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.
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The Best Swedish Meatballs
These are 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 sloppy joes, chicken pot pie, pot roast, goulash, chicken and rice and spaghetti with meat sauce.
If Swedish meatballs aren’t on your monthly dinner rotation, you need to add them ASAP! They make the perfect family-friendly meal and are delicious served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. My family always gobbles them up!
Maybe you’ve never tried them, but have heard of the famous Swedish meatballs from IKEA. Well I’m here to tell you, this easy homemade version is way better! They’re super moist and tender and are covered in a creamy and thick sauce that’s hearty and delicious.
You can make them on either the stove or in the oven…both ways are equally delicious! They even make a great freezer meal and are perfect to reheat during busy weeknights. I have no doubt that these Swedish meatballs will become one of your go-to dinner recipes!
What’s the Difference Between Italian Meatballs and Swedish Meatballs?
If you’ve never had Swedish meatballs, you’re probably wondering what makes them different from Italian meatballs. The main difference between the two are the spices used and the sauce they’re served with.
Italian meatballs are typically seasoned with Italian spices like parsley or oregano and are served in a fresh marinara or tomato sauce. Swedish meatballs are seasoned with spices like nutmeg or allspice and are served in a creamy sauce that’s similar to gravy. The sauce starts with a Roux and then others are added like beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and sour cream. The end result is a creamy and hearty gravy that’s super flavorful and delicious.
How to Make Swedish Meatballs
This 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.
In the Oven:
- Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake in oven. Bake uncovered until no longer pink in the middle, about 17-18 minutes. Turn halfway through.
On the Stove:
- Follow steps 1-3 above. Complete instructions 1-3 above, however place formed meatballs on a plate until ready to fry.
- Heat skillet. In a medium skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
- Cook. Add to skillet and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Flip halfway through.
For the Sauce:
- 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 for 3 minutes, or until is has turned a caramel color.
- 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.
- Add in meatballs and simmer. Once they are cooked through, add them to the sauce and let simmer an additional minute.
- Serve and enjoy! Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Top with fresh parsley if desired.
What to Serve with Swedish Meatballs
- Egg noodles
- Mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Roasted red potatoes
- Baked potato
- Chopped salad
- Garlic mashed red potatoes
Can They be Frozen?
Yes, absolutely. 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.
- Bake meatballs according to directions and allow to cool.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow to freeze for 60 minutes.
- Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container.
- 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.
- 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!
Other Meatball Recipes
- 1 pound lean ground beef (could sub with half ground pork)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 15 ounce can beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup sour cream
S&P, to taste
For serving: cooked noodles or mashed potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
- Combine the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and parsley 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.
- Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2″ balls and place on the pan.
- Bake uncovered for 17-18 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Turn halfway through, so the bottoms don't brown.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the roux. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, slowly whisk in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes, or until is has turned a caramel color. Add the Worcestershire sauce and then slowly whisk in the broth. Whisk until smooth. Add more flour if needed to thicken, or more broth if you need to thin the sauce.
- Remove from heat and mix in the sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and let simmer an additional minute. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Top with fresh parsley if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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