Sunday, March 25, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

I haven’t posted in two whole weeks – wow time just flies when you have a little newborn, I have all these recipes to share but the past two weeks have been really busy.  We have literally had rotating doors at our house.  My parents staying with us, and now the in-laws here and in between having other family and friends visiting it has just been so busy.  And can you believe my Ella is 4 weeks old today.  Time just flies when you are having fun.  She is such a great baby sleeps 4 hours at time at night and so mellow and easy going.  Motherhood is so much easier and so much more rewarding and fun than I ever expected.

Now back to food – today I am joining a new group of folks called World on a plate.

World on a plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish. This month the theme is meatballs – and being from Sweden how can I not feature Swedish Meatballs.

This recipe is a reprint from my early days of blogging – but it is so good and such a huge hit that I have to repost it again.

The Swedish meatball in Swedish “Köttbulle” [pronounced cheutbulle] is very different from the German or known Italian meatball here in the US. Swedish meatballs which are a smaller size then the Italian ones are severed with cooked potatoes, creamy brown gravy and lingonberry.  Some history that I found on the Internet:

– In northern Scandinavian countries beef was considered a luxury item, which meant meatballs were highly prized.

– Meatballs are traditionally in served at Swedish smörgåsbord and other festive occasions.

– Swedish meatballs were brought to the USA by Scandinavian immigrants; many of whom settled in America’s northern mid-west states. Other Northern European countries also have meatball/gravy recipes. Regional variations are often a reflection of taste and ingredient availability.

– In the US, Swedish meatballs were very popular in the beginning of the 20th century, and again in the 1950s-1960s.

Here is a recipe for my Swedish meatballs, again there are many variations to this, some don’t add the heavy cream, some add ground veal as well, some only have ground beef, some add carrots etc.  But this is my version of them and this is how I like them.

Print Recipe

Swedish Meatballs

Yield: 24 meatballs

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 30

Total Time: 45



½ cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

½ lbs of ground pork

½ lbs of ground beef

1 onion finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp of soy sauce

Brown Sauce:

3 tbsp flour

2 cups beef stock

¾ cup heavy cream



Note: You can also do a short cut and get the Grädd Sås mix from Ikea. If you are doing so you can add some extra salt and pepper for taste.


Boiled potatoes with sprinkled dry dill


Brown Sauce


Take the ground beef and mix them together. Chop the onion very fine and put it into the mixture then add the egg, heavy cream and breadcrumbs and mix well. Then add all the remaining ingredients salt, white pepper, and allspice and soy sauce and mix well. I usually use a fork for that and then at the end use my hands.

Once you have it mixed it is time to roll them meatballs. Again, Swedish meatballs are small and should be about 1 inch in diameter. Fry on a frying pan with butter until brown on the outside. You can also make them in the oven as well.

The potatoes I usually like to serve with this are the smaller fresh potatoes because they don’t flake when you boil them. And I will boil them with their skin on them. You can also do other flavors of potatoes like potato au gratin or roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes as well. If you boil the potatoes serve with some dry dill.

To prepare the brown sauce, return your skilled from the meatballs, add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth and light brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in beef stock until smooth, and then bring to a boil; stir in heavy cream. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring gently, about 5 more minutes.

Serve the meatballs, with potatoes, brown sauce and with Lingonberries (lingonsylt) which you can find in many local stores and in IKEA but this is a must item.

One Year Ago: Apple and Carrot Bran Muffins 
Two Years Ago: American Pancakes

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21 Responses to “Swedish Meatballs”

  1. 1

    Biren @ Roti n Rice — March 25, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    Hi Ewa! Congratulations on your new born! Good to hear that you are enjoying motherhood. 🙂

    I love Swedish meatballs and I usually buy the ones from Ikea. Homemade will be so much better. Will have to try out your recipe soon.

