Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

by Aimee Stock

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Aimee Stock

This Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe is a must have at our family holiday gatherings. Made with softened cream cheese, canned tuna and flavored with minced onion, chili sauce a dash of hot sauce, your guests are sure to love this one. This recipe is best served after chilling over night in the refrigerator. It really allows the flavors to develop.

Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe HERO

First things first. What exactly is Pâté?

Pâté (pronounced pah-TAY) is French for “paste.” You might think at first glance that this resembles tuna salad, but I assure you…it is not. The tuna is pureed into a paste with cream cheese in a hand mixer or food processor. The end result is a smooth and delicious spread. We prefer buttery RITZ crackers, but also serve a variety to allow guests to choose their favorites.

How to make my Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

You’ll want to finely mince the shallot and parsley. I prefer shallot over onion in this recipe as the onion really tends to over power the flavors. Also, drain two cans of tuna. I use Albacore packed in water. You’ll want a higher quality tuna for this recipe.

Ingredients for Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

Using a hand mixer or preferably, a food processor, blend the ingredients until very smooth. This is what differentiates a Pâté from your traditional tuna salad.

Blend or process until smooth

It should look like this.

Pureed PATE

The next step is an important one. You’ll need to transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate. I find this tastes even better the next day as it firms and all of the flavors have had a chance to really meld together.

This Pâté also lasts for a few days in the refrigerator. Love the leftovers!

Refrigerate overnight

To serve, simply place in a bowl, top with additional chili sauce (if desired) and garnish with fresh parsley. Be sure to provide appetizer knives and plates for your guests to use.

serving bowl for Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

What crackers work best with this recipe?

We like buttery RITZ type crackers, but any sturdy cracker will do. You could also serve the Pâté with vegetables if desired.

Serving dish for Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

This is a family favorite that I am sure you are also going to love.


Did you make this Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought!

You can also tag me with your creations on Instagram @aimee_stock. I love seeing what you come up with 🙂

PIN for Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe

Classic Tuna Pâté Recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 cups


  • Food Processor (or Hand Mixer)


  • 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 2 cans (5 oz each) Albacore Tuna drained
  • 2 tbsp Chili Sauce or more to taste
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp Shallot finely minced, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce (Tabasco) or more to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (or use a hand mixer) and process until smooth like a Pâté.
  • Chill, over night is best. Taste again for seasoning, adding more chili or hot sauce if desired.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers.

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