Quick and Easy Swedish Meatballs

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If you love Swedish meatballs, you’re in for a treat! This recipe is hands-down the best you’ll ever try, and yes, it’s even better than the famous Ikea meatballs. Perfectly seasoned and incredibly flavorful, these meatballs are tender, juicy, and smothered in a rich, creamy gravy. They’re easy to make and will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Swedish Meatballs served with mashed potatoes

This quick and easy Swedish meatball recipe is a delicious 30-minute meal for busy weekdays. Tender meatballs paired with a rich, creamy sauce. Perfect for a quick lunch, snack, or cosy family dinner. Simple ingredients you can easily find at your nearby store.

I always find myself using the ingredients I have in my cupboard, especially before heading out for food shopping. I aim to utilize all the food I have to minimize food waste. It’s amazing how many interesting recipes come out of this process.

I especially enjoy quick and easy recipes that can be paired differently each time. This meatball recipe pairs wonderfully with steamed rice, Turkish bulgur, pasta, mashed or baked potatoes, a slice of freshly baked bread, or on its own with a piece of homemade tortilla.

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This Swedish Meatball dish is ideal for a fast meal on busy days. Whether served as a main course or a snack, it’s bound to leave everyone wanting more. You should also try our Lemon Chicken, Easy 15-minute Udon Noodles, Turkey Mince Noodles, or Gnocchi made easy with Pesto and Zucchini for a quick delicious lunch or dinner.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

This recipe for Swedish meatballs is a hit because it’s quick, easy, and uses basic ingredients. Swedish meatballs are always a family favorite, and here they’re made even tastier with a rich, creamy sauce.

It’s a simple dish that’s perfect for busy nights, and you can pair it with any side dish you like. Since it’s homemade, you know exactly what goes into it, making it a healthier choice. Kids love it too, and it’s low in calories, so it’s a win-win for everyone at the table.

A make-ahead-friendly recipe that you can prepare in advance, store, and reheat when needed, making it a great option for meal prepping.

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Ingredients to make this recipe

Meatballs:

Beef mince meat: This is the primary ingredient for the meatballs, providing the base protein. Choose ground beef with some fat content (about 80-85%) to ensure the meatballs are juicy and flavorful.

Large onion, chopped: Adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the meatballs. The chopped onion also helps keep the meatballs moist.

Eggs: Act as a binder to help hold the meatballs together, ensuring they don’t fall apart during cooking.

Bread crumbs: These help to absorb moisture and keep the meatballs tender. They also contribute to the overall texture.

Parsley and dill, chopped: Fresh herbs that add a burst of flavor and freshness to the meatballs. Parsley offers a mild, peppery taste, while dill adds a hint of anise-like sweetness.

Salt and pepper to taste: Essential seasonings that enhance the overall flavor of the meatballs. Adjust according to your preference.

Sauce:

Butter: Used for frying the meatballs and forming the base of the sauce. The butter adds richness and flavor.

Flour: Combined with butter to make a roux, which thickens the sauce and gives it a smooth, creamy texture.

Beef stock cube mixed with hot water: This creates a flavorful broth that forms the liquid base of the sauce. The beef stock cube provides a concentrated beef flavor, which enhances the overall taste of the sauce.

Swedish Meatballs served with mashed potatoes
Swedish meatballs served with mashed potatoes ( a combination of white potatoes and sweet)

Substitutions

Meatballs:

Ground beef: Provides the base protein. Ground turkey or chicken can be used as alternatives.

Onion, finely chopped: Adds sweetness and moisture. Shallots or leeks can also be used.

Eggs: Bind the meatballs together. A flaxseed or chia seed egg can be substituted for a vegan option.

Breadcrumbs: Absorb moisture and keep meatballs tender. Panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used.

Fresh herbs: Parsley and dill add flavor. Cilantro, basil, or thyme can also be used.

Salt and pepper: Essential seasonings. Garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika can be added for extra flavor.

