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Do you know the difference between Pâté and Rillette?

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

French Cuisine has been a perfect piece of art for centuries, ranging from amazing cheeses to exquisite chocolate, from freshly baked bread to tasty boeuf bourguignon, to professionally made starters such as Pâté, Rillette, but do you know the difference between them?


Is called a forcemeat, i.e., a dish made from meat and fat that is either ground or pureed together to form an emulsion mixture. Spices and sometimes alcohol (like port, brandy, or wine) are added for flavoring, cream, egg, or bread may be added to produce a certain texture. This explains why some pâtés are spreadable, while others are sliceable. Pâtés are usually made from offal parts, such as liver, which both gives the dish its famously earthy flavor, and also acts as a binding agent.


Rillette, also known as cooked shredded meat, tends to be on the chunkier side. It is made from leg, thigh, shoulder, or rib meat (generally pork, fatback, duck, or rabbit), that is shredded and then cooked in its own fat, and later ground to create a spread. This means that the rillette is technically a type of confit. Spices, plums, prunes and sometimes alcohol (like brandy) are added for flavouring.

The main difference between a rillette and a pâté is that in a pâté, meat and fat are combined before cooking, while with rillette, that process happens afterwards.

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