The BEST Swedish Meatballs

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The first time I made these Swedish Meatballs, my entire family declared them a favorite. They were immediately requested for a birthday dinner six months in the future and I was reminded multiple times, lest I forget.

Six years later, these are still some of the best meatballs I have ever tasted.

The BEST Swedish Meatballs recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Swedish Meatballs

I am so glad that I found these Copycat Ikea Swedish Meatballs over on my friend Sue’s website so many years ago. The texture is light, not heavy at all; as I typically expect with most dishes like this one.

The meatballs are also very easy to form. They hold their shape quite well and I have never had a single one fall apart on me.

My boys (all four of them) always eat ridiculous amounts of this meal. Even after doubling the recipe, we still only have a small amount leftover.

Swedish Meatball Sauce

The sauce is perfect; flavorful and light. The blend of beef broth and cream helps make it much lighter than many other full cream sauces.

Meatballs are not typically something I crave, but this is one of my all-time favorite meals.

How To Make Swedish Meatballs

If you aren’t familiar with cooking things in batches, here is a tip. Start placing your meatballs in the pan, at the outer edge, next to the handle. Go clockwise around the pan and then fill in the middle.

It is easy to remember which ones have cooked the longest that way and by the time you fill in the middle, it is time to start flipping them over and continue around the circle again.

I used a food processor to get the onions to an extremely fine mince. The smaller the pieces, the better the meatballs will hold together. The meatballs can be formed in advance and then refrigerated until you are ready to brown and bake them right before dinner.

The BEST Swedish Meatballs with a light cream sauce - recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Here are some more meatball recipes you might like:
BBQ Meatballs by Tried and Tasty
Saucy Asian Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Baked Greek Meatballs by Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs by Boulder Locavore
Sweet and Spicy Dirty Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

  1. In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and the cream. Stir to combine and then let rest for 5-10 minutes, until the cream is absorbed. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions with the butter for about 5 minutes.

  2. While the onion is cooking, place the meat in a large mixing bowl and break it up with your hands. Add the egg, spices, and the breadcrumbs and cream mixture. Add the onions and stir with a wooden spoon or your hands to gently combine. Form into small balls. I used a 1″ scoop to make them uniform and then set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wipe out the skillet that you cooked the onions in and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Heat over medium-high. When the butter has melted, add the meatballs in batches. The skillet should be hot enough that they sizzle when they contact the pan. I used tongs to place the meatballs into the hot pan and then two forks to turn them side to side. Brown the meatballs on all sides and then transfer to a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

  4. When all of the meatballs have been browned, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. If you cut a meatball in half, it should not be pink. The interior temperature should be 170 degrees.

  5. While the meatballs are baking, heat a small saucepan over medium to medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add the flour. Whisking constantly, cook for about a minute, being careful not to let it brown. Once it combines, add the stock and whisk well. Bring to a simmer and let it thicken, this should only take a couple of minutes. Add the cream and heat through.

  6. Remove from the heat and season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the parsley and nutmeg, taste again and adjust as needed. Drizzle sauce over the meatballs right before serving.

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The BEST Swedish Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
recipe adapted from and with thanks to The View from Great Island
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 1" meatballs

Ingredients 

  • Meatball Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot cornstarch or flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • kosher salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley minced
  • freshly ground nutmeg

Instructions

  • In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and the cream. Stir to combine and then let rest for 5-10 minutes, until the cream is absorbed. In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the onions with the butter for about 5 minutes.
  • While the onion is cooking, place the meat in a large mixing bowl and break it up with your hands. Add the egg, spices, and the breadcrumbs and cream mixture. Add the onions and stir with a wooden spoon or your hands to gently combine. Form into small balls. I used a 1" scoop to make them uniform, and then set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wipe out the skillet that you cooked the onions in and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Heat over medium high. When the butter has melted, add the meatballs in batches. The skillet should be hot enough that they sizzle when they contact the pan. I used tongs to place the meatballs into the hot pan and then two forks to turn them side to side. Brown the meatballs on all sides and then transfer to a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • When all of the meatballs have been browned, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. If you cut a meatball in half, it should not be pink. The interior temperature should be 170 degrees.
  • While the meatballs are baking, heat a small saucepan over medium to medium low heat. Melt the butter and add the flour. Whisking constantly, cook for about a minute, being careful not to let it brown. Once it combines, add the stock and whisk well. Bring to a simmer and let it thicken, this should only take a couple minutes. Add the cream and heat through.
  • Remove from the heat and season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the parsley and nutmeg, taste again and adjust as needed. Drizzle sauce over the meatballs right before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

