How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (2024)

If you are looking for the best Norwegian lefse recipe with mashed potatoes, you will love this one with a list of lefse ingredients, lefse tools, and lots of pictures of how to make your lefse!

From the time I was a little girl, lefse was a special holiday tradition. It took time to make the lefse and we all worked together to make it and then of course eat it as well. Usually, my mom would make homemade lefse for Thanksgiving or Christmas or whenever we spent time with her family. My mom would pack her lefse griddle, corrugated rolling pin, and her lefse board and take them along when we visited my Norwegian grandmother. These childhood memories of hard work and delicious treats make this family recipe a great success!

How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (1)

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What is Lefse?

Contents hide

1 What is Lefse?

2 Lefse Recipe

3 Lefse Recipe Ingredients

4 Lefse Tools

6 How to Make Lefse Part of Your Family Tradition

7 You May Also Like These Family Tradition Recipes

Perhaps you’ve never heard of lefse. Lefse is traditional Norwegian flatbread made from a mashed potato mixture. This delicious potato bread looks a bit like a flour tortilla but is much softer. It was a staple food item for many Norwegian families. The soft flatbread what then slathered in butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Sometimes cinnamon was sprinkled on as well. Then the warm lefse was rolled up and eaten. Our family tradition was to eat it as a dessert or sweet treat. But in parts of the upper Midwest, some traditional ways included eating lefse with jam or like a bread roll with your dinner meal.

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Lefse Recipe

When we lived in Wisconsin for a few years, many of the grocery stores carried lefse in their deli or refrigerator section. We tried it a couple of times, but it was nowhere near as good as our homemade version!

Over the years, my mom has perfected the best lefse recipe with mashed potatoes and it always turns out delicious! You only need a few ingredients to make a big batch. If you have any extra lefse, which is highly unlikely, you can freeze them or make up a plate for your neighbors. But most likely, you won’t have any leftovers after you’ve tried our family recipe! If you want to learn how to make lefse, this recipe is easy enough for beginners with lots of pictures.

We have continued the tradition of making lefse during the holiday season or for special occasions as we have grown a new generation and they have learned how to make Norwegian potato lefse and continue to love eating lefse! What’s not to love about potatoes, flour, butter, and sugar?

Lefse Recipe Ingredients

One of the keys to how to make lefse with mashed potatoes is to make really good mashed potatoes to start with. Russet potatoes that have been mashed with half and half, unsalted butter, and salt and then put through a potato ricer will be the very best start for your lefse recipe. I’m sure you could alter this lefse recipe and make it dairy-free and use plant-based butter and milk but I haven’t tried that.

So for the best lefse recipe, you will need really good mashed potatoes, butter, flour, and some sugar. That’s it. Simple ingredients.

Once the lefse is cooked, the best way to eat it is warm, slathered in butter and sprinkled with white sugar, and rolled up. I have heard from other lefse eaters that there are other ways to eat lefse as a part of your meal sort of like bread or spread it with lingonberry jam, but our favorite way is to eat it as a dessert, slathered in butter and sugar.

How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (2)

Lefse Tools

Learning how to make lefse is the fun of using the special tools while cooking your best lefse recipe. Each of these tools can be used for other things at other times, but having the right lefse tools makes the process of making lefse much easier and less time-consuming.

  • Griddle – you will need a good quality flat-edged griddle to cook your lefse. This griddle has an adjustable temperature which can really help you keep a constant surface temperature so you don’t end up burning your lefse. A regular non-stick frying pan can work in a pinch, but it is very difficult to turn the lefse over in a pan that has edges. You can also use a very short-edged non-stick frying pan like this one, but you will have to watch the temperature on your burner to keep the pan from getting too hot.
  • Lefse Turning Sticka lefse stick is very very helpful if you want to make lefse that stays together in a round shape when turning. You can certainly try using a spatula, but because the lefse “dough” is so soft, it is very easy for the lefse to get a hole in the middle when you are trying to turn it over. If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a lefse turning stick, you could also make one from a large paint stick and then sand off the edges of one end. It is handy to have more than one lefse turning stick if you are making a big batch because sometimes the mashed potato dough can get sticky and cause the stick to start making holes in the lefse as you are turning them.
  • Lefse Starter Kit – If you don’t want to purchase all the different parts, you can also start with a great lefse starter kitand get all the tools you need in one package! This would also make a great gift idea for someone who likes to make lefse!
  • Lefse Rolling PinA lefse rollingcan be used for other things throughout the year, but is especially useful for making lefse. It provides the finished “bumpy” look to the lefse when you are done that is a classic texture or look, sort of like the criss-cross look of the top of peanut butter cookies.
  • Lefse Rolling Pin Sleeve – The last but important lefse tool is a lefse rolling pin sleeve. This is sort of like a sock that slides over your rolling pin. You can generously dust it with flour as you are rolling out your lefse and it will help the lefse not stick to the rolling pin.
  • A Fun Lefse Apron – When making lefse, you will probably get a good dusting of flour on your shirt. A fun lefse apron is perfect to help keep your clothes clean and your clothes out of your food. If you have a lefse lover in your family, this apron would make the perfect gift!
  • Mixer or Potato Ricer – A high quality mixer like this Bosch mixer (use the whip attachments) is perfect for making mashed potatoes, making bread, mixing cookie dough, and so much more. (I personally use my Bosch mixer every single week and sometimes every single day! I’ve had mine for almost 30 years and it is still just as good as it was the day I got it. I LOVE my Bosch. – Okay, that’s all for my favorite kitchen tool of all times!) If you don’t have a high-quality mixer, a potato ricer will do the job as well. You want your mashed potatoes to be free from lumps and bumps.

