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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Recipe

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
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Ingredients
  

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

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

*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

Nutrition

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

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

*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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Comments

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m sure they will be great with chicken broth–a slightly different flavor, but still good!

  1. I’m making this tonight, except totally gluten free, as my daughter has Celiac disease. She is very excited about this!!

  2. Lauren,

    Thank you for providing a recipe even ‘The worst cook in America’ can make haha. No joke my boyfriend and I laughed the entire way through making this meal and although it wasn’t pretty, due to my lack of meatball handling skills, it was DELICIOUS! Love your blog and hope to see you and your adorable family soon!

    1. You’re comment made my day! Thanks Katie –We would love to see you soon too!–maybe at the reunion next year!

  3. 5 stars
    Ive had this before and my husband loves it so we’re going to have it again.

    I see the nutrition facts on the bottom, how big would you say each portion is?

    1. Hi Kathy–sorry, I’ve updated the nutritional info to reflect a serving size of 3 meatballs. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. 5 stars
    My ex husband’s grandmother was German and she made the best Swedish meatballs from a recipe her mom passed down. I wanted to find a recipe that doesn’t use soup like hers does. This is outstanding and brings back lots of memories! What a great comfort food recipe that’s easy to make. The only thing I changed is that I deglazed the pan with one tbs. sherry before adding the butter and flour. Just a personal preference. Thank you!

    1. Indeed this recipe is top notch. Family recipe had been lost and found this one on line. I love the addition of the sherry prior to adding butter and flour. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Such a good recipe! Hadn’t made Swedish meatballs in years. Really liked the “from scratch” ingredients v. canned soup from back in the day. My husband thoroughly enjoyed this stick to your ribs dinner, as did I — perfect for a cold late winter night. Bonus: Made enough for another dinner of leftovers. I served asparagus as a side dish, for a bit of green:-)

  6. 5 stars
    I love Swedish meatballs and I love the recipes here, so the day I decided to try to make them for the first time, I was elated to find you had me covered. Sadly, I was disappointed with my first attempt. Most of the problems were my fault, but I do have 2 criticisms of the recipe. I remade them yesterday with some needed changes (again, mostly my fault).

    I feel like the balls in this recipe are too big, maybe I’m just used to the size in the Stouffers version, but I went ahead and made them smaller the 2nd time. I used my cookie dough scoop and ended up with well over 40 meatballs or so.

    The recipe calls to season the meat mixer to taste, none of us is going to taste raw ground pork, so that was difficult for me. I did a few twists of my salt grinder and it was far from satisfactory, the meatballs came out quite bland as did the sauce. I looked up the amount of salt to use to season a pound of ground meat and it said 3/4-1 tsp, so I went for the lower number and put in 1.5 tsp table salt.

    Now on to my mistakes:

    I don’t love onion, so I may have only used half an onion the first time. This was also a big part of the bland meatballs. This time I got a large Spanish onion and I diced it up as small as I could before sautéing them. Once mixed with the meat, it looked like there were way too many onions and it made the rolling of the balls a little difficult, but it solved 2 problems, the bland meat balls and the bland sauce I got the first time as well. Part of the reason my sauce was bland was that I wiped out the pan after browning the meatballs. This time I used a slotted spoon to remove the carmelized onions that had fallen out of the meatballs as I browned them, and set them aside while I blotted out the excess oil/grease in the pan, making sure to leave as much brown bits as possible. I added the onions back in after the sour cream and they made a huge difference. I also browned the meatballs much more the 2nd time which created more flavor as well.

    Really all of the mistakes come from my own lack of experience, but I thought I would share my issues with anyone craving delicious Swedish meatballs, because let me tell you, this recipe is legit if you do it right.

    1. In most Swedish Meatballs recipes from Sweden, we grate the onion so that there are no bits of onion in the meatballs and it saves time in chopping the onions finely. You will get the flavor of the onion without being able to find the onion. Hope that helps for next time.

  7. In our meatballs here in Sweden we normally use cream in our meatballs, this will help to keep the balls juicy. We also soak the breadcrumbs in the cream as this also keeps the meatballs juicy. Also, you will find that most people here will grate the onion into the meat, and this will keep you from getting a big piece of onion and it is also faster than chopping the onion. Maybe something to try for next time.

  8. 5 stars
    Made this dish tonight and everyone enjoyed it. The only thing I
    would do differently is to cook the meatballs in the oven for the
    sake of time and having them cooked evenly. i served the meatballs
    with egg noodles. I’ll be making these again. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. I made this recipe tonight.The only thing I didn’t like was when I melted the butter and added the flour.The flour came out lumpy.The next time I will mix the flour in some water and stir it up before adding to the butter.Other than that the recipe came out ok.I added all the rest of the ingredients.Hopefully the next time it will be better.I added extra salt and it still needed more on my moms helping.I will be making this again.I have to learn how to get the sauce smooth.

  10. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I am not a great cook but this turned out amazing. I love Swedish meatballs and usually eat store bought Marie Callendars and Stouffers. This recipe is superior to any of these. I froze 3/4 of the meatballs and now have a quick meal for many nights to come. Thank you. This was great.

  11. 5 stars
    I love these old school recipes that bring me back to my childhood. Swedish meatballs being a favorite.
    I tried it with ground chicken and loved it. Have made it several times since and even my anti recipe tampering husband enjoyed it.

