20 Nordic Recipes to Try Right Now

Nordic Smoked Salmon Open Faced Sandwiches 10

20 Nordic Recipes to Try Right Now ~ sure, you’ve baked spritz cookies during the holidays, and maybe you’ve had a Swedish meatball or two, (thanks Ikea), but do you really know what Scandinavian food is all about?

gingerbread spritz cookies in a bowl
Glazed Gingerbread Spritz Cookies

These 20 recipes run the gamut from light, bright, and minimal all the way to uber cozy and comforting ~ and that’s what’s so exciting about Nordic cuisine, it’s got it all covered, and more. The Nordic countries ~ Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, have made an art out of cold weather cooking, and it’s what I’m craving as we head into the cooler months. If you happen to have some Scandinavian DNA, share your favorite recipes in the comments!

NORDIC GRANOLA : CARAMELIZED GRAINS AND SOURED MILK (Melkering) ~ My Nordic Kitchen

Rye, spelt, and oatmeal are caramelized with butter and honey, and then served in a puddle of soured milk. Don’t be afraid of the soured milk ~ it’s cultured, like kefir, or yogurt.

FINNISH SMOKED SALMON AND FARRO SALAD ~ Kira Åkerström

Kira is a Finnish blogger who now lives in San Francisco (she won the Finnish Masterchef competition!) and she makes this grain salad super fresh with lots of cilantro and dill. The smoked salmon makes it a healthy complete meal.

GRAVADLAX WITH CUCUMBER PICKLE AND DILL MUSTARD MAYONNAISE ~ Donal Skehan

This gorgeous silky cured salmon with fresh dill is probably what comes to mind first when you think Scandinavian food. And for good reason, it’s one of the best ideas to come out of the far North, thanks to the plentiful fish in their icy waters. I add edible blossoms to my Nordic Open Faced Sandwiches for an elegant look.

CHOPPED STEAK WITH BACON AND MUSHROOM GRAVY

Served with a big plate of boiled parslied potatoes, this chopped steak is a meal fit for a (Viking) king.

LIGNONBERRY JAM ~ Masala Herb

No, you probably won’t find lingonberries in your area, but try this method with any foraged berries. Lignonberry jam, which you will find on most large supermarket shelves, is an essential side to Swedish Meatballs.

MEATBALLS WITH CELERIAC AND APPLES ~ Refinery 29

Celeriac, apples, and a touch of fresh nutmeg makes this meatball skillet quintessentially Scandinavian. These are definitely not mom’s meatballs ~ I love the fresh green color! Celeriac also features in these Celeriac and Sardine Toasts.

DANISH KRINGLE RECIPE ~ Culinary Hill

Meggan’s mother-in-law from Racine Wisconsin makes this authentic almond Kringle (Wisconsin’s official state pastry.)  I’m so glad she passed on the recipe!

SHAVED WINTER VEGETABLE SALAD

I was influenced by Scandi minimalism in this colorful salad ~ it proves that just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fresh crunch in your diet.

A beautiful and healthy Shaved Winter Salad ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

SCANDINAVIAN WHITE CHOCOLATE CAKE (Kladdkaka) ~ Yellow Days

This classic sticky chocolate cake comes straight from the sidewalk cafes of Sweden, and the pages of the Fika and Hygge cookbook. You can use your favorite type of chocolate for this cake.

SWEDISH CARDAMOM BUNS (KARDEMUMMABULLAR) 

Swedish Cardamom Buns are soft, plush sweet rolls with a fragrant cardamom sugar filling. This easy knotted pastry is beyond delicious and so easy to make, I’ll hold your hand through it, step by step!

cardamom buns just out of the oven

SCANDINAVIAN RICE PUDDING WITH CRANBERRIES

Although rice pudding is often served chilled, I love it best warm from the pot. The vanilla and cardamom are extra aromatic and it’s the most comforting treat ever.

Nordic rice pudding with cranberry sauce

TRADITIONAL DANISH RYE BREAD WITH SOURDOUGH ~ Wholesome Nordic Living

Rustic rye bread is a staple of Nordic cuisines. Danish blogger Helene makes this nutritious fiber filled bread from scratch, using a sourdough starter.

FINNISH SALMON SOUP (Lohikeitto) ~ The View From Great Island

This pretty soup has a light creamy broth infused with dill and allspice, and of course, chunks of tender salmon. I make a quick fish stock, which is essential for the flavor, using the salmon skin. Waste not want not 🙂

ICELANDIC PANCAKES (Pönnukökur) ~ Fun & Food Cafe

These light crepe-like pancakes are a traditional Icelandic breakfast, served with fresh jam or whipped cream. The recipe is from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book.

MIDSUMMER AQUAVIT COCKTAIL ~ Honestly Yum

A beloved Nordic spirit, Aquavit (water of life) is a neutral alcohol, like vodka, flavored with caraway, and sometimes dill, fennel, coriander, citrus and anise. Everybody drinks it up North.  Skoal!

BEETROOT RISOTTO WITH MUSHROOMS ~ Our Kitchen Stories

This stunningly simple risotto comes from a Berlin based blog with a decidedly Scandinavian flair.

CHANTARELLE AND GOAT CHEESE SKILLET  (Kantareller og Geitost) ~ North Wild Kitchen

Scandinavian food isn’t all yogurt and lignonberries…there’s a strong tradition of comfort food, too ~ it’s cold up there, for Pete’s sake! I love this cozy cheesy skillet, and I think you could use whatever mushrooms you can get your hands on.

