In Norway, mashed potatoes become bread and everything else falls into place



Recently, I had the pleasure of making lefse, a fluffy and comforting Norwegian potato flatbread. Made from mashed potatoes and flour, I’d say this base closely resembles a tortilla in terms of appearance and thickness. Once the flatbread is done cooking, I followed my instructions to spread one side with butter, sprinkle sugar on it, and roll up the lefse into a delectable swirl of sweetness. The easy cooking process was similar to making roti, and I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious final product!

This satisfying, delightful lefse recipe comes from Lauren, who currently resides outside of Philadelphia. Lauren’s mother’s family is from Norway, and their classic lefse recipe has been passed down through generations. Historically, their whole family gets involved during the joyous baking process, so Lauren’s comforting memories of this dish stem from more than the warm, fluffy flavors. I can totally see how lefse could be a fun, collective family activity, and I urge you to try rolling out some lefse with your loved ones this holiday season!

The first known versions of lefse did not include potatoes; Norwegian village women would make enough lefse to last the winter months with only flour. Today, potato-based lefse is enjoyed throughout Norway during Christmastime. It is now a festive, comforting, carb-loaded dish in which entire families indulge. Though the potato flavors take somewhat of a backseat to whatever sweet or savory additions you choose to incorporate, they still shine in a subtle way, adding to the comforting element of lefse.

Lauren’s nostalgic memories of helping make lefse are surely filled with hours of rolling and shaping dough with her family. Luckily, I can attest that this dough is simple and very forgiving, making the whole process easier and more enjoyable. You can even use leftover mashed potatoes if you’re short on time, and if you don’t have a lefse stick, I suggest using your finger to carefully flip the rounds. You can even use a tortilla press instead of a rolling pin if you’re somewhat intimidated in the kitchen. I won’t judge!

Although lefse is a classic Christmastime dish loved throughout Norway, I think you could make it for a variety of occasions. Any number of party guests would surely welcome this delicious dish during any holidays involving a congregation of hungry people!

Watch the Video


  • Tortilla Press (if possible)
  • Potato Ricer


  • 1 lb Russet Potatoes Boiled, Peeled and Cubed
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Flour


  • Once your potatoes are cooked and peeled, put them through a ricer and into a large bowl. If you don't have a ricer you can use a colander.
  • Stir in the butter until just melted and combined. Stir in the cream and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until fully combined. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Once the potato mixture is chilled, add the flour.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Roll into a long rope, cut into 1 inch portions portions, and shape each one into a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Using a press or a roller, roll each ball into a roughly 6-inch circle.
  • Cook on a buttered skillet, turning once, until speckled golden brown.
  • Serve with butter and top with brown sugar.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Region: Europe
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: Comfort food, Kid Friendly


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