This smørrebrød recipe features baguette slices topped with a smear of pate and sweet pickled beets. An authentic Danish treat!

Pickled Beets and Pate Smørrebrød on a tray

This smørrebrød recipe is a delicate dish of simple, Danish open face sandwiches. The combination of liver and beets is mind-blowing. The sandwiches are a little sweet, a little salty, a little sour, just a perfect combination of everything. Use them as a light lunch or a pretty appetizer, they are super easy to make and only require some light assembling.

I was first introduced to these sandwiches while traveling to Denmark several winters ago. One of the locals urged us to order a smørrebrød sampler, saying that we would be crazy to visit the country without trying the signature dish. Boy, was he right…

What are Danish Smørrebrød?

Smørrebrød are Danish open face sandwiches that consist of nearly any variation of protein, veggies, cheese, or spreads on a thin slice of wheat or dark rye bread. Typically served as an appetizer or light lunch item, they are super popular throughout the country with most cafes and restaurants serving a few different smørrebrød options. Some of the most popular and authentic toppings include smoked salmon, roast beef, and hard boiled eggs.

Below, find a detailed description of the flavor, texture, and time to prepare this smørrebrød with pickled beets and pate.

  • Flavor: This sandwich is the perfect balance of sweet beet and salty, savory pate.
  • Texture: You’ll get a light crunch from the pickled beet, followed by a pillowy bite of pate smeared wheat bread.
  • Time: From prep to table, this recipe (if you can call it that!) only takes 10 minutes to assemble.

How to Make this Smørrebrød Recipe

Below, find a quick rundown of how to assemble the smørrebrød.

  • Slice the Bread and Beets: Using a sharp knife, slice the bread and beets into thin pieces.
  • Assemble the Sandwiches: Spread a thin layer of pate onto the baguette, followed by a couple of pickled beet slices. Optionally, top each sandwich with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Looking for homemade pickled beets? We have you covered with our pickled beets recipe. This one is crazy easy.

Tips for Making the Best Pickled Beets and Pate Smørrebrød

Below, find a couple of pro tips to help you make the best smørrebrød.

  • Be delicate with the pate. Pate is very flavorful and fatty. As a result, a thin layer of it goes a long way! Here is our recipe for chicken liver pate.
  • Swap out the wheat bread for Danish rye bread. If you love the tart, earthiness of rye bread, feel free to substitute it for whole wheat bread.
  • Pat the pickled beets dry before slicing. If your pickled beets are super briney, blot them with a paper towel before slicing and plating them.

Serving Smørrebrød

Smørrebrød can be eaten as an appetizer or as a light lunch. The best way to serve the open face sandwiches is on a platter with other types of smørrebrød! For your next party, make a big tray and let your guests mix and match a couple different variations:

  • Egg and sprats
  • Salmon gravlax, red onion, capers, cream cheese, and lemon juice
  • Roast beef, horseradish, and blue cheese
  • Sliced pear, mustard, and blue cheese

Storing Smørrebrød

Although smørrebrød are best eaten immediately after you assemble them, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to an hour before you plan to eat them. Just make sure to keep them in an airtight container so they don’t absorb any lingering smells in your refrigerator or turn stale.


Where can I buy pickled beets?

Pickled beets can be purchased jarred in most European specialty stores. You can also find them in most grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi. You can also make your own pickled beets recipe.

Where can I purchase liver pate?

You can purchase liver pate at most grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi. Typically, you will find it next to the cured meats and fancy cheeses.

What kind of toppings can I put on smørrebrød?

You can put nearly any variation of protein, veggies, cheeses, and spreads on smørrebrød. There are no strict rules to the combinations you can dream up!

Do I need to toast the bread for smørrebrød?

You do not need to toast the bread for smørrebrød. In fact, it’s most authentic if you don’t toast it and slice it super thin.

What does smørrebrød translate to in English?

Smørrebrød translates to “bread and butter” in English.

Other Tasty Appetizers to Try

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.