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This quick and delicious Smoked Mackerel Pate recipe is a healthy snack or starter that’s made with cream cheese, lemon and horseradish. Served with bread or salad, it makes a delicious lunch too!

Mackerel Pate on a plate with salad and a wedge of lemon, on a table ready to eat.

Smoked Mackerel Pate makes a fantastic light and healthy lunch, or an easy (but impressive) starter if you’re cooking for guests. 

It’s full of flavour and it’s so fuss free you can make it in advance and simply serve.

Sometimes I serve it alongside my Smoked Salmon Canapes if I want to keep things nice and easy but a bit special.  

Also – surprisingly – my children love this pate too. It’s worth giving it a try even if you think the kids may turn their noses up as it’s full of nutrients!


Why you’ll love this Mackerel Pate recipe

⭐️ Quick and easy

⭐️ Only a handful of affordable ingredients

⭐️ Packed with flavour and nutrients


Lunch of mackerel pate is served on a white table.

How we came up with this recipe

I will always be grateful to Jamie Oliver for guiding me towards this dish.

Some time ago, on TV, he urged people who didn’t like smoked fish to try Smoked Mackerel Pate, and I did. Oh my goodness, I’ve loved it ever since!

I wanted to make sure I made it as a super simple recipe that people could recreate with ease and didn’t involve many ingredients, so for this we’re combining the smoked mackerel (flaked into pieces) with soft cheese, lemon, sea salt and pepper, and some horseradish. 

Some people mix the pate up in a food processor, but I prefer the rough texture of mixing by hand.

You can do whichever you prefer, but I just mix it with a fork until it’s smooth and serve it with bread, extra lemon and cress or salad. Job done!


Mackerel Pate Ingredients Notes

The ingredients for Smoked Salmon Pate recipe laid out on a counter top.
  • Smoked mackerel fillets – Skinless and boneless mackerel fillets are more expensive than regular fillets, but it’s worth hunting them out, otherwise you’ll have to pick bones out of the fish before mixing in. I sometimes buy the peppered version to add even more flavour.
  • Cream cheese – Unflavoured cream cheese is all you need here
  • Lemon – We’re just using the zest and juice here

How to make Smoked Mackerel Pate

The ingredients for Mackerel Pate on a plate, ready to be mixed together.

1. Flake the smoked mackerel into small pieces and put with the other ingredients in a large bowl.

A plate with mackerel pate and a fork, ready to be served.

2. Mix together well with a fork and serve.


Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days.

Can you freeze Smoked Mackerel Pate? 

Yes, I’ve successfully frozen this pate lots of times.

I portion it up into small Tupperware containers like these: 200ml lunch storage containers on Amazon. 

Simply freeze them until you want them. If you’re taking it as a packed lunch, just remove a portion from the freezer in the morning and it should be ready to eat by lunchtime.

Be sure it’s fully defrosted and mix thoroughly before serving, and perhaps refresh with a wedge of fresh lemon.

Top tips

What to serve with Mackerel Pate

This is perfect on bread, toast, crackers, pittas – any kind of your choice! 

If you’re enjoying this as a lunch, you could accompany it with a simple salad, like my Carrot & Herb Salad, or as part of a picnic (see more picnic ideas here).

Microplane zester 

My secret weapon for any recipes with citrus zest in is my microplane zester.

I know I’m a wimp but I used to hate making anything with lemon zest in before splashing out on one of these. They have SO many glowing reviews. You can buy them here on Amazon: Microplane Premium Zester.

FAQs

Can I make this pate smoother?

Yes! I mix it up by hand for ease and speed, but feel free to give it a whiz in a processor to make it a smoother consistency. 

For small jobs like this I really like this Mini Chopper. It’s affordable and not a pain to get in and out of the cupboard.

Do you have any other family friendly fish recipes?

Sure, I have lots. If you’re trying to introduce it a little more to beginners, I would recommend my Easy Fish Pie, Classic Tuna Pasta Salad, Salmon Burgers or my Homemade Fish Fingers.

Is this a healthy recipe?

Yes, it’s packed full of good stuff! Mackerel is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids because it’s an oily fish, and is high in many other vitamins and minerals.

It’s also a fantastic source of protein.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.72 from 35 votes

Smoked Mackerel Pate {Quick, Easy & Healthy}

This quick and delicious Smoked Mackerel Pate recipe is a healthy snack or starter. Served with bread or salad, it makes a delicious lunch too!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients 

  • 180 g Skinless, boneless smoked mackerel fillets
  • 100 g Cream cheese
  • 1 Lemon, Zest and juice
  • 2 tsp Horseradish sauce
  • Sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Cress, lemon wedges, more black pepper

Instructions 

  • Flake the smoked mackerel into small pieces and put with the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix together well with a fork and serve.

Notes

For a smooth consistency: I mix it up by hand for ease and speed, but feel free to give it a whiz in a processor to make it smoother. I really like this Mini Chopper. It’s affordable and not a pain to get in and out of the cupboard.
Type of smoked mackerel: Skinless and boneless mackerel fillets are more expensive than regular fillets, but it’s worth hunting them out, otherwise you’ll have to pick bones out of the fish before mixing in. I sometimes buy the peppered version to add even more flavour.
Cream cheese: Unflavoured cream cheese is all you need here
To freeze: I portion it up into small Tupperware containers like these: 200ml lunch storage containers on Amazon. Simply freeze them until you want them. Be sure it’s fully defrosted and mix thoroughly before serving, and perhaps refresh with a wedge of fresh lemon.
Serving suggestions: This is perfect on bread, toast, crackers, pittas – any kind of your choice! If you’re enjoying this as a lunch, you could accompany it with a simple salad, like my Carrot & Herb Salad, or as part of a picnic (see more picnic ideas here).
Microplane zester: My secret weapon for any recipes with citrus zest in is my microplane zester. You can buy them here on Amazon: Microplane Premium Zester.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 23gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 323mgPotassium: 591mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 380IUVitamin C: 29.9mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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9 Comments

  1. I made this for lunch but didn’t have any cream cheese so used crème fraiche. Didn’t have horseradish so used French mustard. Perfect!

  2. Started to make this before I realised I didn’t have any cream cheese! However, I did have some creamy goats cheese which worked really well.

  3. 5 stars
    Just back from Cornwall in the Uk and had this a couple of times there so couldn’t wait to try this recipe. Tastes just as good. Amazing receive

  4. Thank you Sarah I tried your Flap Jack recipe delicious!!!! Also tried your chicken curry family loved it.. looking forward to trying more especially the chicken pie!

  5. I haven’t tried this yet, but this looks great. It looks like I have to prepare a 3 course menu for my catering course I am doing, and this a pate might be much lighter than soup. Will give this a go and serve it to my husband. He says he will be my guinea pig!! Ha ha!! 🙂