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

4.74 from 254 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

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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

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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. I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious. However for left overs not so good. The sauce takes on a different consistency and the butter oh my. When I make this again I will modify two things. The amount of butter and the amount of heavy cream.

  2. 4 stars
    These were very good! Great flavor and easy to make! Served with mashed potatoes and a salad.

    When I removed the meatballs from the pan, there was so much grease but no instruction on whether or not to drain the grease, that I only added 1 TBSP butter and the flour. Similarly, when it was time to add the broth and cream I did 2 cups broth but only .5 cups cream. That was all I had, but I also felt a whole cup of cream would be too much. Even with those adjustments the sauce was so rich that next time I would probably drain the extra grease, and add another half cup of broth instead of more cream. But I will be making these again!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic! Followed the recipe exactly and had no complaints. 🙂 Husband LOVES it, picky kid likes it, and even my elderly mother-in-law who claimed to not like Swedish meatballs enjoyed the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    While I am not a meat eater, I cook it for my hubby. He eats because his body requires it to live, not a foodie like me. He smashed this. A couple of adjustments based on what was in the fridge (IE:Coconut milk instead of heavy cream) . Served over homemade mashed potatoes. Ya’ll…he smashed it!

    1. 5 stars
      Made just the sauce tonight to go with frozen Italian meatballs and it was sooo delicious. I didnt have Dijon mustard so I added a tsp of dry mustard and it added just enough tang. I made the sauce, added the frozen meatballs, and cooked on medium until they were hot, about 20 minutes. Will definitely make this again and ill try the meatball recipe as well.

  5. 4 stars
    I really loved the cream, I feel like it needed a bit more salt to taste but other than that it was great! The meatballs were alright too. I’ve never tried Swedish meatballs before. It kind of reminds me of Kofta, it has a very similar taste (I used ground beef). The Meat balls weren’t my favourite but I’ll definitely be remaking this cream sauce again for pasta dishes!

  6. 4 stars
    I tried this recipe for my husband. He doesn’t like it with sour cream or cream cheese so I tried it. We both enjoyed it,he actually wants more flavor so next time I’ll add more allspice. Super easy to make and I actually enjoyed making it,not a chore or too many steps. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  7. 5 stars
    This is an awesome, delicious recipe. Made this today and hubby and I said it was a keeper.
    One tip for easy prep After mixing ground beef/ground pork, divide mixture into quarters. Make 5 meatballs from each quarter to make 20 meatballs.

  8. Sorry, we didn’t like these. The flavor in the meatballs was very mild, nothing like the Swedish Meatballs of my youth. Perhaps increasing the nutmeg and allspice might help. The gravy was heavy and flavorless, requiring too much salt.

  9. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I made this tonight and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner! I think they are the best meatballs I have ever eaten!! They are very good with it without the cream sauce!!
    Thank you for sharing!!

  10. 5 stars
    After searching for this recipe… I tried this one! Exactly as thr recipe said… didn’t add or omit anything. Flippin’ Fantastic!
    Read all the reviews & will have to say that it drives me crazy when people post all these changes or give bad reviews because they don’t use the recipe as stated.
    This one is surely a keeper! Thank you 😊

  11. I tried the recipe last week and I will be making it for the third time tomorrow. It’s excellent! I ended up putting a little less cream in the sauce (about half a cup) and I used salted butter since that’s all I had on hand. Excellent recipe though, highly recommend!

  12. Swedish Meatballs – I altered the recipe slightly. Prepared meatballs with eggs, cream, and bread crumbs (more Italian style).

    Of course I threw in the kitchen sink of herbs, herb de provence, basil, tarragon, parsley and nutmeg, had no allspice, used fresh garlic and onion.
    My daughter lived in Denmark for a year and loved the Danish frikadeller. Rather than saute, I roasted in 350 Fahrenheit oven 12 minutes and then turn for another 12 minutes, drained most of the residual beef fat add the butter to create a roux, used low sodium beef stock, worster, and dijon. Let this thicken and simmer about 7 minutes add heavy cream just prior to serving.

    We are mashed potato family so served with creamy, garlic mashed potatoes and served elderberry preserves on the side. So we now have renamed “Sweden-Franc Meatballs”.

