Traditional Swedish Meatballs + Video
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This traditional Swedish meatballs recipe combines tender bites of spiced meat with a rich homemade cream sauce. Make it for dinner in under an hour!
Traditional Swedish Meatballs
It’s easy to cook this comfort food meal right at home, and it tastes even better than Ikea meatballs!
The secret is the Swedish meatball sauce. Similar to gravy, it starts by slowly whisking beef broth into a roux until the mixture becomes smooth.
Add a bit of Worcestershire for extra flavor, then the heavy cream turns it into a luscious, rich concoction that you’ll want to put on everything!
Looking for more unique flavor combinations? Try my teriyaki or cheesy taco stuffed meatball recipes. I even have one that tastes just like Chicken Parmesan!
Easy Swedish Meatballs – Tips and Tricks
- Use a mixture of beef and pork. It will add extra flavor and keep the meatballs in cream sauce, tender and moist.
You can also use all beef if you prefer, but I recommend skipping the extra lean blends.
- Tip for forming the balls: Press firmly enough that they won’t fall apart, but don’t overwork the mixture, or it can become tough and dry.
Then, dip your hands in water as you roll them so they are nice and smooth on the outside.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan. Leave space in the pan so the meat can brown, not steam. If your skillet isn’t large enough, you will need to work in batches.
- Test for doneness. The size of your rounds will affect how long they need to cook, so cut one open to make sure it’s done before removing the rest from the pan.
- Don’t have beef broth? You can substitute chicken or vegetable broth instead for these easy Swedish meatballs.
Meatballs with Cream Sauce Serving Suggestions
Spoon the traditional Swedish meatballs over egg noodles or mashed potatoes with a dollop of lingonberry jam.
If you’d like, add a simple salad or some steamed vegetables to give the plate some color and round out the meal.
Meatballs In Cream Sauce FAQs
Yes, and it’s a great alternative if you want something a little bit tangier. I recommend starting with a smaller amount and adding more as needed after tasting. Add more as needed until the Swedish meatball sauce is perfect.
Either simmer the meatballs in cream sauce together on the stove until warmed through or heat in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
Absolutely! Feel free to double or triple the amounts to use the sauce for other meals.
Keep the Swedish meatball sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week and reheat slowly on the stove, adding a splash of broth as needed to thin out the consistency.
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Traditional Swedish Meatballs + Video
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl combine ground pork, ground beef, onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, allspice, and parsley. Mix the ingredients thoroughly then roll into 1 1/2 inch balls.
- Place butter in a large skillet and, working in batches, begin frying the meatballs, cooking them on all sides until they are perfectly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Once meatballs are cooked set them to the side and begin making your sauce. Add butter to the skillet and once it is melted add the flour whisking quickly and forming a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to turn a golden color.
- Slowly add beef broth whisking the whole time to keep it from getting lumpy. Once all of the broth has been added cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Add Worcestershire and heavy cream and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook them together for about 5 minutes.
- Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published February 2018, updated and republished March 2023
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If you have burned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, you probably used too high a heat … but if they don't taste burned, deglaze the pan with a bit of the beef broth, and use them for a bit more flavor – don't throw them out!
You are so righht! 😊
Made this recipe, it was delicious
Awesome! We are so happy you enjoyed it!
Great recipe but instead of cream I added sour cream great touch. Try it!!!
We are so happy you enjoyed it!!
Awesome dish! My sauce came out a little darker but the flavor was spot on. The spices in the meatballs really showed through. Served over egg noodles. I added onion slices and quartered mushrooms for the last simmer with the meatballs for more textures. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Carmelito Aglugub, we are so happy you enjoyed it!
I was worried about putting the nutmeg and allspice and if adding a them would be too strong but it was subtle and delicious. Deglazed the pan with a tablespoon of sherry and it was good!
Thanks! We are do happy you enjoyed it!
I have been making Swedish meatballs for over 30 years and this hands down is the best recipe
Thanks so much Liz!We are so happy to hear that!
The recipe is very good. One suggestion. In your instructions, say remove the meatballs from the pan. Some might think you merely push them to the side in the pan. Have a great day!
We enjoyed this meal very much. Flavors were subtle but delicious. Will make it again.
Made it with both chicken and beef broth. Think I prefer the chicken better, as it enhances the flavors in the meatballs. And as an aside from another commenter, I bet adding a blob or two of sour cream would be good, too…..
What can I use in place of the allspice?
Could I use Cornstarch instead of all purpose flour? I can't have gluten. I would use gluten free noodles and gluten free bread crumbs to make it gluten free.
These are a good all purpose meatball if you leave out the allspice and nutmeg which I did because my family detests both. Also, I bake my meatballs at 350 deg F for 20 minutes for regular size meatballs. For tiny ones that I put in my wedding soup, I bake for about 15 minutes or less.
Can you use sour cream instead of heavy cream?
Does this recipe reheat well?
Made this recipe last week using 1/2 ground beef and pork but sour cream instead of heavy cream. It was spectacular – and I’m making it a second time this week..Including for my Swedish neighbors who raved the first time.
Served over egg noodles with Italian parsley garnish as pictured.
These were delicious! I made the meatballs smaller and cooked them at 400 for 15 minutes. I also used sour cream instead of heavy cream! Very good recipe!
how much sour cream substitute?
Delicious. Looking for the calories but can't find. Maybe looking in the wrong place.
This was delicious! Only change was I used frozen all beef meatballs, sautéed sweet onion, garlic, mushrooms and sweet baby peas and added to sauce with meatballs at the end to heat it all up. Served over egg noodles and a side salad. Hubby loved it! Definitely adding to our rotation.
We are happy to hear that you enjoyed it!
TSRI Team Member,
I love these swedish meatballs! Just like my grandmother used to make!