This is the BEST Swedish Meatballs Recipe — a genuine recipe from a Swedish grandmother — with a little twist!
This Swedish Meatballs recipe has been passed down from a Swedish grandmother to her beautiful granddaughter, and are the best Swedish meatballs I’ve ever tasted! Even better than Ikea! Easy to make meatballs full of flavour, swimming in the most amazing creamy gravy sauce! ~ Karina
Hi there! My name is Helena! I was born in Sweden and lived there for the first 20 years of my life before I moved to Australia in 2010. Ask any child aged from 5 years and over in Sweden what they like to eat and they will definitely say MEATBALLS!
It’s safe to say that Meatballs are tied to a lot of childhood memories of family dinners. Another thing Swede’s love is tradition. Swedish Meatballs are on the table in every household at every special occasion and holiday, guaranteed!
When I moved to Australia, the one thing that I noticed about this dish was that a lot of people who weren’t Swedes had their own opinion of what ‘Swedish Meatballs’ are. So here is a recipe inspired by my Grandmother Gerd’s and my father Anders’ cooking along with my own little twist. I hope you will love them as much as I do!
How To Make Swedish Meatballs
I use a mixture of ground beef and pork (mince) in my recipe, but you can use all beef if you don’t have or like pork.
The breadcrumbs are mixed together with milk to make these meatballs extra juicy, keeping them moist while cooking. Let the milk absorb into the mixture before adding in the onion and parsley, then mix well with your hands, pressing the ingredients into the meat. You can roll the mixture into 24 small balls or 16 larger balls.
I like to use a combination of butter and oil to fry them in for added flavour. Fry in batches of two so they sear nicely, then transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil.
Swedish Meatballs Sauce
Serving our meatballs with the brown/creamy gravy sauce is not the Swedish traditional way. However, since I do know how much non-swedes love it (yup, us Swedes have folded too… just look at IKEA meatballs!), I’ve included it in this recipe.
Once the meatballs are fried, keep the meat juices in the pan (this is where the flavour is) and add the butter! Whisk in flour until it dissolves, pour in the broth (or stock) and the rest of the ingredients, mixing the sauce well to combine all of the flavours together.
What to serve with Swedish Meatballs
We usually serve these Meatballs plain, with either boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes OR pasta (Macaroni if I get to pick!) and with Tomato sauce (Ketchup). That’s the kid version. If you want the more grown up version, we usually serve the meatballs with boiled potatoes, creamy sauce and lingonberry jam!
- To make the meatballs lower in carbs, use almond meal to replace the breadcrumbs. Also, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water to replace the flour in the gravy sauce. Just add the cornstarch mixture at the end, while continuously stirring over low heat until sauce has thickened.
- Replace heavy or thickened cream with reduced fat cream if you wish to reduce calories. If using half and half, be careful not to bring to a boil or it may separate.
- Garlic is not usually found in Swedish meatballs, but I prefer it and have included it for this reason. Omit if you don’t want to include it. I like to grate my garlic clove with the small part of a grater. You can use minced garlic if you prefer.
Smaklig måltid kära vänner!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: KARINA CARREL | CAFE DELITES
WATCH HELENA MAKE THEM RIGHT HERE!
Love Meatballs? Try these recipes!
The Best Swedish Meatballs Recipe
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 35 ml cream (OPTIONAL -- makes the meatballs more tender in the centre)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced (OPTIONAL)
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon EACH of black pepper and ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Grillkrydda OR all spice OR all purpose seasoning
- 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound (500 g) ground beef (mince)
- 1/2 pound (250 g) ground pork (mince)
- 2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
Gravy Sauce (OPTIONAL):
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup plain / all purpose flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable broth (or stock)
- 250 ml (1 cup) beef broth (or stock)
- 1 cup thickened (or heavy) cream*
- 2 teaspoons regular soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to season
- In a large bowl, mix the breadcrumbs together with the milk, cream (If using), egg, garlic, salt, peppers and spice. Allow the milk to soak into the breadcrumbs for at least 10 minutes.
- Once the milk has absorbed some, add in the onion, meat(s) and parsley. Mix well with your hands to combine.
- Roll meat into about 24 small balls, or 16 larger balls.
- Heat 1 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Fry meatballs in batches of two so they don’t stew or simmer. Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil.
- Add the 1/3 cup butter to the juices in the pan to melt. Whisk in the flour until it dissolves and turns brown in colour. Pour in the broth (or stock), cream, soy sauce and dijon. Bring to a to simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the sauce through well to combine all of the flavours together.
- Continue to simmer until thickened.
- Non Swedish way: Place meatballs into the gravy in the pan and serve
- Traditional Swedish way: Do not make the cream sauce at all. Serve meatballs over plain or stewed macaroni, plain or mashed potatoes, and lingenberry jam (optional)
1) I use a mixture of ground beef and pork (mince) in may recipe, but you can use all beef is you don't have or like pork
2) To make the meatballs lower in carbs, use almond meal to replace the breadcrumbs. Also, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water to replace the flour in the gravy sauce. Just add the cornstarch mixture at the end, while continuously stirring, over low heat until sauce has thickened.
3) I like to grate my garlic clove with the small part of a grater. You can use minced garlic if you prefer.
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