    Was a great add to my meal planner which has been getting a little boring. Thanks Joanne

  13. Great recipe, suggest not using egg as a bonding agent, kneading the ground beef works better (a trick I learned form a chef at a meat seminar), the protein strings that form during the kneading tend to make for stronger bonds than the protein in the egg’s white.

  14. 5 stars
    Vegetarian version! (Note: I did not make the sauce, but will try next time!) I simply substituted 12 oz. Impossible ground “meat” and followed the recipe as-is otherwise. I’ve been trying to make veg Swedish “meat”balls for years and this recipe and the arrival of Impossible finally made it happen: thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Must be something in the initials (I’m also AF and also vegetarian). I did the very same and made the sauce as well. I substituted vegetable Better than Bouillon but at 3x concentration to be more “beefy.”

      I used 12 oz. Impossible meat as well and made the meatballs smaller (36 meatballs) to get the right inside vs. outside texture.

      After 25 years of trying to make veg Swedish meatballs and failing miserably, this recipe plus Impossible meat has made me so happy!

  15. 5 stars
    I used frozen/ cooked meatballs browned them in the oil/ butter mixture and then made the sauce per the recipe, added some nutmeg as that flavor was not in the frozen meatballs and it was delish! Quicker for weeknight…

  16. 5 stars
    I made this recipe regularly. It’s so tasty! The creamy sauce, the meatballs are so flavorful! 5 stars!

  17. Delicious !! My partner and I loved it 😊 I did substitute oat milk for the cream as dairy doesn’t agree with me. I served it with rice and peas, it was perfect !! My dad would have called it a Blue Plate Special 😄

  18. 5 stars
    Truly fabulous. I’ve made Swedish meatballs many times and knew the type of recipe I wanted (recently lost all my recipe bookmarks), and I went through so many recipes before finding the one I knew would be delicious, and this did not disappoint!

  19. 5 stars
    Since we no longer live near an IKEA we no longer had Swedish meatballs. I looked on Pinterest for recipes and came upon “the best” Swedish meatball recipe and had to give it a try. My husband and I agree they are the best. Simple to make but full of flavor. Followed the recipe except for the addition of 1/4 tsp of cardamom to the meatballs. I saw many other recipes that had that ingredient and it was on my spice rack so why not. The gravy is sooo good. Since I didn’t have lingonberries to serve on the side, I served with cranberry sauce and it was a nice compliment to the meal. Along with mashed potatoes and green beans. Will definitely be adding this to our dinner menu more often.

  20. 5 stars
    I cheated and used Aldi frozen meatballs. I also doubled the sauce. It was a big hit with the family. Very good flavor. Definitely a keeper.

  21. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times now for different occasions ,dinner ,appetizers they were always a HIT! My husband absolutely loves these meatballs over egg noodles. They are fairly easy to make. I totally recommend this recipe.

  22. 5 stars
    Made with ground turkey instead of ground beef…. really really excellent, and very easy to make. Will definitely make again!

  23. Hello, has anyone ever tried to make this with cashew cream instead of heavy cream? Dairy does not agree with myself or my children. If no one has tried it yet I might try it tonight and see how it goes.

  24. 5 stars
    Very good–and easy to prepare! I had it both with newly made meatballs and with thawed frozen ones, and both were good.

  25. 5 stars
    OMG this is good! Husband lost his mind with this recipe and so did I. I made it once before but didn’t have the nutmeg…this time I did, and it truly could not be better! I did add about 1/4 cup sour cream. This is the first meal they serve you in Heaven!!!!!!!

  26. Can you make ahead and freeze? I’m worried that the cream sauce would separate when warming up. Unless you have some tips on freezing and instructions on reheating? I’m planning on making a bunch of freezer recipes for my In-Laws.

  27. 5 stars
    Making this recipe for the second time tonight! Absolutely love it. We swap the beef for beyond beef and it works just as well 😊

  28. 5 stars
    Very good recipe. Couple of tips:

    Make the meatballs. Do not use store bought. I switched out the onion for shallot. Much butter.

    Use the best broth you can make/find as this is the base for the gravy.

    Served mine on German spätzle and it was a delicious meal.

    MSG in either the sauce, meat balls, or both is your choice.

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