Swedish Beetroot Salad {Rodbetsallad}

Swedish Beetroot Salad {Rodbetsallad}

This is another traditional Swedish recipe that I included for John’s Swedish-style Christmas dinner. Whenever we attend a Swedish Heritage Society function, this salad is served, often along with Swedish Meatballs and Swedish Red Cabbage and Apples. (At my house we L.O.V.E. Swedish Almond Cake.) There are a large number of Swedes or people with Swedish heritage in Salt Lake City and the Swedish Heritage Society is thriving.

Each year the Swedish Heritage Society holds celebrations at various times of the year–Midsommar, Crayfish Festival (Kräftskiva), and my favorite, Lucia. Lucia is held in the month of December, on or near December 13th. I love the story of Tomte–the Swedish Elf who lives under the floorboards of the house or barn and watches over the family throughout the year and who brings gifts at Christmastime, the singing of traditional Swedish songs (favorite being about little green frogs–Små grodorna), the beautiful Lucia processional, and of course, the food.


This is Christie Bergeson as “Lucia” in 2007. Christie is a friend of my daughter, Katie; the two of them used to be on the same swim team. My husband knew Christie’s mom, Annette, when he lived in Sweden.

The first time I saw this salad, I thought that it was going to be sweet. It looks like it would taste sweet, doesn’t it? SURPRISE! It’s mostly tangy, with a hint of sweetness from the apples. It took my brain a few moments to register that I was not eating something sweet and to decide whether or not I liked what I was eating.

The more of this salad I ate, the more I decided that I liked it. It can be made with pickled or unpickled beets–you choose. I have had it both ways and do not prefer one over the other. The recipe that I am using here uses pickled beets and was sent to me by Anna at Scandinavian Cottage. She saved me a lot of stress because I wanted to make sure that I had an “authentic” recipe. Thanks, Anna!

Swedish Beetroot Salad {Rodbetsallad}

Recipe by Anna @ Scandinavian Cottage


  • 1 jar pickled beets (about 600 grams--the jars in the U.S. may be a little smaller-about 460 grams), diced
  • 2 red apples, diced (do not peel)-- use a nice, sweet variety of apple such as Gala or Honey Crisp
  • 1 red onion (white is also fine), small dice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the diced beets, diced apples, and diced onion.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream or creme fraiche, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the beet mixture and stir to combine evenly. Cover and chill to allow flavors to blend. Stir before serving and serve cold.


Swedish Beetroot Salad {Rodbetsallad}


You may also like:

Swedish Almond Cake
Swedish Almond Cake
Swedish Red Cabbage
Swedish Red Cabbage
Swedish Meatballs
Swedish Meatballs


  1. says

    Ah that looks great Terri! I’m glad you had a chance to make it and I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas! We landed in a snowy Swedish landscape last week and it was beautiful! Stockholm is such a beautiful city and tomorrow we’re all going in to town to see the sights at “The southern heights”.
    Have a great day!

  2. says

    Anna–Thank you so much for the recipe. It made John so happy to have so many of favorite Swedish food. He will be so jealous that you are in Stockholm. He spent three years there and talks about it all the time. As a matter of fact, his whole family still talk fondly about their days in Stockholm!

    Laura and Savoring Time in the Kitchen–Thank you both! It does make a pretty salad and the flavor is true to the beetroot salads that I have eaten made by Swedes here in the U.S.

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