Gluten-Free Traditional Scandinavian Lefse

Homemade Potato Pancakes Lefse On A Plate
Marina Saprunova / 500px / Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Chill potato mixture overnight: 12 hrs
Total: 14 hrs
Servings: 12
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
262 Calories
8g Fat
41g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 262
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 450mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Potato lefse, a paper-thin potato bread, is beloved by Norwegians and is made of potatoes, butter and shortening, heavy cream, and flour. Lefse-making is a learned skill, and cooks use special tools to prepare it—most often a large, electric round griddle, along with a special rolling pin and a long stick to lift and place the thin-rolled lefse onto the hot griddle. Lefse is best served warm with butter and sugar.

This gluten-free lefse recipe is made like traditional lefse, complete with riced potatoes, but includes gluten-free all-purpose flour mix instead of wheat flour. Keep in mind the dough needs to rest in the refrigerator overnight so make sure to plan ahead.


  • 2 pounds (about 3 large) russet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, or whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 to 3 cups gluten-free flour

  • Butter, for garnish

  • Sugar, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 175 F.

  2. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a pot, add cold water until covered and bring to a boil. Cook until tender and drain. Spread cooked potatoes on a baking sheet in one layer and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. (This helps remove moisture from the potatoes.)

  3. Use a ricer to rice cooked potatoes into a large bowl. You should end up with about 4 cups of riced potatoes.

  4. Place shortening, butter, cream or milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium-low just until shortening and butter melt and sugar is dissolved. Don't let the mixture boil.

  5. Pour this liquid over riced potatoes and use a large spoon or spatula to thoroughly combine ingredients. Potatoes should be smooth and thick.

  6. Pack the potatoes in an airtight bowl and refrigerate overnight.

  7. Preheat a 10-inch to 12-inch round stovetop griddle or an electric lefse griddle to 425 F.

  8. Use your hands or a pastry blender to work the gluten-free flour gradually into chilled potatoes. Turn the lefse dough onto a large pastry cloth or board liberally dusted with all-purpose gluten-free flour. Knead in just enough gluten-free flour to form a smooth and pliable dough.

  9. Using either your hands or an ice cream scoop, remove walnut-size pieces of dough. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out each piece into a 9-inch circle on the floured board.

  10. Using a lefse stick, carefully lift the dough and quickly transfer to the griddle. Cook until brown spots begin to appear, then flip and grill the other side. Place lefse between clean cloths to cool, then serve with butter and sugar.


Whereas mashed potatoes are best when made with creamy Yukon golds, lefse is most successful when a mealy, dry potato is used, like a russet potato. And a key to making perfect lefse is making sure the potatoes are completely dry before ricing them, so don't skip the step in the oven.

Lefse can be frozen for up to 6 months. Traditional recipes for lefse call for the cooked and cooled rounds to be folded into quarters, but gluten-free lefse keeps best when stored flat and sealed in zip-top freezer bags. Defrost and reheat before serving.