Swedish Meatballs

These Swedish Meatballs are perfectly tender, flavorful, and covered in the yummiest gravy sauce! They are so simple to make and are great for a quick weeknight meal! 

We love meatballs, so we were so excited to try a classic Swedish version. For even more varieties, check out our easy Italian meatballs, Greek meatballs with homemade tzatziki or our sticky Asian meatballs.

Homemade Swedish Meatballs over mashed potatoes in bowl

Why are They Called Swedish Meatballs?

Swedish meatballs are actually a recipe from Turkey that King Charles XII brought back to Sweden in the 18th century! Whether it originates from Sweden or Turkey,  this version of meatballs, topped with gravy has become a popular dish all around the world! 

We love them because the ground beef and ground pork give them amazing flavor. The breadcrumbs inside help them retain their moisture. They have a crisp outer edge from being pan-seared. And finally, they are topped with the best creamy gravy! 

We serve them on top of mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or just on their own! We love to make Swedish meatballs for appetizers or for a delicious, easy weeknight meal but we also make this meal for when company comes over because it is that good!! 

Meatball ingredients in bowl with scoop

How to Make Swedish Meatballs 

What I love about these meatballs, are they can be made with whatever ground meat you prefer! You can mix beef and pork as the recipe calls for. Or you could stick to just ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken! 

Meatballs:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the milk, egg, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and allspice. Then let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Next add the ground beef and pork to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix with your hands until combined and then use a cookie scoop or your hands to form into balls.
  • Then fry the meatballs, over medium heat, until they are golden brown on each side and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Gravy:

  • Using the same skillet that you cooked the meatballs in, begin to make your gravy by removing any large bit of remaining meatballs.
  • Then melt the butter and add the flour and then whisk until it turns golden brown. 
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, and beef broth, bringing the mixture to a low simmer.
  • Then add the dijon, Worcestershire, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and half and half. 
  • Once the gravy has thickened, return the meatballs back to the pan and serve, or serve the meatballs alongside the gravy.

Swedish meatballs in sauce

Swedish Meatball Recipe Variations + Storing

If you you are in a time crunch, here are some good resources with faster gravy variations that use sour cream or cream of mushroom soup. 

What is so great about meatballs are they can be prepared ahead of time! You can prepare them the day before and leave unbaked meatballs in an airtight container, in your refrigerator. Then pull them out and prepare as directed. 

Or you can freeze the meatballs, cooked or uncooked for up to 3 months at a time! Just thaw in the refrigerator the day before you plan to cook them! 

However, the gravy is best when it is fresh, so just prepare the sauce right before serving the meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs in sauce pan

These Swedish meatballs are so easy and are perfect for an appetizer or meal! I hope you love them as we do and that you can add this to your ever-expanding recipe section for meatballs! 

For more meatball recipes, check out:

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6
Author: Natalie
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Ingredients

For the meatballs:
  • 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 c. whole milk, buttermilk, or heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. all spice
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork - (I used regular pork sausage)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
For the gravy:
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 c. half & half or heavy cream
  • pinch salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the milk, egg, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and allspice. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and pork to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix with your hands until combined.
  • Using a standard size cookie scoop, portion meat into balls. Roll in your hands to create a smooth, even ball. Set aside on a piece of parchment paper.
  • In a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Once hot, place the meatballs around the pan, leaving about a 1/4 of an inch between each meatball, more if possible.
  • Carefully fry the meatballs until golden brown on each side (ensuring that they are fully cooked throughout, a meat thermometer can help). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, set aside. Remove any large bits remaining in the pan with spoon.
  • In the same skillet, add the butter for the gravy. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until it turns golden brown. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, and beef broth. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Add the dijon, worcestershire, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the half and half. Let thicken for a minute.
  • Return the meatballs back to the pan and serve, or serve the meatballs alongside the gravy.