Learn how to make lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread—made with potatoes, grilled, and served with butter and sugar. Learn how to make lefse with 2 different recipes—traditional and instant.

Closeup of Lefse Rolls on a Serving Platter

Welcome! This post is the heart of why we started this blog. To share family recipes and traditions. Norwegian baking is a tradition in our family. And lefse is a must-have at our holiday table. At the very least, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Typically paired with homemade buns.

I’ve included two different lefse recipes in this post. I’m showing the instant version of making the dough. The process for rolling and grilling the lefse is the same for both the traditional and instant recipes.

Supplies for Lefse

Here are the supplies you need to make lefse.

  • Lefse griddle
  • Rolling pin & cover (we use a tube sock! yes, it’s clean 🙂 hah!)
  • Lefse turning stick
  • Pastry board & cover

You can find a lefse starter kit from Bethany Housewares, which is pretty awesome to have all the supplies bundled together and a great gift idea.

Ingredients (Instant Lefse Recipe)

  • 5 cups + 1/4 – 1/2 cup Hungry Jack Potato Flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10oz 7up (cold!)
  • 2 1/4 cups water (cold!)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (cold!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

How to Make Lefse

You’ll want to set aside an afternoon or evening to make lefse. We usually get together with other family members for a “lefse party.” And sometimes we’ll make both the traditional and instant versions.

Making the Dough (Instant Recipe)

Here’s how to make lefse dough using the instant recipe with potato flakes. Then, we’ll show you how to roll and grill it, which can be used for both recipes.

Step 1 | Mix all ingredients except for flour

In a large bowl, add the potato flakes, salt, sugar, 7up, water, evaporated milk, and oil.  Make sure the 7up, water, and evaporated milk are cold.

Mixing Lefse Ingredients in Bowl with Spoon

Mix well.

Lefse Mixture Before Adding Flour

Step 2 | Add flour

Add the all-purpose flour.

Adding Flour to Lefse Dough Mixture

Step 3 | Mix and knead

Mix and then knead until combined.

Final Lefse Dough in Decorative Bowl

Rolling & Grilling Tips (Traditional & Instant Recipe)

This section covers rolling and grilling, which you can follow for either lefse recipe.

Step 4 | roll into balls and chill

Roll the dough into balls and chill in the refrigerator.

Balls of Lefse Dough on a Plate

Step 5 | preheat griddle

Preheat the lefse griddle to 350 degrees. (It may depend on your grill.) Pull only one ball of dough from the refrigerator at a time.

Step 6 | Prepare pastry board

Make sure the surface of the pastry board is well-floured.

Pastry Cloth, Rolling Pin, and Lefse Stick

Step 7 | form dough

Then, form your dough as pictured.

Formed Lefse Ball on Pastry Cloth

Step 8 | Roll dough to about 12 inches in diameter

Roll the dough to about 12 inches in diameter using a rolling pin. (The more you roll, the greater the chance you’ll have a sticky spot on your pastry board. Make sure to flour the spot well, and you may need to pick up the dough as you roll and re-flour.)

Note: roll into a circle as much as possible. We have improved our skills a lot since this picture was taken!

Lefse Dough Rolled Out onto Pastry Board

Step 9 | Pick up using lefse stick

Using the lefse stick, carefully pick up the rolled lefse dough as shown.

Sliding Lefse Stick Under Rolled Out Lefse Dough to Pick Up
How to Pick Up Lefse Off of Pastry Board

Step 10 | Place on lefse grill

Carefully place the lefse on the grill and slowly turn the stick to unravel the other half.

Unrolling Lefse Onto Lefse Griddle

Step 11 | Grill the first side

Grill on one side for a few minutes.

Lefse on Griddle Cooking First Side

The dough will start to bubble.

Cooking Lefse on Griddle Second Side

Step 12 | Flip and cook the second side

Flip and cook the other side for a few minutes.

Removing Lefse from Griddle with Lefse Stick

Step 13 | Repeat with the remaining dough

Repeat until you have a beautiful stack of lefse like this:

Stack of Cooked Lefse

Step 14 | Top with butter and sugar, roll, and enjoy!

Slice the rounds in half before serving. Spread with butter and sugar.

Lefse Cut in Half with Butter and Sugar

Roll up and enjoy!

Lefse Rolled Up with Butter and Sugar on Serving Tray

SavePlease stop by and say hi in the comments.  Have you made lefse?  Lefse pros, what tips do you have that I didn’t mention?

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Closeup of Lefse Rolls on a Serving Platter

Lazy Lefse with Instant Potatoes and 7UP

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An easy way to make lefse with instant potato flakes. Just as yummy. Spread with butter, sugar, roll-up and enjoy!

  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1820 rounds 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 5 cups + 1/4 – 1/2 cup Hungry Jack Potato Flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10oz 7up (cold!)
  • 2 1/4 cups water (cold!)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (cold!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the potato flakes, salt, sugar, 7up, water, evaporated milk, and oil.
  2. Add 2 cups of flour.
  3. Mix and knead.
  4. Roll the dough into balls.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the lefse griddle to 350 degrees. (may depend on your grill)
  7. Pull only one ball of dough from the refrigerator at a time.
  8. On a floured pastry board, roll the dough to about 12 inches in diameter.
  9. Place the rolled dough on the griddle.
  10. The dough will start to bubble.
  11. Flip and cook the other side.
  12. Repeat.
  13. When you’re ready to serve — spread with butter, and sugar, roll up and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure your 7Up and evaporated milk are cold.
  • Supplies: lefse griddle, rolling pin w/cover, lefse turning stick, pastry board w/cover
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Category: Breads
  • Cuisine: Norwegian
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How to Pick Up Lefse Off of Pastry Board

Traditional Norwegian Lefse

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A traditional lefse recipe, Norwegian potato flat bread. Spread with butter, sugar, roll-up and enjoy.