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Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse

This delicious and simple traditional Norwegian potato lefse is sure to become a family favorite! Just a few simple ingredients and little bit of time and practice and you'll be a pro at making homemade lefse!

Servings 64 lefse

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 5poundsof white potatoesfor best result use russet potatoes
  • 2tsp.salt
  • 2Tgranulated sugar
  • 1cupunsalted butter or margarine
  • 1cuphalf & half
  • 1 cupall-purpose flour

Instructions

Directions:

  1. Peel potatoes and cover them with water in a large pot.

    Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain the water off the potatoes.

    Press the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer or use a potato masher to make them really fine.

    Any potato lumps left after mashing should be set aside. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the flour) and mash and combine well.

  2. Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl and cover them tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours. Don't skip this step!

  3. Once the potatoes are nice and cool, divide them into four portions. Take one portion and knead in 1 C of flour until it's the consistency of pie crust. If the potatoes are sticking to your hands, add a little bit of additional flour but don't add so much that it becomes dry. The less you handle the cold potatoes, the better.

  4. Keep the remaining dough portions in the fridge until you are ready for them.

  5. Divide the potato dough (from one portion) into 16 equal parts and make them into smooth dough balls. If you find any potato pieces that didn't mash up, set them aside.

    How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (3)

  6. Heat lefsa griddle to 500 degrees.

  7. Take 1 dough ball and place it on a well-floured, covered pastry board.

  8. Sprinkle enough flour on top of the ball of dough to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.

  9. Roll out the delicate dough with a corrugated rolling pin covered with a pastry sleeve. Keep adding a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your pastry board and your pastry sleeve on the rolling pin.

  10. Roll a couple times away and back and then switch and roll left and right until your lefse is about 8 inches across. It will be quite thin. Check often to make sure it isn't sticking to your pastry board. Pay special attention is you see any wet spots in your flour as this area will start to stick to your lefse. Keep adding flour to your board.

    How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (4)

  11. Carefully slide a lefse turning stick under the lefse to loosen it from the board. The lefse will be very fragile so handle it with extreme care. Carefully dust off excess flour and transfer the lefse to the hot griddle.

    How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (5)

  12. Allow the lefse to cook on the first side for a couple of minutes. It may puff up a bit. Check the bottom side for little light brown spots and then carefully turn the lefse over with your turning stick.

    How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (6)

  13. When both sides are cooked and have little golden brown spots, use the turning stick to lift the lefse off the griddle.

  14. Place hot lefse on a dishtowel covered wire cooling rack and cook the next lefse.

  15. When you are finished cooking your lefse, slather them with butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar and roll up to eat. You can slice them or eat the whole roll if no one is looking!

    How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (7)

  16. Lefse can be stored in the fridge once they are cool. Spread them out to cool before stacking for the fridge or they will get really moist.

  17. Cover and refrigerate. If you aren't going to eat them all in a few days, freeze them in an airtight container or bag for a month or two.

Recipe Notes

This recipe works best using real potatoes and not instant potatoes. You may use leftover mashed potatoes.

If you don’t have a corrugated rolling pin, you can use a regular rolling pin wrapped in a flour sack style tea towel or dish towel. You can also lay a clean dish towel on the the counter and tape it in place and use that for your pastry board.

How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (8)

Wait for it….

How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (9)

Mmmmm! So good!

How to Make Lefse Part of Your Family Tradition

If you grew up eating lefse but haven’t found the best lefse recipe or haven’t been brave enough to try making it, give it a try today. Once you’ve made lefse and eaten it fresh, you will most likely want to make it again and again! Make it a family affair and gather your supplies and ingredients and start flipping that lefse. Then get into the holiday spirit and sit down and enjoy their buttery sugared deliciousness with your family or eat it any time of year!

RELATED: A Grandparent’s Story and Its Impact

You May Also Like These Family Tradition Recipes

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  • The Best Lefse with Mashed Potatoes

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How to Make the Perfect Traditional Norwegian Potato Lefse Recipe (2024)

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