Smorrebrod is the Danish word for open sandwiches. They are a major part of the Scandinavian diet but no where else as much as in Denmark. Danes often enjoy Smorrebrod for lunch but also hold smorrebrod parties instead of smorgasbords. Smorrebrod literally translates as buttered bread but this is an understatement as the bread is often hidden totally by the topping. This is not to say that the toppings are heavy in fact they should be light.

Smorrebrod when prepared should be attractive and tasty, the topping varies according to the occasion.

1 Portion Each
Prep: 5 minutes


Bread (used for each type)

  • large slice of dark rye bread, buttere

Herrings on Beetroot Puree

  • 2 Roll mops or other cured herring fillets
  • 1 small cooked beetroots or canned beetroots, peeled and pureed
  • 1 slice of gherkin


  • 4-5 thin slices of gravalax (see recipe)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 dill sprig


  • 2 thin slices of elemental cheese
  • 2 thin slices of cucumber
  • 1 lambs lettuce or iceberg lettuce leaf
  • 1 small pickled onion, sliced in half (optional)
  • 1 cherry tomato, quartered


  • Paté (shop bought or see recipe)
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 1-2 red grapes, quartered

Roast Beef

  • 3-4 slices of roast beef
  • 3 small gherkins sliced in half
  • small handful of mustard cress

Rolled Veal Sausage

  • 3-4 slices Rolled Veal Sausage
  • 3-5 finely sliced red onion rings
  • 1 tsp finely chopped dill


Herrings on Beetroot Puree
  1. Spread the beetroot puree over the bread. Place the roll mops or herring fillets on the bread. Garnish the smorrebrod with a gherkin in the centre.
Gravalax Gravalax can be purchased from many supermarkets and delicatessen or you can make your own. If you prefer smoked salmon simply use it instead of the gravalax.
  1. Overlap the gravalax slices on the bread. Garnish the sandwiches with a lemon wedge and dill.
  1. Place the lettuce leaf on the bread. Place the cherry tomatoes and pickled cucumber in one corner of the bread.
  2. Place the elemental slices on the bread and garnish the cheese with the cucumber slices on the bottom corner of the smorrebrod.
  1. Spread an even layer of the pate on the bread. Overlap the cucumber slices in the centre of the bread. Garnish the pate with the grape quarters on the top right hand corner of the bread.
Roast Beef
  1. Overlap the slices of the roast beef on the rye bread. Fan the gherkin slices in the centre of the roast beef. Garnish the smorrebrod with the cress on one corner of the bread.
Rolled Veal Sausage This rolled meat is sold in delicatessen, food shops and supermarkets through out Scandinavia. You can make your own (see recipe) or replace it with a similar sliced cold meat.
  1. Overlap the slices of rolled veal sausage on the bread. Place 3-5 red onion rings in the centre of the sandwich. Sprinkle the dill over the smorrebrod.