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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
    Oh my! Easy and sooooo tasty. Even my picky husband went back for seconds and that is something for him! This is going on the regular list of dishes I make.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it’s a winner 🙂 I used half n half because I forgot to pick up heavy cream. This substitute worked out well. I made 20 meatballs and baked them in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes.

  3. 5 stars
    Ah ha! I just figured out why my gravy was so thick! I didn’t have beef broth so I used beef bouillon instead. lol, no wonder no else commented and why I had to add two more cups of milk. Duh!!

  4. I’ve made this recipe more times then I can count, it’s one of our families favorite dinner. My 2 year old, 3 year old and husband can’t get enough. Thank you. I make this to go over a 16oz bag of egg noodles however I make an extra 1/4 sauce or the noodles end up too dry.

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! My husband doesn’t really like meatballs and he ended up loving the recipe! My only issue that I had was that the meatballs kind of broke apart while I was turning them but other than that, love the recipe! Will definitely be making this again!

  6. 5 stars
    Just wanted to say, I’ve been going back to this recipe for at least a year if not more!!! Definitely my go-to.if you want a little more tang, add a 1/2 cup sour cream to the gravy before serving. Love to double or triple it and freeze for leftovers. Sometimes I add beef consommé instead of broth….just as good! Thankyou!

  7. 3 stars
    These were delicious, but very greasy. They don’t sit in the pan well, or reheat well, so if you make them they need to be eaten right away otherwise puddles of grease and oil form.

  8. 5 stars
    I made these for dinner the other night and OMG it was delicious! Everyone loved it. It was so easy to make. I will definitely make I again! Thanks for such a good recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this today and though I didn’t follow exactly because I don’t measure ingredients I eyeball them, this was absolutely full of flavor and delicious!! This is a keeper!! 😊

    1. That is the best way to freeze meatballs. Freeze them separately on a baking sheet then add them to a freezer bag.

  10. 5 stars
    I have always been hesitant to taste Swedish Meatballs. All I can say it was my loss! These are so flavorful and delicious. I followed recipe to a “T” and it was perfect. I loved them and my family loved them. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe.

  11. 5 stars
    This is ultra yum but the gravy is like water. I added 6 tbsp. flour instead of 3 and it was just right.