25 Traditional Swedish Recipes (2024)

These easy Swedish recipes bring a taste of Scandinavia to your home! From meatballs to potato pancakes to dessert, you’ll love these traditional Swedish dishes!

During my time in Sweden, I couldn’t get enough of the cuisine.

25 Traditional Swedish Recipes (1)

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From dark ginger cookies to light and nutty Semlor to tender meatballs with lingonberry sauce, I was hooked from the first day.

My beautiful Swedish friend, Susanna, took me to plenty of fantastic restaurants where we tried some familiar-looking dishes and some that I couldn’t pronounce.

I have to say, I still try to have a fika whenever possible! Their “coffee and a cake break” is practically a religion, and I was converted fast.

I guarantee this list has plenty of options, whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or something different for dinner.

Smaklig måltid! Enjoy this list of 25 Swedish recipes!

1. Easy Homemade Ikea Swedish Meatball Recipe

I was thrilled to see my friend making meatballs at home. If they’re great anywhere, it’s in Sweden!

Not only are they a great mixture of pork and beef, but they have potato and onion in the mix and Worcestershire sauce in the gravy. Talk about tasty!

For the best crispy coating, toss the meatballs in a little flour before frying.

2. Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

Mostly served around the holidays but a pleasant little cookie year-round, this recipe uses dark corn syrup for a depth of flavor you won’t get without it.

Molasses would be an excellent alternative, though the texture would be slightly different.

I love the inclusion of orange zest into the dough, and if you like your cookies extra spicy, trying using freshly grated ginger.

3. Swedish Cream Recipe

This can only be described as a dream. If creme brulee and panna cotta got together, his would be the result.

It’s creamy, sweet, silky smooth, and just firm enough to scoop with a touch of strawberry compote.

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What’s unusual about this recipe is the use of sour cream. It adds such a lovely tang to the custard, as well as provides some density to the mixture.

4. Swedish Apple Pie

This decadent pie is almost like an apple cobbler.

Rather than a layer of pastry, you’ll need to make the topping and spoon it over your apple filling.

As it cooks, the filling will seep into the apples and create a lovely crust.

Be sure to cut your apples to a uniform size – larger or smaller depending on your preference – and play around with the spices.

I like to add freshly grated nutmeg to my apple pies.

5. Swedish Potato Pancakes (Raggmunk)

These can be served as a simple snack or as a side to some chicken or tender meatballs. Either way, they’re crunchy, salty, and irresistible.

I like to add garlic to mine and have been known to add in some bacon, too!

For the crispiest potatoes, always drain them, squeezing out any excess moisture to ensure they fry and don’t steam.

6. Swedish Rye Bread (Limpa)

Much like other European countries, the Swedes like their bread dark and full of rich flavor.

This recipe is slightly different, with it being a little sweet. It includes molasses, caraway, fennel, anise seeds, and orange zest, but can be served as a sandwich loaf.

A popular thing to include in Sweden is grated carrot and toasted coconut to the top.

7. Swedish Blueberry Soup

It took me a minute to get my head around this one, but if we can eat gazpacho at lunch, why not blueberry soup for breakfast?

Wild blueberries are a must for this recipe.

The flavor is out of this world, and they get flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a touch of maple syrup for sweetness.

Thicken it up with cornstarch and serve hot or cold.

8. Swedish Lingonberry Sauce

My first experience with lingonberry sauce was with those meatballs my friend made.

She made it herself, from scratch, thank you very much!

I was hesitant to try the sweet, tart berries with meaty meatballs and salty gravy, but oh boy, did it work!

Just trust me and give it a shot!

9. Crispy Hasselback Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

If you’re going to try anything on this list, pick this!

Originally from a small tavern in Sweden, these potatoes are crispy, tender, and so good.

Be sure to use russets and Idaho potatoes for the best texture once cooked.

This recipe calls for bacon grease, which I always save when I make bacon. It’s pure gold.

You can find it in the chiller section of a lot of European supermarkets.

Another option is to use rosemary and garlic-infused olive oil.

10. Swedish Pancakes

You’ll find these very similar to crepes. Thin, sweet, and delicate, they are a great little snack or dessert with the right toppings.

If you have the time, let the batter rest in the fridge before cooking. You can even make it the night before.

These would be perfect for that lingonberry sauce!

11. Rice Porridge (Risengrød or Risgrynsgröt)

Traditionally served at Christmas, the cook adds an almond to the pot, and then the person who finds it is said to be married the next year.

Any leftovers are usually served as breakfast the next day.

Jasmine is the best rice to use, and you can switch out the milk for coconut milk if you’re making it dairy-free.

12. Swedish Semlor Buns

I’ve spent years trying to perfect these little babies.

These soft and sweet bread buns have just a hint of cardamom and are filled with a heavenly mix of marzipan and whipped cream.

Having spent many winter days with my friend in Stockholm, nothing screams Christmas like these big buns dusted with powdered sugar.

