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Transform Dinner with This Swedish Meatballs Recipe

By: Shivani Choudhary
Updated On: July 9, 2024

There’s something magically comforting about a plate of Swedish meatballs that instantly transports me back to cozy family gatherings and hearty Sunday dinners. The combination of tender, savory meatballs drenched in a creamy, rich gravy always hits the spot, making it an all-time favorite in my household. After years of experimenting and tweaking, I've finally perfected my Swedish Meatballs Recipe, and I'm thrilled to share it with you.

This recipe is not just another quick fix; it’s a labor of love that brings together traditional flavors and modern cooking techniques for an unforgettable dining experience. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a kitchen novice, you’ll find the steps straightforward yet rewarding. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your ingredients, and let’s dive into the mouth-watering world of Swedish meatballs!

Transform Dinner with This Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Also Read: Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Ingredients You'll Need for Swedish Meatballs

To create a plate of mouth-watering Swedish meatballs, you’ll need a handful of ingredients that come together to form the perfect blend of flavors. Here's a list of what you'll need:


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (preferably panko for better texture)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter (for frying)


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth (low sodium preferred)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

All these ingredients are easily available at your local grocery store, and they combine to create the authentic taste and texture that makes Swedish meatballs so delicious.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Perfect Swedish Meatballs

Creating the perfect Swedish meatballs is a bit of an art, but once you master this recipe, you'll find it’s surprisingly simple and utterly rewarding. Let's dive into the detailed process:

Preparing the Meatballs

  1. Mix the Meat: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and ground pork. Using your hands, blend the meats well to ensure an even mixture.
  2. Add the Bindings and Seasonings: Add the breadcrumbs, chopped onion, milk, egg, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Tip: Don’t overmix, or the meatballs will become tough.
  3. Form the Meatballs: Roll the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. An ice cream scoop can help keep the size consistent.

Cooking the Meatballs

  1. Heat the Butter: In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted and starting to bubble.
  2. Fry the Meatballs: Place the meatballs in the skillet, making sure they don't overcrowd. Brown them on all sides, which takes about 8-10 minutes. Tip: Turn them gently to keep the round shape.
  3. Set Aside: Once browned, transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside. Don't worry if they aren't fully cooked through, as they will finish cooking in the gravy.

Making the Creamy Gravy

  1. Make a Roux: In the same skillet, add the butter and let it melt. Stir in the flour to create a roux, cooking it for about 1-2 minutes until it turns light brown.
  2. Add the Broth and Cream: Gradually whisk in the beef broth, ensuring there are no lumps. Follow with the heavy cream, bringing the mixture to a simmer.
  3. Season the Gravy: Stir in the Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Let the gravy simmer on low heat until it thickens, which should take about 5-7 minutes.

Combining It All

  1. Return the Meatballs: Place the meatballs back in the skillet with the gravy, ensuring they are well-coated.
  2. Simmer Together: Let the meatballs simmer in the gravy for another 10 minutes, allowing them to cook through and absorb all the flavors.

And there you have it! Perfectly tender and flavorful Swedish meatballs ready to be served. Whether you pair them with mashed potatoes, lingonberry sauce, or even a simple pasta, this dish is sure to impress.

Transform Dinner with This Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Making the Creamy Swedish Gravy

One of the standout features of Swedish meatballs is the luscious, creamy gravy that envelops each bite.

Steps to make it:

  1. Melt the butter: In the same pan where you cooked the meatballs, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. This will incorporate the flavorful brown bits left in the pan.
  2. Whisk in the flour: Gradually add the all-purpose flour, whisking constantly to create a smooth roux. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until it turns golden.
  3. Add the broth: Slowly pour in the beef broth while continuing to whisk to prevent lumps. Let the mixture simmer and thicken for a few minutes.
  4. Incorporate the cream: Stir in the heavy cream and Dijon mustard, allowing the gravy to reach a silky consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Also Read: Make Korean Corn Dogs at Home

Serving Suggestions for Your Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are versatile and can be served with a variety of side dishes that enhance their unique flavors. Here are some classic and modern ideas:

Traditional Accompaniments

  • Mashed potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic pairing that soaks up the delicious gravy flawlessly.
  • Lingonberry sauce: A dollop of this tart sauce adds a delightful contrast to the rich meatballs.
  • Egg noodles: Buttered and tossed with fresh herbs, they offer another authentic option.

Modern Takes and Sides

  • Zoodles: For a low-carb alternative, serve the meatballs over zucchini noodles.
  • Roasted vegetables: A medley of seasonal vegetables provides a nutritious and colorful plate.
  • Rice: Fluffy rice, whether white, brown, or wild, is an excellent base to soak up the gravy.

