Juicy flavour-packed meatballs in that classic rich and creamy Swedish meatball sauce.
Such a great comforting dinner served with mashed potato and of course some lingonberry jam (although I've got some other suggestions if you can't find it).
The classic Swedish meatballs - essential to get through a shopping trip to Ikea. Followed by some of that Daim cake that stares at us from the refrigerator whilst we're queuing up for our meatballs until we give in an put it on our tray.
My question to you is:
Do you eat your meatballs before or after the 3-hour trek around the Ikea maze?
I prefer to eat beforehand. I feel I need the energy to get through it all. Then we can always top up with a suspiciously cheap hot dog or ice cream at the end.
What do we need?
A quick note on a couple of the ingredients:
Mince - we use a mixture of beef and pork mince for these meatballs. Don't be tempted to use lean mince. I go with 20% fat beef mince and 10% fat pork mince for the juiciest meatballs.
Allspice - be sure to include this, it's vital for that classic taste.
- Swap the lingonberry jam for redcurrant jam or cranberry sauce.
- Swap the mashed potato for pasta or roast potatoes
How to make Swedish Meatballs
**Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.**
- First make the meatball mixture. We use pork and beef mince and mix it with onion, garlic, breadcrumbs (helps to ensure meatballs are more tender), egg (to bind the meatballs), salt, black AND white pepper and allspice.
- Form into meatballs and fry them up, then keep them warm in the oven while you make the sauce.
- Make a roux with butter and flour, then stir in beef and vegetable stock until you have a smooth sauce.
- Next in goes cream, then we spice it up a little with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and a little salt.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan and coat the meatballs in the sauce before serving.
I like to serve mine with creamy mashed potato, green veg and lingonberry jam (<--affiliate link).
What to serve it with
- You would traditionally serve Swedish Meatballs with creamy Mashed Potatoes and some lingonberry jam, but you could also serve them with:
- Homemade Pasta
- Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
- Crusty Artisan Bread
How to scale down this recipe if serving to fewer people:
You can reduce the recipe sticking to the same ratios of ingredients. However, you may need to add in a splash more vegetable stock when making the sauce. Just add enough until you get a smooth, thick sauce before adding the cream.
More fantastic Meatball recipes
- Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Meatballs in Chinese Style Curry Sauce
- One-Pot Turkey Meatballs
- Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake a recipe from my fried Ciara's book (My Fussy Eater)
- Hidden Veg Meatballs
- Cheesy Baked Meatballs
Watch how to make it
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Swedish Meatballs Recipe
- 500 g (1lb)beef mince - ideally 20% fat
- 250 g (½ lb)pork mince
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic - minced
- 4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 1 medium egg
- 5 tbsp (75ml) full-fat milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp plain - all purpose flour
- 180 ml (¾ cup) beef stock
- 120 ml (½ cup) vegetable stock
- 120 ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- Finely chopped fresh parsley
- Creamy mashed potato
- Lingonberry jam - or redcurrant jelly
- Green veg – such as broccoli or green beans
- First make the meatballs. Place the beef mince, pork mince, diced onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, salt, black pepper, white pepper and allspice in a bowl.
- Mix it altogether with your hands, then form into 18-22 meatballs.
- Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat until hot.
- Add half of the meatballs to the pan, and fry, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Transfer the meatballs to a tray.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the second batch of meatballs in the same way, then transfer to the tray with the other meatballs.
- Place the tray in the oven on low (150C/300F) to finish cooking through while you make the sauce (they only need 5 or 6 minutes).
- Now start on the sauce. Add the butter to the pan that you cooked the meatballs in. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk it into the butter to form a roux (thick paste).
- Add the beef stock a splash at a time, whilst stirring with the whisk, until fully combined with the butter-flour mixture and no lumps remain.
- Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
- Add the cream, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt and stir together to combine.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan along with any resting liquid from the tray.
- Stir together to coat the meatballs in the sauce and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, then serve.
- I like to serve my meatballs with creamy mashed potato, lingonberry jam and green veggies, all topped off with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and black pepper.
Cool, cover and refrigerate the meatballs and sauce for up to 2 days. Then reheat the meatballs in the oven on a tray in the oven at 180C/350F for 20 minutes. Cover them in foil for the first 10 minutes and remove the foil for the final 10 minutes. Reheat the sauce in a pan until piping hot, then stir in the meatballs. To make and reheat the meatballs mixed in with the sauce: If you wanted to make it ahead but don't want to store the meatballs and sauce separately (or if you're saving leftovers), then place the meatballs and sauce in a container. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cover with a lid or foil. Heat through for about 10-15 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally until they're piping hot throughout. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to the sauce if it thickens up too much during reheating. Freezing Yes. Cool, cover and freeze the meatballs and sauce. You can freeze the meatballs separately from the sauce or mixed in with the sauce. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as per the 'make ahead' instructions above (reheat the meatballs together or separately, depending on how you froze them). Nutritional information is approximate, per serving - based on this recipe serving 6 people. It does not include the serving suggestions of mashed potato, vegetables or lingonberry jam.
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Delicious and pretty easy. Was a winner the first time I made it with no adjustments… making it my 2nd time now to feed a crowd as it’s a pleaser especially now that it’s a cold autumn. Ty!
Graham Turner says
Hi Nicky. I've made these a few times now and they've been perfect every time. Even converted a very fussy eater friend into having them 😃
Excellent recipe, kiddos gobbled it up! Attempted just the sauce portion (made meatballs in the air fryer), but mine turned out very thick, with an almost jelly consistency. Any tips for thinning out or not letting it get too thick in the first place?
Used to buy the bags of meatballs at IKEA when I visited, but no more, these were delicious, a firm family favourite. Thank you.
Did this tonight. Once again, one of your recipes was absolutely delicious. My brother and nephew loved it. Thank you 😁👍
The gravy is so good it's unbelievable. I've been on a meatball kick lately and this is definitely a standout dish. The only change I made was I finished the meatballs in the oven in the sauce.
Jeffrey Kreiger says
Followed the recipe exactly and mine came out looking just like the picture. However, this was just an average meatball and decent sauce recipe. I could be spoiled by thinking that Swedish Meatballs should taste like those served at Ikea. These definitely don't and I will have to keep looking.
Ikeas meatballs are not typical swedish meatballs, it's just Ikea meatballs.
Same with this recipe, not typical swedish meatballs either. We don't have garlic in them and no oil. The sauce isn't same either. We serve it with potatoes or mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam or pickled cucumber (I prefer that but it is good with lingonberry too). I've seen other recipes where it says nutmeg, we don't use that in typical swedish meatballs.
The minced meat is pork, or 50/50 pork and beef, or 70/30 pork and beef. The pork makes the meatballs juicy.
The allspice we use is swedish bbq seasoning and allround spice (grillkrydda eller allroundkrydda). Look up Santa Maria Grillkrydda and Kockens Grillkrydda, that's the "allspice" we refer in our recipe
Tried this last night with reduced amounts because there’s only x2 of us. Served it on mustard mashed potato. It was absolutely fantastic! Easy to make. Maximum taste. The jam/jelly makes all the difference. Will definitely make it again 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Paired it with some green beans and Cranberry sauce. Will definitely be making again. Another one of your recipes that's become a weekly favourite in our household! 😊
Nicky Corbishley says
So happy you enjoyed it Danique 🙂
A very nice, tasty, quick meal. Lovely with Mash, Lingonberry Jam and a sweet cucumber relish. Another hit Nicky.
Delicious Saturday night dinner, thank you.
I didn't have ligonberry jam, so used a spoon of redcurrant jelly instead, yum😋
Some in the freezer for another day. Win, win.