Pytt i panne makes for a perfect weekday dinner

Not just ordinary leftovers

pytt i panne

Photo: Kristi Bissell
Pytt i panne is a quintessentially Scandinavian dish that comes together quickly with just a few ingredients. Served with a fried egg and pickled beets, it makes for a perfect meal.

Kristi Bissell
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

Maybe you have a jar of pickled beets in the fridge—what to do with them (other than eat them straight from the jar)?

Pytt i panne is a great place to start. This popular dish originally came to Norway via Sweden. It literally means “pieces in a pan” and is traditionally made with leftover meat and potatoes, very much like what we call hash on this side of the Atlantic.

At its heart, pytt i panne is a dish that honors resourcefulness and creativity. It’s about using up the bits and pieces of whatever is languishing in the fridge and repurposing them into something delicious.

These days, it is common to prepare pytt i panne with fresh ingredients, and there are many variants of this ever-popular favorite.

Throughout the Nordic countries, it is also common to find frozen pytt i panne of many varieties in supermarkets.

This particular version is vegetarian, trading protein-rich chickpeas for the meat and including a little fresh spinach for brightness and green, earthy flavor.

As far as I’m concerned, the fried egg and pickled beets are essential components of this dish. It would still be a tasty mix without them, but it is these ingredients that make this pytt i panne quintessentially Scandinavian.

About pickled beets

Pickled beets can be found in the canned goods section of any grocery store. You can also find fresh beets in the produce section and easily make your own.

Beets are highly nutritious and loaded with health-promoting properties. They can support the health of your brain, heart, and digestive system, a great addition to a balanced diet.

See Kristi’s recipe for Spicy Quick Pickled Beets in the April 2023 edition of The Norwegian American.

 

PYTT I PANNE
Makes 2 Servings

pytt i panne

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsps. olive or canola oil, divided
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups leftover boiled new potatoes, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a medium-size skillet (preferably nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and thyme and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add butter. Once it has melted, add potatoes. Cook until warmed through and beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add spinach, in handfuls if necessary, and cook until wilted, another 2 minutes or so. Season everything to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a small to medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Once the bottom of the eggs are set, carefully tip the pan and spoon some of the hot oil over the top of the eggs. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until eggs are done to your liking, another 1 or 2 minutes if you like a runny yolk.
  5. Serve the pytt i panne topped with a fried egg and pickled beets.

This article originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Kristi Bissell

Kristi Bissell is the founder of True North Kitchen, a Nordic food blog designed for the American home cook. She enjoys creating recipes that celebrate her Scandinavian heritage and that approach traditional Nordic ingredients in a modern, fresh and approachable way. Kristi is a native of Minneapolis and currently resides in Omaha, Neb. When she’s not cooking and baking in her cozy kitchen, Kristi teaches private and corporate yoga classes and leads Scandinavian cooking and baking workshops. For more information, visit her blog, www.true-north-kitchen.com.