Eight comforting Swedish Christmas recipes

Eight comforting Swedish Christmas recipes
What is your go-to Christmas food? Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
In Sweden, a big part of Christmas is eating, drinking and merriment, so to help you prepare, The Local has collected eight traditional and popular dishes that are guaranteed to get you into the Swedish Christmas spirit.

Cured salmon (Gravad Lax)

Raw fish might not sound very Christmassy, but gravad lax has become a Swedish Christmas favourite. The name means 'cured salmon' and the recipe comes from the Middle Ages, when fishermen used to bury their catch to keep it fresh. This dish is a brilliant and delicate starter for any Christmas meal and very easy to make!

Click here for the full recipe.

A piece of gravad lax, served with rye bread and mustard. Photo: Matthew Mead/AP Photo/TT

Janssons temptation (Janssons frestelse)

Fish, onions, potatoes and cream – this is comfort food at its finest. Served steaming hot with fresh bread, this baked mixture is a delicious addition to any julbord. The name is said to come from a food-loving opera singer in the early 1900s.

Click here for the full recipe.

Janssons frestelse is best served with fresh bread. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

Swedish Christmas meatballs

Meatballs or köttbullar are probably the most famous Swedish food, and for good reason. Meatballs are eaten throughout the year but play a special role during Christmas, when they are an important part of a Swedish julbord and guaranteed to make you feel all warm and cosy on a cold day.

Click here for the full recipe.

Köttbullar are delicious at any occasion, to be honest. Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/SCANPIX/TT

Christmas ham (Julskinka)

Ham is quite often the centrepiece of a Swedish julbord , and there are many ways to prepare it: boiling it, roasting it or giving it a beautiful mustard and breadcrumb crust. Any one of those makes a delicious festive meal.

Click here for not just one, but four recipes for Swedish Christmas ham

A traditional cooked julskinka. Photo: Robin Haldert/TT

Christmas Rice Porridge (Risgrynsgröt)

Swedes love their porridge, but gröt isn't just a breakfast food but can also be served as a sweet and sticky dessert, similar to rice pudding. Seasoned with cinnamon, it smells of Christmas and tastes deliciously warming. In the unlikely event that there are leftovers, just serve them cold and with fruit sauce and call it Ris a la Malta.

Click here for the full recipe.

Risgrynsgröt technically can be eaten at any time of the day. Photo: Malin Hoelstad/SvD/SCANPIX/TT

Gingersnaps (Pepparkakor)

These cookies might be small and thin, but they are big on taste, with a cacophony of spices: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Combined with syrup and made into dough that’s left overnight, the aromas really get the time to develop, making these cookies a must-bake for the holiday season and giving your house or apartment a wonderfully festive scent.

Click here for the full recipe, and click here to learn more about the history of these sweet treats.

Especially fun with kids: Pepparkakor can be cut into any shape. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/SCANPIX/TT

Saffron buns (Lussekatter)

Eaten on Lucia Day, December 13th, and throughout the rest of the festive season, these buns use saffron not only to provide a gorgeous yellow colour, but also for the unusual but delicious flavour. The shape of the buns is also interesting: it’s meant to resemble a curled-up cat, with raisins for eyes.

Click here for the full recipe and click here to read more about the history of the bun.

Lussekatter are traditionally eaten at Lucia Day, but also available for the rest of the winter (luckily). Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedish mulled wine (Glögg)

Is there anything better than a cup of spiced, sweet wine to fight off the wintery cold on Christmas Eve? Glögg has been a part of the Swedish festive tradition for centuries and is traditionally flavoured with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel. Traditionally, people drink it with a spoonful of raisins and almonds.

Click here for the full recipe.

Glögg, traditionally served with almonds and raisins. Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se


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