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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Sweden   >   Recipes

   
 

Swedish Recipes


Many Swedish recipes are based around fish and seafood, especially herring, which is unsurprising given the country's long coastline and maritime tradition. Crayfish are also popular in Sweden, and are especially eaten in August, when the Swedes hold crayfish parties known as "kräftskivor".

Swedish crayfish party (kräftskiva)

On the other hand, Swedish recipes often contain relatively few vegetables - because historically there was limited choice of vegetables available during the long winters. That said, Swedish dishes do make use of potato, rutabaga (known in the United Kindom as "swede"), turnip, and cabbage preserved as sauerkraut. Additionally, a jam made from lingonberry, which is a small flowering plant that grows wild in Scandinavia, is a popular condiment with many dishes.

It probably would be fair to say that although some herbs are used in cooking, most Swedish traditional dishes are fairly plain, and the Swedes do not make use of spices to anything like the extent of some other countries. However, that does not mean that Swedish food is not tasty or satisfying.

Some of the most popular Swedish dishes include:
  • Knäckebröd - Knäckebröd is a crispy cracker-like bread made using rye. For breakfast (Swedish: frukost), the Swedes often eat in the form of open sandwiches, which are topped with topped with cold cuts, hard cheese, messmör (cheese spread) or even caviar.

    Knäckebröd

  • Smörgåsbord - Smörgåsbord is not so much a meal, as a style of eating. Many small dishes are prepared and laid out in a buffet to which guests and family members can help themselves. Smörgåsbord is especially popular during holiday periods, and is known at Christmas as "Julbord".

  • Ärtsoppa - Pea soup.

  • Gravad lax - A popular appetizer, gravad lax is cured salmon with vinegar, salt, sugar and dill. It is normally eaten with a dill and mustard sace, and served with bread or potatoes.

  • Inlagd sill - Pickled herring.

  • Surströmming - Fermented Baltic herring in brine.

  • Lutfisk - This is a very unusual dish made using stockfish (air-dried white fish). The fish - usually cod, but sometimes ling - is prepared using a multi-step process involving soaking in water, the in a mix of water soda lye (a caustic soda solution), and finally in water again. As a result the fish swells up and attains a jelly-like consistency. The fish is then cooked (usually by steaming), and served, most often with a white sauce containing pepper and other spices.

    Lutfisk (on the left) with various accompaniments

  • Blodpudding - This is a blood sausage (like the British "black pudding").

  • Kåldolmar - Kåldolmar are cabbage rolls filled with rice and pork. They are served with boiled potatoes and gravy, and lingonberry jam.

  • Janssons frestelse - This dish is potato, onion, and cream with with pickled sprat (Swedish: ansjovis), oven-baked. Because of the Swedish word "ansjovis", many people think this dish includes anchovies - it does not - anchovies are known in Sweden as "sardeller".

  • Köttbullar - Köttbullar is meatballs made from ground (minced) meat (usually beef, but sometimes beef and pork mixed), with breadcrumbs, chopped onions, seasoning ans spices. The meatballs are traditionally served with boiled potatoes and gravy, and usually with picked cucumber and lingonberry jam as well.
  • Kroppkaka - Potato dumplings, filled with pork and onions, and normally served with butter or cream, and lingonberry jam.

  • Pyttipanna - Potatoes, onions, and sausage or ham, chopped and then fried together in a pan.

  • Raggmunk - Pancakes made from potatoes.

  • Köttsoppa - This is a meat (beef normally but sometimes reindeer or elk), and root vegetable soup. It is often eaten with plain simple dumplings (Swedish: Klimp) made from wheat flour, milk and egg.
  • Smörgåstårta - This is a savory "cake" made out of layers of buttered bread with creamy fillings (egg and mayonnaise usually) between the layers, and topped as well. Many different fillings and toppings may be used, but common ones include caviar, liver paté, olives, prawns and smoked salmon. The dish is served cold, and cut into slices before eating.

  • Ostkaka - This is a cheesecake, but not like American/British cheesecakes. It is prepared by baking a cake made from milk curd (or nowadays cottage cheese). Normally ostaka is served with jam and whipped cream, or fruit and ice cream.

    Ostkaka

  • Saltlakrits - Salty liquorice.

  • Kanelbulle - Cinnamon Roll.

    Kanelbulle

  • Spettekaka - This dessert from southern Sweden is made using eggs, potato flour and sugar. The mixture is put on a skewer and cooked over an open fire until it becomes very dry and crispy (after cooking precautions are taken to retain this dryness). The cakes can be very small or even several feet (over a meter) in length - the large cakes needing to be cut with a hacksaw as they shatter if you attempt to cut them with a knife. Spettekaka is normally served with vanilla ice cream, dark roast coffee and port wine.

  • Knäck - Knäck is a traditional Swedish sticky toffee which is eaten at Christmas.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Swedish food:


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Books about Swedish Cooking and Recipes


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Bread on the Table: Recipes for Making and Enjoying Europe's Most Beloved Breads [A Baking Book]

By David Norman

Ten Speed Press
Released: 2019-10-22
Hardcover (256 pages)

Bread on the Table: Recipes for Making and Enjoying Europe s Most Beloved Breads [A Baking Book]
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Product Description:
The debut cookbook from cult favorite Austin bakery and beer garden Easy Tiger, featuring recipes from author David Norman's time spent exploring bread traditions throughout Europe and North America, plus menu ideas for incorporating homemade bread into everyday meals.

In this highly anticipated cookbook, culinary instructor and baker David Norman explores the European breadmaking traditions that inspire him most--from the rye breads of France to the saltless ciabattas of Italy to the traditional Christmas loaves of Scandinavia. Norman also offers recipes for traditional foods to accompany these regional specialties, so home bakers can showcase their freshly made breads alongside a traditional Swedish breakfast spread, oysters with mignonette, or country pâté, to name a few examples. With rigorous, detailed instructions plus showstopping photography, this book will surprise and delight bakers of all stripes.

Smorgasbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats [A Cookbook]

By Johanna Kindvall

Ten Speed Press
Released: 2017-09-26
Hardcover (176 pages)

Smorgasbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats [A Cookbook]
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Product Description:
A savory spin on Swedish baking, pantry, and party cuisine from the coauthor of Fika.

An illustrated cookbook on the classic breads and savory foods of a Swedish smörgåsbord that can be enjoyed for parties and holidays as well as for snacking and small meals. Includes traditional and contemporary Swedish recipes for dishes such as Rye Bread, Chicken Liver Pate, Elderflower Cured Trout, Fresh Cheese, Swedish Deviled Eggs, Buttery Red Cabbage, and infused aquavit liqueurs.

Notes from a Swedish Kitchen (IMM Lifestyle Books)

By Margareta Schildt Landgren

Design Originals
Paperback (224 pages)

Notes from a Swedish Kitchen (IMM Lifestyle Books)
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  • Lifestyle Books
Product Description:

Swedish cuisine is delicious, varied and often unexpected, and in this delightful book Margareta Schildt Landgren shares wonderful stories from her own Swedish kitchen along with over 100 fabulous recipes. Here Margareta includes both traditional and modern recipes, from Gravalax with Herbs and Swedish Meatballs to St Lucia Buns and Elderflower Cordial.

The mouth-watering recipes are interspersed with captivating narrative on Sweden's food traditions, the development of regional cuisine, the importance of seasonal eating and celebration foods. Margareta's text is illustrated beautifully with stunning recipe and location photography from Tine Guth Linse, as well as photographs from her own archive. This is essential reading for anyone with a passion for food or a love of Swedish culture.

The Swedish Christmas Table: Traditional Holiday Meals, Side Dishes, Candies, and Drinks

By Jens Linder

SKYHORSE
Released: 2018-11-20
Paperback (208 pages)

The Swedish Christmas Table: Traditional Holiday Meals, Side Dishes, Candies, and Drinks
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Product Description:
Festive foods for a traditional Christmas season.

Yuletide is a time of delicious smells wafting through the halls: onions sizzling on the stove, a wood fire gently smoldering in the grate, and fresh-baked gingerbread ready to hang on the tree. It’s a time of tradition and recipes handed down from one year to the next. The Swedish Christmas Table is a festive homage to the international history of the month of snow and mulled wine, advent calendars, and gathering family. Set your table with such seasonal delicacies as:

  • Mulled wine, eggnog, and seasonal cocktails
  • Roasted nuts
  • Fudge, nougat, and marzipan
  • Christmas ham
  • Vegetable pie with roasted walnuts
  • Frosted fruit
  • And so much more to delight and impress!

  • Discover new holiday favorites and update old traditions. Featuring vibrant and retro holiday collages, The Swedish Christmas Table is a Christmas cookbook to inspire, cherish, and hold on to for years to come.

    Hello! 98 Swedish Recipes: Best Cuban Cookbook Ever For Beginners [Meatball Cookbook, Kids Pancake Cookbook, Cookie Dough Recipes, Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook, Meringue Cookie Recipe] [Book 1]

    By Mr. World

    Mr. World
    Released: 2019-11-12
    Kindle Edition (225 pages)

    Hello! 98 Swedish Recipes: Best Cuban Cookbook Ever For Beginners [Meatball Cookbook, Kids Pancake Cookbook, Cookie Dough Recipes, Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook, Meringue Cookie Recipe] [Book 1]
     
    Product Description:

    Taste The Flavors Of The World In Your Kitchen


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    With all the many great ingredients from around the world in today’s markets, this is a great time to be working in the kitchen. Healthy food choices are highly available along with a variety of flavors to please our taste buds and this all due to globalization that we have to be thankful for.

    The World Cuisines cooking series presents a vast array of the most delicious dishes around the world and allows so much freedom in the kitchen. Your choice today is "Hello! 98 Swedish Recipes: Best Swedish Cookbook Ever For Beginners" with the parts below

    • 98 Amazing Swedish Recipes


    Authentic cooking techniques and ingredients have been included in most of the recipes to recreate a similar dish compared to the local fare of the country where it originated. The ingredients needed for these recipes are easy to find and available almost anywhere. In case any ingredient would not be on stock in grocery stores, don’t worry, I have included an easy-to-find alternative here. From your kitchen and eventually to your dining table, let this series surprise you by bringing some of the world’s famous dishes to your skillful hands.

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    Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats [A Baking Book]

    By Anna Brones

    imusti
    Released: 2015-04-07
    Hardcover (168 pages)

    Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats [A Baking Book]
    List Price: $17.99*
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    • Ten Speed Press
    Product Description:
    An illustrated lifestyle cookbook on the Swedish tradition of fika--a twice-daily coffee break--including recipes for traditional baked goods, information and anecdotes about Swedish coffee culture, and the roots and modern incarnations of this cherished custom.

    Sweden is one of the world’s top coffee consuming nations, and the twice-daily social coffee break known as fika is a cherished custom. Fika can be had alone or in groups, indoors or outdoors, while traveling or at home. A time to take a rest from work and chat with friends or colleagues over a cup and a sweet treat, fika reflects the Swedish ideal of slowing down to appreciate life’s small joys. In this adorable illustrated cookbook, Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall share nearly fifty classic recipes from their motherland—from cinnamon buns and ginger snaps to rhubarb cordial and rye bread—allowing all of us to enjoy this charming tradition regardless of where we live.


     
     
     

     
     
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