The Best Swedish Meatballs

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The Best Swedish Meatballs are smothered in the most amazing rich and creamy gravy. The meatballs are packed with such delicious flavor. Savory, comforting and smothered with a sauce that melts in your mouth. You will quickly agree these are the BEST you have ever had!

Serve these scrumptious vittles over buttered noodles or rice with a Caesar Salad, Fruit Salad and Rolls for a dinner to satisfy!

Swedish Meatballs in a frying pan with a metal spoon.

The Best Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs have always been super delectable, and Ikea has made them popular. With this recipe you can make them in the comfort of your own home without the making an adventure to the store. And I dare say they are even better! Super easy to make you’ll be surprised you haven’t made them sooner. So what are you waiting for?!

The secret to these heavenly swedish delights is the unique spices of allspice and nutmeg. And then in the sauce you add worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard for tantalizing flavor. The combination is irresistibly the best meatballs ever!

Swedish Meatball Ingredients

There’s a list of ingredients here, but don’t stress, it’s super simple and totally worth it.

  • Ground Beef: Regular ground beef
  • Bread Crumbs:  I used Panko
  • Parsley: Freshly chopped
  • Allspice and Nutmeg: Trust me, these spices are what make it uniquely delicious.
  • Onion: Finely chopped
  • Garlic Powder: Gives flavor without the bulk.
  • Salt and Pepper To taste.
  • Egg: The binder for the meatballs
  • Olive Oil: To brown the meatballs in.
  • Butter: Creates the perfect flavor while helping the beef brown, you’ll add more for the sauce.
  • Flour: The thickener.
  • Beef Broth: Creates the base for the sauce
  • Heavy Cream: This creates the creamy velvety sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Secret ingredient that creates a rich flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard: Spice

Constructing these Swedish Vittles

These will come together quick and cook in about 30 min total, so dinner is quick.

  1. Mix: In medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, all spicee, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper and egg. Mix till combined.
  2. Roll: Roll into 12 large meatballs or 20 small meatballs. In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.
  3. Brown: Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
  4. Sauce: In the same skillet add 4 Tablespoons butter and flour and whisk till it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream. Add the worcestershire sauce and mustard and bring to a simmer till it starts to thicken.
  5. Simmer: Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Close up of Swedish Meatballs in a frying pan with a metal spoon.

Tips and Variations

A few ideas to keep in mind for a dinner that’ll tickle the taste buds.

  • Meat: You can use a combination of beef and pork for this recipe. Using pork add extra fat which will give a moist tender meatball. You can also use ground turkey, chicken or combination of meats.
  • Spices: The nutmeg and allspice are unique to this swedish dish. Don’t leave them out if you want truly divine fare.
  • Overmixing:  Be Careful to not overmix the meat mixture or it can become tough.
  • No Bread crumbs:  You can get the same result by making a panade (bread and milk mixture) Use two pieces of bread and process till crumbs, add in ¼ cup milk to create a paste. Add the egg and mix. Add to your meat mixture.
  • Saute: For softer sweeter flavor to your onions saute them first.
  • Bake: Brown the meatballs in the skillet in oil and butter. Then remove to a baking tray and finish cooking in the oven at 350 degrees F. till done. There shouldn’t be any pink.
  • Cream: Do not substitute out the heavy cream for half and half, it could separate. You can also cut some of the cream for sour cream for a nice tang to the sauce.

Close up overhead photo of Swedish Meatballs with a metal spoon.

Freezing and Storing

One of the best things about this recipe is I can double it and freeze some for another meal.

  • Freeze: After cooking the meatballs transfer to a cookie sheet. Make sure they are not touching or they will freeze together. Freeze for 2-4 hours on the cookie sheet, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. These will keep for up to 3 months. To thaw you can cook in the microwave,or oven. I like to partially cook them in the microwave and then finish heating them in the sauce.
  • Don’t freeze the Sauce:  Dairy, especially a sauce with heavy cream can sometimes separate when thawing and turn grainy. I don’t recommend it. Make the rich gravy fresh when ready to serve.
  • Freezer to Pan: As long as you cook them through you can also freeze these raw and cook them in the pan the same way. They will take longer to cook through however.  This is a great way for your meatballs to keep their shape. Frozen will hold up better than fresh. Just be sure to cook till no longer pink.


The Best Swedish Meatballs over noodles in a White Bowl

More Meatball Loving Recipes

Meatballs are just fun to eat and the flavors in these recipes are spot on!


The Best Swedish Meatballs

4.73 from 318 votes
The Best Swedish Meatballs are smothered in the most amazing rich and creamy gravy. The meatballs are packed with such delicious flavor you will agree these are the BEST you have ever had!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg. Mix until combined.
  • Roll into 12 large meatballs or 20 small meatballs. In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
  • Add 4 Tablespoons butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream. Add worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.



