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These Swedish Meatballs are smothered in the most amazing rich and creamy gravy and packed with such delicious flavor. You will quickly agree these are the BEST you have ever had!

Serve these scrumptious meatballs over buttered noodles or rice with a Caesar Salad, and these Perfectly Soft Buttery Rolls for a dinner the whole family will love!

A pan filled with cooked Swedish Meatballs with a wooden spoon.

Reasons This Recipe is the BEST!

  1. 300+ 5 Star Reviews: This recipe, trusted by millions, boasts over 300 five-star reviews. I am confident you’ll love it too!!
  2. Creamy Sauce: The secret lies in the sauce. These meatballs are crafted with a perfect blend of traditional Swedish spices and complemented by a rich, creamy gravy
  3. Better than IKEA: Ever had IKEA Swedish Meatballs? These ones are so easy and WAY better!

A Reader’s Review

I already have a favorite Swedish meatball recipe that I’ve been making for years. So I wasn’t sure the family would like this version and if I’d regret not sticking to my usual. Well, I can say, this is now the family Swedish meatball recipe! So perfect! The sauce was silky and delicious, and the meatballs were juicy and had a lovely flavor. Highly recommend!

-Anna

Swedish Meatball Ingredients

These meatballs have so much flavor and are easy to make! Don’t let this long list intimidate you. I bet you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the exact measurements.

What’s in Swedish Meatballs?

  • Ground beef: The main protein base for the meatballs, providing flavor and texture.
  • Panko bread crumbs: Adds lightness and helps bind the meatballs together.
  • Parsley: I use fresh parsley to enhance the taste.
  • Ground allspice: Introduces a warm, slightly sweet flavor.
  • Ground nutmeg: Adds a subtle nutty, warm flavor that complements the beef.
  • Onion: This surprisingly adds a slight sweetness to the meatballs.
  • Garlic powder: You can’t go wrong with garlic!
  • Pepper: This adds in some mild heat.
  • Salt: The salt enhances all of the flavors of the ingredients in the Swedish meatballs.
  • Egg: Acts as a binder to hold the meatball mixture together.
  • Olive oil: Used for cooking the meatballs, adding flavor and helps the meatballs to brown.
  • Butter: Adds richness and helps in browning the meatballs.
The top view of all of the ingredients, each in their own bowl and labeled individually.

What is Swedish Meatball Sauce Made of?

  • Butter: Forms the base of the sauce, providing richness.
  • Flour: Combined with butter to create a roux, the flours helps thicken the sauce.
  • Beef broth: Adds depth of flavor and forms the liquid base of the sauce.
  • Heavy cream: Provides a creamy texture and rich flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds a tangy, savory depth to the sauce.
  • Dijon mustard: Introduces a slight tang to the sauce without being overwhelming.
  • Salt and pepper: Essential for seasoning and balancing the flavors of the sauce.
The top view of all of the sauce ingredients, each in individual glass bowls and labeled.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

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

  1. Combine beef, egg and seasonings: In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg. Mix until combined.
  2. Roll and cook: 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.
  3. Make the sauce: 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.
  4. Add meatballs and simmer: Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Tips and Variations

  • Meat: I love using a mix of beef and pork for these Swedish meatballs. The pork adds extra fat, making them incredibly moist and tender. If you prefer, ground turkey, chicken, or a combination can work beautifully too.
  • Spices: Trust me, the nutmeg and allspice are what make these Swedish meatballs special. Don’t skip them if you want that authentic, divine flavor.
  • Overmixing: Take it from me, be gentle when mixing your meat. Overmixing can make your meatballs tough, and we want them to stay tender.
  • No Bread Crumbs? No Problem: If you’re out of bread crumbs, make a panade by blending two pieces of bread into crumbs and mixing with 1/4 cup milk to form a paste. Add an egg, mix it all up, and you’ll get the same great texture in your meatballs.
  • Sauté for Sweetness: Sauté your onions first. It gives them a softer, sweeter flavor that really enhances the meatballs.
  • Cream: Stick with heavy cream for the sauce to keep it smooth and rich. If you want to add a bit of tang, swap out some of the cream for sour cream—it’s a delicious twist.
The top view of Swedish meatballs cooked in a pan, without the sauce.

