Norwegian Christmas Food: Lefse with meat


Norwegian Christmas Food: Lefse with meat



The typical way of eating lefse is with a spread of butter, sugar and sometimes cinnamon. But did you know that during Christmas, some Norwegians eat their lefse with meat in it?

This tradition is especially strong in the eastern parts of Norway, in the region today called Viken. In this article I’ll show you three different meat types we use in the lefse during Jul (Christmas).

Also read: Lefse A Norwegian Food Classic

Lefse with Sylte

Sylte Head Cheese Norway

Sylte – Head Cheese

Sylte is typical Christmas food in Norway, and something you find in every supermarket during the months of November and December. Sylte is known as “Head Cheese” in English, but despite its name it is not a dairy product. It’s a cold cut terrine or meat jelly, traditionally made with flesh from the head of a pig, and set in aspic. (btw. the brain, eyes and ears are typically not used for making sylte). Different producers add different kind of spices, such as clove, all-spice, salt and pepper.

How to eat Sylte on a Lefse?

As mentioned earlier you need a potato lefse. It can be 100% potatoes or a mix of potatoes and wheat flour. Also you need some strong mustard. In Norway it’s called “Grov Sennep”, coarse mustard. If you find this type of mustard too strong, well then you just use ordinary hot dog mustard, and it’ll still taste good!

Sennep Mustard-1.jpg

Sennep Mustard Lefse-1.jpg

Start by smearing some mustard onto the lefse.

Lefse with sylte Norway

Then put some sylte on and roll it up.

Voilá! Nam Nam!

Lefse with Medisterkake and Julepølse

Julepølse to the left, medisterkake to the right

Another classic lefse Christmas combo in Norway is to put Medisterkaker (Pork patties) or Julepølse (Christmas sausage) on the lefse. These two are also typical Christmas food in Norway, especially because they are part of the traditional ribbetallerken (Pork rib Christmas plate). They are made of pork, and has a rather salty flavor that goes well with the lefse and the mustard.

Same as with the sylte, you put some mustard on the lefse and then add the meat on top before rolling it up.

lefse julepølse-1-2.jpg

lefse julepølse-1.jpg

Ready to eat! Important: You always eat lefse with your hands, never knife and fork.

Lefse & Norway with Pål

You might also like: Eat a Hot Dog like a Norwegian

I hope this article inspired you to try out some meat on the lefse. If you don’t have access to these meat types, try experiment with other types of pork meat.

Also, please share this article with other lefse enthusiasts out there.

Tusen takk for reading & Vel bekomme!

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. Jo Collins on November 22, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Just bought potato Lefse in Poulsbo, Washington ( Norwegian Village (esk). Hope to try your meals. Is it ever heated or grilled?

    • Norway with Pål on November 23, 2021 at 7:43 am

      Great! Never grilled, but you could always gently heat them up a bit in a pan. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. Kristin Sumrall on November 24, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Yum, those look tasty!

    • Norway with Pål on November 26, 2021 at 9:57 am

      They sure are! 😛

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