Creamed Anchovy Potatoes (Jansson’s Temptation)

There are conflicting stories as to where and whom this dish came from. The only agreement that it was a Swede named Jansson. The two most prevalent, and probable, are from America and Sweden:

In Sweden, the dish has often been associated with the opera singer Per Adolf “Pelle” Janzon (1844–1889), remembered as a true Swedish gourmand. 

In America, Craig Claiborne, a food writer for the New York times, posits that the 19th century Swedish religious leader, Erik Janson, led his followers to found a community in Illinois called Bishop Hill. Mr. Janson preached staunchly against the pleasures of the flesh and appetite. Unfortunately for him, he also had a weakness for a particular potato and anchovy dish. He was caught red-handed more than once gleefully devouring the dish so ravenously that his reputation was ruined but the temptation of Jansson lived on.

Swedish Jansson's Temptation

Jansson’s Temptation- Swedish Creamed Anchovy Potatoes

This delicious side dish is basically casserole made from julienned potatoes blended with anchovy fillets smothered in cream and onions. For the anchovy adverse- any sharp fishy taste is muffled after they are melted into the potatoes and cooked cream sauce. Give it a shot!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: North Western European, Scandanavian, Sweden
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Oval casserole dish (13x8x2-inches is ideal)


  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled
  • oz Can anchovy in oil (Sub: sprats)
  • cup Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Coarse black pepper
  • cup Heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut peeled potatoes into ¼-inch slices. Stack slices and cut into ¼-inch strips like thin French fries.
  • Cover the bottom of a baking dish with half of the potatoes. Remove anchovy fillets from can, break them into 3-4 pieces each. Scatter anchovies over potatoes. Pour remaining liquid from the can over that and then scatter onions and half the pepper over that. A add a final layer with the the remaining potatoes. Pour the cream over everything and sprinkle with remaining pepper.
  • Place dish in the oven and bake until potatoes are done, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.


  • 4 tbsp of bread crumbs may be added on top prior to baking.


Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 760mg | Potassium: 1010mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1062IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 3mg

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