How to cook Fårikål – Norway’s national dish


How to cook Fårikål – Norway’s national dish


Fall has arrived and it’s time to cook up a pot of Fårikål (lamb and cabbage / mutton stew), the national dish of Norway. This dish is simple, but delicious. It may be hard to believe its as good as it is, but in the cooking process it becomes better than the sum of its parts. Some kind of magical alchemy happens, as it simmers on the stove for hours.

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Fårikål – National Dish of Norway

Fårikål was first elected the national dish of Norway in 1970 by the popular radio show “Nitimen” (ninth hour). Later on in 2014 there was a new poll made and Fårikål won again.

Norway has many seasonal dishes. Meaning that you won’t cook them when it’s not the right season. That way we only eat certain food dishes at specific times of the year. I think it makes it even more special when you have to wait a year before you can eat your favorite meal. The reason why we eat Fårikål in the fall has to do with the cabbage coming fresh of the fields, and also this is when the farmers slaughter the sheep. The sheep normally spend all summer up in the mountains, so when fall arrives they are all fat and fed and ready to end up on the dinner plate. Actually, around 2 million sheep are roaming around in Norway during the summer, so if you go to the mountains you can be sure to see a lot of them.

Fårikål Norway's national dish

Serve Fårikål with potatoes and a dark ale

A Fårikål Party

It’s quite typical that Norwegians will invite friends and family to Fårikål dinner parties. And I have to admit that it is quite cozy to gather this time of the year. You cook up a pot, light some candles, get something nice to drink and enjoy a hot stew while watching the wind and rainy weather outside.

Fårikål recipe

For a fairly large portion you’ll need:

Two medium sized heads of cabbage
2 kilos (4,4 pounds) of lambs meat
Black pepper corns
About 1,3 liters (1,3 quarts) of water (you might add less, depending on the size of the pot etc)

This serves four grown ups, or if you are two it will last you for a couple of days. The stew actually tastes better on the second day. Enjoy!

Are you curious about making this dish? If so, I have made a YouTube-video where I walk you through the cooking process.

Your friend in Norway,


Pål of Norway With Pål

Pål of Norway With Pål

Norway native, veteran travel guide, sailor, filmmaker, and writer (you might have seen me in one of Rick Steves’ guidebooks!). I want to help you enjoy Norway the right way — like a local. Learn more about me.

DISCLAIMER: Products on this page may contain affiliate links, and I might make a small sum per purchase. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Read the Disclaimer policy. Thank you, tusen takk!


  1. Regula Amita on December 3, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    I ve got some nice lamb meet. And cook the forikol this evening. For serving it tomorrow!
    Is there not something at the end with flour to dust, to get a creamy consistency ?

    • Norway with Pål on December 6, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Hi there! Great to hear that you are trying out the recipe 🙂

      Some people add some wheat flour to thicken it a bit. Personally I don’t think it is so necessary. The flavor and consistency is already good as it is. But you could always experiment to see if you like it better with a more thicker texture 🙂

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