Juicy, tender, spiced Swedish Meatballs in a smooth and creamy brown gravy is the comfort food you’ve been dreaming of. So much amazing flavor for the whole family to enjoy. Serve it with mashed potatoes or pasta but don’t forget the lingonberry jam!
There is nothing like a meatball night at my house. Whether I’m making Italian meatballs, Swedish meatballs, creamy turkey meatballs, or even shrimp meatballs, it’s one of our favorite nights. My personal favorite is the Swedish meatballs because of the spices and the cream sauce, but my husband prefers Italian meatballs to all. (Not to say that he doesn’t devour these juicy, creamy meatballs with a smile on his face.)
Swedish meatballs, köttbullar, are probably one of the best-known Swedish cooking specialties. IKEA made them popular in the states and I am very grateful for that. These meatballs are made with a combination of ground pork and ground beef (or sometimes veal), bread or bread crumbs, milk, onion, and spices. The combination of spices like allspice, nutmeg, white pepper, and sometimes ground ginger is what separates these meatballs from others.
Traditional way of serving Swedish meatballs is with creamy brown gravy, mashed (or boiled) potatoes, and of course, lingonberry jam. But there is no one “authentic” recipe for Swedish meatballs. Much like Italian meatballs, everyone’s grandmother makes the meatballs their own favorite way and those are considered to be the best.
Whether you use my recipe or you have one of your own, Lingonberry jam is something that you shouldn’t skip when serving Swedish meatballs. If you have a hard time finding it at the store, you can substitute cranberry jam or red currant jam.
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH MEATBALLS
Make The Meatballs:
To make the meatball it doesn’t get much easier, simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and give it a good mix.
I like to use a scoop to get even amount of meat mixture to that all the meatballs are the same size. I also highly recommend that you roll all the meatballs before starting to cook and lay them out on a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Melt butter in a large cooking pan and cook meatballs over medium heat. Flip the meatballs once the meatballs are browned on one side and cook them until almost done. Take the meatballs out of the pan but leave all the juices behind to make the gravy.
Make The Sauce:
In the same pan where you cooked the meatballs, melt a little more butter and whisk in flour. Once the flour mixture looks smooth, keep whisking and start pouring in warmed beef stock. Let the mixture come to simmer, while still slowly whisking, and add sour cream, Dijon mustard, heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper.
Once the sauce starts to thicken, add meatballs back in and simmer everything together for a few minutes.
Can I Make It Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can! You can make just the meatballs ahead of time or you can prepare the meatballs and the sauce ahead. Store it in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container and reheat the next day.
This dish is easy to reheat on stove-top, in a large pan. Transfer the meatballs and the sauce into the pan and reheat it with a lid on over medium to medium-low heat.
If you prepared just the meatballs ahead of time, make the sauce as directed, add meatballs to the sauce, and cook until meatballs are hot throughout.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH IT
Mashed Potatoes (or boiled potatoes)
CAN I FREEZE THEM?
Yes, but without the sauce. Meatballs are wonderful to prepare ahead of time and freeze. You can portion them into several batches and thaw overnight in the refrigerator for an easy weeknight dinner.
I have a whole post dedicated to freezing meatballs, so give it a read.
To freeze the meatballs, prepare them as instructed in the recipe and lay out cooked meatballs on the cutting board covered with parchment paper. Once they are cooled to room temperature, place the cutting board in the freezer for 1-2 hours. (Set a timer!)
Portion frozen meatballs into zip-lock freezer bags, get as much air out as you can, label, and place in the freezer.
Thaw meatballs in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare the sauce according to the recipe and simmer meatballs in the sauce until reheated.
MORE MEATBALL RECIPES TO TRY
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and #willcookforsmiles so I can see all the things you tried!
Connect with Will Cook For Smiles!
Be sure to click below and follow me on my social media, so you never miss a recipe.
Don’t forget to sign up for email, so you won’t miss any new recipes.
- 1 lb ground beef (85%/15%)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 slice of bread soaked in milk and gently squeezed
- 1/4 cup milk from soaking the bread
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- salt to taste
- 3 tbsp butter for cooking
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock warmed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- dash nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Use a scoop to get even amount of meat mixture so that all the meatballs are the same size. Roll all the meatballs before starting to cook and lay them out on a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Melt butter in a large cooking pan over medium heat.
- Add meatballs to the pan and cook until about half way done and bottoms are browned. Flip the meatballs and cook until almost done.
- Take the meatballs out of the pan and leave all the juices in the pan.
- In the same pan where you cooked the meatballs, melt a little more butter and whisk in flour. Once the flour mixture looks smooth, keep whisking and start pouring in warmed beef stock.
- Let the mixture come to simmer, while still slowly whisking. Add sour cream, Dijon mustard, heavy whipping cream, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
- Once the sauce starts to thicken, add meatballs back in and simmer everything together for a few minutes. Take off heat and serve.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on October 10, 2011. Updated January 17, 2020.