Swedish Meatballs are a savory and hearty comfort food meal. Seasoned with warm spices and caramelized onions, and coated in gravy, they pair perfectly with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
This swedish meatball recipe is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, and it can be doubled or tripled easily for a crowd. Pair them with mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a complete meal.
These swedish meatballs have a warm, savory flavor – they’re filled with cooked onions, breadcrumbs, and warm spices like allspice and nutmeg.
What type of beef to use
I recommend using 90/10 ground beef for this recipe because it will hold together better than a ground meat with a higher fat content.
I’ve also had success using 85/15 ground beef. However, keep in mind that your meatballs will be a little more delicate and could fall apart with a higher fat content meat.
Traditional Swedish meatballs use half ground beef and half ground pork, but for simplicity’s sake I like to use all ground beef. The recipe will work either way with great results.
How to portion meatballs
To make perfectly sized meatballs, divide the meatball mixture into quarters, and then divide those quarters evenly into meatballs for each person.
I like to make my meatballs about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter, which gives you six meatballs per person. Feel free to adjust based on your preferences. Keep in mind the size of your meatball will affect your cooking time.
These swedish meatballs freeze well, making them a great make-ahead meal. After forming your meatballs and before cooking, place your meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, or until firm, then transfer your meatballs to a freezer safe bag or container.
Your meatballs will keep for at least 3 months in the freezer. Your meatballs will begin to lose their flavor if stored for longer.
Cooking frozen meatballs
Transfer your frozen, raw meatballs to the refrigerator the day before preparing to allow to thaw. Then, follow the directions below as written.
If cooking your meatballs directly from the freezer, you’ll need to add additional cooking time to allow them to thaw in the pan.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 pound ground beef 90/10 recommended*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. When melted and bubbly, add diced onions and cook until translucent and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked onions, ground beef, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, allspice, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, milk, and eggs. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Shape into 1 and 1/2 inch balls (you should get about 24 meatballs).
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown meatballs in two batches, turning occasionally to ensure even browning. A meatball will be ready to turn when it easily lifts away from the pan. If it sticks, it's not ready to turn yet. Browning should take about 10 minutes per batch. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside.
- Add butter to pan with drippings from meatballs. Once melted and bubbly, add flour and stir, cooking for one minute. Gradually whisk in beef stock and bring to a simmer. Add heavy cream, then cook for about 2 minutes, or until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Return meatballs to pan with gravy. Cook, uncovered for another 10-15 minutes (or until meatballs are cooked through), stirring occasionally.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Optionally, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.