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
    Tried this recipe tonight and it was awesome! The meatballs have some sweet notes from the allspice and nutmeg, and is wonderfully complimented with the savory gravy. Definately a repeat for us!

  2. 5 stars
    Not Swedish meatballs, but it looks delicious.
    We don’t use nutmeg, garlic and parsley in our meatballs. The minced meat is pork or mix of pork and beef.
    The “swedish allspice” is sort of a bbq seasoning, Grillkrydda as we say in Sweden, Google: Santa Maria Grillkrydda and you will see what I mean.
    The sauce is madecwith milk or milk and double cream, no mustard, no olive oil.
    We only use butter.
    IKEA meatballs are not typical swedish meatballs
    I will rate this a 5 because I do think these taste lot better then IKEA’s, never liked them

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and it was yum! I didn’t have time to make the meatballs, so I used prepared meatballs from the store and it worked out perfectly. The sauce is amazing!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    This is the best Swedish meatball recipe out there hands down! We’ve made them all by this point. Some are too bland, too mushy, etc. This is the Goldilocks recipe for sure! As other commenters have said, this is a very forgiving recipe. I’ve made chicken meatballs, beef, beef and pork, beef and chicken, pork and chicken, used chicken broth when I had no beef broth, cream, milk, half and half, a dollop of sour cream, various breadcrumbs, etc. They all come out awesome! If you can, try to make it at least once as close to the original recipe on this site, though, as it truly is wonderful! The kids and I will be making it today, and everyone freaks out over meatball night!

  5. 5 stars
    No way this recipe can be good. Guess what it’s great! Perfect flavor, perfect texture. Not to hard or soft. I’m picky with meatballs so I’m thrilled! Followed the recipe exactly. I’ll never try another recipe. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Wow! I bought a pack of freshly made Italian meatballs, but the family didn’t really want the penne pasta with spinach and ricotta bake that I was planning to make, so I hit the inter-webs, and when my son saw this recipe, he said, “That’s the one!” So…I used the meatballs anyway…they loved them, but for me, the sauce was the best I’ve ever made, and that’s thanks to your recipe! I only did a few alterations: I added 4 cloves of fresh garlic to the drippings, and finished with about 1/4 cup of sour cream at the end. I made extra wide egg noodles and mixed it in with the meatballs and sauce. I can’t wait to make this again, but I will either make my own meatballs or use ground beef or stew meat. Truly was the best sauce recipe EVER!

  7. 5 stars
    Ode to a meatball:
    There once was a girl who was hungry
    She had plenty of meat but no money
    Inspiration was calling
    For a Swedish-y balling
    So she went to the web in a hurry.

    I rarely rate recipes but I enjoyed this so much I kept rhyming about it in my head. I made lots of swaps out of necessity. Venison for beef, stale hamburger buns ground into breadcrumbs for panko, basil for parsley, half and half for cream, chicken broth for beef. And I forgot the egg entirely. The result was soooooo scrumptious over egg noodles. Definitely keeping this!!

    1. 5 stars
      Alas….nothing quite so poetic or inspiring as the meatball!

      “A Swedish-y balling” hahaha! Thanks for making my day!

  8. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a real hit. My super fussy husband loved it, and my daughter wants me to make it once a week! Used 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef and then followed your exact recipe.

  9. Made this tonight and it is delicious. It’s rich and creamy I made sure to use the drippings in the pan from cooking the meatballs in my sauce and it is very good It’s a rich hearty dish that pairs well with a fresh crisp salad Will certainly make again

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! We loved the meatballs and I’ve made it a few times already. The spices are perfect. This quickly became a family favorite! So happy I came across this recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner and I have to say they are sooooooo delicious, made them exactly as your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing, will definitely not be going back to my old recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    This is locked in as one of our family’s favorite recipes. We always get rave reviews when we make it for company.

  13. Delicious! I used vegetable and chicken broth since I didn’t have beef and it still turned out well. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. My family loved it and said they will request I make this at least once a week now. I suggest you double the recipe!

  15. To anyone who has made this recipe: I have two lactose intolerant family members, do you think the gravy/sauce would work okay with milk (lactose free milk) rather than the heavy cream?

    1. You can buy lactose free whipping cream. I have 3 family members who are lactose intolerant and I use it all the time as it is nicer than using lactose free milk for sauces. I’m in Canada and buy Natrel lactose free dairy products.

    2. Hi, Dot! I’ve made these with milk many times! (Including lactose-free) This is a versatile recipe, and I think it will be a bit hit with your family!

  16. This is my absolute go to. There are hardly ever leftovers when I make this, and I make double batches! For parties I make it, then serve in a slow cooker. I also make extra gravy because it is *divine* and eat it alllll over white rice. Thank you so much! 💛😍🤤

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