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Dansk Smørrebrød

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:


3 Servings



About the Recipe

I discovered smørrebrod several years ago on my trip to Denmark. First, let they are open faced sandwiches, but they are to be eaten with a knife ad fork.


For a roast beef smørrebrød:

  • One Slice dar, seedy rye bread

  • 8oz butter, softened

  • 1 jar cornichons, sliced

  • ½ lb. roast beef

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • Horseradish

For a smoked salmon smorrebrød:

  • One slice dark, seedy rye bread

  • 8 oz smoked salmon

  • Three slices of radish

  • Several sprigs of fresh dill

  • Mustard

  • Lemon Juice

For a blue cheese and pear smørrebrød:

  • One slice dark, seedy rye bread

  • 4 oz Bleu Cheese

  • Pear

  • Chopped walnuts



Spread butter on rye bread.

For a roast beef smørrebrød:

Top bread with two slices of roast beef. Add cornichons and slices of red onion. Top with horseradish.

For a smoked salmon smorrebrød:

Top bread with two slices smoked salmon. Add two to three slices of radish and several sprigs of fresh dill. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice and mustard.

For a blue cheese and pear smørrebrød: Spread bleu cheese on top of the butter. Add a slice of pear. Garnish with chopped walnuts.

Spread a Generous Amount of Butter on the Bread

Next, smear the bread lavishly with softened butter. This step is not optional! Smørrebrød iterally translates to “butter-bread.” The butter prevents the toppings from making the bread soggy and provides a foundation for them to stick to. For fun, seek out a Scandinavian butter like Lurpak from Iceland or Finlandia from Finland.

Assemble the Smørrebrød

Then it’s time to assemble your sandwiches. Stick with one kind of protein per smørrebrød. This is not an American Dagwood sandwich with piles of different meats and cheeses! Match the sauces and garnishes to the protein, such as mustard and dill with salmon or horseradish and onion with roast beef. Be sure to add some crunch, such as slices of radish or tangy pickles, and pops of color. Looks count, so make your smørrebrød Instagram-worthy by arranging the toppings with care.

I give you ideas for three classic smørrebrød here, but there are dozens of authentic combinations to try from pickled herring to paté to egg salad. Or make up your own version. There is no wrong way to make a smørrebrød. Just don’t eat it with your hands!

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