  12. The recipe for swedish meatballs is actually pretty good but why the f*#k would you serve it with rice or noodles!? Traditionally our meatballs are supposed to be served with mashed potato or just boiled potato, raw stirred lingonberries and a brown sauce.

    1. Have you ever considered that some people may not like potatoes or are allergic to ingredients in mashed potatoes. Your comment was really rude and insensitive. Please, if you cant say anything nice dont say anything at all.

    2. First of all, you should watch your language. It’s not necessary to be that rude.
      Rice or noodles, I’m sure, is just a suggestion. You can serve it any way you want. People like you shouldn’t be commenting.

    3. 5 stars
      Fanny is just acting like a big fanny!!! Pun intended!! 😉 i actually think it would be not so good with a plain old boiled potato and i prefer the noodles. To each their own i guess. But the “f” word is probably the most disgusting thing on this page. No need to be such a fanny about it!! I think the recipe is great!!! Thank you Lauren

    4. 3 stars
      You said why would you serve it with noodles… because we’re in America that’s why. It’s asking for feedback on the actual recipe not what you serve it with… eat it with a hot dog bun…. Pour it open face over a roll or piece of bread. The sauce needs more seasonings & I added a dash of Worcestershire & a little feesh garlic while caramelizing the onion

  13. Great Recipe! I added about tablespoon of “Chi Chi’s Restaurante” seasoning to the gravy and it taste perfect!

  14. Wow, calm down. Is it “traditional” to attack someone because you prefer potatoes? Hopefully Lauren’s children don’t like to read the nice comments people leave for their mom.
    They look great – will be making a big batch for Christmas Eve!

  15. 5 stars
    I was concerned about the lack of liquid in this recipe, so I moistened the bread crumbs with reduced sodium beef broth and a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, then mixed in the egg yolks, seasoning and cooked onions before mixing in the beef and pork. These are delicious meatballs and I haven’t even made the sauce yet.

  16. I think they are great with potatoes, noodles or rice all 3 are yummy. Thank you and if others have nothing nice to say then they should zip it.

  17. I made these as an hors d’oeuvre… I put in slow cooker and will put on buffet table. People will just stab meatball with a toothpick .and eat. I made 2 days ahead of the upcoming holiday and hope they reheat nice!

  18. 2 stars
    Made this exactly as indicated – sauce was very bland and uneventful. Meatballs…were ok. Not a fan but I tried something different and it just was not the recipe for me unfortunately.
    Note to Fanny: I served my dish with egg noodles….and you need your mouth washed out with soap. Using nasty ugly words in a post is very inappropriate.

  19. I’m very surprised at your “serving size”. Anyone who has eaten good Swedish Meatballs knows you can’t possibly eat just three. 9 maybe, but not three.

  20. I use egg noodles. My teen my preference. I would never think to swear because a good choice is different than my palate. I always Adjust recipes (after the initial try) To meat the palate and needs of my family. I thought only chef Ramsey used that language

  21. 5 stars
    So like – WOW! I made these last night. I added an extra 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and about 2 tablespoons cream cuz I like meatballs a little on the “fluffy” side. Otherwise, kept everything as written and it was like a flavor EXPLOSION in out mouths. Family loved this recipe and I have shared it with friends. Thank you!

  22. 4 stars
    My Grandfolks were Swedish and. Would make this with a secret Ingredient in the gravy that makes it Swedish and way more flavor I would give out the ingredients but then I would have to Hillary you Maybe for a price

    1. 4 stars
      Funny! I would love the secret spice. My mom made the gravy from the drippings. I could never get the gravy like she did. I would love your secret ingredient. I make them for Xmas fir all the family. Pressure!! I would love to make before for my new daughter-in-laws parents before I go home for Xmas as a trial. Please please will you share. My dad was Swedish came to America through Ellis Island at 9 yrs old. So needless to say we were brought up Swedish.

      Would love to know your secret ingredient. My whole family likes my mock gravy but it’s not like my mom’s.

      Of course we are waiting to see if we can go hone for Xmas due to COVID and NJ Gov might close it down. We and our daughter-in-law’s parents are hoping to go back to be there for our new granddaughter to be born early January. Thank you. Kristine

      Will you share!!!

    1. Plain Greek yogurt would be the next best substitute. Otherwise you could use a little cream, or blended cottage cheese.

  23. You left out the lingonberries, they aren’t Swedish if you do not serve them with lingonberries!

  24. My meatballs are not cooked in the middle at all… and suggestions? They are burning on the outside and raw on the inside.

    1. Lower the heat and continue to cook until they are cooked through. (You could even turn heat to low and cover the pan with a lid).

    2. So my sauce is not thick and I have little white pieces from the sour cream. So what did I do wr9ng and how can I fix it?

  25. This was a really good meal. There are only two of us so I made all the meatballs and half the sauce. I froze half the meatballs for another time.

  26. 5 stars
    These are AMAZING!!!!!! Made a double batch to feed a crowd of hungry workers and family and it was a HIT! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!

  27. Made these tonight,turned out great.I put them in my Air Fryer, 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Browned them perfectly.Loved the flavor, cant wait to make the sauce tomorrow 😋