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17 Best Swedish Appetizers: Gravlax, Gubbröra, & More!

17 Best Swedish Appetizers: Gravlax, Gubbröra, & More!

Looking for Swedish appetizers? We’ve got a variety of recipes here. From Gravlax to Anchovy Palmiers, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy! 
Swedish appetizers, or smårätter, are a beloved part of Swedish culture.
Small and trouble-free to prepare, they are an excellent way to start a meal or enjoy a light snack.
Standard Swedish appetizers include GravlaxToast Skagen (toasted bread with shrimp), and Västerbotten (Cheese Pie).
These sumptuous dishes are often served with a variety of bread and cheeses, making them a neat way to sample the diverse flavors of Swedish cuisine.
Whether enjoying a traditional meal or exploring new culinary horizons, eating different Swedish appetizers is a culinary experience you will no doubt remember for a very long time.
Try out any from this list of 17 appetizers.
Remember to check out #10, as it is a dish that is renowned for its robust flavor.

1. Västerbottenostpaj (Cheese Pie)

Swedish Midsummer is a time for family, friends, and celebrating the year’s longest day. 
One of the most essential parts of the holiday is the food, and there’s no dish more iconic than Västerbottenostpaj (Cheese Pie).
This creamy, nutty pie is sure to be a hit with your guests, and the best part is that it’s fuss-free to make at home.
The key ingredients are readily available at most supermarkets. 
With a bit of time and effort, you can create a savory dish that will be the talk of the party.

2. Traditional Toast Skagen (Swedish Shrimp Toasts)

Traditional Toast Skagen, or Swedish Shrimp Toasts, is a classic Scandinavian appetizer that works nicely for any occasion.
The dish is made by spooning a creamy shrimp salad on toasted white bread triangles and then topping it with a dollop of caviar.
The result is an elegant and uncomplicated dish that your guests will love.
This dish will thrill your guests’ taste buds in a subtle yet memorable way.

3. Swedish Tapas

Swedish Tapas is a sublime way to start any meal.
Small and flavorful, these bite-sized appetizers are ideal for sharing.
Famous Swedish tapas include herring, gravlax, and tartar.
Herring is typically served with onions, sour cream, or dill, while gravlax is a cured salmon dish often served with mustard sauce.
Tartar is another popular option, and it can be made with either beef or salmon.
No matter what you choose, Swedish tapas are sure to set the vibe of any meal or gathering just right.

4. Swedish Crispbread (Rye Seed Crackers)

Knackebrod is a traditional Swedish crispbread that is thin, crispy, and full of flavor.

Unlike crackers, which are often bland and dry, Knackebrod is mixed with seeds, giving it a satisfying crunch.

The bread is also denser than most crackers, making it filling as well as delicious.

Whether you enjoy it with cheese, butter, or any other savory spread, Knackebrod is sure to add a touch of sophistication to your next smorgasbord.

So next time you’re in the mood for something crispy and tasty, reach for a Knackebrod; you won’t be disappointed!

5. Phyllo Appetizer Cups With Mushroom Filling

The next time you’re hosting a dinner party, why not wow your guests with a delicious and elegant appetizer?
Phyllo appetizer cups with mushroom filling are the perfect bite-sized treat and will wow your guests.
Simply sauté some mushrooms with shallots and garlic, then mix in some cream.
Spoon the mixture into phyllo pastry cups and bake until golden brown.

6. Swedish Cocktail Meatballs

If you want a straightforward but impressive appetizer to add to your spread, look no further than Swedish cocktail meatballs.
Tender meatballs smothered in a decadent gravy are sure to be a hit with everyone at your party.
And the great part is that these can be whipped up in under an hour!
Whether you’re serving them as an appetizer or main course, Swedish cocktail meatballs are the ultimate comfort food.

7. Gravlax

Gravlax is an exquisite and impressive dish that is perfect for a feast. 

The salmon is cold-cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and dill, then thinly sliced and served with pumpernickel bread, cream cheese, capers, and red onions. 

It is easy to prepare in advance, which makes it ideal for entertaining. 

Gravadlax is sure to impress your guests and add a touch of elegance to your table.

8. Swedish Kroppkakor Dumplings

These stuffed potato dumplings are a delicious twist on the classic Swedish Kroppkakor dumplings. 

Using leftover mashed potatoes, they are stuffed with a choice of fillings, then boiled and pan-fried. 

The result is a wonderfully moist and flavorful dumpling that is perfect for any occasion. 

I highly recommend trying these dumplings with various fillings. 

Some of my favorites include ground beef, shredded cheese, and sauerkraut. 

However, you can really use any filling that you like. 

So don’t be afraid to get creative!

