These are the BEST Swedish Meatballs! Perfectly seasoned, juicy meatballs smothered in the creamiest gravy. Only 15 minutes to prep!
This Swedish meatball recipe is ridiculously easy to make and SO DELICIOUS! Ground beef and ground pork seasoned with a unique blend of flavorful spices, cooked into tender meatballs, and smothered in the most luxurious, rich and creamy gravy.
What are swedish meatballs?
Swedish meatballs are a meatball dish served with a rich, creamy, roux-based gravy.
They can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish over noodles or mashed potatoes!
What is the difference between swedish meatballs and italian meatballs?
You’re probably more familiar with classic Italian meatballs. Although Swedish meatballs are similar in that they’re also balls of ground meat, seasonings, and other additions, there are a few key differences between the two!
- Meat. Italian meatballs can be made with any combination of beef, Italian sausage, pork, and/or veal while Swedish meatballs are typically made with equal parts ground beef and ground pork.
- Seasoning. Italian meatballs are made with herbs like oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning; Swedish meatballs use warmer, sweeter spices like allspice and nutmeg.
- Sauce. Italian meatballs are served with a tangy tomato sauce while Swedish meatballs are served with a rich and creamy white gravy.
- Pairing. Italian meatballs are typically served with spaghetti, whereas Swedish meatballs are most commonly served with potatoes (although they’re also DELICIOUS with noodles or even rice).
- Beef Broth – used to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish as they cook.
- White Bread and Buttermilk – the buttermilk soaks into the bread to add moisture and also act as another binding agent for the meatballs.
- Unsalted Butter – used to sauté the garlic and onion.
- Yellow Onion and Garlic – adds delicious caramel-y sweetness and that classic nutty flavor.
- Ground Beef and Ground Pork – classic Swedish meatballs use a 50/50 ratio of these two meats.
- Egg – helps to bind the meatball ingredients together so they can hold their shape.
- Brown Sugar – adds richness and warmth to the meatballs.
- Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg, Allspice, and Ginger – the traditional Swedish meatball seasoning blend that adds so much depth, sweetness, and flavor.
- Beef Broth, Heavy Cream, and Soy Sauce – make up the base for the gravy. Broth and soy sauce add an “umami” flavor, while the heavy cream adds richness.
- All-Purpose Flour – helps to thicken the sauce.
- Pepper, Rosemary, and Salt – a simple seasoning blend that really packs a flavor bunch.
- Sour Cream – adds creaminess and tang for an ultra luxurious gravy.
How to make
This Swedish meatball recipe is SO EASY! Just 15 minutes to throw it together then sit back and let the meatballs bake!
- In a medium-sized bowl mix together bread cubes and buttermilk.
- Melt butter in a large non-stick sauté pan then cook onions and garlic.
- Place onion/garlic mixture in a large mixing bowl and add bread/buttermilk, beef, pork, egg, brown sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Mix to combine.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the meat mixture into 16 balls. Melt more butter in the pan and add in meatballs. Brown, flipping halfway through.
- Place the browned meatballs in the prepared baking dish with 1/4 cup of the beef broth, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.
- In the same non-stick pan, whisk together broth, heavy cream, sour cream, soy sauce, flour, black pepper, rosemary, and salt. Simmer until thick.
- Serve gravy over meatballs and enjoy!
How big to make the meatballs
It’s important to not make the meatballs too big or they won’t cook all the way through. It’s also important to make sure they’re all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
I use a small cookie scoop to scoop and form the meatballs so they’re all perfectly sized and uniform!
How to cook swedish meatballs
The key to the perfect Swedish meatballs is to sear them in a skillet before you cook them fully in the oven. This allows for a crispy exterior with a super tender and juicy center!
How to thicken the sauce
If you follow the recipe as stated, the sauce should be nice and thick from the flour, sour cream, and simmering.
If it’s still not thickened to your liking, however, feel free to simmer longer or add a touch more flour until it’s your preferred texture.
Are swedish meatballs gluten-free?
They’re not, but you can make them gluten-free pretty easily! Just sub the bread for gluten-free white bread, soy sauce for coconut aminos or tamari, and sub the all-purpose flour for a cup for cup gluten-free variety.
As always, be sure to check that your ingredients are certified gluten-free before incorporating them into the recipe!
What to serve with swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs are absolutely delicious served on their own or as a toothpick appetizer but I also love serving them up with some additions!
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Green Beans
- Pear, Blue Cheese, Candied Pecan Salad
- Egg Noodles
How to store
Leftover meatballs will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The gravy will last up to 4 days in the fridge and 4 months in the freezer.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen then microwave to warm!
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 2 slices white bread cubed
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Pour in 1/4 cup beef broth, then set aside.
- Mix together bread cubes and buttermilk in a medium sized bowl. Set aside and soak for 10 minutes.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Once melted, add in onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Place onion and garlic mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the bread and buttermilk mixture, beef, pork, egg, brown sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
- Mix to combine.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the meat into 24 balls.
- Roll into balls and set aside on a clean work surface.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the large non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add in the meatballs and brown, about 5 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- Place browned meatballs into prepared baking dish.
- Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven until the meatballs have cooked through, about 40 minutes.
- Whisk together 1 cup beef broth, heavy cream, soy sauce, flour, black pepper, rosemary, and salt in the same large non-stick pan.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking regularly to avoid clumps.
- Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking constantly, or until thick.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary.
- Serve with meatballs and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.