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Easy Swedish Meatball Recipe

Moist and tender easy Swedish meatballs covered in a creamy gravy sauce. These flavorful meatballs make a delicious weeknight dinner that the whole family will love.

For a comforting dinner serve this classic recipe over egg noodles or creamy mashed potatoes to soak up all the Swedish meatball sauce!

Swedish meatball recipe.
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The Best Swedish Meatball Recipe

This is one of those classic dinners that’s super family-friendly. They are requested often at our house and loved by all. Some of our other family favorites are chicken pot pie, pot roast and chicken and rice.

If Swedish meatballs aren’t on your monthly dinner rotation, you need to add them ASAP! Maybe you’ve heard of the famous Swedish meatballs from IKEA. This easy homemade version is way better!

They’re super moist and tender and are covered in a creamy and thick Swedish meatball sauce that’s hearty and delicious. Make them on the stove or in the oven or even freeze some to reheat later on a busy night, it will become one of your go-to dinner recipes!

Recipe Ingredients

Other than ground beef, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry and just waiting to create the best Swedish meatballs recipe.

swedish meatballs

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

Swedish Meatball Ingredients

  • Ground beef: I typically use 80% lean ground beef. It’s not overly greasy, while still containing enough fat to make the meatballs moist and juicy. You could also use half beef and half Italian sausage.
  • Egg: This is used as a binder to hold the meat mixture together. Whisk the egg first before combining with the beef.
  • Breadcrumbs: These help absorb the juices in the meat, so that your meatballs stay juicy and flavorful on the interior.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese will give you the best flavor.
  • Onion: Fresh chopped onion is my preference, but onion powder is also a great substitute if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds a robust flavor. You may also swap with garlic powder if you’d like.
  • Nutmeg: this spice sets Swedish meatballs apart from other meatballs, and goes well with the creamy gravy.

Gravy Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter: This mixed with flour makes a roux that helps thicken the gravy.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour to make the roux that thickens the gravy.
  • Worcestershire sauce. This adds a really nice umami flavor to the otherwise rich sauce.
  • Beef broth: The beef broth adds a depth of flavor. You can use chicken broth in a pinch, but it won’t be quite so rich.
  • Sour cream: The tang of sour cream helps balance all the other flavors and makes the sauce extra creamy. You can use heavy cream, but it might not be as flavorful.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

This Swedish meatball recipe can be made either on the stove or in the oven. My preferred method is in the oven, but both ways are simple and delicious. You’ll end up with about 24 meatballs total, leaving around 4 per serving. Scroll down for the printable recipe.

How to make Swedish meatballs.

In the Oven:

  1. Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the meatball mixture. Add all meatball ingredients in a bowl. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Add a Tablespoon or two of water as needed to keep a wet mixture.
  3. Scoop mixture onto pan. Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2″  balls and place on the pan.
  4. Bake in oven. Bake uncovered until no longer pink in the middle. Turn halfway through.

On the Stove:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above. Complete instructions 1-3 above, however place formed meatballs on a plate until ready to fry.
  2. Heat skillet. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook. Add meatballs to skillet and cook until cooked through. Flip halfway through.

Make the Sauce:

  1. Make the roux. While the meatballs are cooking, make the roux. Melt the  butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, slowly whisk in the flour. Cook until is has turned a caramel color.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Slowly whisk in the broth and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in sour cream. S&P to taste.
  3. Add in meatballs and simmer. Once they are cooked through, add them to the sauce and let simmer an additional minute.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Top with fresh parsley, if desired.

Cooking Tips

  • To make this recipe even easier, try using frozen meatballs.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic and onions, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of both garlic powder and onion powder.
  • For juicer meatballs, use 1/2 pound ground beef and half pound ground pork. Pork is fattier and creates a more tender meatball.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to evenly scoop out the meatball mixture.
  • Top with fresh parsley for more fresh flavor!
Easy Swedish meatballs.

Recipe FAQS

What makes Swedish meatballs different?

The spices used and the sauce they’re served with is what sets these meatballs apart. Homemade meatballs are typically seasoned with Italian spices like parsley or oregano and are served in a fresh marinara or roasted tomato sauce. Swedish meatballs are seasoned with spices like nutmeg or allspice and are served in a creamy sauce that starts with a roux that’s similar to gravy.

What is Swedish meatball sauce made of?

The sauce in this recipe is creamy like a gravy and is made from a roux (butter and flour) mixed with Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and sour cream.

Why are Ikea meatballs so good?

I wish I had the answer to this, but I can say that they are made with all-natural ingredients so that does help.

What to Serve with Swedish Meatballs

Storing + Freezing

Storage: Store in a covered container in the fridge up to 3 days.

Freeze: I recommend freezing the meatballs before adding them to the sauce. Cream sauces don’t tend to freeze and reheat well, so it would be best to make the sauce the day you’re ready to serve.

  1. Bake meatballs according to directions and allow to cool.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow to freeze for 60 minutes.
  3. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.
  4. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave. Bake in the oven at 325°F for 8-10 minutes, or until warm.
Freezer meatballs in a plastic bag.

Other Meatball Recipes

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swedish meatballs

Swedish Meatball Recipe

4.93 from 14 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Moist and tender Swedish meatballs covered in a creamy gravy sauce. These flavorful meatballs make a delicious weeknight dinner that the whole family will love.  
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Video

Ingredients 

Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (could sub with half ground pork)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Gravy

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can beef broth
  • cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt , to taste
  • Ground black pepper , to taste

For serving: Cooked noodles, Mashed potatoes, or Fresh parsley

    Instructions

    Meatballs

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. 
    • In a large bowl, mix the beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, onion, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper with your hands until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons water, as needed, to keep mixture moist. 
    • Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, portion the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using your hands, shape each portion into 1 1/2-inch balls. Return to the baking sheet.
    • Bake uncovered, turning halfway through, 17 to 20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. 

    Gravy

    • While the meatballs are cooking, make the roux. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until bubbling. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook 3 minutes, or until caramel in color. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Slowly whisk in the broth until smooth. Add more flour, if needed, to thicken, or more broth to thin.
    • Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Add the meatballs to the sauce and let simmer an additional minute. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Top with fresh parsley, if desired.

    Notes

    Cooking meatballs on skillet: You can also cook the meatballs in a pan with 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat 7 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
    Substitutions: You can use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and onion powder if you do not have fresh garlic and onions.
    For juicier meatballs: If I have pork on hand, I like to use 1/2 pound ground beef and half pound ground pork. 
    Storage: Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    Freeze: I recommend freezing the meatballs before adding them to the sauce. Cream sauces don’t tend to freeze and reheat well, so it would be best to make the sauce the day you’re ready to serve.
    1. Bake meatballs according to directions and allow to cool.
    2. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow to freeze for 60 minutes.
    3. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container.
    4. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave. Bake in the oven at 325°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warm.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 337IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Swedish

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