9. Swedish Potato Pancakes

A fluffy yet hearty appetizer suitable for any party or get-together, Swedish Potato Pancakes are made with a few accessible ingredients and can be easily tailored to your taste.
Made with shredded potatoes, eggs, and flour, the pancakes are fried until golden brown and served with a variety of dipping sauces.
For a savory option, try them with sour cream or yogurt; for a sweet option, try them with applesauce or jam.
No matter how you serve them, Swedish Potato Pancakes are sure to send diners asking for more!

10. Ärtsoppa

Ärtsoppa is a traditional Swedish pea soup that is served on Thursdays.

This soup is eaten by Swedes in preparation for the Friday fast.

Made from thick pork broth and dried yellow peas, this dish is thick and hearty and perfect for those cold days when your soul needs a pick-me-up.

So if you’re looking for a tasty and filling soup, ärtsoppa is the way to go!

11. Asparagus Mousse With Prawns & Dill

This Asparagus Mousse With Prawns & Dill is a soul-satisfying appetizer that’s marvelous for any occasion.

The asparagus is cooked in salted boiling water and pureed in a food processor before being mixed with whipping cream and prawns, and lemon zest. 

To elevate it more, add some quail eggs or mayo on top of the mousse as garnishes.

12. Swedish Smoked Eel Canapés

Who doesn’t love smoked eel?

They’re versatile and incredibly delicious; these Swedish Smoked Eel Canapés prove that!

The smoky eel complements the crispbread and crème fraîche, while the fruity flavor of white wine vinegar takes the entire dish up a notch. 

Serve them as an appetizer with herb leaves as a garnish.

13. Parmesan Tuile

This Parmesan Tuile appetizer is simply a thin papery cookie made with parmesan cheese, but the authentic recipe uses västerbottensost (Västerbotten cheese).

The dish is delicious on its own, but pairing it with hearty soup makes it addicting. 

To create, you need to bake the cheese with freshly cracked pepper and then form the mixture into thin cookies. 

Easy peasy!

14. Deviled Quail Eggs

Warning: These Deviled Quail Eggs are irresistible, and they might disappear at your appetizer table quickly!

Like any other deviled egg recipe, you need to scoop out the yolk into a bowl and then mix it with other ingredients. 

This version uses regular salt, but you can opt for celery salt to experience that Swedish-style indulgence.

15. Anchovy Palmiers

These Anchoy Parmiers might sound complicated, but they’re pretty simple to put together, thanks to the ready-rolled puff pastry!

Blend anchovies, olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and juice into a food processor; spread over the mixture onto the pastry, roll the dough towards the center and then refrigerate.

Slice into cookies and bake until golden brown. 

Remember to brush all the palmier dough with beaten egg as it’s the secret to its nice golden color.

16. Swedish Spinach Soup

The cuisine of Sweden is rich in delicious soups, which is not surprising given the country’s long, cold winters.
Among the many mouth-watering soups originating from Sweden, spenatsoppa, or Swedish Spinach Soup, is a favorite.
This satisfying soup is made with leaf spinach, although baby spinach or other greens can be used as well.
The key to making a great Swedish Spinach Soup is to use fresh ingredients and cook them slowly to bring out their flavor.
This delectable soup is sure to please anyone’s palate and warm them up on a cold winter day.

17. Gubbröra (Old Man’s Mix)

Gubbröra, also known as Old Man’s Mix, is a traditional Swedish dish made from Swedish anchovies, eggs, and onion. 

However, this version includes new potatoes, crème Fraiche, roe, and a few spices, creating another layer of flavor and texture to the recipe. 

It’s best served with rye bread or crisp bread. 

The bottom line

Whether you want a traditional dish to serve during the holidays or a new recipe to try, Swedish appetizers are sure worth trying.

From Lussekatter buns to braised red cabbage, you have plenty of flavors and tastes to choose from.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Get cooking and enjoy a taste of Sweden!

Best Swedish Appetizers

Best Swedish Appetizers

Looking for Swedish appetizers? We've got a variety of recipes here. From Gravlax to Anchovy Palmiers, you're sure to find something that everyone will enjoy!


  • Västerbottenostpaj (Cheese Pie)
  • Traditional Toast Skagen (Swedish Shrimp Toasts)
  • Swedish Tapas
  • Swedish Crispbread (Rye Seed Crackers)
  • Phyllo Appetizer Cups With Mushroom Filling
  • Swedish Cocktail Meatballs
  • Gravlax
  • Swedish Kroppkakor Dumplings
  • Swedish Potato Pancakes
  • Ärtsoppa
  • Asparagus Mousse With Prawns & Dill
  • Swedish Smoked Eel Canapés
  • Parmesan Tuile
  • Deviled Quail Eggs
  • Anchovy Palmiers
  • Swedish Spinach Soup
  • Gubbröra (Old Man's Mix)


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  2. Choose the dish you want to recreate.
  3. Start cooking your newly found recipe.
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