You will need to scoop out the center of the bread for the filling and add the crumbs to a bowl with grated marzipan, cream, and almond extract.

Top with plenty of whipped cream and enjoy!

13. Swedish Almond Tart

If you’re a fan of frangipane or a British bakewell tart, then I’m betting this one’s for you.

Buttery pastry, which you can buy in the store, gets filled with a sweetened almond mixture that becomes spongy and tender when baked.

I prefer it with a touch of jam for moisture and tartness, but it’s still delicious without.

14. Swedish Visiting Cake

This light cake is full of lemon and almond flavors and is the perfect companion for a fika with a friend.

The cake itself is straightforward and gets topped with sliced almond and sugar that will form a slightly crispy top once baked.

It can be served warm or cold and needs nothing more than a cup of coffee.

15. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

Cardamom has a pretty unique flavor. When used just right, it offers a pleasant fruity taste but is easy to over-use.

For these cinnamon rolls, it gives such a subtle undertone that I really enjoy with the spicy cinnamon.

They get topped with Swedish pearl sugar, which is a revelation that you’ll want to put on everything!

16. Thumbprint Cookies (Hallongrotta)

I think most countries have some version of these cookies, and rightly so! They’re so buttery and sweet, and they never last long in my house.

Hallongrotta actually means “raspberry cave” in Swedish, hence the use of raspberry jam. But of course, you can use whichever jam you like best!

The key to getting the most crumbly cookie ever is to not over-mix the dough. Be gentle and try not to handle it too much.

17. Authentic Swedish Waffles Recipe

Although you can make these in a traditional waffle iron, I love the look of the thinner, heart-shaped waffles you get with a Swedish waffle iron.

With them being thinner, they don’t need to cook as long. I like them softer, so only cook for a few minutes.

Traditionally, you’ll see these with lingonberry jam, but Nutella would make a nice change.

You’ll notice that this batter is much thinner than usual waffle batter – that’s normal. Pour it carefully in the waffle iron and be careful not to over-fill.

18. Traditional Swedish Glogg

Mulled wine is a must at Christmas, right? I always like to make up a big batch and keep it warm in the Crockpot. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes!

Glogg is found all over Europe during the holidays, and you can even buy it ready-made from the store.

I like to make my own so that I can control the spices that go in. Extra cinnamon and orange for me, please!

Sweden likes to take it up a notch by adding in some bourbon! I think a spiced rum would work pretty well, too.

19. Vegan Yellow Split Pea Soup

Loaded with protein and super affordable, this thick, warm soup is the perfect way to stay warm during those long, cold Swedish winters.

I love using yellow split peas because they have a slightly milder flavor, and they don’t turn grey after cooking!

You can keep it simple with just carrots, onion, and some spices, or bulk it out with some potatoes and even leftover chicken.

20.Braised Swedish Red Cabbage

It’s not uncommon to see braised cabbage served as a side throughout Europe, and most countries keep it pretty simple.

I particularly like using red cabbage due to its vibrant color. It livens up any table, plus, cabbage is so affordable and goes a long way.

You’ll start in a similar way to other recipes. Gently sauté the shredded cabbage before adding in vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.

It gets exciting, though, when you’re almost at the end of the cooking time.

This recipe adds in red currant jelly and applesauce for such a pleasant sweet note to go along with the tangy cabbage.

21. Swedish Cheese Pie (Västerbottenostpaj)

Is it cheese pie or quiche? I’ll let you decide.

This delicious pie has everything I love: flaky pastry with a sensationally cheesy filling that can be served hot or cold.

You’ll need to blind-bake the pie shell to ensure it cooks properly once you add in the cheese mixture.

I use dried beans to hold down parchment paper when I do this.

For the filling, you’ll need a lot of cheese – three cups, to be exact. Like I said, it’s sensationally cheesy!

It’s pretty perfect as is, but like with everything, you can modify it to suit your tastes. I like to add some onion and bacon to mine.

22. Traditional Swedish Saffron Buns (Lussekatter)

I’m pretty sure you’ll find these in every household come Christmas.

They’re such a staple, and they’re super fun to make. You won’t even need a mixer!

I know saffron is expensive, but it gives such a beautiful color to these buns, and you can’t really substitute.

Molding and shaping is where the fun comes in. The flavors come alive as you work with the soft dough.

One trick I’ve learned is to soak your raisins in water before adding them to the bun. This way, they won’t pull any moisture from the dough.

23. Swedish Potato and Anchovy Casserole (Jansson’s Temptation)

I’ve talked about my love of potatoes before, and how dishes like this are the pinnacle of incredible sides.

But this version is something else! I would never have thought to add anchovies to my potatoes, especially with the creamy sauce.

The little fish will more or less dissolve into the dish as it cooks, leaving behind a pleasant saltiness that enhances the flavor so well.

24. Swedish Spinach Soup

Given their cold winters, it’s no wonder that Swedes like their soups. Nothing is better on a cold, dark day than a big bowl of warmth!