Different Cooking Methods

  • Baked: For a foolproof method, brown your Swedish meatballs in a skillet with oil and butter, then finish them in a 350°F oven. This ensures they’re cooked through without any pink.
  • Slow Cooker: Try out this recipe in a slow cooker in a pinch! You an even use frozen meatballs Check out that recipe here: Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs Recipe.
A close up of Swedish meatballs being served on a wooden spoon.

Can You Freeze Swedish Meatballs?

Yes! One of the best parts about this recipe is that it’s perfect for doubling up and freezing some for later. These tips will help you enjoy delicious meatballs anytime, without sacrificing flavor or texture.

  • Freeze: After cooking the meatballs, place them on a cookie sheet, ensuring they don’t touch to prevent sticking. Freeze for 2-4 hours, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. They’ll keep for up to 3 months. When ready to use, you can thaw them in the microwave or oven. I prefer partially cooking them in the microwave and finishing them in the sauce.
  • Don’t Freeze the Sauce: Dairy-based sauces, especially those with heavy cream, can separate and turn grainy when thawed. For best results, make the rich gravy fresh when you’re ready to serve.
  • Freezer to Pan: You can also freeze the meatballs raw and cook them directly from frozen. They’ll take longer to cook through but will maintain their shape better than fresh ones. Just ensure they’re fully cooked with no pink remaining.
Swedish meatballs on top of egg noodles in a bowl.

More Yummy Meatball Recipes

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The Best Swedish Meatballs

4.72 from 425 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
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
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

Meatballs

Sauce

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

Notes

Originally Posted on August 18, 2016 
Photos Updated on May 16, 2024 

Nutrition

Calories: 499kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 17gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 712mgPotassium: 327mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 987IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Swedish
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

Save

Swedish Meatballs in a frying pan with a metal spoon.

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating




894 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This came out amazing! My fiancé and his son were hesitant because they’re used to plain ole spaghetti meatballs but these are now a new favorite in our family! I doubled the meat part of the recipe and added another pound of ground pork, since those 2 boys eat a LOT. Also I had to leave out the nutmeg since I didn’t have any. The gravy came out sooo good.. creamy and savory. I served these with homemade mashed potatoes and buttered corn. Everyone got seconds! We even had enough to pack for 2 lunches portions. Will definitely make these again.

  2. 5 stars
    This has been one of my go-to recipes since my first year of college! They are absolutely delicious and such an easy weeknight meal. Everyone who I have made these for can’t get enough, even family from Sweden! Don’t forget to serve with lingonberry sauce- it cuts the “heaviness” of the dish really nicely 🙂

  3. 4 stars
    Delicious – I will say that is the best tasting cream sauce for Swedish meatballs I have ever tried.Only thing different is the spices- I had recently bought Kashat spices- Baharat 7 spice which basically were the ones mentioned with a couple more. Now my new meatball go to recipe

  4. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe and it was excellent and easy to follow. Followed it but only slightly browned the meatballs in the skillet and finished it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Used the same frying pan for the sauce but used a paper towel to wipe off the excess grease. I only used with a tad of the recommended mustard. Tasted and added a tad more. Kudos for the recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Excellent! I used store bought meatballs and it still was so tasty and flavorful. Took less than 15 minutes to make dinner.

  6. 5 stars
    These meatballs were so good! I made enough to freeze some and wow. I have a feeling I will be making them a lot more often. The allspice & nutmeg really set these apart.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this into a meatloaf because I have a large family and was in a hurry. Rolling out 75 meatballs I just didnt have time for. Anyway. Was the most delicious Swedish meatballs meatloaf ever!!!

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe! The only thing I did add was a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan after searing the meatballs before adding the butter/flour. Easy, fast and delicious.

  9. 5 stars
    Love this! Wondering if anyone has ever tried baking the meatballs instead of frying.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 😊