Smoked Mackerel Pate

Lady Claire Macdonald’s Oatcakes topped with Smoked Mackerel Pate with Nairn’s Herb & Pumkin Seed OatcakesDelicious Nairn’s Herb and Pumpkin Seed Oatcakes spread with this pate gives a perfect and satisfying meal, for any time of day – lunch, tea, or indeed supper. Eating this pate provides a valuable nutritional boost thanks to the omega-3 oil content of this fish.

At the same time, this pate is simple to make and I strongly advise you include the parsley in the ingredients, because this contributes to your one of the recommended 5 fruit and vegetables a day, as well as being packed with Vitamin C and iron. Served on top of the oatcakes, this recipe keeps you fuller for longer due to the high fibre, slow energy release carbohydrates, which help you get the most out of your day.

Smoked Mackerel Pate eaten on oatcakes provides great nutritional benefits, but its also delicious – the herbs and seeds within the oatcakes give a satisfactory crunchy texture which contrasts against the smooth pate.

One word of further advice – it is really worthwhile flaking the smoked mackerel carefully from the skin, removing all tiny bones that you can. It is this care in the preparation that makes this pate such a success with young children, as well as with adults of all ages! And for older people, it matters almost as much that they eat a good and balanced diet. Too often we hear older people say that it just isn’t worth time spent on cooking for one. Well, a batch of this pate can be made and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days and enjoyed for lunches and snacks throughout the week.

mackerel pate


Serves 4, giving enough to spread liberally on 12 oatcakes

4 smoked mackerel fillets –these can be peppered if you wish

2 tubs of Light (i.e. reduced fat) soft cheese @ 200g

2 rounded teaspoons horseradish relish

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 oz. / 50g parsley – tough stalks discarded

A good grinding of black pepper


  1. Carefully flake the smoked mackerel into a food processor, removing the tiny bones – you will find these near the wider end of each fillet, and near the centre.
  2. Add the contents of the Philadelphia tubs to the food processor, and the horseradish, lemon juice and parsley.
  3. Whiz until the pate is smooth and add black pepper to your taste – I use about 15 grinds of the peppermill. Whiz in the pepper.
  4. Scrape the pate into a bowl, and cover with Clingfilm. Store the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to spread it on your Nairn’s oatcakes.

NB. Washing up the food processor after use is easier if you wash it first in hot soapy water then in cold soapy water, rinsing in cold. The cold water gets rid of the fishy smell.


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