Swedish Potato Sausage – Our Family Christmas Tradition

Cooked Potato Sausage

Our family has a lifelong tradition of making Swedish Potato Sausage for our Christmas Eve dinner. We always make it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This post isn’t about pretty pictures, above all it’s about family, making memories, and what we do at this small house for the holidays.

Swedish Potato Sausage Recipe

Family Holiday Tradition for Christmas Eve
Prep Time4 hours
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: potato sausage, swedish potato sausage
Servings: 50 lbs


  • potato peeler
  • sharp knife
  • Colander
  • Large Bowl We use several
  • meat grinder
  • sausage stuffer
  • large roasting pan
  • inexpensive plastic tablecloth, use to cover table to mix and then we throw it away


  • 10 lbs ground chuck Have your butcher grind the chuck and pork together
  • 5 lbs ground pork
  • 30 lbs potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 5 lbs sweet onions peeled and quartered – you can also use a white onion
  • pork sausage casings


  • Peel and quarter potatoes and onions
  • Grind potatoes and onions together
  • Drain the potato mixture in colanders, using your hands for pressure to release the water and potato starch from the potato mixture.
  • Thoroughly mix the potato mixture and meat together
  • Season with kosher salt and black pepper
  • Use sausage stuffer to put meat/potato mixture into casings
  • Bake at 350° in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Put some water in the bottom of the pan. Add more if it bakes out of the pan. It's done when the meat is cooked through and the casings are starting to split just a little bit.


We have our local grocery store grind the meat. They grind the pork and beef together and package the ground meat mixture for us. 

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It was such a nostalgic post to write. I filtered through hundreds of pictures. Years and years of family memories!

I even found a picture of my sister on the computer the first year that she moved away from Illinois. We were zooming before Zoom!

The Potato Sausage Story

I have only missed a few potato sausage events in my whole life. Once when “Handy” was in the hospital, once because a snowstorm kept us away from my parents, and the last couple of years (2020 and 2021), when we didn’t make sausage because of Covid. It’s a process and most of the fun is being with my family. The pandemic made it too risky to gather and make food, in close quarters with even my family.

While I have a lot of photos, we certainly weren’t focused on good photography when we were having potato sausage fun 🙂 If you look closely you can see my style evolution in some of the pictures. Can you see My cranberry walls and my sage green walls? We’ve held potato sausage pretty much at my house, my brother’s house, and one time at our dear friends Barb and Dennis’s home. They are like family to us! Prior to that, it was always at my Mom and Dad’s house. My brother Scott lives in NY and my sister Laurie lives in TN. They both make potato sausage at their own homes. It’s just not Christmas Eve without potato sausage!

Potato Sausage

Värmlandskorv (also called Potatis korv) is a Swedish potato sausage made by combining ground pork, ground beef, potatoes, onions, and a few basic seasonings. This traditional sausage is typically served to celebrate different holidays, like Christmas!

It is sometimes referred to as Norwegian Sausage.



The earliest photo I could find was when I was a teenager and it’s a photo of my mom, me, and my two younger brothers. I’m guessing my Dad was taking the picture.

Me as a teenager making potato sausage with my mom and two younger brothers.

The Sausage-Making Process

The Potato and Onion Mixture

  • Peel potatoes and cut them into quarters. Put them in large bowls with cold water until ready to use so they don’t discolor.
  • Peel the onions and cut them into quarters
  • Potatoes and onions are ground up with an old-fashioned grinder. Ours is truly an antique!
  • We press the potatoes and onions in colanders to get out the water from the potatoes. This is a very important step and requires some time. You must spend a good amount of time pressing for some time to get out as much moisture as you can or your sausage could end up mussy.
Antique Food Grinder that we still use for potato sausage
We actually use my Vintage Meat Grinder!

Mixing the Potato Sausage

  • Place the drained potato mixture on a table and then add the meat. (Be sure to cover the table with a clear plastic tablecloth. We buy inexpensive ones and just throw them away when we are done)
  • The kids start to mix – After they thoroughly wash their hands, nails, and arms
  • We add salt and pepper to taste (my Mom was very heavy-handed with the salt. Now that my brother and I are the taste testers, we seem to have much more pepper)

How no one has gotten sick because of our process, over the years is truly amazing! We would never pass any FDA inspections.

kids hands covered with potato sausage in a circle
the potatoes and meat are on the table ready to be mixed
Potato Mixture and Meat Before mixing

Stuffing the Sausage

After the meat and potatoes are well mixed (sometimes too much) typically the couples will start the sausage stuffing process. Again we use an old grinder with a handmade horn that I believe belonged to my grandparents and it’s well over 100 years old. It’s actually starting to crack and we are always afraid that this will be the last year. We keep a modern equivalent on standby just in case.

