairing that cream cheese and smoked salmon!?

  4. Cindy says

    Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (8)
    Oh these little diplomas are sooooo sweet. Oh my gosh, I am going to soak up these days with my kiddos. Dylan and Gavin just got back from Malibu Creek Camping and I swear they came back middle schoolers.


  5. Cathy 2 says

    I hate fish of any kind!
    Is there something else I can put into these cute “diplomas?”


    • Cathy says

      Sure, you can fill them with anything like in a wrap…you can use turkey, make mini blt’s, a veggie option with hummus and vegetables. The options are endless.

  6. Beth says

    The filling is totally delicious but how/where do you find chives long enough to tie? I bought the longest I could find, they do go around the diploma, but I could not tie them. Suggestions?


    • Cathy Roma says

      If you can’t find long chives, try tying two or three together. Hope that helps!

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Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation (2024)


What cheese goes with lox? ›

Cheese to use with smoked salmon

Cream cheese is the classic, obvious choice to pair with lox, but other soft cheeses such as goat cheese, labneh, brie, or feta (my favorite!) could work as well. To make my feta more spreadable, I break it up with the back of a spoon and mix it with some quality extra virgin olive oil.

What to garnish smoked salmon with? ›

Arrange salmon, potatoes, onion, cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, eggs, roe, capers and lemon wedges on a platter (or platters). Sprinkle with chopped dill and pepper. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs, if desired.

Can Jews eat lox and cream cheese together? ›

In the case of fish however, which is considered pareve, lox on a bagel spread with cream cheese may still be considered kosher if the lox, cheese, bagel and all other ingredients meet the requirements of kashrut. Jews who adhere strictly to the laws of kashrut will not eat at "kosher style" establishments.

What flavor bagel goes best with lox? ›

You want a savory bagel here; we like plain, sesame, and everything bagels, as they complement the rest of the ingredients in the sandwich. Split the bagel in half lengthwise, and toast it if you like. Next comes the schmear.

What pairs well with smoked salmon? ›

Easy Pairings for Smoked Salmon

Tossed into a green salad with a lemony dressing. Stirred into hot pasta with a light tomato sauce, green onions, fresh parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. As deconstructed sushi: Eat it with steamed short-grain rice, avocado, cucumber, and seaweed strips for folding up the bites.

How do you display smoked salmon for a party? ›

Arrange the smoked salmon, crostini, breads, and ramekins of cream cheese spread on a large platter. Fill in the spaces with as many of the ingredients and optional ingredients as you'd like. Garnish the platter with sprigs of fresh dill and sprinkle some of the capers over the smoked salmon.

What is salmon and cream cheese on a bagel called? ›

Lox is a fillet of brined salmon, which may be smoked. Lox is frequently served on a bagel with cream cheese, and often garnished with tomato, onion, cucumber, and capers.

What goes well with lox? ›

9 Ways to Eat Lox That Don't Require a Bagel
  • Lox Summer Roll With Avocado-Lime Dipping Sauce. ...
  • Loaded Everything Bagel and Lox Pizza. ...
  • Smoked Salmon Egg Stuffed Avocados. ...
  • Creamy Avocado Cucumber Noodles With Smoked Salmon. ...
  • Lox and Everything Hummus. ...
  • Lox Frittata. ...
  • Spring Salmon Salad With Dijon Vinaigrette.
Oct 31, 2017

What cheese pairs well with salmon? ›

Getting soft cheeses like Neufchatel cheese, brie, and cream cheese is an amazing way to pair them with the smoked salmon! We also definitely recommend you try some sort of cheese spread. You can do plain cream cheese, or something flavored and more elevated. For example perhaps a creme fraîche with dill.

What goes with smoked salmon other than cream cheese? ›

And if you have, get ready to mix things up.
  • Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Smoked Salmon. ...
  • Smoked Salmon and Brie Cucumber Bites. ...
  • Toast with Soft Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon. ...
  • Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. ...
  • Avocado Toast with Cucumber Ribbons and Smoked Salmon.
Apr 9, 2020

What's the difference between lox and smoked salmon? ›

Here's the main difference: smoked salmon is cured and then smoked, whereas lox is only cured, typically in a salt brine and typically for longer periods of time, but not smoked. Smoked salmon is preserved with a combination of salting and smoking, so the flavor can be slightly salty and slightly smoky.

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