We’ve always loved Scandinavian design (copper lighting! pops of bright blue! wooden accents!), but we’ve heard a lot about one Scandi concept in particular lately: hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” hygge roughly translates to anything that has to do with being cozy. If you’re picturing images of large mugs of tea and half-nibbled cookies next to ski sock-clad feet wrapped around a (delightfully minimalist) blanket, you’re right on point. Oh boy, can we get down with that. Even if you can’t light a fire in your living room, these seven Danish recipes are the best way to start practicing hygge in your kitchen. Start a pot of tea and get cooking.
1. Smørrebrød (Open-Faced Sandwiches)
Ditch the boring chili-flaked avo toast for a smørrebrød. A whatttt? It’s an open-faced sandwich on rye bread piled high with toppings. This staple in Danish cuisine often includes meat, poultry, or fish, but you can do it any way you like (curried egg salad, pickled onions and potatoes, or bell pepper spread to name a few).
2. Øllebrød (Danish Rye Bread Porridge)
This creamy porridge looks like chocolate, but it’s actually dark rye bread and beer porridge (*scream emoji*). Traditionally served with cream, øllebrød is just as good with a dollop of yogurt or nondairy milk.
3. Bircher Muesli
Once you learn how to pronounce it (think: “mew-zlee”), you’ll be making muesli every morning. The Swiss-created dish of raw oats, nuts, and dried fruit soaked in yogurt milk and tossed with fresh fruit is a typical Danish breakfast. After a big bite, you’ll know why.
4. Danish Split Pea Soup
This simple vegan soup is bright with fresh dill, yet super rich from the crispy onion topping. Once the soup is fully cooked, you can purée it for a creamier bowl or leave it as is if you like the texture.
5. Risalamande (Vanilla Rice Pudding With Cherries)
A bowl of this pudding is the coziest dessert imaginable. Chewy rice and vanilla custard get comfy in a baking dish, then the whole mess is topped with a tart cherry and black pepper sauce. Uh, don’t mind us as we eat straight out of the pan.
6. Strawberries and Koldskål (Danish Summer Cream)
Traditionally a cold custard of milk, cream, and sugar, this koldskål is made with thick sheep or goat yogurt, maple syrup, lemon, and vanilla. Serve with mega-sweet, almost-too-ripe strawberries and a few healthier kammerjunkere (crispy cardamom cookies).
7. Kogt Torsk (Poached Cod)
A simple spring salad of beets, radishes, pea shoots, and herbs make a dreamy bed for tender poached cod. Not only is this dish a vibrant ode to Nordic cuisine, the whole thing comes together in less than half an hour, so you have more time to eat and relax.