Swedish Potato Sausage – Our Family Christmas Tradition

50 lbs
5 hr 30 min

this …

Our family has a life-long tradition of making Swedish potato sausage for our Christmas Eve dinner. We always make it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This post isn’t about pretty pictures, above all it’s about family, making memories, and what we do at this small house for the holidays. It was such a nostalgic post to write. I filtered through hundreds of pictures. Years and years of family memories! I even found a picture of my sister on the computer the first year that she moved away from Illinois. We were zooming before Zoom!

Before I continue, I want to welcome you back from Day 3 of 12 Days of Christmas Making. Yesterday, you saw how Diane hangs her beautiful Christmas Stockings on her mantel. A holiday tradition at her home.

The Potato Sausage Story

I have only missed a few potato sausage events in my whole life. Once when “Handy” was in the hospital, once because a snowstorm kept us away from my parents, and last year 2020, when we didn’t make sausage. It’s a process and most of the fun is being with my family. The pandemic made it too risky to gather and make food, in close quarters with even my family.

While I have a lot of photos, we certainly weren’t focused on good photography when we were having potato sausage fun 🙂 If you look closely you can see my style evolution in some of the pictures. Can you see My cranberry walls and my sage green walls? We’ve held potato sausage pretty much at my house, my brother’s house, and one time at our dear friend Barb and Dennis’s home. They are like family to us! Prior to that, it was always at my Mom and Dad’s house. My brother Scott lives in NY and my sister Laurie lives in TN. They both make potato sausage at their own homes. It’s just not Christmas Eve without potato sausage!


The earliest photo I could find was when I was a teenager and it’s a photo of my mom, me, and my two younger brothers. I’m guessing my Dad was taking the picture.

How no one has gotten sick because of our process, over the years is truly amazing! We would never pass any FDA inspections.

The Process

  • Peel potatoes and cut into quarters
  • Peel the onions and cut into quarters
  • Potatoes and onions are ground up with an old fashioned grinder. Ours is truly an antique!
I actually use my Vintage!
  • We press the potatoes and onions in colanders to get out the water from the potatoes
  • Return the potato mixer back to the table and add the meat.
  • The kids start to mix – After they throughly wash their hands, nails and arms
  • We add salt and pepper to taste (my Mom was very heavy handed with the salt. Now that my brother and I are the taste testers, we seem to have much more pepper)
Potato Mixture and Meat before mixing

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After the meat and potatoes are well mixed (sometimes too much) then typically the couples will start the sausage stuffing process. Again we use an old grinder with a handmade horn that I believe belonged to my grandparents and it’s well over 100 years old. It’s actually starting to crack and we are always afraid that this will be the last year. We keep a modern equivalent on standby just in case.

My Mom and Dad always cranked out the first sausage when they were still alive. I think the bottom picture may very well be the last year that my Mom made sausage.

The first few rings of sausages go into the oven and we eat those on Potato Sausage Night. We don’t eat it again until Christmas Eve.

We pretty much snack on heavy appetizers throughout the whole night and then end it with potato sausage.

Does your family have a fun holiday tradition? Is it important to you to pass your traditions on to your kids? I’m so thankful that my kids have this connection with their past (my parents and grandparents). I’m also thrilled that they have such a strong connection that I am sure will continue into their future (close cousin bond).

If you don’t have holiday traditions, there is no time like the present to start creating them. It can be anything from a cookie exchange to making many pounds of potato sausage.

Tomorrow you’ll want to stop by Diane at South House Designs for Day 5 of 12 Days of Christmas making. She will be teaching us how to snow-crust berries, branches, and more. I can’t wait!


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Swedish Potato Sausage – Our Family Christmas Tradition
Recipe details
  • 50  lbs
  • Prep time: 4 Hours Cook time: 90 Minutes Total time: 5 hr 30 min
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  • 10 lbs ground chuck Have your butcher grind the chuck and pork together
  • 5 lbs ground pork
  • 30 lbs potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 5 lbs onions peeled and quartered
  • pork sausage casings

Peel and quarter potatoes and onions
Grind potatoes and onions together
Drain potato mixture in colanders, using your hands for pressure to release the water from the potatoes
Thoroughly mix the potato mixture and meat together
Season with salt and pepper
Use sausage stuffer to put meat/potato mixture into casings
Bake at 350° in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Put some water in the bottom of the pan. Add more if it bakes out of the pan. It's done when the meat is cooked through and the casings are starting to split just a little bit.
Living Large in A Small House
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