This smørrebrød recipe features baguette slices topped with a smear of pate and sweet pickled beets. An authentic Danish treat!
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!
- 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.
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
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
- Sautéed Mushroom Appetizer – Garlic and parmesan sautéed mushrooms
- Eggplant Roll Up Appetizer – Delicate Slavic eggplant tapas
- Crab Stuffed Mushrooms – Creamy seafood mushrooms
- Carrot Sandwich with Garlic and Cheese – Creamy shredded carrot tea sandwich
- 1 whole wheat baguette
- 16 oz liver pate
- 12 oz pickled beets
- 1 tbsp fresh dill (for garnish)
- Cut the baguette and pickled beets into thin slices.
- Apply a thin layer of liver pate to the bread and top it off with a couple of pickled beet slices. If you cannot find pickled beets at your local store, you can make pickled beets using our recipe.
- Serve the smørrebrød right away or keep it refrigerated up until an hour before serving. Enjoy!
Do you toast the bread? If not, is this best served cold or room temp?
Hi Trisha, I dont toast the bread. Just use a fresh room temperature bread.
Where do i buy liver pate? 🙂
Trader Joes, Wholefoods or any European store that sells the sausage.
Soooo delicious!! I love it!! I will be making it again for my next party!!
Tanya, thank you for sharing such a nice feedback. I hope they win over your guest at the party.
It is even better on 100% dark sourdough rye bread.
Marianne, I totally agree with you. I love breads with seeds.
Sounds sooo odd. But yet so good.. lol. . I love liver pate and I feel like it’s got a “old people food “ label on it :/ I’m excited to make this for next party and hope to give it a new life ??? Thanks for sharing !!
Yeah very odd, I would have to agree. I think you guys would love it.