Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are made in a creamy, delicious sauce and are most often served over egg noodles.

Swedish Meatballs served in a creamy sauce

My Dad always claimed he was 100% Swedish.  I think he was darn-near close to that, but when I did my DNA research on 23 and me… it appears that Dad may have been more Finnish than Swedish.  Maybe my Swedish ancestors settled in Finland… or we were actually Finnish and settled in Sweden, and that’s why the DNA is showing up that way? It’s hard to know. 

In any case, Dad embraced the Swedish culture in every way.  He was stubborn (stubborn Swede), he threw out Swedish phrases now and then, he was an extremely hard worker and he played just as hard, and he loved good ‘ol down-home comfort food like Swedish Meatballs.  This is Dad’s recipe for Swedish Meatballs, which I’m assuming he picked up from my Swedish grandmother.  Grandma used to make the most awesome Swedish Butter Cookies too!

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

About Swedish Meatballs:

There is a saying that no dish is more typically Swedish than Swedish Meatballs.  If you ask a Swede where you can get the best Swedish Meatballs, the answer is likely to be, “My Grandmother’s house!”  Everyone and their grandmother makes the best meatballs in Sweden!   

In their most traditional form Swedish meatballs, known as köttbullar, are made of ground pork and beef, cream, egg and onion, and are served with creamy mashed potatoes, a thick, brown gravy, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumber. This recipe follows a pretty traditional way of making the meatballs, though I don’t serve them in the traditional way.

Swedish Meatballs just out of the oven

How to make Swedish Meatballs:

To prepare the meatballs, I use a combination of beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  It’s important not to use a leaner version of ground beef than 85% lean because you’re going to want the drippings from the meatballs to use in the sauce. These ingredients are all combined and shaped into meatballs.  The meatballs are baked until lightly browned.

Swedish Meatballs served in a creamy sauce

For the sauce, remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and scrape all meatball drippings into a saucepan.  Whisk in flour, cream, water, beef bouillon and salt.  Stir and let simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Swedish Meatballs served in a creamy sauce

Add the sauce to the meatballs, and garnish with a little fresh parsley.  These are Swedish Meatballs!

A forkful of a Swedish Meatball

You can eat the meatballs on their own (delicious), or you can choose to serve them over hot cooked egg noodles.  My Dad also liked eating them with boiled potatoes.  Swedish Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food that everyone enjoys!

Swedish Meatballs served over egg noodles

Here are a few more comfort food type dishes you might enjoy:

Swedish Meatballs

These Swedish Meatballs are a favorite family recipe!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword swedish meatballs
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 433 kcal

Ingredients

MEATBALLS:

  • 16 ounces ground beef (85% lean)
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

SAUCE:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

FOR SERVING:

  • cooked egg noodles
  • chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place the meatballs on an rimmed sheet pan. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes (until light brown). Remove the meatballs to a serving dish; keep warm.

  3. Place 3 tablespoons of the meatball drippings into a saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Whisk in the half and half, water, bouillon and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.

  4. Serve meatballs on their own, over egg noodles or alongside boiled potatoes.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Nutritional information is for meatballs and sauce only (count any noodles or potatoes as extra).
Nutrition Facts
Swedish Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 597mg 25%
Potassium 437mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Sugars 1g
Protein 24g 48%
Vitamin A 4.3%
Vitamin C 1.8%
Calcium 10.6%
Iron 15.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Comments

  • Mrsyarnlady wrote:

    Are there nutrition stats? They’re Very tasty! I substituted the boullion with beef stock and added a heaping spoon of sour cream for a little tang.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I just added the nutrition stats for you– for meatballs/sauce only.

  • Deborah wrote:

    Thank you for a great dinner idea!

  • Cindy wrote:

    Can you use sausage for the ground pork?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Probably!

  • Emma Farley wrote:

    YUM!! Will definitely be trying this!!! LOVE swedish meatballs!!

  • Patti wrote:

    Meatballs were really tasty. I had no drippings at all, so I substituted some butter and the pan scrapings with the flour to make a roux. Then, I didn’t have half-and-half and used 1% milk. The gravy still came out really creamy and tasty.