Top Fifty Classic Swedish Recipes
Compiling a Top 50 Classic Recipes was fun, but difficult! No two people are likely to agree completely on what should be in the Top 50, but I hope you will approve of most of my choices!
Starters or light meals
There is a wonderful selection of Swedish starters here with an emphasis on fish, but including three Swedelicious (!) soups. When served with some good bread I think they all make tasty light lunches too.
1. Gubbröra (Eggs with Swedish anchovies)
2. Gravad lax (Gravadlax)
3. Inlagd sill (Pickled herring)
4. Svampsoppa (Wild mushroom soup)
5. Nässelsoppa (Nettle soup)
6. Rårakor med löjrom (Potato cakes with roe)
7. Toast Skagen (Prawns on toast)
8. Västkustsallad (West coast salad)
9. Ärtsoppa (Yellow pea soup)
10. Kräftor med dill (Crayfish with dill)
11. Torsk med pepparrot (Cod with horseradish)
12. Stekt strömming (Fried herring)
13. Janssons frestelse (Jansson's temptation)*
14. Stekt rödspätta (Fried plaice)
15. Kall inkokt lax (Cold poached salmon)
16. Laxpudding (Salmon pudding)
17. Västerbottensostpaj (Cheese flan)**
*Janssons frestelse is also often served as a side dish as part of a buffet
**Västerbottensostpaj is included here because it is often served with crayfish and it is an absolute classic that I just had to fit in somewhere!
18. Biff à la Lindström (Beef burgers)
19. Sjömansbiff (Sailor's beef stew)
20. Kåldomar (Stuffed cabbage rolls)
21. Julskinka (Christmas ham)
22. Köttbullar (Meatballs)
23. Pyttipanna (Swedish hash)
24. Dillkött (Veal or lamb in dill sauce)
25. Hjorttkött med björnbär (Venison with blackberries)*
26. Wallenbergare (Wallenberg burger)
*Venison with bilberries or wild mushrooms is probably more typically Swedish, but I have included venison with blackberries instead as they are easier for most readers to obtain.
Unfortunately I didn't think I could include a vegetarian main course in the Top Fifty. Traditionally, Swedes have not eaten a lot of vegetarian food, although that is changing.
Swedish side dishes
Before I went to Sweden I had never had any of these dishes apart from red cabbage. I had never heard of pressed cucumber and never seen cucumber served with hot food! If you too have never tasted these, please give them a try: they are now some of my favourite side dishes!
27. Inlagda rödbetor (Pickled beetroot)
28. Kokt rödkål (Red cabbage)
29. Pressgurka (Pressed cucumber)
30. Hasselbackspotatis (Hasselback potatoes)
31. Färskpotatis (New potatoes with dill)
32. Raggmunk (Potato pancakes)
Unlike Brits, Swedes are not really big on puddings. One of the first meals I had in a restaurant in Sweden ended with a dessert consisting of one, yes just one, small chocolate ball. It was a nice chocolate ball, but just one left me feeling cheated. Fortunately, since then I have enjoyed some lovely desserts. These are my six real favourites. Apple cake/pie and rhubarb crumble are similar to the British versions, but both are unmistakably different.
Swedish cakes and biscuits
With fika (a really good coffee and cake break) playing such a major role in Swedish society there are thousands of fabulous recipes for cakes and biscuits to choose from, so I thought coming up with a short list was going to be difficult. In the end it turned out to be very easy because these six are incredibly popular all over Sweden and stood out head and shoulders above all the others.
Swedes living in the UK often miss bread from Sweden more than anything else because of the much greater variation in flours used for bread making than in Sweden.
Easy-peasy: three drinks stand out as being distinctively Swedish and easy to make at home. Homemade snaps is also much cheaper than imported snaps!
I hope you enjoy my selection of the Swedish classics. Have fun trying them!
SwedishFood.com SwedishFood.com is run by a not-for-profit company set up to help English speakers around the world who would like to learn more about Swedish food. If you like the site please help us to promote it and bring Swedish food to a bigger audience by following us on: John Duxbury
Editor and Founder
SwedishFood.com is run by a not-for-profit company set up to help English speakers around the world who would like to learn more about Swedish food. If you like the site please help us to promote it and bring Swedish food to a bigger audience by following us on: