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These Swedish Meatballs are tender, lightly spiced meatballs in a creamy gravy. Serve the meatballs and sauce over mashed potatoes or noodles for a flavorful, easy dinner.
Swedish meatballs are a favorite comfort food that’s been enjoyed for generations and has more recently become a favorite menu item at Ikea stores. They’re moist and flavorful, with a rich, creamy sauce that keeps you going back for more. The best part is that you can have these delicious meatballs and sauce on your table in only 30 minutes.
Swedish meatballs are traditionally made with a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground pork, as well as onion and either bread crumbs or soaked bread. They are seasoned with a touch of allspice and nutmeg, as well as other seasonings to enhance the flavor of the meat. Cooking the meatballs in a skillet until they’re golden brown on all sides makes them so flavorful. Once they’re cooked through, a short simmer in the luscious Swedish meatball sauce ensures that the meatballs are moist and tender throughout.
Swedish Meatball Recipe Ingredients
All in all, this Swedish meatballs recipe has a fairly short and simple ingredient list. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground Beef/Ground Pork: Traditional Swedish meatballs are made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork. In this recipe you can use either all ground beef, ground pork, or a mixture of the two.
- Egg: Helps to bind the meatballs together.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: The larger crumbs of panko bread crumbs (compared to regular bread crumbs) trap more of the juices from the meat as the meatballs cook to keep these Swedish meatballs especially moist.
- Onion: For flavor. Chop it up very finely so that it blends into the meatballs.
- Fresh Parsley: Adds flavor.
- Seasonings: The meatballs are seasoned with garlic powder, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Olive Oil and Butter: For browning the meatballs and making the gravy/sauce.
- Flour: To thicken the sauce.
- Beef Broth: For the sauce. Use low sodium beef broth so that the finished dish doesn’t turn out too salty.
- Dijon Mustard: Adds a touch of sharp, tangy flavor to the sauce.
- Heavy Cream: Makes the sauce rich and creamy.
How to Make Swedish Meatballs
Here’s an overview of how to make Swedish meatballs. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
Make the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the egg, panko, onion, parsley and seasonings. Add the ground beef (and/or pork) and mix until just combined. Shape the mixture into 1 ¼-inch meatballs.
Cook the meatballs. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, or a Dutch oven. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook, turning them every few minutes, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a clean plate.
Make the Swedish meatball sauce. Add the remaining butter to the pan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then whisk in the beef broth, Dijon, salt and pepper. Finally whisk in the heavy cream. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes until it thickens.
Put it all together. Add the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and cook for a few minutes, until the meatballs are heated through. Then serve and enjoy!
- Use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet to ensure that the meatballs won’t stick to the pan.
- While typically made with ground beef and/or ground pork, you can use ground turkey in this recipe if you prefer.
- Shape the meatballs into 1 1/4-inch size balls. If you make them too large, they will take too long to cook through in the skillet.
- For a tangier sauce, you can use sour cream in place of the heavy cream. To prevent it from curdling in the hot pan, be sure to use full fat sour cream and let it come to room temperature. Then temper the sour cream by mixing in a few tablespoons of the warm broth from the skillet before adding the sour cream to the pan. Using sour cream instead of heavy cream will give you a tangier sauce, similar to a Beef Stroganoff.
Serve Swedish meatballs over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, fusilli pasta (my kids’ favorite) or rice. You can also serve the meatballs as an appetizer on toothpicks, with the sauce on the side for dipping. Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.
More Meatball Recipes
- Italian Meatball Recipe
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs
- Chicken Meatballs
- Instant Pot Meatballs
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Meatball Sub
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup very finely minced yellow onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef, or ½ pound each of ground beef and ground pork
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, panko, onion, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg. Mix well.
- Add the ground beef to the bowl and use your hands to mix until just combined. Try not to over-mix or the meatballs may turn out tough.
- Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Use your hands to shape the meat mixture into 1 ¼-inch meatballs and place them in a single layer in the pan. (You should get about 22 meatballs.)
- Cook, gently turning the meatballs so that they brown evenly on all sides, until cooked through to 165° F. Remove meatballs to a clean plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the beef broth.
- Whisk in the the Dijon, salt and pepper, followed by the heavy cream. Simmer the sauce until thickened, whisking occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the meatballs back to the pan and coat with the sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Serve meatballs and sauce over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.