Game-day or any day, these light and flaky salmon puffs—aka salmon Wellingtons—are perfect to serve at a tailgate party or an elegant dinner party. All-butter puff pastry is available at most specialty shops and is worth seeking out, but most supermarkets carry Pepperidge Farms puff pastry which is shortening based and a great alternative. Salmon burger meat is ideal for the filling, but the equivalent amount of finely chopped salmon fillet works in a pinch.
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 package puff pastry, (14 to 17 ounces) thawed but chilled
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound salmon burger (or 1 pound finely chopped skinned and boned salmon fillet)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Flake sea salt for sprinkling
PREHEAT THE OVEN
Preheat the oven to 400°F and position a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
PREP THE PUFF PASTRY
While the oven preheats, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife and 6-inch by 4-inch oval cardboard template, cut out 8 ovals as closely together as possible. Stack the scraps and re-roll to cut out 4 more ovals, depending on brand of pastry. (Chill the scraps before rolling if they’re too soft.) Transfer the ovals to the baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
MAKE THE FILLING
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the salmon and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.
Stir the mustard, dill, and lemon zest into the salmon mixture and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
ASSEMBLE THE PUFFS
Brush half of the ovals with egg wash. Top with ⅓ cup of the salmon mixture (there may be a little left over) in the center, leaving a ½-inch border all around the edges. Roll the remaining ovals slightly larger and place on top of the filling. Press the edges together, pressing out any air pockets. Use the tines of a fork to securely seal the edges. Brush the tops with egg wash and cut 4 to 5 small steam vents across the top to resemble football laces. Freeze just until chilled but not frozen, about 5 minutes.
BAKE AND SERVE
Sprinkle the salmon puffs with flake sea salt and bake until golden brown and risen, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
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Pair it Up
To balance the richness, a crisp and citrusy IPA is a great choice for a casual snack and for something a little more elegant, opt for sauvignon blanc or off-dry sparkling white wine.
Level it Up
Top the salmon filling in each parcel with a tablespoon each of sautéd chopped mushrooms and sautéd spinach (well-drained) before adding the top crust. Stir 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño into the filling for a kick.
Change it Up
Freeze any left over puffs and reheat them straight from the freezer at 325° until heated through.
Lighten it Up
For a slightly lower calorie option, swap pie pastry for the puff pastry.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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