2-minute Mackerel Pate

Mark Hughes Appetisers & Starters, Light Lunches, Spice 0 Comments

Our 2-minute Mackerel Pate has alway been one of those go-to recipes to get you out of trouble. It’s almost as quick to put together as it is to open a shop-bought one, but you can tweak this one just the way you like it – plus you know what’s in  it.

Use either peppered mackerel or plain smoked – the packs of 2 or 3 good sized fillets are very good value for money – usually around £2 – & will easily do a starter for four people or a lunch for two. I don’t think anyone hasn’t asked for the recipe when they’ve tasted it so be prepared to share!

Serve it your favourite way. Sometime we like crusty bread if we’re looking for more of a lunch or snack, but if we have them as an appetiser we normally serve them on melba toasts to keep it a bit lighter. The same applies for the paprika: Smoked Paprika is our favourite, but sometimes this can be overly smoky with the fish, so we tend to go for Sweet to give a warmth without the extra smokiness. If everyone likes a touch of warmth, Cayenne Pepper is the way to go! Up to you though.

Oh, and a final note about the lemon – make it slightly more lemony than you think it should be! Mackerel is quite strong, so after the first couple of mouthfuls you’ll be looking for something to keep it fresh. I overdid it with the lemon once but the result was so good, I always go heavy on the lemon now!


  • 3 fillets of smoked mackerel (around 250g)
  • 125g creme fraiche (or creamed cheese)
  • 1 large lemon
  • small bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley & chives
  • half tsp Sweet Paprika (plain will do)


  1. Break the fillets into chunks, discarding the skin, & pop into a food processor
  2. Add the creme fraiche, the zest & juice of the lemon & the paprika
  3. Pulse to the texture you want – we normally have it quite coarse, so around 10 seconds is fine for us
  4. Add most of the parsley & chives & pulse again for 2-3 seconds to incorporate
  5. Tip into a serving bowl & add a final pinch of paprika & the rest of the herbs
  6. Serve with melba toasts or crusty bread

If you’ve got any left, you can always stir it into cooked & drained pasta before dressing with a drizzle of oil

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