This easy Swedish Meatballs recipe includes homemade meatballs smothered in creamy sauce and served over egg noodles or rice. This is a meal the whole family will love!
Why I love this meal:
- Pantry Ingredients – The perfect budget friendly meal that requires basic ingredients you may already have on hand.
- From Scratch – The homemade meatballs and sauce are what really set this recipe apart, and they’re both very easy to make.
- Easy enough that the kids could even make this one.
What are Swedish Meatballs?
From what I’ve read, Swedish Meatballs were brought into Sweden by a King Charles XII, who got the recipe from Turkey. They originated in ancient Persia (Iran) and is called “koofteh” or “koofteh ghelgheli” which means a round meat in Persian. This recipe for homemade Swedish Meatballs is served with a creamy sauce, similar to the recipe found in Ikea.
Italian Meatballs vs Swedish 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.
How to make Swedish Meatballs:
Make the 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.
Cook Meatballs: Place meatballs in a hot skillet with oil, rotating them with a fork until all sides are browned.
Make the Swedish Meatball 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.
Serve: Stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Add meatballs to sauce and serve over cooked egg noodles, or rice. I love to serve with Roasted Vegetables, French Green Beans, or Apple Pecan Salad.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To Make Ahead: The meatballs can be made ahead of time (cook them all the way through) and kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
To Freeze: Prepare and cook meatballs. Allow them to cool before freezing in a freezer safe container. Raw meatballs may also be froze. Allow them to thaw in the fridge before cooking according to the recipe instructions.
- Meatballs: I’ve also made these meatballs with all beef, or half beef and half ground turkey, with great results!
- Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs: Form the meatballs and brown them in a skillet. Make the sauce, but leave out the sour cream. Combine meatballs and sauce in the crockpot and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until meatballs are cooked through. Add the sour cream and cook the egg noodles before serving.
- Frozen Meatballs: Brown frozen meatballs, if desired, then place in sauce and simmer until meatballs are heated through.
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For the Swedish Meatballs:
- 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.
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*I originally shared this recipe August 2014. Updated March 2019 and August 2022.