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Nydelig! 27 Popular Norwegian Meal Ideas

Nydelig! 27 Popular Norwegian Meal Ideas

Let’s take a culinary trip through the fascinating country of Norway and experience these 27 Norwegian recipes!

Situated in Northern England and beside fellow Nordic countries, Sweden and Finland, Norway has many great features and characteristics.

Geographically, the country’s Western portion rests on the coastlines of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, while the mainland consists of beautiful mountain ranges, colorful cityscapes, relaxing countrysides, and snowy valleys.

This country is also often viewed as the best country to live in, considering its high standards of living and high ranking in the Top 20 Happiest countries.

These things make Norway an interesting country to visit, let alone retire after years of hard work.

However, Norway is also known for its cuisine, a product of their mild to cold climate, the kind of ingredients available based on their geographical location, and even outside influences.

Indeed, much of Norway’s dishes are tasty and enticing, not just for the ingredients but also for their preparation.

From Reindeer Stew to Fish Cakes to Norwegian Dumplings, you may aghast at some of these options or completely enamored. 

#6 is kind of an oddity for American tastes, so you might want to check it out for yourself!

Let’s all take a trip – a food trip, in this case – to the daily meals and unique dishes that Norwegians have loved over the years through these 27 Norwegian recipes.

Meatballs are not exclusive to Norway or any other country for that matter but are particularly popular in Nordic countries, including Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

In this case, the Norwegian Kjøttboller stands out because they often have more meat and larger sizes.

Swedish meatballs often receive more fame and appreciation than other Nordic meatball counterparts, but if you want to try something similar from the Nordic region, you could go for the Kjøttboller!

Roasted pork bellies are not often associated with Norway, as it is a typical dish in nearly every potluck and gathering in many regions globally.

However, the Norway Ribbe, their version of the roasted pork belly, requires slow cooking before serving it with other Norwegian staples such as the medisterkaker and surkål, particularly during Christmas dinners.

Reindeers are one of the popular meat staples in Norway and are often likened to the American caribou.

While we do not often refer to them as sources of meat, reindeers are abundant in Norway and are being consumed through many of their favorite meals.

In this case, we have another Norwegian meatball made from Reindeer meat, known locally as reinsdyr kjøttkaker, and is often paired with a sauce mixture of akvavit spirit, butter, venison stock, heavy cream, and brunost or Norwegian brown cheese.

For our third Norwegian meatball dish, we have the Medisterkaker, made from pork meat, milk, and potato starch and spiced with ginger and nutmeg for a more biting taste.

The thing with the medisterkaker is that you could consume it straight, pair it with other sauces and garnishes, or even as a side dish for main courses.

Finnbiff is a saucy, creamy, and tasty stew made with reindeer shavings that have been sauteed with butter, mushrooms, and bacon.

Meat lovers will appreciate this hearty dish, particularly when best served during cold winter nights.

Smalahove is considered one of the weirdest dishes out there for a reason – it is literally boiled and brined sheep’s head.

Depending on your preference, you could either be creeped out or be interested in the mere appearance of the severed sheep head.

Nonetheless, Norwegians have fond memories of this dish, and it is worthy of appreciation for non-natives like us too!

Known as Norway’s national dish, Fårikål mainly consists of lamb meat with bones, cabbage, small amounts of wheat flour, and black peppercorns.

Fårikål is commonly a slow-cooker dish, requiring you to wait for about two hours for the lamb meat and cabbages to become soft enough to serve.

This dish is beloved by many Norwegians, even fighting for its legacy when the government considered lowering the dish’s status as a national dish in 2014.

Lapskaus is a traditional stew consisting of beef chops, carrots, potatoes, celery, and many spices.

This hearty meal is known to have a thick soup consistency, which adds to the tasty charm of this dish in general.

Bidos is a kind of reindeer stew that is highly important to the Sámi.

Sámi refers to the indigenous peoples in areas of Northern European countries, such as Norway, Finland, Sweden, and portions of Northwestern Russia.

In this case, the Sami folk are fond of this hearty dish, often made with reindeer meat and vegetables and cooked meticulously for special occasions.

When we think of comfort foods during rainy days and cold nights, porridge definitely comes to mind.

After all, most porridge is mildly sweet, often contains light ingredients, and is enough for consumption without being a heavy meal.

However, this Norwegian Rømmegrøt is unique since it uses sour cream, adding a tangy taste to the typical comfort food that we love.

Sodd is a famed stew of lamb meat and meatballs that is particularly popular in Trøndelag, a county in Central Norway.

Often associated with various special occasions, this hearty dish is tasteful, from the solid meat dish down to the soup made with beef and lamb broth.

Norway is situated beside the vast oceans of the Northern Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea, so it’s no surprise that fish is part of Norwegian cuisine and diet.

Codfish is mainly known in this country and other coastal European nations, and it is traditionally dried and salted for preservation.

Lutefisk is Norway’s version of the traditional dried cod recipe and can be done by sun-drying or by modern means, such as putting it in an oven.

The Fiskekaker is the Norwegian version of the beloved fish cake.

Patties are often made with beef, or sometimes chicken or pork, but fish patties are also served for specific fish sandwich recipes.

In this case, the Norwegian fiskekaker can be done using cod, salmon, haddock, and other fishes native or available in the country.

Fiskeboller is similar to kjøttboller and medisterkaker in that all of these are meatballs, except this one is actually made from fish meat!

This recipe is often paired with milk and low-fat cream for that white, saucy and thick consistency that blends well with the crunchy and tasty fish balls.

If you want a relatively warm soup dish with fish meat, look no further than the Norwegian fish soup, locally called fiskesuppe.

However, you could add other seafood recipes to the mix, including scallops, mussels, squid, octopus, and other seafood available.

