Smoked Salmon Pâté

Homemade smoked salmon pâté is dead easy and quick to prepare. Learn how to make it yourself.

Smoked Salmon Pâté on Crackers Platter

If you’re like me and stop at the seafood section in your supermarket on every shopping trip and yearn for the overpriced, elegant ready-made seafood starters, you will love this recipe. It is shockingly easy to prepare, tastes better and is cheaper. What’s more you don’t have to wonder who touched the food nor if there is salmonella lurking in the attractively displayed food.

There never seems to be a wrong occasion to serve smoked salmon pâté as a starter or canapé. Whether it’s Christmas, a dinner party or a quick lunch, everyone will be pleased.

Adjusting Smoked Salmon Pâté for Special Diets

An appetizer portion of this pâté is only 140 calories. Nutrition-wise it is low in sugar and saturated fat and high in selenium and B12. Mind you, if you’re on a low sodium diet you want to steer clear of this.

The recipe provided is somewhat luxurious. Here are a few options to make it healthier to suit your lifestyle:

  • Weight Watchers, Slimming World or other Low-Fat Diets: Substitute the double/heavy cream with low-fat crème fraîche or cottage cheese to lower the calories of this dish.
  • Pregnant women are advised to avoid all kinds of pâté because of the risk of catching listeria. Smoked salmon is safe to eat though and if the proper food hygiene practices are followed when making the pâté there is no reason pregnant woman can’t enjoy the starter too.
  • Dairy Free Smoked Salmon Pâté: Admittedly, I’ve never had to make it this way but if you’re seriously intolerant of dairy products you can you silken tofu instead of cream or cheese. Add a little bit at a time with a bit of soy milk and pulse with the smoked salmon. Repeat this process until you achieve your desired consistency.

Smoked Salmon Starter

What You Can Add To Smoked Salmon Pâté

You don’t have to use double/heavy cream if you don’t want to. There are plenty of alternatives you can substitute it with such as:

  • Single cream
  • Sour cream
  • Crème fraîche, and lower fat versions
  • Cream cheese, e.g. Philadelphia
  • Quark cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Goat’s cheese

In terms of flavour you can add one of the following to liven up the pâté:

  • Capers
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Horseradish
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Black Pepper

Smoked Salmon Pâté

Don’t Have Enough Smoked Salmon?

Why not make up the deficit with some cooked prawns or smoked mackerel? It’s best to aim for a 50/50 ratio.

Can’t Find Smoked Salmon?

If you can get hold of liquid smoke, you’re in luck. Simply use cold leftover or canned cooked salmon, blend it with the rest of the ingredients and add ½ teaspoon (you may need more) of liquid smoke. Ta-daaah! A true cheat’s recipe.

If you can only find hot smoked salmon, fear not. All you need is a bit more cream or cheese to make the mixture wetter and you’re fine.

2 Other Smoked Salmon Pâté Ideas

Carry on blending the mixture in the food processor until it forms a perfectly smooth mousse. Serve it in little cones like we did at Baumanns Cooking Academy.

Add more liquid to the mixture in order to make it sloppier and serve it as a dip with some crudités.

How to serve Smoked Salmon Pâté

Due to its saltiness, the spread is best served with plain fare such as crackers, blinis, toast, fresh bread and melba toast. Top it with bits of caviar and serve with wedges of lemon or pickled ginger. Other foods that pair well with smoked salmon are artichokes, avocados, celeriac (celery root), eggs, grapefruit, leeks, melons, plums, radishes and potatoes. Have fun!

How Long Will Smoked Salmon Pâté Keep?

Due to its nature consume it within two days. When not in use it should be kept in the fridge.

Can you freeze Smoked Salmon Pâté?

Yes. Make sure the pâté is wrapped tightly in clingfilm. Store for no longer than 3 months.

In this recipe we don’t use gelatin. It is a critical component in a Smoked Salmon Terrine, check out the recipe here.

It’s always a good idea to get all your ingredients ready first before you start cooking. Here are layers and layers of tempting smoked salmon.

Layers of Smoked Salmon

Grate some lemon peel…

Grated lemon peel

…and squeeze out the lemon juice.

Squeezing Lemons

Let me show you how to be fancy. We will be making smoked salmon pâté parcels. It’s easier than it looks. First line ramekins with clingfilm.

Clingfilm Lined Ramekin

Carefully layer smoked salmon slices until the whole ramekin is covered. Please note: You’ll need to buy extra smoked salmon for this. The ingredients listed in the recipe are only for the filling.

Smoked Salmon Lined Ramekin

Now we’re ready to make the pâté. Place the smoked salmon in the mini-food processor.

Smoked Salmon in a Blender

Add the cream…

Smoked Salmon and Cream

then the lemon juice and peel.

Smoked Salmon, Lemon and Cream

And lastly, freshly ground black pepper.

Salmon, Lemon, Cream and Black Pepper

Give it a whizz….and voila!

Blended Smoked Salmon Pâté

Feeling creative? Substitute 50% of the smoked salmon with cooked prawns.

