Saucy Swedish Meatballs


swedish meatballs

Remember those days when you used to stroll through Ikea for a new cabinet or chair and inevitably wander into the cafeteria because you caught a whiff of Swedish meatballs? Okay maybe that was just me.

But that was my first introduction to this dish called Swedish meatballs. Small delicious and flavorful meatballs served with a thick gravy-like sauce, mashed potatoes and a side of lingonberry jelly (all for $5.99!). I paid a visit to Ikea again for some color inspiration, but instead of venturing into the cafeteria, I went home and made some of those famous Swedish meatballs. They were so good and unbelievably addicting, especially with that sauce. I served them on top of egg noodles instead of potatoes.

Swedish Meatballs


  • Meatballs
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and grated (through a cheese grater)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 slices of bread, crusts removed, bread torn into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons of minced parsley
  • 1 bag of egg noodles
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of Lingonberry or any other jelly to serve on the side, if desired


  1. Sauté onion in the butter over medium-high heat until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Mix bread pieces with milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes. Pulverize the bread in a food processor and pour it into a large bowl.
  3. Add onions to the bowl of milk and bread. Then add egg, ground beef, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper. Mix well until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Form meatballs that are about 2 inches in diameter. Place formed meatballs on a large sheet of parchment paper. You should get around 20-30 meatballs.
  5. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the butter has melted, reduce the heat to medium and add meatballs (if you can't fit all the meatballs in one layer, do it in batches). Brown the meatballs on all sides (doesn't have to be cooked all the way through). To prevent meatballs from falling apart, make sure the first side is browned before moving or flipping them. Once browned, remove meatballs and set them aside on a large plate.
  6. Add 3 more tablespoons of butter (more if the original butter is mostly gone). Once melted, add flour and whisk continuously until the roux turns into a coffee with cream color.
  7. While making the roux, heat beef stock in a separate pot until simmering.
  8. Slowly add the hot beef stock a little at a time to the roux. Continue stirring the mixture. The sauce will seize up at first then slowly become smoother. When all the beef stock has been added and the mixture is smooth, add back the meatballs. Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet or Dutch oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Boil egg noodles in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain and place noodles in serving bowls.
  10. Scoop (using a slotted spoon) some meatballs on top of the noodles. Add sour cream into the sauce and mix well. Lather sauce over meatballs. Garnish with parsley.

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