RICE PUDDING WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND MARINATED ORANGES  (Ris a la Malta) ~ Call me Cupcake

This traditional Scandinavian Christmas dessert can also be eaten for breakfast…I bet it helps keep one’s mind off the long dark days of winter.

NORDIC OPEN FACED SMOKED SALMON SANDWICHES

Open faced sandwiches are a way of life in the North. They make a lunch or light dinner, and the toppings are endlessly variable. Move over avocado toast!

nordic open faced sandwiches

ROSEMARY AND THYME ROASTED RADISHES WITH SKYR ~ @scusatema

Skyr is the Icelandic version of yogurt, but it has a milder flavor. You can sometimes find it in larger supermarkets or whole foods type stores,  (I think Trader Joe’s sells it) and I’ve got a skyr recipe coming up on the blog soon, so stay tuned.

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32 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Janete Fors
    October 24, 2021 at 10:24 am

    You ROCK, girl! Love all your recipes! It is an inspiration for my daily cooking.
    Love you. Thanks a million for all the delicious food you inspire me to cook.
    Janete Fors

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 24, 2021 at 10:31 am

      🙂 this makes my day!

  • Reply
    Ellen Easton
    October 24, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Sue, your photography is stunning. Each photo is a mouthwatering vision. Now, only one request, if you will move to NYC and cook for me everyday I’ll retire from my kitchen! EE

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 24, 2021 at 9:02 am

      Lol, I’m so sick of cooking by the end of the day Ellen, leftovers are my go-to!

  • Reply
    Nan Martin
    July 1, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    5 stars
    I have made several of these recipes and they have been soooo good. Thank you for this post.

  • Reply
    India
    October 3, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    where are the actual reciepes for printing?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 4, 2019 at 8:03 am

      Click on the names of the dishes, India, it will take you to the recipes.

  • Reply
    Iris
    July 4, 2018 at 5:36 am

    As a half Swede, half Icelander and who grew up in Denmark…I must make a few corrections.
    Pönnukökur means pancakes in Icelandic and are like crêpes (thin, eaten with something sweet), eaten with sugar/jam and whipped creap, but it is NOT a traditional Icelandic breakfast. On the other hand, we do eat something called skonsa (in singular), skonsur (in plural) for breakfast (though only at my grandparents’ and as a luxury. It’s hardly a daily or even weekly or monthly thing to have for breakfast) that are thicker (almost like American pancakes) and eaten with something savoury, e.g. cheese and ham. So if you’re referring to the savoury meal and breakfast, it’s skonsur. If you’re referring to Icelandic-style pancakes, it’s pönnukökur, but not a breakfast.

    Secondly, Lussekatter…oh my God, it literally hurt in my Swedish heart when I read “cinnamon buns”. WHAT?! Nooooooooo! Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) are amazing! But kanelbullar does NOT equal lussekatter (which are also amazing)- at all! Lussekatter are safron buns and should never – EVER – be combined with cinnamon. Furthermore, Lussekatter are season specific: they are only eaten around Christmas (more specifically on Lucia Day, the 13th of December) while kanelbullar (actual cinnamon buns) can be eaten whenever.

    I wouldn’t quite say that these recipes represent “what Nordic food is really about”, e.g. beetroot risotto? We eat beetroot but we don’t really make things of it, like the famous Polish/Russian beetroot soups etc. And risotto is VERY far from the Nordic kitchen. Some of these recipes may come from the fancy “New Nordic kitchen”, which is admittedly very in, but again, that doesn’t represent what we traditionally eat or ‘what it’s all about’. Just something for the readers (and blogger) to be aware of when dreaming of traditional vs new Nordic/non-Nordic cuisine! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stacie
    June 19, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    such cool recipes and Ideas! I am glad I stumble upon your webpage! It is beautiful! I will definitely follow your recipes!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 19, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Welcome in Stacie 🙂

  • Reply
    Marina from Denmark
    February 7, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Lovely collection and very nordic. The lusekatte are quite unusual but I bet she have (several) more traditional recipes on her webside. My mom used to make “gravet laks” all the time as my dad bought home lots af lovely salmons from Greenland (probably the best in the world). It is very easy to make, but you need to have a good fish.

  • Reply
    Gosia /matmedmera.eu
    February 6, 2018 at 5:43 am

    What a wonderful recipes. I know a few a them I live in Sweden…Other will trie in a soon future

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 6, 2018 at 7:45 am

      Thanks for visiting Gosia!

  • Reply
    Inger @ Art of Natural Living
    February 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    What a beautiful collection! It will be fun to try a lot of these. My grandparents were from Denmark and I wish I’d spent more time cooking at my grandmother’s side! Here is a Red Cabbage recipe I was able to resurrect though: http://artofnaturalliving.com/2016/02/04/scandinavian-red-cabbage/

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 6, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Thanks for the link Inger ~ my great grandmother made red cabbage and it was a staple on all our holiday tables, she added a shredded apple to hers. I love the idea of getting the caramelization at the bottom of the pan, what a great idea.

      • Reply
        Marina from Denmark
        February 7, 2018 at 2:10 am

        You can make this in so many ways and there is no right or wrong version as long as it do not turn dry, bitter or undercooked. In Denmark its a tradition to ad currant juice, and in recent years (since the 90s) it is often made with xmas spices for Christmas. People are sure this is a very old tradition, but its really not. Up until the 1990s it was made with sugar, vinegar and currant juice and not much else. The dish itself is quite old (from around 1900 and the youngest dish on a traditional danish Christmas table) but all the additions of appels, honey and spices are younger.

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