Serves: 6

Calories499kcal (25%)Carbohydrates10g (3%)Protein17g (34%)Fat43g (66%)Saturated Fat22g (110%)Cholesterol162mg (54%)Sodium712mg (30%)Potassium327mg (9%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A987IU (20%)Vitamin C2mg (2%)Calcium59mg (6%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I loved these and my family did too. I made the recipe exactly as written. This is what I expect Swedish meatballs and sauce to taste like. I have never added Dijon to Swedish meatball sauce before but it was delicious. Will definitely make this again! Thank you for the delicious dinner. 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    This was delicious… not understanding the “bland” comments? I did use 1/2c sour cream in place of 1/2c of the cream (as #therecipecritic suggested as an option in her notes. Also, I used 1/2 ground pork and half ground beef (also an option in the notes). The one deviation from the instructions was that I drained the fat out of the skillet after browning the meatballs and before adding the butter and flour to make the roux. Can’t imagine not doing that – the sauce would’ve been way too thin and greasy otherwise (roux should be equal ratio of fat to flour, so 3T each of butter and flour). Maybe just an oversight in the instructions? I didn’t scrape the onions or browned bits out (that gives sauce flavor!) – just drained off the fat from the meat. This is the only reason I took one star off. I did add extra pepper and a bit of salt before serving. Excellent!

  3. 2 stars
    As other have said, very bland. The gravy I can adjust as I cook, but the meatballs themselves are bland. I’ve never had Swedish meatballs to compare them to, but the flavor these plain, reminded me of the horrid store bought frozen ones. Texture was nice. I would definitely try with pork and double the salt and garlic and add a dash of Worcestershire to the meatmix.

  4. 5 stars
    This review is from a non-cook, the instructions were clear and concise. I think I read don’t use half n half, but I did because that’s all I had. I mixed Swedish meatballs with my olive oiled hands! (Like my Italian girlfriend taught me)
    The recipe turned out delicious!!! If I can do this anyone can!

  5. 4 stars
    This was easy and tasty. I followed as written and we felt the Dijon was a bit heavy and it needed more flour to get to a desirable consistency. Overall, very tasty.

  6. 5 stars
    I made them with some ground turkey we needed to use, and aside from having to add a fair bit more bread crumbs so they’d stick together, these were delicious!

      1. Do u clean out the skillet after meatballs or use that leftover oil and seasoning to make the gravy

  7. 5 stars
    Just amazing! I had never made meatballs before. The instructions were great and the meatballs were wonderful over the rice

  8. I love this recipe. I also tweak a little. We use Pabst Worcestershire. It ads a ton of flavor. My husband also treagers the meatballs. Amazing

  9. Overall good cooking instructions! The meatballs taste great but I agree with other reviews that the sauce ends up very bland. I tasted as I cooked and for the sauce I just added a couple punches of garlic and onion sauce and extra Dijon and it made a huge difference, tastes amazing.I also recommend using Italian Pablo bread crumbs for the extra flavor!

    1. 4 stars
      I am so glad I wasn’t the only one who felt the sauce was a bit bland! I kept adjusting added seasoning salt, beef bullion powder, more Worcester and more Dijon. What clinched it was adding about 1 TBS soy sauce to the sauce. It enhanced the flavor and then became delicious! Lol KarenB

  10. 5 stars
    I don’t understand the people saying this recipe is flavorless. I think it’s delicious! I don’t think they were imagining their experience; I just don’t understand the variations in how it tasted for people. Anyway this recipe ROCKS but the sauce is like water. I would not hesitate to double the flour.

  11. 2 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly, but thought it was incredibly bland and flavorless. I will try again but double the spices and mustard.

  12. One of the things that sets Swedish meatballs apart from others, besides the allspice and nutmeg, is blending the meat mixture with a hand mixer. I followed your recipe, but then tried it with a little more work (so this is “if you have the time”). First, I cooked the onions with some garlic, allowed them to cool and then blended in the bread crumbs. Then, once all the rest was combined, I ran the meat through with the hand mixer, first on slow and then on high speed. Form into balls and cook.

    1. that would just make the meatballs tough and dry because the ground meat would be overworked. Meatballs always need a light hand when mixing. Very bad advice.

  13. This is by far one of the easiest and delicious renditions to a timeless recipe. I served over extra wide egg noodles and top off the dinner with salad and home made garlic bread… All under 40$ to serve 6 people!! Thanks Again!

  14. 5 stars
    Yep! Easy, delicious, and versatile. I was feeling lazy so used some ground Turkey that was already thawed, as well as dried onion and parsley instead of fresh. It was still a keeper the lazy way! Will try subbing in some sour cream for heavy cream next time. Thanks for the great recipe!

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