Salmon Rillettes

There are many salmon recipes on this blog, because of all fish varieties, salmon is my favorite. It’s such a versatile protein – one that goes beyond basic grilling, poaching, or smoking.
A while back I had a dilemma facing me with two leftover salmon filets. And this is how my salmon rillettes recipe was created.


Salmon Rillettes
Makes about 24 ounces of rillettes

1 or 2 salmon filets, approximately 12 ounces total, pin bones removed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
Fresh chopped parsley, about 3 tablespoons

Rinse and dry the salmon filet. Bring it to room temperature if it’s not already. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the salmon by browning it on the flesh side first. The browned butter will help color the salmon.

Turn it over, lower the heat, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the salmon is medium rare, about 6 minutes total, depending on the thickness. Turn off the heat.

While the fish is still in the skillet remove the skin and discard. Using a spatula, chop up the salmon coarsely. Let cool slightly.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and white pepper. Beat until smooth.

Fold in the sautéed salmon, along with the butter from the skillet, as well as the smoked salmon. Try to keep some of the pieces of salmon in tact. At the last minute, add the parsley, gently “pushing” it into the salmon and cheese mixture.

Place in a jar or serving dish, and serve with bread or crackers.

These rillettes are definitely best just made, still slightly warm. If they must be refrigerated, bring them to room temperature before serving.

Rye crackers or bread are fabulous with anything salmon.


Rillettes of pork, or those made from duck or goose are almost purely meat, softly ground to make spreadable.

These salmon rillettes contain some cream cheese and goat cheese for creaminess. If you want “meatier” rillettes, cut back on the cream cheese. The important thing with rillettes is that they’re soft and spreadable.

By Published On: May 7th, 202044 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

44 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet May 7, 2020 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    Delicious! Great recipe.

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 11:10 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 7, 2020 at 7:08 AM - Reply

    This looks delicious. The only thing I would do different is crisp up that salmon skin and not discard it, then crumble it as a topping.,

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 11:10 AM - Reply

      Very creative. Not my thing for some reason!

  3. Frank Fariello May 7, 2020 at 7:30 AM - Reply

    Sounds yummy! I adore meat rillettes and salmon, both fresh and smoked, so the combination would be right up my alley.

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 11:09 AM - Reply

      I was very proud of this creation!

  4. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats May 7, 2020 at 1:24 PM - Reply

    Definitely something I would be devouring! Love the combination of fresh and smoked salmon, as well as cream cheese and goat cheese.

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 2:01 PM - Reply

      THANK YOU! It was really enjoyable.

  5. Mary May 7, 2020 at 3:24 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this sounds wonderful. I can just see a bowl of this right in front of me with all sorts of bits and pieces to put it on. I can imagine all those flavours that I love in one bowl. All ready for me to devour. Mmmmm……

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 5:40 PM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! I know that feeling!

  6. Kim Bultman May 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM - Reply

    Truly delectable, Mimi. Quick question… what’s the correct pronunciation of rillettes? Also, I see cornichons in your last photo and I don’t know how to say that either. I’m glad my enjoyment of food isn’t limited by my vocabulary. :) Thanks in advance!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 5:39 PM - Reply

      Rillettes would be ree- yets. Cornichons would be harder to transcribe – maybe go to google and do an audio translation. Delectable, indeed!

  7. jenniferguerrero1 May 7, 2020 at 5:45 PM - Reply

    Love! This sounds fabulous! We’re all salmon-heads, so I can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 6:03 PM - Reply

      Salmon is so good and so versatile. Did you ever catch my salmon crudo post? Best raw salmon ever

      • jenniferguerrero1 May 7, 2020 at 6:05 PM

        No! I’ll have to search for that! Thanks for the heads-up!

      • chef mimi May 7, 2020 at 6:13 PM

        You will thank me…

  8. Linda Duffin May 8, 2020 at 11:34 AM - Reply

    Mmmmmm, delicious! My tummy is rumbling and I’m going to have to do a fridge raid. See what you made me do. :D

    • chef mimi May 8, 2020 at 1:28 PM - Reply

      So sorry! These rillettes were so good!

  9. cookingwithauntjuju.com May 8, 2020 at 2:49 PM - Reply

    I love salmon and I appreciate a new recipe to try. Goat cheese and cream cheese are a great combination with the fresh salmon.

    • chef mimi May 8, 2020 at 2:59 PM - Reply

      It turned out great. Of course, any combination of those ingredients turn out wonderfullY!

  10. Jeff the Chef May 9, 2020 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    This sounds like party food!

    • chef mimi May 9, 2020 at 11:25 AM - Reply

      You bet!

  11. David Scott Allen May 9, 2020 at 12:19 PM - Reply

    Salmon rillettes are one of my favorite apps – or even a light dinner! Yours are beautiful, Mimi!

    • chef mimi May 9, 2020 at 12:21 PM - Reply

      Thank you David!!♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

  12. sippitysup May 9, 2020 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    This falls in the category of a “forever favorite”. GREG

    • chef mimi May 9, 2020 at 4:17 PM - Reply

      Aww thanks! Here, too!

  13. thatskinnychickcanbake May 10, 2020 at 8:17 AM - Reply

    It’s been years since I’ve made salmon rillettes! I used Dorie’s recipe and it was a terrific lunch on crackers. We’re actually grilling a boatload of salmon for dinner tonight….and now I know what to do with the leftovers!!

    • chef mimi May 10, 2020 at 8:21 AM - Reply

      Huh. I thought i invented it!!! I’ll have to see what she did. Thanks!

  14. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen May 10, 2020 at 10:38 AM - Reply

    We love salmon too and this sounds like a delicious way to use up leftover salmon!

    • chef mimi May 10, 2020 at 3:28 PM - Reply

      It worked out so well!

  15. neil@neilshealthymeals.com May 11, 2020 at 2:20 AM - Reply

    Salmon is a personal favourite of mine too Mimi. This salmon rillettes recipe reminds me of the trout pate I make (when I can get fresh trout from a friend who goes fishing here) although you’ve left the salmon choped up rather than blended. I love it!

    • chef mimi May 11, 2020 at 6:43 AM - Reply

      Thanks Neil. I left the salmon more like a rillettes texture rather than a smooth paté but both are delicious!

  16. Katherine | Love In My Oven May 11, 2020 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    I like that you combined goat cheese with the cream cheese! I imagine those flavors would be great together. This is a lovely appetizer!

    • chef mimi May 11, 2020 at 4:35 PM - Reply

      They’re great in any ratio, right?!! If you love salmon…

  17. Healthy World Cuisine May 11, 2020 at 8:18 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this looks super delicious. We just grilled a huge salmon fillet this evening with lots leftover. Your recipe will be fantastic for munching on tomorrow for lunch. Take care

    • chef mimi May 11, 2020 at 8:37 PM - Reply

      Perfect!!

  18. 2pots2cook May 13, 2020 at 1:34 AM - Reply

    So beautiful version Mimi ! Love rillettes very much, served as an appetizer or brunch ! Thank you for detailed descriptions.

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      You’re so welcome. The recipe turned out really well.

  19. Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 13, 2020 at 1:43 AM - Reply

    This looks so delicious! I wish we could get affordable salmon here.

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      Oh, that’s too bad. I guess you’re far from any salmon waters.

  20. Michelle May 21, 2020 at 3:03 PM - Reply

    This looks so good! I’ve never cooked anything with fresh salmon before.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2020 at 3:04 PM - Reply

      Oh, you need to! It’s such a fabulous fish!

  21. Hank May 5, 2022 at 3:29 AM - Reply

    Looks amazing. It seems to go with many things! gonna try it someday.

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