Sauce:

Butter: Used for frying meatballs and forming sauce base. Olive oil or vegetable oil can be substituted.

Flour: Thickens the sauce. All-purpose or gluten-free flour, or cornstarch can be used.

Beef stock: Creates flavorful broth. Chicken or vegetable broth can be substituted. Beef stock cube dissolved in hot water is a quick option.

Raw Swedish Meatballs in a bag ready to be frozen
Swedish Meatballs ready to be frozen

Expert Tips

Choose the Right Meat: Opt for ground beef with a higher fat content (around 80-85%) to ensure juicy and flavorful meatballs. For a lighter option, use a combination of ground turkey or chicken.

Brown the Meatballs Well: When frying the meatballs, make sure to brown them well on all sides. This step not only adds flavor through caramelization but also helps to seal in the juices, keeping the meatballs moist and tender. Use a hot skillet and avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure even browning.

Simmer in the Sauce: After browning the meatballs, simmer them in the sauce for an additional 10 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures the meatballs are fully cooked through. Plus, it gives the meatballs a chance to absorb the delicious flavors of the sauce.

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Storage and Leftovers

Storage: Store cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating: Gently reheat meatballs in a skillet with butter or oil over low heat, or in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warmed through.

Freezing: Freeze cooled meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Thawing: Thaw frozen meatballs overnight in the refrigerator or more quickly by placing them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.

Reheating from Frozen: Bake frozen meatballs in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.

Leftover Ideas: Serve meatballs over pasta or mashed potatoes, in a sandwich, in soups or stews, or cold in salads or wraps.

Looking for more? Check out +20 Best Mains Easy Recipes!

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Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Claudia
Ikea meatballs will never top this recipe! Perfectly seasoned and smothered in a rich, creamy gravy, these meatballs are incredibly flavorful and tender. They’re simple to make and will surely become a family favorite.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 4
Calories 516 kcal

Ingredients
  

Meatballs:

  • 500 g beef mince meat
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • Parsley and dill chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 50-100 g butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 beef stock cube mixed with 1 litre hot water

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the beef mince, chopped onion, eggs, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, chopped dill, salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is well combined. Shape the mixture into round balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until all sides are browned and the meatballs are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the flour to the remaining butter and stir continuously to form a roux. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the flour is lightly browned. Gradually add the beef stock to the roux, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Return the browned meatballs to the skillet, making sure they are covered in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the Swedish meatballs hot, garnished with a touch of fresh dill. They are best enjoyed with mashed potatoes, peas, and a dollop of cranberry or lingonberry jam on the side.
  • Enjoy these mouthwatering Swedish meatballs, and get ready for rave reviews from anyone who tastes them!

Video

Notes

  • Use ground beef with 80-85% fat for juicy meatballs.
  • Chop onions finely for added sweetness and moisture.
  • Don’t overmix the meat mixture; handle it gently.
  • Brown meatballs before simmering to seal in flavor.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste; add garlic or herbs for extra flavor.
  • Serve with lingonberry jam for a traditional touch.
  • Pair with mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a hearty meal.
Keyword meatballs, swedish

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Swedish meatballs are something I can’t resist!
    I love that this recipe of yours is well explained, can be prepared in a short time, and with simple and natural ingredients.
    The video of the recipe makes my mouth water… Thanks for sharing

  2. 5 stars
    Yours are even better than IKEA’s!! My family asked me to make them again ASAP!! They’re delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    These meatballs were so quick and delicious! The whole family loved them. Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

  4. 5 stars
    Swedish meatballs are always a hit with the family. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal. Great for batch cooking and putting some in the freezer for later.

  5. 5 stars
    Such a classic dinner dish that my family loves. They finish their plates every time I make it and I love that it’s so easy to meal prep. Great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    So easy and flavorful. My family loved this recipe and will be adding it to our weeknight dinner rotation!