Our Homemade Easy Swedish Meatballs Recipe is a loved classic comfort food for your family. Serve over pasta or potatoes with our Swedish Meatball Sauce for a hearty, warming dinner any night.
Has there ever been a recipe that you assumed, for whatever reason, was complicated or difficult to make? Then you finally made it and it wasn’t difficult at all? For me, that was these Homemade Swedish Meatballs with Sauce.
Homemade Swedish Meatball Recipe
Swedish meatballs have long been one of my favorite traditional comfort foods. But for some reason, I had myself convinced that making them at home was difficult.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were no difficult than any other meatballs! The meatball gravy sauce also comes together quickly and easily.
This easy recipe is now a staple in my house, and on regular dinner rotation. It’s especially lovely in the cooler months or just when I’m craving something hearty and comforting.
If you’re a meal prepper or just like a stocked freezer, these should freeze really nicely in the sauce. Notice I said “should” because ours never last quite that long!
This is one of those great recipes that you will be tempted to make more than your family will eat, because you want to be able to enjoy the leftovers.
What are Swedish Meatballs?
Swedish meatballs are similar to other meatballs, but traditionally made with a combination of beef and pork (and sometimes veal).
Use of warm spices like allspice and nutmeg make Swedish meatballs taste a bit different than the more savory, garlic flavors found in most Italian meatballs. They’re also usually smaller than Italian meatballs too.
In Sweden, these meatballs are actually served plain. The Swedish meatballs we know and love here in the US (thanks, IKEA!) are usually accompanied by a cream sauce.
My Swedish meatball sauce recipe is a delicious, creamy gravy that I like to serve over potatoes or pasta. If you have been looking at some of the popular Swedish meatball sauce recipes, you’ll notice that some call for soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Don’t fall for it – you don’t need either and they aren’t used in any authentic Swedish meatball recipes!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover Swedish meatballs should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You can store them over the potatoes/noodles or separately. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. Leftovers will keep for 3-5 days.
Can I Freeze Homemade Swedish Meatballs?
When it comes to freezing these meatballs, you have two options.
The first option is to freeze the meatballs themselves, without the sauce. To do that, cook the meatballs as directed and allow them to cool. Then flash freeze for 30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Once you have frozen meatballs, transfer to reusable ziploc bags or other freezer-safe containers.
The second option is to freeze the meatballs with the sauce. Allow it to cool completely and then transfer to a freezer-safe container.
Note that if you choose to freeze your leftover meatballs, you may have a slight change in the texture of the sauce. It doesn’t affect the flavor though, and I’ve never found it to be enough that I enjoy the meal any less.
What meat goes in Swedish meatballs?
In this recipe, we use a combination of ground beef, pork and veal for a variety of flavors and a soft, tender texture.
If you don’t eat veal (or don’t have it on hand), you can use a combination of ground beef and pork or just ground beef. I do recommend using a combination of beef and pork for extra flavor.
Our Easy Swedish Meatballs Recipe
Prep time: about 10 minutes Hands on time, including pan cooking time: about 60 to 90 minutes Makes about 40 meatballs
Ingredients for the meatballs
- 40 oz of mixed ground beef, pork and veal, natural
- 1 small onion very finely chopped, about 1 cup worth
- 1 ⅔ cups bread crumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs or 6 tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea water, works every time)!
- About 1 teaspoon of quality salt
- Freshly grated nutmeg, about ½ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
Ingredients for the gravy
- 2-4 tablespoons of butter, divided
- About 6 tablespoons of flour (we used whole wheat, all purpose flour works too)
- 4 cups of beef broth
- About ⅔ cup of sour cream or heavy cream, we used sour cream
- Fresh sage, ground black pepper and salt to taste
- Optional topping: Lingonberry jam
*We enjoyed the meatballs on this Malfaldine pasta.
Making the meatballs
Combine all of the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl until you have an even consistency and texture.
Form small balls that are about 1.5 inches, this should make about 40 in that size. Set them onto a tray while you make the rest.
Heat a deep stainless pan, ideally 12 to 14 inches, to medium high heat and melt about half of the butter.
Once the butter has started to bubble, you can add in about 10 to 14 meatballs. Brown on all sides, about 1-2 minutes per side, for about 8-10 minutes total.
Transfer to a clean dish and cover while you repeat in batches with the rest of the meatballs.
Once all the meatballs are done you can scrape the bottom of the pan for all of the flavor filled bits.
The bottom of the pan should also have a few tablespoons of fat and butter left over in it. You can always add a little more butter or olive oil, if needed.
Carefully whisk the flour into the fat, let it bubble for about 1 full minute. This will help cook off the flour taste in the rue.
Slowly start to add in the beef broth, continuing to whisk until you have a thin gravy.
Add all of the meatballs back into the pan. Some will likely be up on top a bit, but just rotate as they simmer.
Let the sauce reduce while the meatballs finish cooking, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
At this time you can slowly add in the heavy cream or sour cream and gently swirl to mix it in.
What to Serve with Swedish Meatballs
While these meatballs are most often served over noodles here in the States, they are actually traditionally served with boiled or mashed potatoes. That’s another easy option if you want an alternative to pasta.
I still recommend topping it with some lingonberry jam though, just like IKEA Swedish Meatballs.Print