Traditional Swedish Meatballs (Classic Recipe) + 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! Everyone will love this simple homemade meatballs recipe! 

creamy swedish meatballs recipe


I swear – this recipe makes the best Swedish meatballs. I love the simple meat mixture and the fact that this great recipe produces juicy meatballs, not dry and crumbly ones.

The best part is that you can top them with a creamy gravy sauce or eat them as your main course. 

When you have traditional meatballs like this, you can serve them anytime you want.

They’re great for a Christmas Eve dinner, perfect for a weeknight dinner, or great for a party. You can easily make this recipe in large quantities for a crowd. 


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!

Or if you’re looking a healthier option, check out my low carb meatballs!


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.

    I love a good combination of beef and pork mixture! 

    You can also use all lean ground beef if you prefer, but I recommend skipping the extra lean blends.

    A combination of meats is a great way to add flavor and moisture. 
  • 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

Can I use sour cream instead of heavy cream?

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.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover meatballs with cream sauce?

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.

Can I make just the Swedish meatball sauce by itself? 

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.

Can I freeze this cooked Swedish meatball recipe? 

You can. If you find that you have leftovers of this authentic Swedish meatballs recipe, freeze them for later. Let the homemade Swedish meatballs cool to room temperature, and then store any leftovers in an airtight container. 

When you’re ready to reheat and eat, you can add them to a large skillet on medium heat and warm them up. The frying pan will heat the classic Swedish meatballs recipe, making them golden brown and hot. 

What side dishes pair well with these meatballs?

Did I mention that these are the best meatballs? You can pair them with a creamy mashed potato side dish or create a meatball sandwich by adding the meatballs onto a slice of white bread and then topping with some of the delicious creamy Swedish meatball sauce. 

The flavors of the meatball mixture also pair well with steamed veggies or a side salad. The only reason that you would pair it with side dishes is to round out the flavors! 

swedish meatball sauce being spooned over the meatballs

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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swedish meatball recipe in a skillet

bowl of creamy swedish meatballs

Traditional Swedish Meatballs (Classic Recipe) +Video

Donna Elick
This Swedish meatballs recipe combines tender bites of spiced meat with a rich homemade cream sauce. Make it for dinner in under an hour!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 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.


Donna’s Notes

If your skillet has too many burned bits after you finish cooking the meatballs you can wash it out before starting your sauce.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 571cal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1275mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
swedish meatball recipe in a bowl

Originally published February 2018, updated and republished March 2024

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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…..

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this. I had a Stepmother who made Swedish meatballs.she always used asparagus soup to thicken gravy.they were good.. traditional should be even better.

  12. 5 stars
    I’m Swedish so I know my meatballs. Ha Ha! If you leave out the nutmeg and allspice they’re not Swedish Meatballs. These spices are the key element to making the meatballs Swedish. My grandmother always served them over egg noodles. So good!

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