Smorrobrod with herrings recipe

(1 rating)

Smorrebrod is a typical Danish dish of rye bread with an array of beautiful toppings. We've used herrings and beetroot to make a fresh and tasty dish.

  • healthy
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories514 Kcal26%
Fat24 g34%
Saturated Fat5.5 g28%
Carbohydrates51 g20%

Smorrebrod is a classic Danish open-faced sandwich. This simple Scandi dish is made using dark and dense rye bread that can be topped with a range of toppings. We’ve used pickled herring, another typically Danish food, for our smorrebrod, and paired it with a vibrant homemade beetroot dip and a sharp cucumber pickle. The word smorrebrod translates as bread and butter, but this is no ordinary bread and butter dish! As well as tasting great, the Danes like their smorrebrod to look good too. We love any excuse to play with our food, so turning a simple sandwich into a Instagram-ready work of art is something we simply can’t resist.


For the cucumber pickle

  • 4tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

For the beetroot dip

  • 4 cooked beetroot
  • 75g walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tbsp crème fraiche
  • ½tsp sumac

For the smorrebrod

  • 240g jar herrings, drained
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 1 bunch dill




  1. For the pickle, heat the vinegar with the salt, sugar, mustard seeds, start anise and bay leaf. Once the sugar has dissolved, Remove from the heat and stir in the sliced cucumber. Set aside to marinate and cool.
  2. To make the beetroot dip, blend all ingredients in a food processor and season well.
  3. To assemble the smorrebrod, spread 2tbsp of the beetroot dip on each slice of rye bread, then top with a few herrings, some pickle, fresh dill sprigs and extra crème fraiche, if you like. You may have some beetroot dip left over but it will keep for 3 days in the fridge.