Prawns and Smoked Salmon

Don’t forget the dill!

Salmon, Prawns & Dill

Blitz with the cream and lemon.

Processed Smoked Salmon, Prawns and Dill

Now you can fill up the smoked salmon lined ramekin and cover it with even more smoked salmon.

Salmon & Prawn Pâté in a Ramekin

Wrap tightly with clingfilm and place in the fridge for a while.

Wrapped Smoked Salmon Parcel

And there you have it! One fancy Dinner party starter!

Smokeds Salmon Pâté Parcel

Of course, without all the faffing about with the ramekins it can just be lunch on a week day. Whatever the occasion, ENJOY!

Smoked Salmon Pâté

5.0 from 3 reviews
Smoked Salmon Pâté
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Serving size: 73.g
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 10.7
  • Saturated fat: 0
  • Unsaturated fat: 0
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 392mg
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 9.5g
  • Cholesterol: 12mg
Recipe type: Starter
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Prepare your own Smoked Salmon Pâté at home. It's cheaper and tastier!
  • 400g (14 oz) thinly sliced smoked salmon, plus extra to line ramekins
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double (heavy/whipping) cream or cup crème fraîche
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh dill sprigs, to garnish
  1. Line 4 small ramekins with clear film (plastic wrap), leaving plenty overhanging the sides. Use enough salmon to line the ramekins. Cut the fish into strips long enough to flop over the edges.
  2. Place the remaining smoked salmon into a food processor and add the cream, lemon rind and lemon juice. Process the salmon in short bursts until it is just smooth. Don’t over-process the pâté or it will thicken too much and the texture will be compromised. Taste and add more salt and ground black pepper. If the salmon is quite oily, it may be necessary to add a little more lemon juice.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins. Bring over the loose strips of salmon to cover the pâté completely. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes, then turn out of the moulds, lift off and discard the clear film.
  4. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is best served with crackers, toasted baguette slices, whole wheat or Melba toast.
As a starter, slice each parcel carefully in half and serve as 8 portions.


If you like horseradish you can add a bit of horseradish cream to the mixture but be careful no to overdo it or it will overpower the smoked fish flavour.
Budget Tip

For the filling you can use less expensive salmon trimmings instead of sliced smoked salmon which makes it more economical.


Other great smoked salmon recipes around the web:

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  1. laura says

    This recipe sounds great, I have been looking for a recipe for smoked salmon pate without cheese in, does it work well or does it need cheese?

  2. jayne southern says

    above pate is good but try adding a few cooked prawns and a pinch of dill (fresh or dried) to mix before pulsing it. Very good.

      • jayne southern says

        Hi, just got your email regarding my comment on the Smoked Salmon pate. It was my Mum’s idea origionally, and she used to make these for xmas & posh meals for starters. SAometimes however if you wizz it too much it can ‘thin’ the mix & make it sloppy.

        Glad you think it’s a good idea.

        Yours, Jayne.

  3. jayne southern says

    Michelle, so pleased you got the pics etc. done….& am so pleased that you are getting good comments. WELL DONE!

    One little niggle a typo: (I’m allways making them!!!) on your part about Can’t find smoked salmon?….All you need is (you’ve put IT).

    My Mum would be very pleased to look down from her cloud & see folk doing this for xmas!!!! THANKS from Jayne (aka D1 = Daughter Number 1)…..

  4. catherine gillard says

    Hi Michelle,
    Really like the sound of this and will definitely try it soon. Really love the whole low calorie possibilities – always trying!!
    Hope life is good with you – Happy 2013!
    Catherine x

    • says

      Thanks, Catherine. Please let me know how it turns out. January 2013 was a rough month but now that we’re in February I’m sure things will get better. Hope this new year has been treating you well so far!

  5. says

    Marvellous! I am so making this next time I venture out to the shops!

    On the dairy free note, I can heartily recommend Tofutti soya cream cheese which is available in both plain and garlic and chive varieties. I have used the plain one for dairy free cream cheese cupcake frosting too.

    • says

      Hey, Sarah. It’s pretty damn easy. Once you’ve made your own you’ll never buy ready-made stuff again. Useful to know there are dairy free alternatives out there!

  6. says

    What a delicious pate! I could eat smoked salmon anytime, all of the time, so changing it up once in a while into this delicious pate sounds like fabulous idea! Thanks for this recipe!

  7. Maura says

    These smoke salmon parcels look delicious, we are having friends for dinner tomorrow and I was looking for
    a starter and these fit the bill exactly, easy to make yet look so fabulous.

    Many thanks for helping a very nervous hostess!!

  8. Liz says

    What can be done if its too sloppy!!??
    Also how did you manage to slice thru the salmon wrapped around the outside without squashing the delightfully presented starter in the process? Any tips.
    Thanks, Liz

    • Michelle says

      If it’s too sloppy, add more smoked salmon. Since the fish is dense, it will thicken up the pate. As for slicing it, chill the parcel in the fridge for a few hours, which should make things easier. A sharp knife helps as well. Good luck, Liz!


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