Homemade Swedish Meatballs are homemade meatballs smothered in creamy Swedish Meatball Sauce served over egg noodles or rice.  This easy recipe is very kid friendly!

Swedish Meatballs is a kid friendly meal that my whole family enjoys.  I love making dinner knowing that I won’t have to beg anyone to eat it!  My other go-to kid friendly dinner ideas are Loaded Chicken Enchiladas, One Pan Jambalaya, and Baked ziti.

Three Swedish Meatballs and gravy served over egg noodles in a white bowl with a fork.

I remember when the the first IKEA was built in my area and it was all everyone could talk about. Oddly enough, I heard mention of IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs just as much as I heard about their awesome products. I had friends who would stop in for lunch just to have the meatballs!  If you’ve never had Swedish Meatballs before, or if you love them but need a great recipe, TRY THESE!

What are Swedish Meatballs?

Swedish Meatballs actually originated in Turkey and are a meatball dish that is served with a creamy gravy or Swedish Meatball Sauce.  Swedish Meatballs are sometimes confused with Italian Meatballs but there are some differences between the two types of meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs are typically smaller in size than Italian meatballs and they are usually made with a 50-50 ratio of ground pork and ground beef.  Swedish Meatballs also tend to use spices like allspice and nutmeg for flavoring where Italian meatballs rely more on parmesan and garlic flavoring.

Swedish meatballs in a large skillet with gravy and a wooden spoon lifting a meatball from the pan.

How to make Swedish Meatballs:

1. Make the Swedish Meatballs: combine ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, egg yolk, allspice, nutmeg, and sautéed onion.  Season with salt and pepper. Roll the mixture into meatballs about 1 inch in size. 

2. Cook meatballs in a hot skillet with oil, rotating them with a fork until all sides are browned.

Process photos for making Swedish meatballs including mixing the meatball ingredients together, the meatballs lined up on a baking sheet and meatballs browning in a skillet.

3. Make the sauce: Melt butter in a skillet and whisk in flour until it gets slightly browned. Gradually whisk in beef broth, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.  

A skillet with butter melting in it next to another photo of a skillet with butter and flour mixed and beef broth being added to make gravy for Swedish meatballs.

4. Stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper.  

A spoonful of gravy being lifted from a pan with a wooden spoon.

5. Add meatballs to sauce and serve over cooked egg noodles, or rice.

A pan full of meatballs and sauce to make Swedish meatballs.

This is one of those meals that has really simple ingredients and flavor but it’s soo comforting and yummy! Any time I ask Jeff for some dinner ideas this is always at the top of his list. He requests them all the time!

I love to serve Swedish Meatballs with a big side of steamed veggies or a green salad.

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Three Swedish Meatballs and gravy served over egg noodles in a white bowl with a fork.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins


For the Swedish Meatballs:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 1 pound ground beef (*see note)
  • 1 pound ground pork (see note*)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste

For the Gravy

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves , chopped
  • Cooked egg noodles or rice for serving


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, egg yolks, allspice, nutmeg and onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until well combined. Use clean hands to roll the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2-in in size (It should make about 20-24 meatballs).
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

For the Swedish Meatball Sauce:

  • Melt butter in the skillet. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef broth and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


*I’ve also made this with all beef, or half beef and half ground turkey, with great results!
To Freeze:
The meatballs freeze great! I like to freeze them after cooking them. Then when I want to make this recipe I make the sauce, pull the meatballs from the freezer and let them warm up in the sauce. You could also freeze them raw, then thaw them in your fridge. Brown them in a skillet, as the recipe states, and then continue to cook them in the sauce. 
*1 serving equals 3 meatballs
Adapted from Damn Delicious


Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 23gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 587mgPotassium: 460mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 460IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 2.6mg

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*I originally shared this recipe August 2014. Updated March 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. You need to do a research before you publish anything if you’re a responsible person. Why are you comparing Swedish meatballs with Italian ones? Swedish meatballs come from Turkish meatballs because it was brought to the Scandinavian country by King Charles XII, who lived in exile in the Ottoman Empire in the early 18th-century!

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