When plating, consider a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a touch of color and an inviting aroma.

Variations and Substitutions: Customize Your Meatballs

Don't feel confined to the traditional Swedish meatballs recipe. Here are some variations and substitutions to make the dish your own:

Different Meats

  • Beef and pork mix: While a 50/50 blend of beef and pork is traditional, you could opt for all pork for a slightly sweeter taste.
  • Turkey: Leaner than beef and pork, turkey offers a lighter option while still maintaining excellent flavor.
  • Chicken: Ground chicken is another lean alternative that goes well with the creamy gravy.

Vegetarian or Vegan Alternatives

  • Plant-based meats: Use a plant-based ground meat substitute to create a vegetarian version.
  • Lentils and mushrooms: For a heartier texture and earthy flavor, a blend of lentils and finely chopped mushrooms works wonders.

Spices and Herbs

  • Nutmeg and allspice: These spices give traditional Swedish meatballs their unique flavor, but feel free to add others like garlic powder or paprika.
  • Herb variations: Fresh thyme, dill, or even a hint of rosemary can add an exciting twist.

Gluten-Free Options

  • Breadcrumbs: Swap out regular breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Flour: Use a gluten-free flour blend to achieve the same creamy gravy without gluten.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Swedish Meatballs

Making Swedish meatballs might seem simple, but a few expert tips and tricks can take your dish from good to unforgettable. Here’s how you can master the recipe:

1. Mix Your Meats

Using a combination of meats, like beef and pork, adds depth and flavor to your meatballs. Each meat brings its unique texture and richness, creating a more complex taste profile.

2. Don't Overwork the Meat

When mixing the meat with spices and breadcrumbs, make sure not to overwork it. Over-mixing can make your meatballs dense and tough. Aim for a gentle and swift mix to keep them tender and juicy.

3. Chill Before Cooking

After forming your meatballs, let them chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps them maintain their shape when you’re cooking and ensures even cooking throughout.

4. Test a Small Batch First

Cook a small test meatball first to check for seasoning. This allows you to adjust the salt, pepper, and other spices before cooking the entire batch.

5. Brown in Batches

When frying your meatballs, avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry them in batches to achieve a nice brown crust on each meatball. This not only locks in flavor but also keeps them from steaming and becoming too soft.

6. Homemade Breadcrumbs

Use homemade breadcrumbs for the best texture and flavor. Simply blend some slightly stale bread until you get medium-sized crumbs.

Pairing Your Swedish Meatballs with the Perfect Sides

Choosing the right sides for your Swedish meatballs can elevate your meal from a simple dish to a memorable feast. Here are my favorite pairing suggestions:

Classic Pairings

Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes are a traditional side that perfectly complements the rich gravy and tender meatballs. Use plenty of butter and a splash of cream for mashed potatoes that are extra decadent.

Lingonberry Sauce

This sweet and tart sauce is a must-have. It adds a pop of flavor and balances the savory meatballs. You can find lingonberry sauce in most European specialty stores or online.

Modern Takes


For a contemporary twist, serve your meatballs over al dente pasta. The gravy acts as a delicious sauce, making it a hit for pasta lovers.

Cauliflower Rice

If you're looking to keep things light, cauliflower rice is a fantastic low-carb option that doesn't skimp on texture or flavor.


Roasted Veggies

Pair your meatballs with a medley of roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and bell peppers. The caramelized exterior of the veggies adds a delightful crunch.

Steamed Green Beans

Steamed green beans are another great addition, offering a crisp and fresh contrast to the creamy gravy.


Fresh Baguette

crusty baguette is perfect for soaking up any leftover gravy. Plus, it adds a nice, chewy texture to your meal.

Garlic Bread

For an extra layer of flavor, go for garlic bread. The garlicky, buttery goodness pairs wonderfully with the savory meatballs and gravy.

Also Read: Creamy Chicken Pasta Recipe


After savoring these delightful Swedish meatballs, I believe you’ll understand why this dish holds a special place in my heart. The tender meatballs combined with the luscious, creamy gravy create an irresistible combination that’s hard to beat. Beyond just a meal, this recipe has a way of bringing people together, making every dinner a memorable occasion.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as I do. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the ingredients and make this recipe your own. Whether you’re serving it for a special family dinner, a casual weeknight meal, or even as leftovers, Swedish meatballs always deliver comfort and joy. Happy cooking, and here’s to many delicious moments in your kitchen!

Food Lover and Storyteller ????️✨ With a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, Shivani brings her culinary adventures to life through evocative words and tantalizing tastes. Her love for food knows no bounds, and she's on a mission to share the magic of flavors with fellow enthusiasts.
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