  • Total Time: approx 4 hours

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 5 cups mashed potatoes (~2.5 pounds)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Boil 2.5 pounds of potatoes until they fall apart and yield 5 cups.
  2. Drain the potatoes, you don’t want any water.
  3. Mash the potatoes with a beater.
  4. Add cream, shortening, sugar, and salt to hot potatoes.
  5. Cool thoroughly, and then add the flour.
  6. Mix and knead.
  7. Roll the dough into balls.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator.
  9. Preheat the lefse griddle to 350 degrees. (may depend on your grill)
  10. Pull only one ball of dough from the refrigerator at a time.
  11. On a floured pastry board, roll the dough to about 12 inches in diameter.
  12. Place the rolled dough on the griddle.
  13. The dough will start to bubble.
  14. Flip and cook the other side.
  15. Repeat.
  16. When you’re ready to serve — spread with butter, and sugar, roll up and enjoy!

Notes

  • The time will depend on your lefse making skills 😉
  • Supplies: lefse griddle, rolling pin w/cover, lefse turning stick, pastry board w/cover
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Category: Breads
  • Cuisine: Norwegian
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

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14 Comments

  1. Hello Kelsey! I have tried making the instant potato version and they came out great! How interesting using the 7 up. Made these for my mother in law who Norwegian American and she loved them. Can’t wait to try your other recipes, thank you!

    1. Northern Yum says:

      Hi Jana! So glad you enjoyed the instant version! Definitely check out the krumkake and bread machine buns as well! Thank you for the message. -Kelsey

  2. Is lefse ever made savory?

    In our area we have a restaurant that makes a sandwich called the Scandinavian shuffle. Made with Scandinavian flat bread. The look of this bread is the closest I have ever seen to what it looks like.

    1. Northern Yum says:

      Hi Chris! It is traditionally made sweet, but it could be served as savory. My brother-in-law loads it with turkey and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. There is also a Scandinavian soft potato flatbread called Lomper or Lompe (I’ve seen it spelled both ways) – I believe is more commonly served savory. Thanks for the message! -Kelsey

  3. Tami Barrett says:

    I absolutely LOVE lefse! It brings back wonderful childhood memories of my great grandmother making it throughout the year. This recipe is so good! Now I just need to figure out how to actually make them round…or at least to resemble a circle. You would think having Norwegian grandparents on both sides Norwegian cooking would come naturally, but sadly it doesn’t. Thanks for the great recipe and hints!

    1. Northern Yum says:

      My favorite kind of recipe – one that brings back warm memories. It’s so awesome that lefse brings back wonderful memories of your great grandmother. And it’s fun to know that she made it throughout the year, while for us it is more of a holiday treat.

      Both sets of grandparents on my side are Norwegian too, while my husband’s heritage is German/Russian. I also have some perfecting to do in making them round. Haha! But they still taste great in any shape. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping Tami and leaving a message!

    2. Kathy Sandt says:

      I am 100% Norwegian-American and have been baking lefse for almost 50 years. I learned from my mother and she learned from my grandmother. To get a really round lefse, we always flatten the balls out and true up the edges with our hands before starting to roll out. Also reshape slightly as you roll out – every time you flip your lefse during rolling out. It takes a bit longer but worth it if you are looking for that perfect looking lefse. The imperfect lefse taste just as wonderful!

      1. Northern Yum says:

        Hi Kathy, I’ll definitely have to try these tips next time! Thank you! So great that you’ve been making lefse for almost 50 years. And any chance you’re from the North Dakota / Minnesota area since you are 100% Norwegian-American? 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to leave a message.

      2. I would very much like to hire you to make lefse for me. I’m disabled and as a child my grandmother made it for the family. It’s my favorite. Please email me at [email protected] will pay shipping too. If you can’t do this please forward my info to them thank you!

        1. Northern Yum says:

          Hi Alicia, you can order lefse on this site: https://granrudslefse.com/, made in Scobey, MT. We will purchase this lefse if we are short on time or need extra around the holidays.

  4. When my brother lived in Minnesota, he gave us a lefse kit as a Christmas present. We are of german & polish lineage, so we had fun but had no clue what we were doing.

    I like your pictures. I think the biggest thing is to try it on a griddle. We only had a frying pan the first time and it made a smoky mess. It still tasted good.

    1. Northern Yum says:

      How fun! Haha. Glad it still tasted good. I think the griddle would help a lot. And keeping the dough cold until you’re ready to roll it.

      I bet you have some great German/Polish recipes. My husband’s heritage is German/Russian. But unfortunately we don’t have too many family recipes from his side. Thanks for stopping!

  5. My grandparents are from Norway and while I’ve never had this I definitely want to try this out. Thanks for sharing and I know what I’ll be doing this weekend 🙂

    1. Northern Yum says:

      That’s awesome! I’ll be sharing a few more Norwegian recipes before Christmas. I’d love to hear how yours turn out. 🙂

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