  2. 2

    Vijitha — March 25, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    I can understand how busy it gets with a little one in hand and I think you are doing such a great job juggling between blogging and the baby. I am sure Ella is getting cuter day by day. I love swedish food. My good friend is from Lund and she mentions about few ingredient I can find in Ikea. Ligonberry is something i am curious to try my hands on. I have heard good reviews and goodness about it in Dr.Oz show. And your recipe has it and I am going to try it for sure. i am going to make it with lamb.

  3. 3

    Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie — March 25, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    You’ve probably heard the IKEA comparison a million times, and I apologize if it offends – but that’s where I was first introduced to the Swedish version of meatballs. And it was love at first sight, especially with lingonberry preserves. I tried to get my hands on a lingonberry plant recently, but for some reason the company I tried to get it from said it was “out of stock”. 🙁

    Anyway, these look wonderful! And yes, nothing in common with German meatballs. We typically don’t make them in a sauce. 🙂

  4. 4

    PolaM — March 25, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    BF will be happy! Now he could have Swedish meatballs, without having to go to IKEA. And I’m sure yours are much better than theirs!

  5. 5

    Jeannie — March 25, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    I absolutely love swedish meatballs that are sold in Ikea, yours look equally scrumptious! Congrats on your new born girl:D

  6. 6

    Hyosun Ro — March 25, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    Hi Ewa – Congrats on your new born baby! Enjoy your little one as much as possible. They grow up too fast. I am so happy to find an authentic Swedish meatball recipe. It sounds great! Great to meet you through Word on a Plate!

  7. 7

    Raymund — March 25, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

    I love them as well with heavy cream!

  8. 8

    Shannon | JustAsDelish — March 26, 2012 @ 5:52 am

    I love the swedish meatballs, or more correctly Ikea meatballs, as I’ve never eaten anywhere else except Ikea. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  9. 9

    Splendid Willow — March 26, 2012 @ 6:25 am

    Ikea’s meatballs don’t even come close! Ewa’s recipe is the “real deal”! (Take it from another Swede).

    Ewa, I am coming over this week. Want to hold the little one!



  10. 10

    Deanna — March 26, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    I love Swedish meatballs…they’re the whole reason I go to Ikea.

  11. 11

    Anna @ the shady pine — March 26, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    This sounds like a fab recipe for meatballs….can’t wait to try your version here. Glad that Ella is a good little sleeper.

  12. 12

    Katherine Martinelli — March 26, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I love Swedish meatballs and can’t wait to try making them myself!! I can’t believe Ella is four weeks old already – congrats! Time will go so quickly. So happy to be in this lovely group with you! Hugs!

  13. 13

    Gloria — March 26, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    Happy 1 Month Bday to Ella! These meatballs sound great AND using pork and beef is the way I make meatballs, the way the mother made them!! 🙂

  14. 14

    sara — March 26, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    These meatballs look really wonderful! Such great flavors, yum! 🙂

  15. 15

    Nami | Just One Cookbook — March 26, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

    Ella is already 4 weeks old? Wow time flies! Glad to hear she’s sleeping well and you are getting some help (or busy hosting family and friends – it can happen… take good care and rest!). Your meatballs look delish!

  16. 16

    Jessica D. Bennett — March 27, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    Wow! what does it taste? These look wonderful! I have tasted much meat balls but it is unique..

  17. 17

    Nicole — April 1, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    by its look I must say it is very tasty and yum yummy. i love your recipe and I think I can cook that also.

  18. 18

    carolinaheartstrings — April 2, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    This was a recipe worth waiting for. Looks so delicious. You enjoy your newborn. They grow so so fast!

  19. 19

    cooking rookie — April 5, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Yum, beautiful meatballs. I love that Lingonberry IKEA sauce, for glazing fish, sauces, and especially for milkshakes…mmmm…

  20. 20

    Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet — April 7, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Great timing, my kids have been bugging me to make Swedish meatballs since our recent trip to Ikea. 🙂 And congrats on the baby! Goes by so fast!

  21. 21

    Katherine Martinelli — December 2, 2012 @ 5:13 am

    I never knew just how amazing real, true Swedish meatballs could be – made these and they absolutely knocked my socks off! So delicious!!!

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