Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

You've likely seen the term "hygge" popping up across the feeds of lifestyle bloggers, food brands, and an assortment of other influencers and celebrities. But what's it all about? Here's what you need to know about this Danish concept that's giving everyone all the feels and the recipes you need to join in. 

Emma Crist
January 12, 2017

Hygge (prounounced hue-gah) is a Danish term packed full of pleasant implication. It represents a concept based in intentionally embracing small, meaningful moments, and entails all things that elicit feelings of hominess, warmth, coziness, and pleasure. This philosophy of fostering a sense of mental snugness originated as a way to help Danes combat the long, dark winter doldrums—and long and dark they are. In fact, the Nordic region sees only 7 or 8 hours of daylight each day during the coldest winter months. It's almost impossible not to feel glum when it's dark when you leave for work, dark when you return, and you're forced to spend an inordinate amount of time indoors—but that's where hygge comes in.

Obiviously, Danish families are apt to spend lots of time indoors together during the winter, and, as a result, communing together in the home—especially through cooking food and enjoying meals—is an important aspect of life. Inasmuch as the term hygge envokes images of a slow, peaceful night spent conversing with family and friends, or brings to mind something as simple as a pair of warm wool socks, it also speaks directly of cozy and hearty food. 

Of course, you don't need to live in a Nordic nation to understand the allure of a piping-hot bowl of stew on a blistering cold night, and the populariy of the once purely Danish term has expanded across the globe and risen to trendy vocabulary status in the United States—especially in the past year. 

If you want to experience the beauty of hygge this season, we have plenty of suggestions for fostering the warmth right in your own kitchen. Keep scrolling for our best, homiest hygge recipes that are guaranteed to bring you coziness all winter long, click here to read our recent article on how to how to intentionally involve your family in the kitchen this year, and be sure to check out these great suggestions from our friends at Southern Living for embracing the hygge phenomenon.

Our Best Hygge Dishes:

Photo: Annabelle Breakey

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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clark

Our Best Slow-Cooker Soups and Stews

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Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen 

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Our Best Pot Roast Recipes

 

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