From flavorful fish to marinated meats and satisfying stews, these hearty Scandinavian recipes bring all the unique tastes of Northern Europe right to your kitchen!
The Scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden – have a rich and unique culinary culture.
And it’s not all juicy meatballs and pickled salads (though there are plenty of recipes for both on this list.)
From Christmas cookies to fruity puddings and fluffy pancakes, you can eat Scandinavian food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if that’s your thing.
There are 30 deliciously different recipes on this list, so pack your bags, your taste buds are going on a trip to the happiest region in the world.
1. Swedish Meatballs
Some people go to IKEA to pick up a new couch. Some people go for the meatballs.
One of the most popular items on their menu, meatballs are now cool again thanks to the Swedish department store.
But you don’t have to fight through crowds of couch buyers to enjoy juicy meatballs in a creamy gravy.
This recipe (straight from IKEA) shows you how it’s done.
Made from beef and pork and coated in a mustard-flavored gravy, these meatballs are tasty European comfort food.
2. Danish Cucumber Salad
This Scandinavian salad is a must for cucumber fans.
Made from sliced cucumbers and thinly sliced onions, this is a zesty pickled salad that hits you right in the tastebuds.
3. Swedish Blueberry Soup
Time to test your culinary knowledge. Is blueberry soup a dessert, a main, or breakfast?
If you picked the latter, congrats. You clearly know your Scandinavian food!
This bright blend of blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup is a cozy bowl of sweet breakfast goodness.
It’s served all over Sweden, usually with a garnish like sliced almonds or creamy Greek yogurt.
Serve it warm on chilly mornings, or have it cold on summer days.
4. Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas Star Cookies)
These Finnish treats are just gorgeous.
Delicate little stars made from flaky pastry and rich fruit jam, they’re the perfect way to dress up any holiday table.
This straightforward recipe talks you through constructing the cookies. It’s not difficult, but it does take some prep.
Get the kids involved and make it a fun Christmas project. You get helpers, they get treats. Everyone’s a winner!
5. Danish Brunede Kartofler (Caramelized Browned Potatoes)
A side of crispy, caramelized potatoes makes every meal 100 percent better. That’s just a fact of life.
These small, fluffy potatoes taste like candy, but they’re savory enough to accompany main meals.
The Danes knew what they were doing when they came up with this one.
6. Norwegian Salmon with Dill Sauce
This melt-in-the-mouth salmon dish is ideal if you’re cooking for a crowd and want to impress.
Salmon fillets are baked until flaky and then served with a creamy yogurt and dill sauce.
This is a recipe of delightful contradictions. It’s simple but elegant, and easy, but impressive.
7. Swedish Potato Pancakes
Some of the tastiest potato recipes originate from Europe (sorry North America).
Similar to Irish potato bread, this fluffy pancake is made with a potato-based batter.
Poured into a pan and fried until golden brown, it’s a quick and satisfying breakfast or brunch.
8. Danish Meatballs
What’s the difference between Danish meatballs and Swedish meatballs?
Trick question – there’s very little difference, but they’re both irresistibly tasty.
Made with pork, breadcrumbs, and onion, this is a quick and easy recipe that’s a firm favorite all over the world, not just Scandinavia.
9. Swedish Visiting Cake
I absolutely love the name of this cake. It’s not just quirky and fun, it’s also highly appropriate.
Because if you have visitors, you’ll want to serve them this moist cake flavored with almonds and fresh lemon.
10. Swedish Shrimp Salad Sandwich
Unsurprisingly for a coastal region, Scandinavian cuisine is laden with fish dishes.
This sandwich is a Swedish classic. Plump shrimp is tossed in a creamy dill and mayo dressing before being piled high on dark bread and served with hard-boiled egg.
11. Swedish Lingonberry Sauce
Lingonberries are tart treats, similar to cranberries. They’re also considered a superfood thanks to their high antioxidant content.
Turn the superfood into a super sauce with this simple recipe.
The intensely tangy side is perfect for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and basically any time you roast meat.
12. Danish Rye Bread
Rye bread is a staple of the Scandinavian diet. Not only is it easy and inexpensive, it’s also highly nutritious.
Packed with fiber, this is a thick, chewy, grainy bread. Lather it with butter and serve it straight from the oven. It’s heaven in a loaf tin!
13. Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback potatoes are now widely known in North America, but the original recipe came from Northern Europe.
According to legend, a Swedish tavern owner took one look at a potato and thought:
“Tonight I will slice this spud very thinly and roast it until it’s crunchy and amazing.”
Thus, culinary history was made. Now we can all enjoy ultra-crispy potatoes flavored with rosemary and garlic.
14. Danish Potato Salad
Forget your old (boring) potato salad recipe. Your spuds deserve better.