Not to mention, the soup is made from a combination of white wine and fish stock, adding more to the savory taste of this wonderful soup dish.

The name may sound like a brand name for medicine, but as a Norwegian dish, Gravlax can fill your craving tummy!

Salmon is the main ingredient in this recipe and is prepared through the process of curing using sugar, salt, and herbs.

Klippfisk is somewhat similar to lutefisk, but this one involves salting the cod fillet and smoking using traditional means or the oven.

You could pair this one with sauce and condiments, salads, and other side dishes!

Sauerkraut is a distinctively German dish made from fermented cabbage.

However, Norway has its version of the sauerkraut, locally known as surkål, except this one’s not fermented but cooked with various herbs to achieve its sour taste.

Much like the original, surkål is more appropriate as a side dish to more popular meat, game and fish dishes, pairing their tasty meats with the sour flavors of the cabbage.

Y’all down to the Klubb tonight?

Klubb is Norway’s potato dumplings mixed with flour and a small piece of meat inside it for a unique taste.

This recipe is perfect as a side dish for main courses, but it can also be a snack in itself due to the pretty large sizes of these dumplings.

Lompe is a white flatbread similar to the pita and the tortilla and is usually made with mashed potatoes and flour.

In this case, this Norwegian bread is best served as a kind of sandwich wrap for hotdogs and similar sausages, known by Norwegians as the Pølse med lompe.

Waffles are a classic breakfast meal beloved by many for their fluffy texture, mildly sweet taste, and super sweet and sometimes tangy syrup.

Norway has a unique spin on the classic waffles with the Vafler or heart-shaped waffles.

For lovers of waffles, these heart-shaped waffles will grab your attention and can be a perfect romantic gift too!

Svele (collectively known as Sveler) is Norway’s answer to the classic American pancakes.

However, these Norwegian pancakes have a distinctively sour taste with the inclusion of yogurt in the recipe.

Depending on your preference, these pancakes can be served as classic round ones or as folded “crescents.”

Krumkake is a sweet and crunchy Norwegian snack treat with an interesting texture.

Depending on the translation and local knowledge, this dish is called “crooked” or “curved” cake.

Indeed, these two descriptions best describe this recipe, as the batter (made from eggs, flour, and butter) is being rolled after cooking to achieve its unique appearance.

Krumkake often has fillings, typically using whipped cream and sugar as its center.

Vanilla and coconut are a rare combination of flavors that blends well in the Norwegian Skoleboller.

These sweet custard buns are beloved by Norwegian schoolchildren, but everyone can also enjoy these sweet rolls!

Cinnamon rolls are a staple in Nordic countries, including Norway.

These Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls locally referred to as Skillingsboller, are mainly enjoyed in the City of Bergen.

What makes these distinct from their city and country is the heavy use of butter, which adds a creamy taste and texture to these cinnamon rolls.

Norway has its version of the unique-looking rose-shaped rosettes.

Known as Rosettbakkels, these rosette cookies take the shape of certain Nordic symbols, including snowflakes, flowers, and other icons.

The Rosettbakkels are not exclusive to Norway but have also been a favorite in other Scandinavian countries.

Cheese doesn’t necessarily have to be yellow or even white, as proven with this Norwegian brown cheese known as Brunost.

However, we should put an asterisk into the word cheese here since brunost does not taste like cheese but is regarded as one nonetheless.

The bottom line

Norway is an exciting country to explore, considering its geographical features, way of living, and cuisine.

In this case, Norwegian cuisine can be best described as a product of Norwegians’ rural, coastal, and arctic living throughout the years.

Not all of these dishes are easy to do, considering the availability of ingredients such as reindeer meat and sheep’s head.

Yet, generally speaking, there’s still more to their cuisine worthy of exploration and appreciation, and it’s vital for us to know and even try some of them during our spare time!

27 BEST Meals From Norway

27 BEST Meals From Norway

Let’s take a culinary trip through the fascinating country of Norway and experience these 27 Norwegian recipes!


  • Kjøttboller (Norwegian Meatballs)
  • Ribbe (Roasted Pork Belly)
  • Reinsdyr Kjøttkaker (Reindeer Meat Cakes)
  • Medisterkaker (Pork Meatballs)
  • Finnbiff (Sauteed Reindeer Stew)
  • Smalahove (Steamed Sheep's Head)
  • Fårikål (Mutton & Cabbage Stew)
  • Lapskaus (Beef & Vegetable Stew)
  • Bidos (Sámi Reindeer Stew)
  • Rømmegrøt (Sour Cream Porridge)
  • Sodd (Muttons & Meatball Stew)
  • Lutefisk (Dried Cod)
  • Fiskekaker (Norwegian Fish Cakes or Patties)
  • Fiskeboller (Norwegian Fish Balls) With White Sauce
  • Fiskesuppe (Norwegian Fish Soup)
  • Gravlax (Graved Salmon)
  • Klippfisk (Norwegian Salt Cod)
  • Surkål (Norwegian Sauerkraut Or Fermented Cabbage)
  • Klubb (Norwegian Potato Dumplings)
  • Lompe (Norwegian Potato Pancake)
  • Vafler (Norwegian Heart Waffles)
  • Sveler (Norwegian Sour Pancakes)
  • Krumkake (Crooked Cake)
  • Skoleboller (Vanilla Custard & Coconut Sweet Buns)
  • Skillingsboller (Norwegian Cinnamon Roll)
  • Rosettbakkels (Norwegian Rosette Cookies)
  • Brunost (Brown Cheese)


  1. Have a look at our list of Norwegian Recipes.
  2. Choose the dish you want to recreate.
  3. Start cooking your newly found recipe!
  4. Share your insights on our Facebook page!

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