Simple Smoked Fish Paté

Simple Smoked Fish Paté

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
121 Calories
11g Fat
3g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 71mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Smoked fish is a cross-cultural and ancient technique in food prep. Once a means of food preservation, smoked fish, which can be cold smoked or hot smoked, has become a much sought-after flavor. Paté also has a long and illustrious history but today, paté is simply a mixture of seasoned ground seafood, poultry, meat, or vegetables, along with a combination of several different base ingredients.

For this recipe, you can use any smoked fish you like. Try catfish, salmon, mullet, mackerel, or whatever you happen to have. You really cannot go wrong with any choice you make. Source it at a reputable smoker or purveyor who still smokes small batches, or try local markets. If you want even more control over the flavors and you have the time, you can smoke your own fish. All you need is a smoker, a fuel source, and of course some fish.

You can whip up this quick-and-easy smoked fish paté in your food processor. It's smooth, cold, and creamy and it pairs perfectly with a variety of bread and crackers. It's best served after being refrigerated overnight, so plan ahead if you want to serve it at a party.


  • 1 cup smoked fish (skinned, deboned, and flaked)

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 4 ounces butter or margarine, softened

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup minced onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chives, for garnish

  • Toasted bread wedges or crackers, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Simple Smoked Fish Paté ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. Place fish, cream cheese, butter, vinegar, lemon juice, onion, garlic, and pepper into a food processor bowl.

    fish, cream cheese, butter, vinegar, lemon juice, onion, garlic, and pepper into a food processor bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Pulse until mixed well, but not completely puréed.

    pate mixture in a food processor

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Mound mixture into a serving dish and refrigerate overnight.

    pate mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Paté tastes best when brought to room temperature. Top with chopped chives and serve with toasted bread triangles or savory crackers.

    Simple Smoked Fish Paté in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

How to Store

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for three to five days. For longer storage, wrap well and place in the freezer where it will last up to three months. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Make sure the cream cheese and butter are completely softened before adding to the food processor. You want all of the ingredients to mix evenly into a creamy consistency.