You can also use a Kitchen-Aid mixer with a grinder attachment.

My Mom and Dad always cranked out the first sausage when they were still alive. I think the bottom picture may very well be the last year that my Mom made sausage.

The first few potato rings of sausages go into the oven and we eat those on Potato Sausage Night. We don’t eat it again until Christmas Eve.

We pretty much snack on heavy appetizers throughout the whole night and then end it with our delicious Swedish potato sausage.

appetizers and charcuterie on the island

My Mom’s Recipe

My sweet niece found a copy of my Mom’s recipe that is in her handwriting and framed it for her and her sister. I did the same for my girls. What a great keepsake to have hanging in their kitchens.

What Are Your Family Traditions

Does your family have a fun holiday tradition? Is it important to you to pass your traditions on to your kids? I’m so thankful that my kids have this connection with their past (my parents and grandparents). I’m also thrilled that they have such a strong connection that I am sure will continue into their future (close cousin bond).

If you don’t have holiday traditions, there is no time like the present to start creating them. It can be anything from a cookie exchange to making many pounds of potato sausage.

Peace and Love,

If you want my recipe for Swedish Meatballs, head HERE

Other Christmas Posts

 How to Make the Perfect Holiday Cocktail

We Love Our Frame TV

Casual Holiday Entertaining

Christmas Eve at Our House

A great way to remember this is to save it to your Pinterest boards. You can find the pin button in the top right corner of the photo below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest

Meet Me

I’m an Interior Designer turned full-time blogger who lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in a 1,300 sq., ft., home with my “Handy” husband, Keith.

I’m an open book about my life on my blog. Find out more about me by tapping the button below.


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  1. Oh my goodness! This looks amazing. I love how the styles changed over the years, but the process remained virtually identical. I love all gathering around the table with a messy, fun job to do.

    1. It’s so messy and so much fun. When I was younger and did the mixing, my hands and arms would smell like onions for days!

  2. I LOVED this post. The pics were awesome. The tradition is great. The sausage sounds amazing!

    1. Truth be told, I’m not crazy about the sausage, its the process and the tradition that is the fun part for me!

  3. I welled up as I read this post, Lynn. You have so many beautiful memories connected to this family tradition. May your family continue this tradition for years to come. ???? Pinned!

    1. It’s a pretty cool tradition and the fact that all the kids will carry this on is pretty amazing.

  4. Just loved this blog post. I smiled through the whole thing. The family pictures were the best. Happy Holiday’s to you Lynn 😉 Cindy

  5. 5 stars
    This is the exact same recipe we use in our family. I’ve got very similar pictures from making the sausage with my grandparents, parents and now with kids and grandkids! Love it. I live in Minnesota and can find it at christmas time but it always has allspice added, which we don’t like! If we can’t get it made at home, I run to Milbank, South Dakota to pick up same made without allspice.

    1. Hi Karen –
      I just love hearing from all the people who eat potato sausage. My Mom did say that some people used allspice but I can’t even imagine. So glad to hear from you and I hope you have the most amazing Christmas!

  6. Sally Grant says:

    Oh my gosh….. Those pictures could’ve been straight out of our family albums, We do a Swedish Smorgasbord every Christmas, that is what makes it my favorite Holiday. My grandfather DeJerf has passed but he left us with a great family tradition, with all his recipes. A tradition that will last for generation after genration.

    1. Hi Sally –

      I have had so many people reach out to me about potato sausage and their Swedish traditions. Us Sweds know how to party 🙂

  7. My boyfriend introduced me to Potato Sausage. I am looking for recipes to serve this in new ways instead of cooking the potatoe sausage and serving with veggies on the side. I suggested cutting it up and adding it to spaghetti sauce, but that was vetoed. He believes the spices would conflict between the sauce and potatoe sausage.

    Any helpful hints?

    1. Hi Krista –

      I can see why you might think it wouldn’t work with spaghetti sauce but I’m someone who is willing to try pretty much anything. You might be pleasantly surprised. We typically eat it plain with what ever else we are having for dinner – Unlike the rest of my family, I dip it in mustard??. I actually have cut it into little disks and served it with dipping sauces like mustard, ketchup, and ranch as a snack. You have me thinking now on how else you can serve potato sausage.

