This recipe for Easy Swedish Meatballs will have you dreaming of running through Ikea just to make it to the cafe in the middle. At least that's one of the main reasons I usually go there. These meatballs are super quick to make, 1,000% better than those prepackaged meatballs, and heartwarming on a crisp fall day to boot!
These super saucy meatballs make for the perfect family dinner that everyone is sure to enjoy. Even the pickiest little eaters in my house love these meatballs!
The ingredient list on this recipe may look a little long, but stick with it. The process of making the meatballs and the sauce that makes them so delicious goes super quickly once you get started.
One note I have for you is, while it may not be super traditional, I like to add mushrooms and onions to my sauce. I like to think, that back when the Vikings were making these out in the woods, they were adding whatever wild vegetation they were stumbling across. And in the cool damp environment of Scandinavia, mushrooms had to be a common occurrence. In my head anyway, lol.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can serve it any way you like. Serve just the meatballs on a skewer at a party, they will be the hit of the night if you do. Or make it dinner by serving them over noodles or mashed potatoes. You really can't go wrong with any of these options.
Just be sure to have something to soak up all the glorious sauce. It is just so dang good you will want to drink it!
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
for the meatballs:
To make the meatballs, fast and easy, I make them in a food processor. The first thing I do is whip the eggs and onion together. This makes the onion so small little eyes can't find it, while keeping the texture and flavor of the meatballs intact. I then add all the remaining meatballs ingredients to the bowl and pulse it all together until a uniform mixture is made.
Then scoop out the mixture using an ice cream scoop of your desired size, keeping in mind the meatballs will shrink a little when cooking. For this reason, I always make them a little on the larger size, plus that means I get to roll less!
Then roll the meatballs between your hands to form perfect little circles. From here you can freeze the meatballs for future use if you like. I sometimes make a double batch and thank myself later for doing so.
To cook the meatballs, you can bake them in the oven before adding them to the sauce, or sear them in the bottom of a large pot in batches before simmering them in the mushroom and onion gravy. Either way works great.
for the sauce:
To make the mushroom and onion gravy, quickly sautee the vegetables in the bottom of a large pot. I like to use a big deep dutch oven so that there is room for all the meatballs once done.
Then make a roux by adding flour to the pot and cooking until browned and the flour flavor is cooked out.
Then add the beef stock and Worcestershire and cook until a thick sauce forms. Once the sauce has become gravy, add some heavy cream. This makes the gravy super-rich and decadent.
When the gravy/sauce is done simmering, add the cooked meatballs to the pot so they can absorb all the great flavor in the sauce. Let them hang out in there as long as you like. I sometimes make this recipe early in the day and just let the meatballs hang out till dinner time. They get super tender and flavorful just sitting at super low heat.
When ready to serve, be sure to add lots of that delicious sauce to the top of the meatballs and enjoy!
Notes & Tips
For picky eaters, you can make the sauce without the mushrooms and onions. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to a saucepan or skillet, melting it, and whisking in ¼ cup of flour to form a roux. Then continue making the sauce from step 6.
To freeze the meatballs, after forming, place them on a tray in a single layer, in the freezer for 4-6 hours until firm. Then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a zip-top bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If onions are out of the question for you, leave them out of the meatball mixture and follow the directions for the meatballs as written.
You can use all ground beef or pork, or even turkey or chicken. Any ground meat will work for these. If you use ground turkey or chicken, add a tablespoon of oil to the meat mixture before forming to avoid the meatballs drying out too much.
Use any bread crumbs you like. I always have panko on hand in my kitchen. If you don't have bread crumbs on hand, soak 3 slices of white bread in 1 cup of whole milk. Mix it up until the bread is shredded and add that to the meat mixture as your bread binder.
The beef broth can easily be swapped for chicken or turkey if you use alternative meat for this recipe. The sauce may be a little lighter in color, but that is ok.