Traditional recipes

Swedish meatballs recipe

Swedish meatballs recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Braised beef

Looking for a good Swedish meatball recipe? Then you've come to the right place!

68 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 60g (2 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 60ml cream
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (800g) packet of mince
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C /gas mark 4.
  2. Pour the cream into a bowl and soak the breadcrumbs in it.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender. Transfer to large bowl and wipe pan clean.
  4. Add beef, egg, nutmeg, allspice, garlic and cooked onion to breadcrumb mixture. Season to taste. Use your hands to blend well and shape into 4cm meatballs.
  5. Place in a glass pryex dish. Cover with foil and cook in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(21)

Reviews in English (17)

Something else.For a sauce, I browned 8 meatballs (put the rest in the fridge for another time) in 2 tsp of vegetable oil then took our the meatballs and placed them in the ceramic dish. I then poured in a cup of water and one chicken stock cube (didn't have any beef ones) and started to simmer. Added the remaining 190 ml of cream (from the 250 ml carton that I bought) and stirred. Added flour to thicken. Noticed it was a bit on the lumpy side so placed the whole sauce into a blender for about 30 seconds. Poured this sauce over the meatballs and covered with foil in the over for 30 minutes. Turned out lovely!! Almost forgot - added a pinch of nutmeg to the sauce.-30 Jul 2009

Hey! The pic looks so yummy .. but I wonder that what kind of cream ? and how to make the sauce ?? please reply ASAP. thanks.-01 Dec 2011

Great flavour, easy to make - sad there was no sauce recipe despite the photograph showing a sauce but added my own touch (see Tweak). Definitely one to make again.-30 Jul 2009

Swedish Meatballs

You don't have to make a trip to your favorite Scandinavian-based furniture store to get creamy, savory Swedish Meatballs.  Homemade is always better, especially when it's this easy to make.  Ground turkey meatballs are browned in a skillet for a crisp crust, then simmered in a mixture of cream of mushroom soup and beef broth, which melts into the most delicious sauce.  In just 30 minutes you can have a comfort food that easily customizible with other types of ground meats (try beef or meatloaf mix, too).  Swedish Meatballs are usually served over noodles, but feel free to use what you have on hand to soak up that yummy sauce, like rice or crusty bread!

Swedish Meatballs

Listen, if you can brave the cafeteria line at Ikea for a taste of those famous meatballs, then you can absolutely make this recipe in your own kitchen. Our version sticks pretty closely to the classic in terms of flavors--but it's how we cook the meatballs that makes all the difference. Serve them as an appetizer (an excuse to bust out those cocktail toothpicks) or over mashed potatoes for a warming dinner.

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease it lightly with nonstick spray.

2. Make the Meatballs: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Cool to room temperature.

3. In a medium bowl, mix th e cooled onion m ixture with the beef, egg, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg to combine. Add the bread crumbs and mix to combine.

4. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and then transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.

5. Make the Sauce: In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Gradually whisk in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

7. When the meatballs are fully cooked, transfer them to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve warm (preferably over mashed potatoes), garnished with parsley.

Serve With Swedish Meatball Sauce

Flavored with nutmeg and cardamom, these little beef-and-pork meatballs are best served with a Swedish meatball sauce — a rich roux-based and beef stock gravy, spiked with sour cream and a little lingonberry jelly.

For the record, it's not strictly traditional to serve sauce with Swedish meatballs in Sweden. But somehow, in translation from Europe to this side of the Atlantic, we have become accustomed to serving the meatballs with sauce, and thank goodness, it's terrific!

Lingonberry jelly is traditionally served with Swedish meatballs. It's a delicious jelly, but can be hard to find. Feel free to substitute with red currant jelly or raspberry jam. You can either serve the jelly on the side or mixed right into the sauce, which is what we've done here.

Do you have a family favorite recipe for Swedish meatballs? If so, please let us know about it in the comments. I've noticed several recipes calling for allspice, which we haven't used in this recipe, but you could certainly use it in place of or in addition to the cardamom or nutmeg.

Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring until thickened and smooth. if gravy has lumps you can pour through a strainer but no need to. Add meatballs to sauce and heat to serving temp. which is about 8 min. or cool and reheat later. Psst….can be frozen for later too! Serve over noodles or rice. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

If you want to jazz up your Swedish Meatballs you can always add onions or fresh parsley or green onions sprinkled on top of your meatballs. I’m all about color when I eat so I like to add little goodies. You don’t have to though!