Mix things up, Danish-style, by baking those beauties and tossing them in a mustard-y vinaigrette along with capers, chives, and fresh parsley.
15. Smorgastarta (Swedish Sandwich Cake)
Don’t be fooled by the word cake. This is a savory smorgasbord of tastes.
Made with layers of smoked salmon, radishes, carrots, pea shoots, and egg salad, this is a towering display of appetising architecture.
16. Sillsallet (Danish Herring Salad)
This sensational salad is a tongue-tingler!
Made with pickled beets, herrings marinated in wine, tart apple, and dill pickles, this one will shake up your palate in the best way.
17. Finnish Beetroot Salad
This veggie-loaded salad is full of nutrition and taste.
Drizzled with a creamy, sweet dressing, it’s deliciously different.
This dish is traditionally served at Christmas, but is equally enjoyable all year round.
18. Danish Pancakes
Danish pancakes are very thin, very crispy, and very yummy.
Similar to French crepes, they are quick, easy, and versatile.
Pile them with fruit, drizzle them with chocolate sauce, or layer them with ham and cheese.
Or go full-on Danish and eat them with pickled veggies.
19. Icelandic Potato Salad
Ok, ok, Iceland isn’t technically considered part of Scandinavia. But the country shares so much with its Nordic neighbors that it makes the cut.
This is particularly the case when it comes to this potato salad, whose deliciousness transcends borders.
Flavored with tart apples, tangy gherkins, and a hint of curry powder, this is not your mom’s potato salad.
And that’s a good thing (sorry mom).
20. Aebleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)
Flat pancakes are out. Pancake balls are in.
You’ll want them in your belly, when you take a look at this recipe.
Sweet pancake batter is baked into addictively delicious nuggets. Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, it’s breakfast heaven.
21. Norwegian School Bread
Straight out of Norway, it doesn’t get more authentic than this ‘school’ bread.
These are sweet spiced rolls, coated with a creamy vanilla icing and toasted coconut.
Send the kids off to school with one in their lunch box. Big kids can stick them in their briefcase and devour them at the office.
22. Danish Red Berry Pudding (Rødgrød Med Fløde)
A classic Danish dessert, this sweet, creamy pudding is the best way to use up any leftover berries.
It works well with tart berries like cranberries, but also sweeter varieties like strawberries.
You could even throw in some rhubarb if you love the pink vegetable.
23. Norwegian Waffles
Save these heart-shaped waffles for Valentine’s Day and show your belly some love.
Crispy, fluffy waffles with a hint of sweetness, they’re a tasty brunch or breakfast.
Depending on how romantic you feel, dress them up with a dollop of Greek yogurt, heapings of fruit, or chopped nuts and drizzled honey.
24. Swedish Potato and Anchovy Casserole (Jansson’s Temptation)
I have no idea who Jansson is, but I totally understand why he (she?) was tempted by this classic Swedish casserole.
This is a rib-sticking, comfort food made with potatoes, anchovies, and onion.
It’s salty, savory, and creamy. Just like Jansson, you won’t be able to resist this tasty temptation.
25. Norwegian Potato Dumplings
Known by a variety of names (klubb, potetball, pult), these nourishing Nordic dumplings are delicious no matter what you call them.
Shredded potatoes and flour encase a salty pork center.
Make a big batch of these tasty treats because they’re sure to disappear!
26. Norwegian Flatbread
Norwegian flatbread is more of a cracker than a bread.
But that’s okay, because it makes them the perfect vehicle for butter and jam, or cheesy toppings, or rich soups and stews.
27. Swedish Crispbread (Knäckebröd)
Tasty and full of fiber, these rye crackers are perfect for cheese platters or dips.
If you’re entertaining, bake up a batch and top with decadent toppings.
Smoked salmon and cream cheese, prawn salad, or egg – almost anything will work on these crunchy bites.
28. Swedish Cucumber Salad with Red Onions and Dill
Refreshing and full of zippy flavors, this healthy cucumber salad is great for a light lunch or easy side.
If you’re planning a traditional Nordic feast, make it ahead of time, chill, and serve with meatballs.
29. Swedish Cream
This dreamy dessert is ideal when you have a hankering for something decadent.
Rich, creamy pudding is drenched with bright berry compote. It’s smooth, it’s silky, and it’s divinely irresistible.
30. Danish Butter Cookies
Chocolate dipped Danish butter cookies are what happens when you have a spare afternoon and a raging hunger for sweet, melt-in-the-mouth treats.
Buttery and addictive, they’re also perfect for holidays and parties.
If you’re in a particularly generous mood, parcel them up for friends during the festive season.
Just remember to hide a few away for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with self-gifting!
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1 thought on “30 Best Scandinavian Recipes”
These recipes look wonderful and harken back to my Scandinavian roots.