Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

We have all been there. You have just dragged your corpus all around that Swedish furniture store. You meant to buy just a few small bits but now you seem to have a new wardrobe, a clock, and tonnes of kitchen stuff. All random and unnecessary just a few hours ago but now you need them all! Elated and shattered and there is only one thing left to do. The meatballs! And maybe the hot dog.

I have had Swedish meatballs in Sweden too and they are remarkably similar. The frozen ones that IKEA sells in their food shop is the brand that most people use in Sweden, I have been told. They have them with cream sauce and tart lingonberries, bright and subdued with a bit of sugar, sometimes a lingonberry jam. A vitamin injection on the side of your meatballs on a dark winters night when all is frozen over outside.

Swedish meatballs are traditionally a combination of pork and beef, served in a cream sauce which is essentially a bechamel made with stock (beef, but I like chicken too, a little lighter and I have a lot of love for a fresh homemade chicken stock), tart with sour cream, or cream and mustard.

To get a lovely bouncy meatball bread is essential (there must be gluten free options too, I will investigate), soaked in milk and mixed with the meat. Some seasoning, best salt, fresh cracked black pepper and allspice, which is a must for a proper Swedish meatball. I sometimes add nutmeg and / or mace too. Top with parsley. Joy of joys. 

You can have these with mash and somedays there is no other option. But sometimes, all I want is a big old piece of toast to dip in the sauce and mop up the gorgeousness. It also means it is speedy. 

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs. 36 on average. I make a big batch and freeze them, so that I can defrost and indulge on a later date where time is pressing and comfort is needed. 


Swedish Meatballs
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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs


  • 450g / 1lb minced pork
  • 450g / 1lb minced beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 200ml milk
  • salt and pepper
  • butter and a little light oil for frying
  • 50g butter
  • 50g all purpose flour
  • 750ml chicken or beef stock
  • 75ml single cream (heavy cream)
  • 1 tbsp mustard
    To Serve
  • Toast or mash and a sprinkle of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley


  • Sauté the onion in a little butter until soft, about 5 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and add to the beef and pork mixture with the allspice, onions and some salt and pepper. Mix well and fry off a small amount to taste. Adjust accordingly. Allspice can be quite strong so I suggest a conservative amount, but you may want more.
  • Roll the meatballs, I like them a little smaller than a ping pong ball.
  • Fry them over a medium heat, turning occasionally so they are brown all over.
  • While they are cooking prepare the sauce. Create a roux by melting the butter and adding the flour, stirring it well until you get a paste. Cook through for a few minutes, stirring as you do so it doesn't catch or burn.
  • Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring in as you do. A whisk is useful at this point. Don't panic if it becomes lumpy, you can whisk these out. When all the stock has been added add the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sauce to the meatballs and cook for a few minutes. The meatballs will take about 10 minutes to cook, you can check by cutting one through to see if it is brown all the way through.
  • Enjoy!
  • Notes

    If you don't eat pork, you can substitute veal very well here.




    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.