  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, soak the bread in the milk until very soft, 5 minutes. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Let cool.

Add the ground pork and beef to the soaked bread. Gently mix in the cooked onion, celery salt, kosher salt and beaten egg until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. In a large skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes reduce the heat to moderately low if the meatballs begin to brown too quickly. Drain on paper towels.

Pour off the fat from the skillet, add the cream and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer over moderately low heat until reduced by one-third, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes before serving.


  • #For the meatballs#
  • Nutmeg- 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Pepper - to taste.
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon.
  • Onion powder - 1 teaspoon.
  • Egg - 1 no.
  • Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup.
  • Milk - 2/3 cup.
  • 1 lb ground beef - 1 no.
  • #For the sauce#
  • Milk - 1/2 cup.
  • Sour cream - 1/2 cup.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup - 1 can. (The quantity must be equivalent to 10 3/4 ounces)
  • Kitchen bouquet - for color.

What you’ll need to make Swedish Meatballs

So, let’s get to the recipe. My starting point was this Swedish Meatball recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, however, I have changed it up quite a bit over the years. The recipe is unique for a few reasons:

First, the meatball mixture is made in an electric mixer, which makes tender meatballs with a nice “snap” to them — so they won’t fall apart when you spear them with toothpicks. Second, the meatballs are baked, not fried. I have tried cooking them both ways and honestly don’t think much is gained from frying, other than nicer color, and once the meatballs are covered in sauce, who cares?

What to Serve with Swedish Meatballs

We usually serve these meatballs with noodles, roasted veggies, or mashed potatoes. I use roasted cauliflower or cauliflower mash when I am going low carb. I’ve also served them over cabbage noodles, which are basically sautéed shredded cabbage.

If you have leftovers, you can freeze the meatballs and sauce for up to three months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Kirsten’s Swedish Meatballs are a highlight of the American Girl cookbook series

If you were a kid who read books for fun and felt like an 80-year-old woman trapped in an 8-year-old’s body, you were American Girl’s primary demographic. All the other dolls on the market had accessories like barrettes and hair brushes, while American Girl dolls had cool accessories like tiny wooden ladles or hand-woven fishing baskets . And if you, like me, never got your own American Girl doll because your father thought an $82 doll with several hundred dollars’ worth of accessories sold separately was a “racket,” you had to make do with the catalogs and your imagination.

I was lucky that my local library had purchased all of the American Girl storybooks, which invited the reader along for each historical adventure: celebrating St. Lucia’s Day with Swedish pioneers learning good manners at a Victorian school for girls , keeping people’s spirits up during World War II . Most of all, I loved the cookbooks, which in a way allowed me to make my very own American Girl accessories that I could eat. Recently I found digital copies of some of these cookbooks on the Internet Archive , and they’ve made me as giddy as they did all those years ago. Since I’m now a full-fledged adult who knows how to cook, I don’t follow the kid-friendly recipes exactly as written, adapting them to be a bit more flavorful, but keeping their spirit firmly intact. I like to think my version of Swedish meatballs is what 19th-century pioneer Kirsten cooked herself once she grew up, provided she didn’t die of dysentery before she turned 18. There were no follow-up American Woman books, so I can’t make any assumptions.

Swedish Meatballs

Adapted from Kirsten’s Cook Book

  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Cooking oil, like canola or vegetable
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups good quality beef stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Tear the bread up into tiny pieces and place in a large bowl with the milk and heavy cream. Using the large holes on box grater, grate the onion straight into the bowl, then stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ginger, and let sit for two minutes.

Add the beef, pork, and beaten egg to the bowl using your hands, mix everything together until just combined. Roll into golf-ball-sized meatballs, set on a plate, cover with plastic, and put in the freezer to firm up for about ten minutes.

Coat the bottom of a large, heavy skillet with a bit of cooking oil, then preheat over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Remove the meatballs from the freezer and, working in batches, fry until deeply brown on all sides—about 5-7 minutes—moving to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Once all the meatballs have been cooked, pour the excess grease into a bowl to cool before discarding. Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter, then whisk in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds to make a golden roux. Slowly pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly and scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Put all the meatballs back in the pan, gently stirring to coat with gravy, pop on a lid, turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning, adjusting as you see fit.

Allison Robicelli is a JBFA-nominated food & humor writer, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Need cooking advice? Tweet me @Robicellis.