Pickled Herring Smørrebrød (Danish Open-Faced Sandwich) Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

This classic Danish open-faced sandwich features pickled herring with rich butter and dense, tangy sourdough rye bread.

Note: If you cannot access rugbrød, substitute bread with a dark, whole grain rye.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Makes: 1 sandwich

Rate & Comment


  • 1 slice rugbrød (dense Danish sourdough rye bread), about 1/3-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 5 pieces jarred pickled herring
  • Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon dill, roughly chopped


  1. If not already trimmed, cut rye bread to a 3- by 5-inch rectangle.

  2. Spread butter evenly all over top side of bread.

  3. Arrange pickled herring on butter, covering the surface evenly. Tuck red onion between the pieces of herring and garnish with chopped dill. Serve right away.

This Recipe Appears In