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!

Want more Kid Friendly Recipes? My kids love American Goulash, Hawaiian Haystacks, and Breakfast Taquitos!

Swedish Meatballs served over egg noodles, in a bowl.

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. 

Two images showing meatball ingredients in a glass bowl, then shaped into meatballs on brown parchment paper.

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

Homemade meatballs being browned in a pan for Swedish Meatballs.

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.  

Two images showing the process to make the sauce for Swedish Meatballs.

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.

Swedish meatballs cooking in a skillet with gravy.

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.

Recipe Variations:

  • 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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Recipe

Swedish Meatballs served over egg noodles, in a bowl.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

For the Swedish Meatballs:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

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 chopped parsley , chopped
  • 1 lb egg noodles , cooked (or cooked rice), for serving

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Serving size: 3 meatballs
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.
Adapted from Damn Delicious

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 24gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 591mgPotassium: 569mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 326IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg

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*I originally shared this recipe August 2014. Updated March 2019 and August 2022.

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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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Comments

  1. I think the sauce calls for 3/4 cup beef broth and not 3 and 3/4 cups which would make the sauce very runny. Can anyone confirm? Thanks!

    1. It’s 3 and 3/4 cups! The flour and butter create a roux that will thicken the sauce! Let us know what you think

  2. 5 stars
    This was soooo good. Simple even though multiple steps. I accidentally mixed my onion into my meat mixture before sautéing it. I rescued some and sautéed them. It would have been even better had I read the instructions first and sautéed them all. So rich and creamy. Comfort food!!!

  3. 4 stars
    Mmmmmm, this was delicious!! I’ve actually never had Swedish meatballs but my husband and mother in law love the dish and gave this a big ole stamp of approval!! It was an easy recipe, easy to follow and I’m excited to make it again!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh wow! I have never made Swedish meatballs before, and they came out fabulous! My husband raved all evening about what a good dinner it was! Thanks again, your recipes never disappoint!

  5. 5 stars
    This was such a nice, simple recipe and worked well even with all the substitutions I made. I brought a double batch to a pot luck and they were all gone in a short time, with many compliments. I had to make them gluten and dairy free. Even so, very good. No suggestions, no quibbles, just fine! Thank you!

  6. 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!

    1. Comparing meatballs with other meatballs! I think because most people think of the Italian kind when they think of a meatball.

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