      I have a ring from Christmas in my freezer still. I may experiment with it!

  8. This is the recipe most similar to the one my family has been making for generations. We use all pork (4 lbs to 10 lbs of potatoes) and we grind it all together. We also boil the raw sausage for 20 minutes until it’s cooked, then just fry the outside when we are ready to eat it. We all think it’s the best dish ever. I’ve tried buying it and it’s always way too meat heavy. My girls and I make it about 4 times a year. When my mom was in her 90s and in a memory care facility and didn’t want to eat, I’d bring some in and she would always polish off whatever I brought. I just made 30 lbs of it last weekend and it reminds me of her. She used to talk about making it with her great-grandmother using a hand grinder and cow horn. Im 67, so it’s an electric grinder for me.

    1. Hi Jean –
      I’m so surprised how many people either still have this as a tradition or want to revive it. I thought we were the only weird family who ate this when I was growing up. That’s such a sweet story about your Mom. Making it is also a memory for us of our Mom and Dad. I’m almost the same age and we still use the crank grinder but we make our kids do the bulk of the work these days.

  9. lynn i love this story and tradition. What happens if I don’t use casings? That’s what’s throwing me – do i need sausage with casings or are casings something separate. I make this but i do the easy button version. I need more traditions like this! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. The casing is what makes it sausage. You could make patties out of the meat and potato mixture if you want to skip the casings. Happy Thanksgiving to you Laura!

  10. ~Chrissie O says:

    5 stars
    Everything about this post is utterly charming! The story, the pictures, and the vivid memories!! These are not the stuffs of my childhood, but I can actually picture the kids, the laughing, maybe flinging dirty hands in each other’s directions… How much fun was this?!

    I must admit to NOT being a sausage fanatic, despite being Scottish/Irish. HOWEVER, I ADORE me a meatloaf any time of year! I make it Asian, with sesame oil, soy sauce, chopped veggies and water chestnuts; Mexican with spices and chiles. Why not Norwegian?? So, thank God your Mom wrote this out in a single recipe!! I followed it – I used ground chuck and ground pork, and used my KitchenAid to grind them together. I added the extra pepper plus a quick grind of nutmeg because, well, it seemed the thing to do. Pressed it into a 9×13″ pan and baked for approximately an hour. Drained off the juices and made a quick gravy. It did not taste at all LIKE “Swedish meatballs,” but it had a homey, comforting hug warmth reminiscent of a meal like that. It left me nostalgic for a memory I’ve never had… if that makes any sense. I’m really grateful for that experience, and for that wistfulness. Thank you so much for sharing your memory, and for letting me experience it, even vicariously… ~Chrissie

    1. Hi Chrissie –
      We are best friends already! What a sweet story and I’m so glad that our sausage meat brought back unlived memories for you!! I’m with you on the meatloaf. I love it too but I tend to make it only in the fall and winter (why is that). I just told “Handy” that when I get home from Dallas, I will make him meatloaf. He’s pretty excited about that. I’m also a fan of spicy and trying out new flavors!! I’m so glad you’re here.

  11. Excited to find this entry and recipe. I just started interviewing my parents, aunt and uncle about Swedish recipes handed down through our family – there are NONE – but, my mom remembers potato sausages she did not like but my uncle did. Thank you for sharing this! I will try the recipe and see if my siblings want to add it into their holidays, too.

    1. I’m not crazy about it either but the process and the tradition are worth every bite! Thanks so much for finding me.

  12. Linnea Bell says:

    I can home to Minnesota this week and my family is having a cookout. Was thinking of my dad and served potato sausage as a kid. So I went and picked some up yesterday. Cooking it now. Hopefully it is as good as I remember. Love your story. I am not sure how much Swedish I am but I have Swedish ancestry. My name is Linnea and know it is Swedish. I will attempt to make your recipe at home. Smaller versions however. Thanks for your story.

    1. Hi Linnea – I’m shocked at how many people connect with the Potato Sausage recipe. When we moved to Illinois we didn’t know (and still don’t really know) anyone else who had this tradition. I’m so glad that our kids are anxious to carry on this tradition. It’s such a great family bonding event for us. I hope yours is as good as you remember it. Truth be told it’s not my favorite thing in the whole world – I like the experience of making it much better.