These Swedish Meatballs are everything you want in a comfort food! Perfectly spiced and hearty meatballs are simmered in a creamy gravy until tender and served with egg noodles and Swedish lingonberry jam for the ultimate sweet and savory combo.

Swedish meatballs in black pan.


Whether you’ve had them at Ikea or a pot-luck dinner, you’ve likely had Swedish Meatballs at least once in your life.

These iconic meatballs combine beef, pork, and a touch of allspice and are simmered in a tangy creamy gravy until tender.

Swedish meatballs are easy to make and perfect for dinner atop egg noodles or mashed potatoes, but also make an irresistible appetizer!

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, heavy cream, sour cream, white wine, flour, allspice, butter, chicken stock, ground beef and pork, lingonberry jam, parsley, white bread, onion, garlic, eggs, and milk.
  • Pork and beef. This combination gives great flavor to the meat. Use 80/20 beef for more flavor, but leaner beef is also ok.
  • Allspice and nutmeg. Adds great flavor to the meatballs and sauce.
  • Bread. To give structure to the meatballs. I used storebought country white bread but you can use plain breadcrumbs (1 to 1 1/4 cups) if needed.
  • Milk. White bread soaked in milk is a key part of Swedish meatballs.
  • Chicken stock. For the gravy; use homemade if possible.
  • Butter. For both the meatballs and the gravy; use unsalted.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour is added to the butter to create a roux for the gravy.
  • Sour cream and heavy cream. For the gravy.
  • Dijon mustard and Worcestershire. Both contribute to the unique flavor of the Swedish meatball gravy.
  • Lingonberry jam. Optional, but excellent served as a condiment to the meatballs.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Cut 6 slices of white bread into very small cubes and place in a large mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of whole milk and mash together with a fork to form a paste. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes. (Photo #1)
  2. Mince 1 medium onion, and grate 3 cloves of garlic. Mince 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley and beat 2 large eggs. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and saute the onions for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. (Photo #2)
Swedish meatballs recipe collage group one showing making of panade, sauteing onions and garlic in pan, mixing onions into panade, and forming meatballs.
  1. Add the onion and garlic mixture to the bread paste along with 1 pound of ground chuck, 1 pound of ground pork, the parsley and eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon of allspice. Mix well. (Photo #3)
  2. Use your hands to roll the meatballs into 1″ in diameter meatballs and place them onto a baking sheet or plate. Note: Dipping hands into a bowl of water between every couple of meatballs will prevent the meat from sticking to your hands. (Photo #4)
  3. To a large heavy frying pan or Dutch oven add a 1/2″ high worth of vegetable oil and heat until the oil reaches 350-370f (about medium heat). Once the oil is hot, begin to fry the meatballs working in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Fry until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, then move to a plate and set aside. (Photo #5)
  4. Heat a pot or very large saucepan to medium and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add 7 tablespoons of flour and whisk until cooked and lightly golden, about 3-5 minutes. (Photo #6)
Recipe collage group two showing frying of meatballs, making roux, pouring chicken stock into pan, and whisking sauce.
  1. If using, add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and cook for another minute while scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits, then add 4 cups of homemade or low-sodium chicken stock and bring to a boil while whisking to incorporate. (Photo #7)
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and 1/2 cup of cream. (Photo #8)
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of allspice and bring the mixture to a simmer. (Photo #9)
  4. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream to a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the hot gravy to the sour cream to temper it. Repeat the process by continuing to add the hot gravy to the sour cream, then add the tempered sour cream to the saucepan and whisk to combine. (Photo #10)
Recipe collage three showing mixing cream and spices, tempering sour cream in cup, adding meatballs to sauce, and simmering with lid slightly ajar.
  1. Taste test the Swedish meatball’s gravy and adjust salt and pepper to taste. You can add more nutmeg or allspice as well, but be careful since these are both potent ingredients. Once satisfied, add the meatballs to the pan. (Photo #11)
  2. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the pan with the cover ajar until warmed through (about 10 minutes). Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes and a side of Lingonberry jam. Enjoy! (Photo #12)

Top tips

  • Use ground chuck. For maximum flavor in the meatballs, use 80/20 ground chuck.
  • Spices. The allspice and nutmeg add great flavor to Swedish meatballs. Serve some allspice and nutmeg on the side for those who’d like a bit more.
  • Use homemade stock. I recommend using homemade chicken stock, or homemade beef stock whenever possible. It not only adds better flavor but it also gives you full control over the sodium level of your dish. If you don’t have homemade stock, opt for a stock made from a low-sodium chicken base.
Swedish meatballs in grey plate over egg noodles with lingonberry jam.

