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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Swedish Meatballs served over egg noodles, in a bowl.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Save Recipe


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


  • 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.


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


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.

4.95 from 440 votes (403 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These meatballs were a hit! I did double the spices as recommended in another comment and I used butter instead of olive oil but it was excellent! I used bone broth that I had canned. The gravy was very good.

  2. 5 stars
    I only had ground beef so used that. To make it easier, I finely grated onion and threw into the mix. Fried the meatballs on medium/low (didn’t need oil – beef was greasy as is) and blotted the grease from the pan. Then added butter to browned bits and added flour. Used water and concentrated beef stock to make a gravy. Turned out great.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this close to a dozen times or so. Recipe is pretty spot on but I do add a bit more nutmeg and allspice, I also double the gravy as week like our egg noodles well coated.
    I would highly recommend this recipe

  4. 3 stars
    Could be just personal preference, but I thought the meatballs were too mushy. I followed the recipe without any changes since it was my first tome ever making this. If I wanted them firmer would I leave out the egg, breadcrumbs, or both? Also I think I’ll dial up the spices a bit too. Good base recipe, thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Used butter instead of olive oil as that’s how my Swedish grandmother would make them. Olive oil is not traditional.

  6. 3 stars
    Not bad, my only tweak would be to brown the meatballs first and then add the onions after. The onions get overcooked and bitter when you start w them first and you’re trying to brown the meatballs. Brown the meatballs, remove and then sweat the onions and continue on. I had to use a lot more cream and salt to battle the bitterness of the overcooked onions.

    1. 4 stars
      Chris – I think you misunderstood the recipe. You soften the onions, then PUT THEM IN THE other meatball ingredients when making the meatballs. The onions are in the meatballs.

    2. definitely not. As long as you cut the onions, so small. I used electric chopper and minced them ! If I even tried to sauté that? It would have been disgusting rolled into a meatball. That would be like saying you need to sauté onions before rolling it into a meatball for spaghetti and meatballs. Huge not.

    3. The recipe calls for the cooked onions to be mixed in with the meat when you’re forming the meatballs. Hope that helps.

  7. 5 stars
    5 stars although I did not follow the recipe exactly. Some people mentioned the lack of flavor so I multiplied the spices by 1.5. Some mentioned the gravy was too runny so I doubled the butter and flour but kept the same amounts. This makes a very thick near country gravy thick sauce so be forewarned. I would probably do 1.5 the amount on the thickener as well next.time. Meatballs are delicious. I also did cook them just a notch below medium for around 11 minutes.

    Server with linguine. No complaints from my picky kids. Will definitely make again.

  8. D love to try this recipe. Are the bread crumbs the soft ones from a loaf of bread , or from a container of fine dry bread crumbs?

  9. 5 stars
    I just tried these tonight 11/7/22 and they are amazing!! Because I like a little thicker sauce, the only thing I did differently was doubled her flour measurements. Followed everything else to a science and I have zero complaints. Thank you, and I will be trying many more recipes on this site ❤️… PS I love how I already had every ingredient already in my kitchen so no one had to make a store run 😂

  10. 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

      1. Yes. You need that much and I even added more flour and broth because I have 3 grown boys…they could eat just the was very good. A keeper for sure

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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 😋

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

      1. 5 stars
        When you have measured out the amount of Sour Cream (or estimate, like I do), mix in some of the hot broth, a little at a time, until the sour cream is more liquid. Mix well with each addition, making sure any “clots” are disolved.

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

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

  21. 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!!!

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

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

  31. 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

    5. Fanny, shame on you. It’s two years later after your comment was posted and you still offend me and I am sure others. It shows that you have no self pride by using that type of language. So you disagree, be a person that shows self respect and be civil. It’s a shame that I get the impression that you are not the type of person that I would choose as a friend because of your loose mouth. But ces la vie.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

    1. I think that the reason the flour came out lumpy was probably because the water in the butter had not been cooked off before adding the flour. All butter has some water – I’ve heard that American butter has more water than European butter.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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:-)

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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!

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

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