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Easy Nakkikastike (Finnish Hot Dog Sauce)

Nakkikastike is a comforting, homestyle meal from Finland featuring sliced sausages simmered in a creamy sauce and served with mashed or boiled potatoes. The meal is ready in 30 minutes, making it a perfect quick dinner idea for when you’re in a pinch.

Nakkikastike on a plate with boiled potatoes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Nakkikastike is a simple weeknight meal, making it a popular choice for busy families.
  • The tasty one-pot dish won’t break the bank.
  • With affordable and easy-to-find ingredients, you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.

History of Nakkikastike

Nakkikastike (Finnish for “sausage sauce”) is a dish made with sausages, called nikki, stewed in a creamy sauce that begins with a flavorful blonde roux. Pair the comfort food with boiled or mashed potatoes and pickles like they do in homes all over Finland. This staple in Finnish cuisine is also served regularly in school cafeterias, making it a kid-friendly dish everyone can enjoy.

Ingredients for Nakkikastike.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive Oil: Saute the onions, garlic, and sausage in a small amount of olive oil.
  • Onion: Incorporate white or yellow diced onions into the savory hotdog sauce.
  • Garlic: I use two garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Sausage: Bite-sized hot dogs or Finnish nakki simmer in the homemade hotdog sauce.
  • Butter: Create a roux and build flavor using unsalted butter. Avoid salted butter unless you reduce or eliminate the added salt, especially since most American sausages (like hotdogs) contain a good amount of salt.
  • Flour: Build a roux and thicken the sauce with all-purpose flour.
  • Broth: Control the saltiness of the dish using low-sodium beef broth. If you use regular beef broth, reduce or eliminate the salt you include.
  • Brown Mustard: Most Finns use Turun Sinappia but use brown or Dijon mustard as a replacement. 
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste isn’t a traditional ingredient, but I find that adding a spoonful of tomato paste intensifies the flavor and deepens the color of the sauce.
  • Spices: Season the creamy sauce with salt, black pepper, whole allspice berries, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Consider adding grated cheese like Emmental, cheddar cheese, or gouda.
  • Some nakkikastike recipes include sliced mushrooms, carrots, and celery.
  • Incorporate pickles into the creamy sauce for a more traditional take on the dish.

How to Make Nakkikastike 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften, for about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Onions cooking in a saute pan.

Step 2: Add the sausage pieces and cook until they change color. Transfer them to a plate and set it aside.

Sausage and garlic added to cooking onions.

Step 3: Lower the heat and add butter to the same pan. Warm until the butter melts. Then, stir in the flour. Whisk continually to form a blonde roux (beige to light brown) for 10-15 minutes.

A roux in a saute pan.

Step 4: Pour the beef broth over the roux and whisk to combine – careful to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Broth added to the roux in a pan.

Step 5: Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Spices include in the pan with the sauce.

Step 6: Return the sausage to the pan and stir to combine.

Sausages returned to the pan.

Expert Tips

  • It’s easy to overdo the salt with this dish. The first few times I made it, I didn’t consider the salt in the butter and broth when I was seasoning, and I overdid it. I recommend using low-sodium broth and unsalted butter so you can control how much salt you include and taste and season as you go.

If you enjoy this meal, try one of these cozy dinner recipes!

Nakkikastike on a plate with boiled potatoes.

Serving Suggestions

Serve nakkikastike traditionally with boiled potatoes or plate it with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. You can also spoon the hotdog sauce over mashed cauliflower for a low-carb option. This dish pairs nicely with a bright cabbage salad called kaalisalaatti or tangy cucumber beet salad.

Although Finns eat nakkikastike with suolakurkut, it also tastes delicious with Swedish pressgurka. Finish the meal by soaking every last bit of the creamy sauce with a slice of hearty rye bread.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 
  • Freeze: Freezing can alter the texture of creamy sauces like nakkikastike, but the flavor will be the same. Let the dish cool and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Finnish hotdog sauce freezes for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the dish in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers on the stovetop over medium heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of sausage should I use to make Nakkikastike?

Include traditional Finnish sausages for authentic flavor. Nakkimakkara is a mild, finely ground pork sausage. Kabanossi is similar but often seasoned with pepper. Here in the states, hotdogs and kielbasa are a suitable alternative.

What is a blonde roux?

Form a roux by cooking equal parts butter and all-purpose flour until they form a smooth, pale, and slightly nutty paste. The term ‘blonde’ in blonde roux refers to the color achieved by cooking the mixture for a relatively short period until it reaches a pale beige or light brown color.

How do you prounouce nakkikastike?

The word is Finnish for sausage sauce and is pronounced nak‧ki‧kas‧ti‧ke.

More Sausage Recipes:

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Nakkikastike on a plate with boiled potatoes.

Nakkikastike

Tressa Jamil
Nakkikastike is a comforting, homestyle meal that features sausage simmered in an ultra-creamy sauce and served with mashed or boiled potatoes.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Finnish
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 252 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound hotdogs or sausages, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Instructions
 
  • Warm the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften, for about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the sausage pieces and cook until they change color. Transfer them to a plate and set it aside.
  • Lower the heat and add butter to the same pan. Warm until the butter melts. Then, stir in the flour. Whisk continually to form a blonde roux (light to medium brown) for 10-15 minutes.
  • Pour the beef broth over the roux and whisk to combine – careful to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Return the sausage to the pan and stir to combine.
Notes
Expert Tips 
  • It’s easy to overdo the salt with this dish. The first few times I made it, I didn’t consider the salt in the butter and broth when I was seasoning, and I overdid it. I recommend using low-sodium broth and unsalted butter so you can control how much salt you include and taste and season as you go.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 252 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein: 9 g | Fat: 22 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Cholesterol: 46 mg | Sodium: 732 mg | Potassium: 252 mg | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 2 IU | Vitamin C: 2 mg | Calcium: 2 mg | Iron: 5 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Julie

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

This was the perfect dinner recipe!

Tressa Jamil

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

I am so happy you enjoyed the meal, and thank you for taking the time to comment and leave a rating.

Han

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Since I'm a big fan of IKEA meals, I wanted to give this a try and OMG this is sooo much better! Delicious!!

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

I am so happy this recipe was just a hit for you. Since you seem to like IKEA recipes, you should try my IKEA meatballs.

Charlotte

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Thanks for this quick and easy recipe for Nakkikastike! We are always looking for easy weeknight meals for our busy household of 6! My boys loved it!

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Yes, these are my favorite comments to get. I am so happy it was such a hit for your family.

Karina

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

I am always looking for new easy and quick weeknight meal.

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

I am glad nakkikastike had made its way into your regularly meal rotation.