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Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

Do you guys need an appetizer to go with your summer cocktails?

I have got you covered with these fresh “smoked salmon” rolls filled with cultured cream cheese! It’s fresh and creamy with a subtle smoky and sea-y flavor. Your guests won’t believe it’s vegan!

Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

Before starting, I’m aware not everyone wants to eat something that brings back memories of meat/fish, but for new vegans or people who miss the taste of fish, this recipe will be a good fit. It also makes a nice appetizer for that time when you have vegans and meat-eaters at the table.

Alright, let’s dot it! We start with the cream cheese filling, which requires only 5 ingredients. Soak the cashews overnight and then blend them with water and probiotics.

It is naturally fermented with probiotics for 24-48 hours, giving it a fresh and tangy flavor. For those with limited time, I’m also giving in the notes another way to make the cashew cream that requires just 5 minutes.

Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

Once the cream cheese is tangy, we add salt, lemon juice, and chopped fresh basil. You can use dill instead if you happen to have some on hand.

Quick note: the recipe for the filling makes more than needed. I found it hard to blend only one cup of cashews into a creamy texture, so I went with two cups. You can use the leftover cream cheese as a spread, sauce, or just roast more orange bell peppers to make more rolls!

Next, we make the “smoked salmon.” The secret ingredient here is orange bell peppers! It’s crazy how similar it is to salmon once it’s roasted and marinated!

We first roast slices of bell peppers for 25 minutes or until charred. Then remove the skin and discard it. The next step is to marinate the slices overnight to give them a salmon flavor. For the marinade, I went with a mix of water, wakame seaweed for the “fish” flavor, soy sauce for umami and saltiness, lemon juice, and liquid smoke. I recommend marinating at least 6 hours; overnight is even better.

Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

After 6 hours, remove the orange bell pepper slices from the marinade. The slices will have absorbed some water, so they will be a bit watery. You don’t want that! Place the slices on two sheets of kitchen paper towel, top with another two sheets of paper towel, and press with your hands to remove excess moisture. You can also use a rolling pin and gently roll it on the paper. This step is essential to get a texture more similar to salmon, plus it will make the peppers look a bit more fibrous!

Finally, spread some cultured cream cheese on a slice of vegan “salmon” and roll it up into a roll. Refrigerate and serve cold with a glass of white wine or rosé!

Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

These fresh rolls make a great party appetizer for basically any occasion. It’s perfect for summer, but I’m sure these would also be great as Christmas canapés.

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls
Vegan Smoked "Salmon" Cheese Rolls

Vegan Smoked “Salmon” Cheese Rolls

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
Smoked “salmon” rolls filled with a tangy cultured cream cheese. These fresh and delicious party appetizers are vegan and gluten-free!
Prep Time : 45 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour
Servings 10 rolls
Calories 60 kcal


Cream Cheese

  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked overnight
  • 4-6 tbsp water
  • 2 capsules acidophilus probiotic or 1/16 tsp mesophilic culture
  • 1/8 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove of garlic minced, optional

Smoked “Salmon”


Cream Cheese

  • Drain the cashews and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
  • Add the water and blend on high speed for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides from time to time. Add one tablespoon of water at a time if the cream is too thick. Continue to blend until it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in the powder from the acidophilus capsules and blend for another 20 seconds. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap to touch.
  • Place the bowl in a dark place at room temperature and let it ferment for at least 24 hours. Depending on the temperature of your house it might take up to 48 hours. The cashew cream should have a tangy flavor.
  • Once fermented, place about 1 cup of the cashew cream in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, chopped basil, lemon juice, and optionally, the minced garlic. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Cover with plastic film to touch and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cashew cream will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Smoked “Salmon”

  • Preheat the oven to 455°F (235°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash the bell peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Cut each bell peppers into 4-5 slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
  • Roast for about 25 minutes, or until the skin is charred. Remove from the oven and let cool 10-15 minutes.
  • Once cooled down, carefully remove the skin from the peppers. The skin should peel off easily.
  • In a small baking dish, make a marinade by combining the water, wakame seaweed, lemon juice, soy sauce, and liquid smoke together. Add the pepper slices to the marinade and let marinate at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, remove the bell pepper slices from the marinade. Place the slices on a kitchen paper towel, top with another sheet of paper towel and press slightly to drain excess water. This step is essential to get the right texture, otherwise, the “salmon” will be too watery.
  • To make the rolls: lay the bell pepper slices on a cutting board. Spread some cream cheese on each pepper slice and roll up tightly into a roll. Place on a serving plate and serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Rolls will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


If you don’t have time to make cultured cream cheese, skip the fermentation process and replace the probiotic capsules with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp nutritional yeast.


Serving: 1 Roll | Calories: 60 kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.2 g | Protein: 1.4 g | Fat: 4.7 g | Fiber: 0.5 g | Sugar: 1.6 g
Course : Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine : Asian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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  1. Hey Thomas! This recipe looks amazing! Where did you purchase your liquid smoke from? I’ve tried health food stores in the past with no luck.

  2. Wow!

    Encore une recette très appétissante! Je revenais sur ton site pour retrouver le commentaire où quelqu’un substitue des haricots blancs aux noix de cajou pour un fromage fermenté, mais en naviguant dans tes recettes, je trouve beaucoup de choses alléchantes!

    J’avais déjà croisé des recettes de saumon vegan à base de carottes et courge butternut. Poivron orange, pourquoi pas 🙂
    A noël dernier j’avais trouvé quelques recettes et en avais fait à base de carottes en lamelles, en remplaçant la fumée liquide par du thé fumé lapsang souchong. Ca a eu beaucoup de succès, c’était très bon!

    Merci pour le partage de tes recettes!
    A quand un livre ou un onglet “donation” pour qu’on puisse te remercier pout toutes ces recettes appétissantes et créatives ?

    Bonne soirée, bonne journée!

    1. tes tranches de “saumon” roulées me donnent l’envie d’essayer avec des lamelles de courgettes, car on en a plein le jardin… courgettes façon saumon, ce sera peut-être ma prochaine aventure culinaire 🙂

    2. Merci Marie ! 🙂

      Honnêtement, je n’ai jamais essayé de faire des fromages à base de haricots blancs et j’ai quelques doutes sur le résultat final, que ce soit au niveau texture et gout.

      J’ai également testé avec différents légumes avant de publier cette recette et je trouve que ce sont les poivrons qui se rapprochent le plus du saumon niveau texture, mais avec de la courge ça ne doit pas être mal non plus ! Bonne idée d’utiliser du thé fumé 😉

      Concernant l’onglet ou le livre, ce n’est pas d’actualité pour l’instant, mais merci du soutien !

  3. I was wondering if you’d be able to use a couple tablespoon of yogurt instead of the cultures pr capsules, have you tried ?

  4. 5 stars
    Very good! I also use the peppers for sushi, either in rolls or nigiri-style.

    I find that switching fresh lime juice for half the soy sauce can give it a brighter flavor, which is good in some cases.

    My other short-cut is using jarred roasted peppers, saving the step of roasting. Naturally, the flavors will be different, so it’s important to experiment and test in advance.