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

4.75 from 268 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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Leave a reply
  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Heading to Swedish midsummer this weekend and I will make the meatballs ahead and freeze them. Is it ok to freeze the sauce or do you think it’s better to make the sauce on the day? I will double the recipe as I have 10 to feed.

    1. This was amazing. I have wanted to make Swedish meatballs and was often intimidated by other recipes, until I found yours. My 5 kids, 8 years and under gobbled this right up. Next time, I’ll have to double the recipe so we can have it for leftovers!

  2. 5 stars
    I made the meatballs and my daughter made the sauce. She added baby bella mushrooms to the sauce.She did sauté the mushrooms after I cooked the meatballs. This was served with small egg noodles and was delicious!!.We will definitely cook this again

  3. 5 stars
    This was SO GOOD. I actually bought ready-made veal meatballs from Longos. I cooked the meatballs in the pan and followed the recipe exactly for the gravy. Turned out delicious! My husband couldn’t get enough.

  4. 5 stars
    This was so yum and the family loved it both times i made it and i have fussy lil boys. The 2nd time i actually had planned to make it with turkey but ran out of time to do the meatballs so just cooked it with the mince and flavour was still great, just had to cook sauce down a bit more and added vegies. Did add extra mustard because we love it and was so yum.

  5. 5 stars
    So yummy!! This recipe did NOT disappoint! I have made other Swedish meatball recipes before, but this one is the best. Only change I made was using half ground beef and half ground pork.

  6. 5 stars
    Of course my family knows Swedish meatballs from Ikea. So when i decided to try and make them at home i searched for a recipe. I had made another recipe recently that i didn’t love. It was okay just not outstanding. I found yours and liked the sounds of it so much more. So glad i tried it because it turned out so much better than the other one i made. My husband said it was delicious and 2 thumbs up. I even happened to find some lingonberry sauce at the market as i was standing in line. It was meant to be. So good, thank you for an excellent dish. Will most certainly make again.

  7. I have never made Swedish meatballs before. The recipe was so it and the family loved them. Will be a repeat for our family.

      1. 5 stars
        I cooked this tonight. It was quick and easy. I used bone broth and I had no heavy cream so I used evaporated milk and gluten free flour. It tasted amazing. Will add this to our meal plan.

  8. Can you make these in a crockpot? Or could you cook the meatballs in the oven and then make the sauce on the stove top and then add them to the sauce?

  9. I used vegetarian meatballs and used vegetable broth instead of beef broth. THIS WAS DELICIOUS!!!! Will definitely make again. Even my meat-eating family LOVED this meal!Traci

  10. 5 stars
    Wow! Really good recipe! I had always used the packaged mix. But that doesn’t even come close to this. I doubled the recipe and added portabella mushrooms. My husband LOVES it! This will be on the regular menu. Thank so much for this great recipe!😎

  11. 5 stars
    My family and I loved this recipe! I added ground pork for some extra flavor and sauted sliced baby Bella mushrooms to the sauce. The only think I would do differently would be to saute the onions rather than adding fresh chopped onion. Not a complaint, just an adjustment i’ll make for next time. I’d be adding this the to dinner rotation for sure!

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to make these and also make enough to freeze for easy protein options. They are so good!! Thank you for sharing the recipe! I doubled the recipe and made 40 meatballs out of it. ❤️

  13. My son is recovering from pancreatitis and a gallbladder removal and has to limit his fat and dairy intake. He loves Swedish Meatballs and was really craving them. I substituted ground turkey, low fat chicken broth, vegan plant based butter and a plant based half n half.

    Turned out rich, creamy (dairy free) and delicious!

  14. 5 stars
    They named this recipe right!!! I left out the allspice (my family doesn’t like it) and these were the best I’ve ever had.

  15. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for about a year now. In the summer months I make them in the instant pot to keep from heating up the kitchen.
    We absolutely LOVE this recipe!
    My daughter makes it a point to stay for dinner the nights I make these. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you so much!

