Easy Tuna Pate

By Penelope Henderson, MSc, RNutr/ 05/21/2024
Flour finger strips of seeded toast with tuna pate spread on each

Looking for a nutritious and versatile snack that the whole family will love? Look no further than this easy tuna pate recipe using smoked mackerel and tinned tuna. Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, this delicious spread is perfect for kids’ lunches, after-school snacks, or as a starter.

Plus, it’s quick and simple to make, making it a convenient option for busy parents. Get ready to impress your loved ones with this flavorful and healthy recipe.

Reasons to love this tuna pate

  • Healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) from the fish as well as protein and vitamin D
  • Omega 3 fatty acids helps to support little peoples brain growth and function.
  • Easy to make with a few ingredients
  • Quick to make when you are short on time ( under 5 minutes)
  • Suitable for all the family


Heres what I included in this recipe or what you need to make it.

A tin of canned tuna with the lid mostly removed sitting on a wooden board


Use tinned tuna in spring water so you are not getting extra salt from the brine. If you cant get it in spring water then rinse the tuna well in water and drain. 

Smoked mackerel

Use ready smoked mackerel from the kiln. Honey or other types will alter the taste. 

Creme friache

Full or half fat creme friache. Depending on how thick you want it! Half or lower fat will make it softer than full fat. 


Chopped chives give a mild onion flavour without being too strong or overwhelming. This is optional if you don’t like them. 


Use a little lemon juice to cut through the richness. This is optional too. 

How to make tuna pate

  1. Peel the skin off the mackerel fillet and remove any bones with your fingers or tweezers and discard them.
  2. Break up into a bowl or food processor
  3. Drain the canned tuna, measure and add to the bowl.
  4. Mash them up well with a fork or blend in the food processor
  5. Finely chop a handful of chives and add to the bowl.
  6. Add the creme friache and lemon juice
  7. Blend again to make it as smooth as you like. 
  8. Spoon into a serving bowl or use straight away

Top tip: For a smoother texture blend for longer and add a bit more creme friache or a drop of olive oil. 

Variations and additions

  • Cream cheese – adds a creaminess to the recipe
  • Yoghurt – Use instead of creme friache or cream cheese
  • Spring onions chopped very fine instead of chives give a similar flavour
  • Herbs – parsley would work well instead of chives or spring onions
  • Spices – paprika adds a little smokiness flavour
  • Fish – You can play with the amounts of fish you use, so if you wanted it less smoked use more tuna instead of mackerel. 

Recipe FAQ

How do I store?

Once made you can store in a jar or pot with a lid and place in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

What to serve with tuna pate

Two crackers with tuna pate spread on top along with some strips of carrot and cucumber on white plate

I like to serve with some crackers or toast. You could also have it like a dip if you made it softer and could dip some breadsticks in. 

For younger children serve as finger food by cutting the toast into finger pieces and spreading some on top or make into finger sandwiches. 

Cucumber or salad works really well with this tuna pate.

Flour finger strips of seeded toast with tuna pate spread on each

Easy tuna pate

An easy and nutritious tuna and smoked mackerel pate recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 4 people


  • 1 fillet smoked mackerel (medium) kiln smoked
  • 50 grams tinned tuna in spring water
  • 1 handful chives optional
  • 4 tbsp creme friache
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Peel off the skin of the mackerel fillet and break into a bowl or food processor
  • Check carefully for bones and discard any unwanted bones.
  • Add the tuna to the bowl or food processor
  • Mash up well with a fork or blend in the food processor
  • Chop some chives into small pieces.
  • Add the creme fraiche, lemon juice and chives.
  • Mix thoroughly and serve
Keyword tuna pate

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Author Penelope Henderson

Hi I’m Penelope Henderson RNutr Registered Nutritionist specialising in children’s nutrition and responsive feeding therapy.

I am a mum of 2, with over 15 years of experience in nutrition. I support parents to feel confident in how and what to feed their child. I hope you find my recipes and nutrition posts useful, so you can enjoy stress free cooking and mealtimes.

More about me

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