It might seem odd to base a soup off spinach alone, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other ingredients to ensure this is super tasty and filling.

Between the onion, garlic, rosemary, and potatoes, you won’t be left hungry. And the color is out of this world!

25. Swedish Crispbread (Knäckebröd)

These are awesome to serve at a buffet or with some substantial dip. The dark rye flavor is phenomenal, and I love the addition of caraway into the mix.

Most Swedes eat their sandwiches open, meaning they just have one slice and no top.

These thin crisps are perfect for holding spreads, eggs, and smoked salmon.

25 Traditional Swedish Recipes (2)

25 Traditional Swedish Recipe Collection

These easy Swedish recipes bring a taste of Scandinavia to your home! From meatballs to potato pancakes to dessert, you’ll love these traditional Swedish dishes!

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25 Traditional Swedish Recipes (3)

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25 Traditional Swedish Recipes (2024)

FAQs

What is Sweden's number one food? ›

Swedish meatballs, or köttbullar, are perhaps one of the most internationally recognized dishes from Sweden. These small, flavorful meatballs are traditionally served with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and a creamy gravy, making for a comforting and satisfying meal.

What does the average Swedish person eat? ›

The Swedish diet is very varied with a healthy mix of whole grains, lean protein (lots of fish but also game), a focus on vegetables, berries, fermented dairy – all things that have been hailed as part of the healthy Nordic Diet.

What is everyday Swedish food? ›

Typical Swedish dishes (which in Swedish is called Husmanskost) can be:
  • Meatballs with potatoes/mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam.
  • Kalops (a Swedish beef stew) with potatoes.
  • Falu sausage with mashed potatoes.
  • Cabbage pudding (mince meat with cabbage baked in the oven) with potatoes and gravy.
Nov 6, 2023

What is a traditional Swedish breakfast? ›

Cereal, yogurt, and dried fruits and nuts at Torekov Hotel. Cereal is usually muesli, eaten with filmjölk (a buttermilk-like product) or yogurt, and mixed with dried fruits and nuts. Jam isn't usually eaten with bread, but mixed into a bowl of plain yogurt, along with dried fruits and nuts.

What is Sweden's favorite food? ›

1. Kanelbulle. If Sweden had a national food, it would, without doubt, be the cinnamon bun. It's hard to avoid these delicious spiced rolls, which can be found in every café, bakery and food shop around the country –simply follow the scent of them baking.

What is the most common breakfast in Sweden? ›

What is the most popular breakfast in Sweden? Most likely cereal with milk or yogurt and/or a sandwich with cheese or ham. Coffee, tea and juice are common drinks. Porridge is also quite popular with some people.

What is the most popular drink in Sweden? ›

Kaffe, or coffee, is a very popular drink in Sweden, as is tea. Brännvin is traditional Swedish vodka while traditional Swedish beers include pilsner (lagers) and lättol (a light beer).

What vegetables do Swedes eat? ›

The main vegetables grown in the past were onions, turnips and swedes ('rutabaga') – root vegetables grew well in the Swedish climate and were also key due to their keeping for a long time.

What is the average weight of a Swedish woman? ›

By country
CountryAverage male weightAverage female weight
Sweden81.9 kg (180.6 lb)66.7 kg (147.0 lb)
Togo63.2 kg (139.3 lb)60.0 kg (132.3 lb)
Tonga99.4 kg (219.1 lb)97.7 kg (215.4 lb)
Trinidad and Tobago76.7 kg (169.1 lb)71.1 kg (156.7 lb)
48 more rows

What is the best butter in Sweden? ›

Bregott® was invented in 1969 and is currently Sweden's most popular brand of butter and cooking fat products. There are six different Bregott® variants.

What is the most popular Swedish dish? ›

Swedish meatballs: Perhaps the most famous Swedish dish, Swedish meatballs are made from a mixture of ground meat (usually beef and pork), breadcrumbs, and spices. They are typically served with a creamy gravy and lingonberry sauce.

Why do Swedes eat pea soup on Thursdays? ›

Pea soup on Thursday has been a tradition in Sweden since the Middle Ages. It stems from the Friday fasting historically observed by the Roman Catholic church as a reminder of Jesus' suffering and death on Good Friday. Thursdays had a somewhat festive aura and peas were considered a luxury item.

What kind of cheese do they eat in Sweden? ›

While some Swedish cheeses are modern such as Greve (launched in 1964), others such as Prastost and Vadenost are some of Sweden's oldest modern cheeses. Produced since the 1700s, Vadenost is Sweden's most popular cheese. This cow's milk cheese has a flavor reminiscent of English Cheddar.

What is a Swedish buffet style meal called? ›

Smörgåsbord (Swedish: [ˈsmœ̂rɡɔsˌbuːɖ], directly translates to “open-sandwich-table”) is a buffet-style meal of Swedish origin.

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