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Swedish Meatball Recipe

These juicy and flavorful Swedish Meatballs are smothered in a savory gravy cream sauce and are perfect over noodles or mashed potatoes. This is like no other recipe you’ve ever tried!

Swedish Meatballs in a skillet with a gravy cream sauce and fresh parsley.

Swedish Meatballs

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I do believe that these Swedish Meatballs are quite possibly the best of the best!

These are not an IKEA replica, (I’ve actually never been to IKEA! 🤯) and I can’t say that I’ve been to Sweden either, but they are amazing, and include some standout ingredients that we’ve come to know and love in America when it comes to this particular dish. 

The meatballs themselves are made with a combination of ground beef and pork, along with a touch of allspice and nutmeg. Onions and garlic add flavor and texture, and milk, egg, and breadcrumbs act as a binder. Finally, Parmesan cheese is a little “Cozy” touch that adds a subtle pop of flavor.

The sauce itself is an amazing combination of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and sour cream. My secret ingredient? Chicken Bouillon. It adds the best depth of flavor and contrasts perfectly with the beef broth.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, milk, onions, garlic, salt, oregano, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper. Gently incorporate the meat until evenly combined.

Mixing ground beef, pork, and meatball ingredients in a glass bowl to make Swedish meatballs.

Roll into 1+ 1/2 inch meatballs and chill for 15 minutes, (or overnight). Brown in batches and set aside.

Swedish meatballs on a tray before and after cooking.

Melt butter in the same skillet and whisk in flour. Add the sauce mixture (beef broth, chicken bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and parsley), in small splashes, stirring continuously. Add the sour cream to a medium bowl along with some of the sauce, and stir until combined. Stir it into the skillet.

Making Swedish meatball sauce in a skillet with roux, beef broth, and sour cream.

Add the meatballs back and spoon the sauce on top. Cover partially, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles!

Adding Swedish meatballs to a skillet and spooning sauce on top.

Using Frozen Meatballs

  • Frozen meatballs can be used in a pinch, just note that the allspice and nutmeg seasonings are what give the meatballs themselves that traditional Swedish meatball flavor, consider adding 1/4 tsp. of each to the sauce itself instead.

Make Ahead Method

  • Roll out the meatballs, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days prior to serving, then follow recipe as outlined.
  • You can also flash freeze the uncooked meatballs on a tray for 1 hour. Transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then follow recipe as outlined.

Pro Tips

  • The chicken bouillon in the sauce adds depth of flavor and contrasts nicely with the beef broth. Beef bouillon can be used instead if needed.
  • Use full-fat sour cream to ensure that it doesn’t curdle.
  • Heavy cream can be used instead of sour cream if preferred.
  • Any combination of ground beef, pork, and veal can be used in this recipe.
  • 1 + 1/4 lbs. of meat is perfect for fitting in a 12-inch, high-walled skillet.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Leftovers freeze fairly well, let them thaw prior to reheating.
  • Reheat in a makeshift double boiler for best results. Refrain from reheating over heat that is too high, as the sauce can break.

A plate with Swedish Meatballs and a gravy cream sauce over mashed potatoes.

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A skillet filled with Swedish Meatballs in a gravy cream sauce with fresh parsley.

Swedish Meatball Recipe

5 from 7 ratings
These juicy and flavorful Swedish Meatballs are smothered in a savory gravy cream sauce that you can serve with noodles or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided in half
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated from a wedge
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon, see notes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, can sub mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature

Instructions

  • Heat ½ of the olive oil in a skillet and add the finely diced onions and garlic. Soften for 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, whisked egg, milk, cooled onions/garlic, salt, oregano, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper. Gently incorporate the meat until evenly combined, but without overworking it (otherwise the meatballs will be tough instead of tender).
  • Roll into 1 ½-inch meatballs and place on a plate. (A small cookie scoop makes it easier to roll balls of uniform size.) Transfer to the fridge and let them chill for 15 minutes, or up to overnight. Cover if chilling overnight.
  • While the meatballs chill, combine the beef broth, chicken bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and parsley in a large measuring cup with a spout. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches, leave plenty of room around each so that you can easily rotate them with a spoon to brown on all sides. Brown for about 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside. Add additional oil and/or decrease heat slightly as needed throughout cooking.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until it begins to brown.
  • Add the beef broth mixture in small splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Place the sour cream in a medium bowl. Spoon some of the sauce into the bowl (about ¼ cup), and stir until well-combined. Stir it into the sauce over low heat until incorporated.
  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet along with any juices from the plate. Spoon the sauce on top. Allow them to heat through over low heat for 10-15 minutes (or until cooked through), partially covered. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • The chicken bouillon in the sauce adds depth of flavor and contrasts nicely with the beef broth. Beef bouillon can be used instead if needed.
  • Use full-fat sour cream to ensure that it doesn’t curdle.
  • Heavy cream can be used instead of sour cream if preferred.
  • Any combination of ground beef, pork, and veal can be used in this recipe.
  • 1 + 1/4 lbs. of meat is perfect for fitting in a 12-inch, high-walled skillet.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Leftovers freeze fairly well, let them thaw prior to reheating.
  • Reheat in a makeshift double boiler for best results. Refrain from reheating over heat that is too high, as the sauce can break.

Nutrition information is an estimate, is per meatball, and includes the sauce. This recipe makes 33 meatballs. 

Nutrition

Calories: 75kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 177mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin A: 83IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.5mg
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26 comments on “Swedish Meatball Recipe”

  1. After making this recipe I got firm instructions to add this to the “don’t you dare lose this one” file.  I didn’t have any pork so I used all lean ground beef. The meatballs were super soft and tender. I’m not sure if the pork would’ve made them firmer. Think I’d prefer firmer but this tasted amazing regardless! 

  2. Can this be made Gluten Free ??

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