Not sure how to go about trying Swedish cuisine? Let me give you a starting point with 20+ Swedish Food Recipes You Must Try! A mix of classic and not-so-traditional Swedish recipes for sweets and savory dishes!
There is more to Swedish cuisine than meatballs, pancakes, or cinnamon rolls.
Hopefully, this post will convince and tempt you to try one (or all) of these Swedish recipes — then let me know in the comment section which one is your ‘new‘ favorite!
TYPICAL SWEDISH BREAKFAST
Swedes eat a very healthy breakfast — and no, it does not include their famous pancake.
There’s always fiber, protein, and fresh fruit or vegetables in their selection. They generally choose one of these three:
- Porridge – hands downs, the most common choice. It’s not the instant kind, though. It is cooked with water until it softened, then served with milk, fresh fruits, or a dollop of jam.
- Muesli – served with yogurt or filmjölk — which is similar to yogurt in consistency, albeit slightly more sour (depending on the flavor and fat content).
- Open Sandwiches – these are either using bread or knäckebröd.
Knäckebröd or crispbread is traditionally made of rye flour. Nowadays, you will find different kinds, but still healthier than your normal crackers.
These open sandwiches would always have protein, either in the form of cheese or cold cuts — then topped with fresh vegetables like bell pepper or cucumber.
LUNCH OR DINNER RECIPES
Pyttipanna (Swedish Hash) – a mix of smoked bacon, ham, sausage, and potatoes; a perfect ‘hangover’ food. 🙂
Originally made out of leftovers, but rarely so nowadays. Each country in the Nordics has its own version of this delicious dish as well.
Swedish Salmon Burger – salmon is the most common fish in the Nordics and quite affordable (by Swedish standards).
Serve this healthy alternative to burgers with a refreshing yogurt-lemon-dill sauce, and I’m betting you would be making this not just in the summer but the whole year-round.
Swedish Potato with Dill Cream Sauce – if you don’t watch it, you will eat this as a main dish instead of having it on the side.
This vegetable side dish goes so well with grilled or roasted meat or even baked salmon. Don’t be wary of adding a LOT of dill to this dish – it really brings it to a new level of deliciousness.
Västerbottenostpaj (Swedish Cheese Pie) – a staple for Midsummer celebrations, this classic pie uses Sweden’s best cheese from Västerbotten.
But don’t worry that you cannot find this product in your part of the world, gouda is an excellent substitute.
DESSERTS AND SNACKS
Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns) – admittedly, this is also common for breakfast; or perhaps that’s just me?
You can buy frozen ones at IKEA, but you can easily make them at home, even without a stand mixer. To stick to the traditional Swedish recipe, don’t go stingy on the cinnamon and cardamom powder.
Swedish Almond Tarts – baked almond paste topped with more almonds; these are known locally as ‘Toscabit.’
I prefer to make these at home because what I see in the coffee shops tend to be a bit too sweet for my taste. Coffee and a serving of this treat – that’s an irresistible combo for an afternoon snack or even breakfast!
Swedish Almond & Cardamom Mini Cakes – I can only find these in one coffee shop in Stockholm, smack in the middle of Old Town (Gamla Stan).
Suffice it to say; I kept coming back to that café until I managed to get it right – mini cakes made of almond paste rolled into sugar and cardamom. Now you can enjoy this addictive Swedish dessert at home. Trust me; one piece would not be enough!
Kärleksmums (Swedish Chocolate-Coffee Squares) – a no-fuss chocolate cake topped with (more) chocolate icing and dried coconuts.
The key to this cake is to balance the bitterness of the coffee with the sweetness from the chocolate in every bite – and the crunch from the dried coconuts on top. You think it’s difficult to make? Nope. Try it and judge for yourself.
Lussekatter (Swedish Saffron Buns) – otherwise known as ‘St. Lucia Buns.’ This slightly sweet bread is served every 13th of December, Saint Lucia Day, until the holiday season.
Saint Lucia is believed to be a bearer of light, and celebrating this special day is supposed to help us go through the cold and dark Swedish winter (Yep, we take all the help we could get 😉 ).
Saffranskaka (Swedish Saffron Cake) – when you see saffron in Swedish desserts, that pretty much means Christmas is around the corner.
This delicately flavored cake is normally served during this season. It pairs well with coffee or tea, but mostly with glögg (mulled wine).
Semlor (Swedish Lent Buns) – You think it is time to go easy on dessert during Easter? Nope, this Swedish tradition feels like Christmas on Lent.
The buns are flavored with cardamom, with a hollow center filled with almond paste, topped with whipped cream and some powdered sugar. You normally see these on bakeries by February, but nothing stops you from making them anytime you want. Just heavenly.
Swedish Apple Crumble – one of my favorite apple desserts; I make this the whole year-round.
Unlike other apple crumble that you see, this Swedish recipe uses breadcrumbs, not flour or corn starch. Plus, the almonds on top!
Swedish Strawberry & Elderflower Tartlets – this one screams ‘summer’!
Tangy, sweet, creamy, and best served chilled; these are great with coffee, tea, or a glass of chilled white wine or rose.
Almond Paste – you should make your own almond paste if you plan to try many of these treats.
As you can see from this list, it’s the most common ingredient, other than cardamom, in Swedish desserts. You can use either whole almonds or almond meal to do this Swedish recipe, and you can even store it for weeks.
COOKIES AND TREATS
Swedish Hazelnut & Cardamom Cookies – this combination of flavors is not common for Swedish cookies (at least not in Stockholm).
Fortunately, I came across them in a couple of small, corner bakeries where they still have grandmothers making old-fashioned cookies. Since then, I’ve started preparing them at home, always making sure I have at least a half-full jar available on-hand.
Chokladcigarrer (Swedish Chocolate Cigars) – I rarely see these in coffee shops, but they’re quite common in supermarkets.
They’re not as easy to prepare as the chocolate balls, but kids love them as much. Oh! These are perfect with a glass of milk!
Saffron & Pistachio Cookies – like typical biscotti, these are excellent with coffee or tea; perfect for ‘dunking’ in the mulled wine.
Chokladbollar (Swedish No-Bake Chocolate Balls) – these are as ubiquitous as the cinnamon buns; the only thing that varies is their size.
It is also one of those treats that kids don’t just love to eat; they would eagerly prepare them too! As for adults, the rolled oats in them allow you to have less guilt in every bite.
Swedish Coconut Bites – the size of these differs from one store to the next, and sometimes you would even see them dipped in chocolate.
Regardless of how they are served, they are perfect as an after-meal dessert, even more so if you pair it with an espresso.
Glögg (Mulled Wine) – a Christmas tradition in the Nordics, but of course, Swedes have their own way of making them at home.
You just have to try and find out all about that ‘fuzzy’ feeling. 🙂