  16. I am planning on making this tonight and wanted to know what percentage lean ground beef to use. Regular? Lean? Extra lean?

    Thank you and I can’t wait to try these!

  17. 5 stars
    Absolutely AMAZING!!! Nothing like quick cook and delicious meals! We made ours over spaghetti squash and the freshness of the squash added a sweet side to it as well! Perfect perfect perfect! We also tried to add mushrooms into the gravy and it was wonderful 🙂

  18. This will be perfect to throw in a crockpot on warm for my family on Thanksgiving as an all day appetizer. Will definitely have to triple the recipe!

  19. 5 stars
    I just made the sauce, ended up with different meatballs. But the sauce. OMG this sauce!!! It was so good. My husband complimented me all throughout the meal. It’s creamy and rich and so flavorful. This was insane.

  20. Ground veal makes for a quality taste & texture! Maybe exploring what Norwegians use as ingredients in meatloaf & meatballs might really lead to yummy mixture… with the emphasis of ground veal!

  21. 5 stars
    Turned out well – thank you for sharing. I didn’t make’ the meatballs, just used a frozen bag. I needed a lot of sauce so I multiplied the recipe by 4, added 1 pack of french onion seasoning and a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper to give it a little “umphh”.

  22. I would like to share what I add to the Swedish meatball came from my friends grandmother from Sweden…add a small peeled cored apple, small peeled cooked potato and small to medium onion all chopped up tiny to the hamb/sausage mixture recipe of your choice. It’s a wonderful flavor..nothing like the typical meatball…..ummmm : )

  23. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my family and we all loved it. The only thing I did different was to use 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork. Thanks for the recipe.

  24. 5 stars
    These were awesome! I only had ground beef, so I wanted a recipe just using that. Glad I found this one! My darling hubs is raving about this recipe and just finished his second serving. Thanks for posting, I now have you on my favorites.

  25. 5 stars
    I made this for our Christmas dinner 2019. Our family loved this recipe! I also had a recipe from my mother-in-law who got it from her Aunt that came over from Norway & I enjoy Alyssa’s recipe much more. The gravy is so good! This is our new Christmas dinner tradition. Thank you Alyssa!

  26. This will be for my family Christmas dinner and they look wonderful! If I double the recipe using 1 lb. of beef and 1 lb. of pork, should I also double the allspice and nutmeg? Some recipes I have looked at do increase from 1/4 to 1/2 tsp with this quantity of meat and some do not. I don’t want them to be too spicy. Thank you!

  27. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times now and my family loves it! I mix 1lb pork with 1lb hamburger and also double the spices for the meatballs. I follow the recipe exactly for the gravy and it is enough even though I have double the meatballs. In Sweden they serve this dinner with lingonberry sauce so as a substitute I used St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Deluxe Spread and it was so delicious! After frying the meatballs I followed the suggestion of baking them as well and they turned out so flavourful! This recipe is very easy to make and I highly recommend it!

  28. 5 stars
    I just made this again tonight. This time I used dried onions(too lazy to cut up some fresh ones) I added a bit of milk and set the mixture in the fridge for 4 hours to let the flavors come together(have not done this in the past). The meatballs turn out great! When I do this recipe I do a double batch of the gravy(we all like a lot of gravy and the original way was not enough for us). I just double everything for the gravy. I did use a 4 to 4 ratio of flour to butter. I love making this dish. It’s easy and delicious.

  29. 5 stars
    I cook from the internet constantly and have never left a review. This was absolutely FANTASTIC. 10/10. Alyssa, you’re a beast.

  30. 5 stars
    This was so so good! My boyfriend is a picky eater and he said this was one of his new favorites. I didn’t have nutmeg on hand so I left that out, but it still turned out super yummy! I browned the meat balls on the skillet first and finished them in the oven. Served it with home made mashed potatoes which I totally recommended! Can’t wait to cook this again.

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