Affordable Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes is delicious, elegant and really easy to prepare. Perfect to serve as an appetizer for a fancy dinner or family brunch, or just as a delicious afternoon snack.
This recipe was first posted on February 13, 2017. It is now updated with more tips on ingredients and variations, photos, and an instructional video.
After breakfast and desserts appetizers are my favourite. Maybe it’s a Russian thing as we always had a table full of various salads, hor d’oeuvres and snacks before the main course.
Russian fancy dinners were always long and fun with food and drink and more food. Main course would usually be a couple of hours into the dinner when everyone was full on deli meats, pâtés, cheeses, pickles, salads and many more appetizers.
First time my husband went to a Russian restaurant to celebrate my friend’s birthday he ate for a couple of hours and once he got full he ate some more. Then they brought more food. He was surprised.
He never saw that much food brought in after that much food. That dinner was six courses. Most people are usually full after the first – appetizer course.
Appetizers are my favourite! I love nibbling on olives and cheese and stuffed anything.
I love spreading food on other food. I love dipping various breads and crackers and veggies into even more food. It’s fun. It’s delicious. And it’s not boring.
I love smoked salmon and I use it often when I host dinners or brunches but I am always aware that it’s not the most affordable ingredient. So, I like creating appetizers that pack the flavour and punch of smoked salmon but are not crazy expensive.
This recipe for Salmon Rillettes is great for serving at any elegant dinner party yet it’s also affordable as it uses canned salmon and only a small amount of smoked salmon, yet that small amount is just enough to make the appetizer into something special.
More affordable smoked salmon recipes
- Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
- Smoked Salmon and Dill Savoury Cake
- Smoked Salmon Croissant Strata
- 16 Delicious Budget-Friendly Smoked Salmon Recipes
What is Rillettes?
I discovered Rillettes a few years ago and I’ve been making them for holiday entertaining since then. In short, Rillettes is a course pâté and it can be made from pork, chicken, or, as in this case, salmon.
This Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes is not only affordable but also very quick to make as salmon doesn’t need to be cooked. All you have to do is open a can of fish and add a few common ingredients. It’s delicious and great to serve for an intimate Valentine’s Day dinner or an elegant Oscars Viewing Party with a glass of bubbly or white wine or as a Mother’s Day brunch.
Ingredients in Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes appetizer
I love this recipe because it doesn’t have any fancy or unusual ingredients. Most items are already in your fridge or pantry.
This Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes appetizer is great for a party but it is also great for making after dinner parties as it can help utilize some leftover ingredients. It is perfect to make after Easter when there are left-ver hard boiled eggs!
- Canned salmon
- Smoked salmon
- Boiled egg
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Dill or parsley
How to make Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes
To make Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes you don’t need any fancy equipment, not even a food processor – just a knife and a chopping board to dice smoked salmon and a bowl and a fork to mix everything together.
So, chop, dice, mix. Enjoy!!
- Drain the canned salmon
- Dice smoked salmon
- Finely dice onion and herbs
- Mash and mix all the ingredients together
And the best thing about this recipe, besides it being delicious and affordable, is that it can be made in advance and stay in the fridge overnight to develop the flavours, thus making it ideal to serve at a party.
Variations for Salmon Rillettes
I’ve made this Salmon Rillettes many times and although I mostly keep to the same ingredients, I do change a few of them from time to time, depending on what I have in the fridge.
- I am a big fan of dill with fish, so I prefer to use dill whenever I can.
- But parsley will work equally well if that’s what you have on hand.
- You could also try light-tasting tarragon or chives.
- I would stay away from stronger flavours such as cilantro or basil.
- Yogurt, Mayo
- I like using a combination of plain yogurt and mayo but you could use either one or another.
- If you use yogurt only, you’ll need to add more seasonings to taste most likely.
- You could also use sour cream instead of yogurt if you’d like.
- Sweet or red onion work really well in this Salmon Rillettes appetizer.
- If you only have access to regular onion, then it’s not a problem, just pour boiling water over diced onion and leave for 20-30 seconds before draining. This will make regular onion taste less nippy.
- Smoked Salmon
- Great thing about this recipe that it only uses 1/4 cup of diced smokes salmon and has a lot of flavour.
- If you have more smoked salmon, feel free to use more.
- I find that all the ingredients combined have enough salt that I don’t need to add anymore, so I usually don’t add any seasoning.
- Sometimes I add a pinch of cayenne pepper as it really accentuates the flavour but it’s optional.
Affordable Canned and Smoked Salmon Rillettes
- 1/4 cup onion (very finely diced)
- 1/4 cup dill or parsley (finely chopped)
- 213 g canned salmon (1 can)
- 1/4 cup smoked salmon (diced)
- 1 large egg (boiled)
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
- lemon juice (1/4 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Dice the onion very finely.
- If you are using regular cooking onion, then place it in a small bowl and pour boiling water over the onion and let stand for 20-30 seconds, then drain. This makes the onion sweeter.If you are using sweet or red onion then you can omit the boiling water step.
- Drain the canned salmon and discard any skin or bones. Note, if you have cats then cats would love the drained salmon water.
- In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients mashing the canned salmon and egg until a course pâté forms.
- Serve with crackers.