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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.


  • 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.


  • Saltlakrits - Salty liquorice.

  • Kanelbulle - Cinnamon Roll.


  • 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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Swedish Cakes and Cookies

Favish, Melody (TRN)
Hardcover (192 pages)

Swedish Cakes and Cookies
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Product Description:
Swedish Cakes and Cookies has become a modern classic since it was first published in 1945. Modernized and improved over the years, today's full-color edition, with beautiful photographs of each recipe, contains nearly 300 recipes. Some, such as Berry Muffins, Coconut Macaroons, Linzer Torte, and Jelly Doughnuts, may be familiar, while others, such as German Lemon Cake, Almond Meringues, Truffle Tarts, and Toffee Crunch Torte, are deliciously unique. Gluten-free, egg-free, and sugar-free recipes ensure that this book is accessible to all dessert lovers. Beginners and experts will be reminded that baking is both easy and enjoyable when they read the practical advice and step-by-step instructions in each section. Swedish Cakes and Cookies is an essential resource for any home baker, and for anyone who loves to meet with friends for coffee and cake.

The Traditional Swedish Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of the Midnight Sun

By Anthony Boundy

Released: 2018-08-16
Kindle Edition (56 pages)

The Traditional Swedish Cookbook: Recipes from the Land of the Midnight Sun
Product Description:
Swedish cooking is greatly influenced by its cold, northern location. Winters are long, and fresh vegetables aren’t always available. Root vegetables, however, such as potatoes and beets, do grow plentifully in Sweden and make up the primary source of complex carbohydrates.

Swedish food is very mild. The country was never a part of the European spice trade, and many dishes are flavored by a delectable dill sauce. A favorite accompaniment to just about any meal is lingonberry. From breakfast, lunch to dinner, lingonberry jam finds its way to the table.

Surrounded by the sea, Sweden makes full use of its abundance. Herring, salmon, and other types of fish are a staple. This Swedish Cookbook has many traditional recipes for preparing seafood the traditional Swedish way. Potatoes, especially boiled, accompany many seafood dishes. Herring and boiled potatoes are a national favorite.

While there are many types of bread in Sweden, everyone loves their crispbread, which can be topped by just about anything. This Swedish Cookbook has some great ideas for the perfect crispbread sandwich.

The recipes in this Swedish Cookbook are tasty, easy-to-prepare and will make you feel like a Viking. Skoal!

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats

By Anna Brones

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

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats
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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.

The Swedish Cookbook: Delicious Traditional Swedish Recipes to Die For

By Martha Stephenson

Released: 2017-09-23
Kindle Edition (69 pages)

The Swedish Cookbook: Delicious Traditional Swedish Recipes to Die For
Product Description:
If you have never made Swedish food, but have always wanted to learn, then this is the perfect cookbook for you.

Inside of this Swedish recipe cookbook, you will learn not only how to make over 25 delicious Swedish recipes such as traditional Swedish meatballs or traditional Swedish dumplings but you will also learn how to do so following traditional Swedish cooking methods that have been passed down for several generations.

So, what are you waiting for?

Grab a copy of this book and start cooking Swedish recipes today!

Let's Get Cooking! Scroll Back Up and Grab Your Copy Today!

Click the Download with 1-Click Button at the top right of the screen or "Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited" now!

Then, you can immediately begin reading The Swedish Cookbook: Delicious Traditional Swedish Recipes to Die For on your Kindle Device, Computer, Tablet or Smartphone.

Traditional Swedish Cooking

By Caroline Hofberg

Skyhorse Publishing
Released: 2011-10-22
Kindle Edition (192 pages)

Traditional Swedish Cooking
Product Description:
Focusing on the flavors and foods native to Sweden, such as fresh dill, horseradish, allspice, juniper berries, fish, blueberries, and apples, Hofberg presents a mouthwatering collection of modern and classic Swedish dishes. From apple pancakes and lingon berry chutney to baby potato salad with asparagus and cod with horseradish aioli, every recipe holds onto Swedish tradition while adding a fresh twist. Gathering inspiration from the ocean, woods, lakes, and farms, Hofberg shows her true passion for Swedish cooking through the simple and entertaining way she prepares her recipes. Beautiful full-color photographs will inspire any cook.

Swedish Food and Cooking

By Anna Mosesson

Brand: Anness
Hardcover (128 pages)

Swedish Food and Cooking
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  • Used Book in Good Condition
Product Description:
Traditions, Ingredients, Flavors, 60 Classic Recipes


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