This quick tuna pâté is so versatile.
Enjoy it as a snack, lunch, Sunday tea, or as an elegant entertaining starter for friends and family.
There are no complicated ingredients, and this recipe uses canned tuna chunks, so it's totally budget friendly.
Delicious on toast, crusty bread or crackers, this is an easy spread that anyone can make.
Easily portable for picnics too.
I've always loved pâté and there's something satisfying about making your own, as opposed to buying a packet from a shop.
Traditionally, many pâtés were meat based and involve mincing various meats, then cooking them slowly in a dish in a bain marie. Completely delicious, but so time consuming.
This tuna pâté has no cooking involved and comes together in minutes from basic ingredients for effortless eating.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- No cooking.
- Basic ingredients.
- Budget friendly.
- Made in minutes.
- Perfect for casual dining or an elegant starter.
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- Tuna - canned and flaked tuna in brine or water from two 145 gram tins, (approx. 5 ounces), drained. This is much cheaper than tuna steak or chunks and won't affect the taste.
- Lemon - fresh lemon juice or from a bottle.
- Capers - these are sold brined in jars in supermarkets. They have a naturally salty flavour and add crunch and piquancy to dishes. They are delicious with smoked salmon or prawns too.
- Seasoning - as the tuna and capers are stored in brine, the tuna spread is seasoned enough with salt. Balck pepper adds a good balance to the flavours.
- Cream cheese - full fat or reduced fat will work. Avoid the very low fat cream cheease as it tends to be watery rather than creamy.
- Spring onions - also known as green onions or scallions for crunch and their mild flavour.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- 4 ramekins or small bowls for serving - optional
- mixing bowl
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- kitchen towel
Drain the capers on kitchen paper to reduce excess moisture, then chop finely.
Wash the spring onions, trim the ends, cut into quarters lengthways and finely chop.
Drain the tuna and tip into a mixing bowl.
Use a fork to mash the tuna into small shreds.
💭 Top Tip
- Drain the tuna through a sieve or, to save time and washing up, just use the can lid to squeeze out the water.
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, black pepper and chopped capers and spring onions to the bowl.
Mix well and check the seasoning.
Transfer to individual ramekins or one larger shallow serving dish.
The tuna pâté is ready to eat straightaway, but it's best to allow it to chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
Garnish with some lemon pieces and a few capers to serve if you like.
🥗 Serve with
Serve on bread as a spread or a dip with vegetables.
- crusty bread
- melba toast
- Chicken Liver parfait
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
- Crab Pâté
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Spring onions - use a small shallot or other sweet onion.
- Capers - chop a small cornischon or piece of dill pickle.
- Cream cheese - use mascarpone or ricotta for a creamier version
- Seafood - use canned salmon, sardines, mackerel, pilchards or crab.
- Refrigerator - cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Freezor - not suitable for home freezing as the cheese is likely to separate.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Make in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving.
A terrine is normally made by lining a raised baking dish with bacon, then layering meats and sometimes vegetables. The dish is then cooked in a water bath in the oven. It is served in slices, normally for a starter.
Try Game Terrine or Duck Terrine with Asparagus. These are normally eaten with a knife and fork and some good Caramelised Onion Chutney.
A pâté is often cooked in the same way but the meats are minced before cooking, so that the pâté can be spread on bread. Pâté can be coarse or smooth and creamy.
Another quick recipe is Smoked Salmon Pâté. This is very economical to make with smoked salmon trimmings.
With a parfait, the meat is cooked first and then passed through a sieve to achieve a smooth mixture. Cream and butter are often added for added richness, along with brandy or other alcohol. I should point out that the term parfait, when discussing a savoury dish, is more used by the British than French. A parfait in French, relates to a smooth dessert.
Chicken Liver Parfait is an absolute classic that is elegant served in individual ramekins or glass jars.
Rillettes are another form of pâté where meat is cooked slowly, shredded and mixed with fat. In France, duck, pork and chicken rillettes are very popular.
Pork Rillettes are an economical dish to make using pork shoulder.
Pâté is a general term meaning paste in French. It also refers to pastry, as in pâté feuilleté which is puff pastry.
More fish starters and appetisers to try
- Gin Cured Salmon
- Crab Canapés
- Smoked Salmon Mousse
- Smoked Salmon Canapés
- Prawn Canapés
- Seafood Bisque
- Pan Seared Scallops with Black Pudding
- Spicy Crab Salad
- Cod Cheeks in Panko
- 4 ramekins or small bowls for serving - optional
- Mixing bowl
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- kitchen towel
- 290 g canned tuna in brine 2 x 145g (204 g drained weight)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon capers optional extra for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 80 g cream cheese
- 2 spring onions
- Drain the capers on kitchen paper to reduce excess moisture, then chop finely.
- Wash the spring onions, trim the ends, cut into quarters lengthways and finely chop.
- Drain the tuna and tip into a mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash the tuna into small shreds.
- Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, black pepper and chopped capers and spring onions to the bowl. Mix well and check the seasoning.
- Ideally, chill for 30 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with some lemon pieces and a few capers.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More sauces and spreads to try
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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