If you aren't familiar with cooking things in batches, here is a tip. Start placing your meatballs in the pan, at the outer edge, next to the handle. Go clockwise around the pan and then fill in the middle. It is easy to remember which ones have cooked the longest that way and by the time you fill in the middle, it is time to start flipping them over and continue around the circle again.
I used a food processor to get the onions to an extremely fine mince. The smaller the pieces, the better the meatballs will hold together. The meatballs can be formed in advance and then refrigerated until you are ready to brown and bake them right before dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal · Carbohydrates: 1g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 27mg · Sodium: 137mg · Potassium: 70mg · Vitamin A: 220IU · Vitamin C: 1.4mg · Calcium: 11mg · Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally posted 4-10-12 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/27/19}

These are the BEST Swedish Meatballs I have ever tasted! get the recipe now at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Joanne says

    I've never had swedish meatballs but I'm going to have to try out this recipe on my meat-loving family. I have a feeling they'll go crazy for it!

  2. Jenn says

    I might be swayed by the sauce, but those indeed do look like the best Swedish meatballs I have ever laid eyes on! The look perfect!

  3. Athena says

    These look great! I don't normally buy ground pork, but may have to (or grind the boneless chops I already have). You're photos are always great and these are some of my favorites. 🙂 I like the sprig of parsley? you have, add the perfect touch! 🙂 How does your lighting always look perfect? My photos always have a yellow hue to them. 🙁

    • Mary says

      Thanks for your sweet words. I use natural light, but beyond that, I'm so far from expert, it's ridiculous. Anytime I try a picture without light from a window or using interior lighting, the colors are way off. (Ha, you can EASILY find the few night time pictures I've posted that way!)

  4. Big Dude says

    I love these things but all I've ever had were swimming in brown sauce. These look delicious and provide an interesting twist that I look forward to trying

  5. clevermuffin.com says

    Looks delicious – and I like your cooking-in-batches tip. As more of a baker than a cook I often end up looking at a pile of uncooked meatballs and thinking 'now how am I going to do this?' 🙂

  6. Reeni says

    These are a big hit in my family too! They look absolutely delicious! Some of the best comfort food. I always eat more of them than I should. . . they're hard to resist.

  7. Becki's Whole Life says

    Your blog is making me seriously hungry tonight, Mary! I love Swedish Meatballs, but have never made them. I keep thinking I will stop at Ikea one day and try theirs. These sound perfect though. I like that the sauce has the broth in it to lighten it up and I love the allspice in swedish meatballs. Definitely need to try these.

  8. Anonymous says

    Have never tried ground pork in Swedish meatballs, just ground beef. Think the pork would add a good richness to the flavor.
    I have regularly made a DANISH meatball recipe, which uses all ground pork, minced onion, a very small amount of lemon zest, and fresh Pepperage Farm white bread crumbs, and a gravy using chicken broth, a small amount of lemon juice, a little cream, and thickened by arrowroot.

    Joan Fisher Demshock
    [email protected]

    • Mary says

      I’ve served this with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice, roasted vegetables, steamed vegetables, pretty much any side dish works well with these meatballs.

  9. Linda says

    This is close to my grandmas recipe. A little different but still similar. I love meatballs. I even started making a meatloaf based on Grandma’s Swedish meatball recipe5 stars

  10. Christine says

    I have a fabulous Swedish meatball recipe from Southern Living that we love. The meatballs have nutmeg in them which I think gives them a bit more “Swedish'” flavor. The cream sauce is made with grated lemon peel which gives a wonderful “tang” to the flavor. The meatballs are browned then actually simmered in the broth for an hour which infuses the nutmeg flavor throughout. Yummy!

  11. tonilea says

    I think I will do this Thursday evening. My grandson will be here and I think he would like it. One thing I noticed is that you don’t have potato in yours like the one on Sue’s website. Do you not use potato in yours? I will have to chop my onion very fine because I don’t have a food processor. But that shouldn’t be a problem. thanks for this idea and please let me know about the potato.

    • Mary says

      Hi Tonilea, I didn’t have potatoes in the house the first time we made it so I tweaked the recipe to make it work. We loved it so much, I’ve never gone back to play with the potato ingredient. I hope you love these meatballs as much as we do!

  12. Rose says

    Outstanding dish! Paired with homemade noodles from our Nine Bean Rows CSA share this week & sautéed green peas, we had a feast today.