Simple Smoked Fish Paté

Fish pate made with trout served with melba toast

William Shaw / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
101 Calories
8g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 101
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 92mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 33mg 3%
*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 wine vinegar (or red wine)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 small clove garlic (minced)
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • For Serving: Toasted bread wedges or crackers

Steps to Make It

  1. Place all of the ingredients (fish to black pepper) into a food processor bowl.

  2. Pulse until mixed well but not completely puréed.

  3. Mound the mixture into a serving dish and refrigerate overnight.

  4. The paté tastes best when brought to room temperature. Top with the chopped chives and serve with toasted bread triangles or savory crackers.

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.