More meatball recipes

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Swedish Meatballs

5 from 11 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
These delicious Swedish Meatballs are simmered in a tangy creamy gravy until tender and served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. The perfect comfort food!

Ingredients 

For the meatballs

  • 6 slices white bread cut into small cubes, see notes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying – enough to fill the pan a 1/2" high.

For the gravy

  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine optional
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

For the meatballs

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread and milk and mash together with a fork to form a paste. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a frypan to medium heat with butter. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauteed onions and garlic and all of the remaining meatballs ingredients to the bread mixture and mix well. Roll meatballs into roughly 1" diameter balls and place them onto a baking sheet or plate.
  • Pour vegetable oil 1/2" high into a heavy frying pan or Dutch oven pot and heat to 350-370f.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs, working in batches to not overcrowd the pan, and fry until browned on all sides (about 10 minutes per batch). Remove browned meatballs to a plate.

For the gravy

  • Heat a pot or large pan to medium and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and whisk until lightly golden (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the white wine and cook for another minute while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge any of the browned bits.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil while whisking to incorporate. Once boiling lower the heat to a simmer. Add the Worcestershire sauce, allspice, nutmeg, Dijon mustard, and cream, and bring to a simmer.
  • To temper the sour cream (this will ensure that the sauce doesn't break), mix 3 tablespoons of the hot gravy into a bowl with the sour cream. Repeat the process by adding more of the hot gravy to the sour cream. Add the tempered sour cream to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Test the gravy, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When satisfied with the taste of the gravy, add the meatballs to the pot and cook over a low simmer until they are warmed through. Serve meatballs over egg noodles or mashed potatoes with Lingonberry on the side. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store-bought plain breadcrumbs (1 to 1 1/4 cups) can also be used.
  • If the meatball mix is too wet, just add a bit more breadcrumbs.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  Reheat in the oven at 350f until warm or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 1013kcal | Carbohydrates: 91.3g | Protein: 51.6g | Fat: 46.5g | Saturated Fat: 20.6g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 1058mg | Potassium: 687mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 2.5g | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just delicious. We enjoy our dishes a bit saucier, so double the gravy, split the broth with water (for the double portions, I mean). This tastes like mushrooms would be a nice addition.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for a dinner party last night and it was a success!! Will admit that I probably shouldn’t have tried this first time for a big group since I ended up doubling it and so…took a bit longer than I anticipated (my own fault since I doubled!). The meatballs were perfection (I pan-fried them). The sauce I was rushing and so didn’t let it reduce as much as I needed to, ended up adding some red wine vinegar, Worch, and chicken Better-than-Bouillon to perfect flavor profile. All that being said, this recipe was divine – just a warning to other chefs out there, if you double this, please don’t start making it an hour and a half before planned meal time!! Give yourself time to dial in the sauce! Haha, rookie mistake on my part.

    Served with egg noodles. Guests really enjoyed this and everyone went back for more and even though we had some 12 people eating, a double recipe still give me about 12-14 leftover meatballs and sauce – hurrah for yummy leftovers!!!

    Thanks, James and Tara =)

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this fantastic recipe! Made it yesterday with only one substitution – chicken & pork instead of beef & pork, and they turned out absolutely delicious! Well worth long prep time. This is your second recipe I tried (the first one was the peposo) and I love both. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!

  4. Hi Jim and Tara,
    Love your videos and all your recipes. I have an issue with dairy products. I usually adjust your recipes accordingly, but have not tried a substitute for sour cream. Any suggestions? Thank you. Keep up the great work.
    💕Alana

    1. Hi Alana, thanks for the comment! There are non-dairy sour creams as well as lactose-free dairy creams but we haven’t expermiented with these in this type of dish so not sure how they would hold up. They may break. If you do happen to test this with one of these, let us know how it turns out!

  5. The recipe looks wonderful. We have a family member that has recently been told to avid gluten by their physician. Do you think the gravy would work with corn starch or will it alternate the taste too much?

      1. Great! This is going to be dinner tonight. I absolutely love all your recipes, especially the Italian ones. When I can’t. Remeber how mom or auntie mary made “it”, I tune into your channel and sure enough, there it is. Thanks again for sharing and bringing so much joy I to the kitchen.

    1. Maria-
      Jacques Pepin sometimes thickens creamy soups with instant mashed potatoes. That may be an option for you here as well.