Janssons frestelse

DrygastDrygast, 2022-02-05

A Swedish Christmas classic.


  • Servings8 Portions
  • AllergensFish, Milk, Wheat


  • Cook Time90 min


A Swedish classic that has its rightful place on the Christmas table. In our family, this is served together with the rest of the necessary small dishes on the Christmas table such as pickled herring, cured salmon, Christmas ham, meatballs, ribs, beetroot salad and prince sausage. We always make the whole Christmas table in buffet style and everyone can choose what they think fits with what. Therefore, I think this recipe should be enough for 8 people if you eat it as a side dish on a buffet.

Jansson's frestelse (translates to Jansson's temptation) is a kind of potato gratin that consists of potatoes, onions, cream, butter and anchovies. The potatoes are sliced into thin sticks and layered with onions and anchovies. Cream is added, topped with breadcrumbs and then baked in the oven until soft.

In this recipe, I fry the sliced onion in butter first, but it is not necessary. However, I think the taste becomes much milder and rounder with the little extra step so now I think it is a must. I have also used double the amount of anchovies before, but lately I choose instead to only use a can of 125g (including liquid). It may be because there are now children present who do not really appreciate the strong fish taste or that it was actually difficult to get anchovies last Christmas (2021), but even with half the amount of anchovies you get in my opinion a sufficient good taste.

Another thing I have started to do lately is to cut the anchovy fillets into smaller pieces instead of using them whole. I just think it gets better that way quite simply.

This dish can be prepared the day before serving and stored in the fridge. It is then easily heated in the oven before serving.

Even though this dish is strongly linked to Christmas and Easter, you can also eat it as an everyday lunch. Fry up some prince sausage and/or meatballs and you have a complete dish. Then it is admittedly only enough for 3-4 servings instead of 8.

Anchovies are an important part of a Janssons, but it also gives a very distinct taste that some people do not appreciate. About a year ago I made a variation where I let the anchovies completely and instead added smoked turkey - it got good reviews from everyone present. Other varieties that do not use anchovies are usually called "Hansson's temptation" and many variants can be found online.


Janssons temptation

Nutrition Facts*

 TotalServing100 g
Energy2536.05 kcal317.01 kcal159 kcal
Carbohydrates214.85 g26.86 g13.47 g
Fat177.05 g22.13 g11.10 g
Protein37.8 g4.73 g2.37 g
Sugar43.86 g5.48 g2.75 g
Salt11.32 g1.42 g0.71 g

* The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using the ingredients available in the database. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


Janssons temptation
  1. Start the oven, 200°C.
  2. Slice the onion and fry it in half the butter on low heat until translucent.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin sticks. A mandolin makes it easier.
  4. Stir together cream, liquid from the anchovy can, salt and pepper.
  5. If necessary, cut the fish into smaller pieces. I like to have smaller pieces - others want whole filets.
  6. In an ovenproof dish - layer potatoes, onions and anchovies. The bottom and top layer should be potatoes.
  7. Pour over the cream mix.
  8. Distribute the rest of the butter in small dullops on top of the potatoes.
  9. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about an hour.