Lutefisk Dinner

Zion holds an annual Lutefisk Dinner in October each year.

Advance tickets are available in the church office for 3 weeks before the event.

The Swedish immigrants brought with them many peasant traditions and foods of the time. Clinging to their heritage, many kept up the traditions in the new world, especially at Advent and Christmas, and even as they became less common in the mother country. The Christmas Eve feast for Swedish immigrants would include a smorgåsbord of traditional dishes such as lutefisk, potato sausage, Swedish meatballs, pickled herring, lefse, rice pudding with lingonberries, spritz, rosettes, and kringler, which are still familiar to many families in this area.

Lutefisk remained an important traditional dish in Minnesota. Salt was expensive or unavailable, so Swedish and Norwegian peasants dried fish to preserve it throughout the year and for travelling. Dried whitefish, most often cod, is rehydrated in cold water for five to six days and then soaking it in a solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days, giving it the consistency of Jello. To remove the lye and make the fish edible, it is then soaked in cold water for another four to six days. Finally, the lutefisk is ready to be cooked, most often simmered in cheesecloth until tender.

At Zion’s annual Lutefisk Dinner, on the last Friday each October, the lutefisk is served with Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, mashed rutabagas, peas, lefse, and cranberries. Proceeds from the dinner support Zion ministries and local community ministries.


Friday, October 25, 4:30 pm

Lutefisk Dinner - Fellowship Hall

Rick Johnson
Fellowship Hall
Lutefisk Event

  • Zion Grounds Me

    Zion Grounds MeJudy’s family moved to Buffalo in April of 1951, when she was just a few months old, and soon joined Zion. My dad had joined Dr. T.J. Catlin at the Buffalo Clinic because his father, Dr. John Catlin, wanted to retire. My parents purchased some land from my mom’s parents, Dr. Charles and Gertrude Grunwald, who lived on Buffalo Lake. Our family went to Zion Lutheran Church each Sunday. My uncle, Phil Pearson, had been the pastor there a few years before ... more
  • It’s Always Lutefisk Season

    It's Always Lutefisk SeasonEach fall the Lutefisk Chef comes out of hibernation to begin preparation for the annual Lutefisk dinner. Many volunteers help to make this meal many look forward to. But what has not been talked about is how the profits that are made from the dinner are distributed. It has been the goal of the committee to distribute 100% of the profits each year. Six groups received funds from the Lutefisk committee after the 2017 dinner, and the following are excerpts ... more
  • Faith and Works

    Faith and WorksI have been married to my wife Deb since 1977. We have 2 sons, Tylor (36) and Landon (34). Tylor lives in Minneapolis and is married to Ashley, and we have one granddaughter, Ava, almost 3. Landon lives in St. Paul and is single. I grew up in Robbinsdale and went to Elim Lutheran Church. Our pastor was Pastor Nerothin, father of Zion member Dave Nerothin.  Pastor Nerothin confirmed me, buried my little sister and my dad, married Deb and me, ... more


  • lutefisk
  • meatballs
  • potatoes
  • rutabagas
  • lefse
  • cranberries
  • cake
  • milk, & coffee


Event Volunteers

  • making meatballs
  • peeling rutabagas, potatoes
  • serving the meal (cafeteria style)
  • waiting tables (refreshments, resetting)
  • cooking lutefisk

No, you will not be required to eat Lutefisk, but may try it if you wish!

Sign me up!

Lutefisk Committee