Best Swedish Meatballs Recipe

4.95 from 52 votes
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The Best Swedish Meatballs feature tender meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce! Delicious served over noodles or mashed potatoes for dinner, and makes a great appetizer. The recipe is simple to make and ready in 30 minutes!

Photo of swedish meatballs served on a bed of noodles.

These savory, satisfying Swedish Meatballs are delicious favorites my family loves! They are made from scratch with my Mama’s simple recipe she’s made for decades. With a few steps and simple ingredients, this recipe makes the best Swedish meatballs and rich, creamy Swedish meatball sauce.

While they most certainly make a hearty meal served over mashed potatoes, wide noodles, or rice, they make a special appetizer for serving at parties, too.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Simple to Make – The ingredients are simple, and the recipe is straightforward and easy! While there are a few steps, they are easy to do, and the results are so very worth it! These are the Best Swedish meatballs I’ve ever tasted!

Time-Tested Recipe – This family recipe was passed down from my Mama and has been made hundreds of times over decades. While we aren’t Swedish and have been making this recipe long before we’d ever heard of Ikea Swedish meatballs, I know you will enjoy these Swedish meatballs just like my family and friends have for many years.

Versatile – Makes a satisfying, scrumptious dinner as well as a delicious appetizer. There are also several recipe variations if you wish to use any of them.

Ingredients

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Photo of ingredients to make swedish meatballs. Ground beef, egg, worcestershire sauce, onion, cracker crumbs, and seasonings.
Ingredients to make Swedish Meatball Sauce in individual containers on a white surface.

For the Meatballs:

Ground Beef – Use ground chuck for the most depth of flavor.

Onion Chopped onion adds flavor to the meatballs. You can omit if you prefer.

Egg Acts as a binder for the meatballs.

Seasonings Stone House Seasoning, nutmeg, and allspice. (Note: Mama’s original recipe did not include nutmeg and allspice.)

Bread Crumbs or Cracker Crumbs Binds the meatballs together. You can also use plain Panko.

Fresh Parsley Use freshly chopped parsley for the best flavor.

Olive Oil

For the Swedish Meatball Sauce:

Butter Adds flavor and richness to the sauce.

Flour – It thickens the sauce.

Beef Stock or Broth – Adds deep flavor to the sauce.

Whole Milk – Makes the sauce creamy and delicious. You can use heavy cream for an even richer sauce.

Worcestershire Sauce – Deepens the flavor. You can also use coconut aminos if sensitive to soy.

Stone House Seasoning – My favorite house seasoning, hence the name Stone House Seasoning, is a blend of garlic, salt, and pepper.

Fresh Parsley – Use freshly chopped for the best flavor.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients for Swedish Meatballs in a glass bowl ready to be combined.

Mix the ingredients for the meatballs, then form them into meatballs with a scoop or spoon.

Cook the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil until browned, according to the recipe, for about 7 to 10 minutes. Once done, drain the meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate.

Melt the butter according to the directions and then whisk in the flour until golden brown.

Swedish meatball sauce with browned meatballs nearby.
Browned meatballs added to creamy sauce in a skillet with fresh parsley nearby.

Next, slowly whisk in broth and cook until thickened. Add milk or cream, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir the sauce until it is creamy and well combined. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce.

Photo of Swedish Meatballs in rich, creamy sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Finally, coat the meatballs in the creamy Swedish meatball sauce by turning them gently in the sauce-filled skillet. Add fresh parsley, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

How to Serve Swedish Meatballs

We always love our Swedish Meatballs served over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.

When we hosted a Rotary student from Sweden several years ago, she made sure that we served it with a bit of Lingonberry Jam that she’d brought with her from home. It was a delicious variation for us!

Variations

  • Meat: Use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork or substitute with ground chicken or ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • Gluten-Free: Substitute your favorite gluten-free crackers, bread, or Panko for a gluten-free meatball, and use gluten-free flour for making the sauce.
  • Dairy-Free: Use your favorite dairy-free milk instead of the milk used in this recipe.
  • Egg-Free: If you are sensitive or allergic to eggs, you can use a flax egg replacement. Combine one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Onion-Free: You can omit the onions from the meatballs if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: Use 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in place of Stone House Seasoning if you do not have it on hand. Nutmeg and allspice were not in my Mama’s original recipe. You can omit them from the recipe and still have a delicious dish!

Tips for the Best Swedish Meatballs

  • Ground chuck is my favorite for this recipe as it gives the meatballs a deeper flavor.
  • Use a tablespoon or small cookie scoop to form the meatballs so they will be a consistent size.
  • Make sure to use whole milk or heavy cream for the sauce. Using low-fat dairy is not suggested. You want the richness and creaminess that using full-fat dairy will give the Swedish meatball sauce
Close up image of meatballs smothered in creamy Swedish Meatball sauce.

Storage Tips

To Store: Allow the Swedish Meatballs to cool. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To Freeze: After the meatballs are cool, place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and into the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure the meatballs are not touching, as they will freeze together. Once the meatballs have frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag. Place in freezer for up to 3 months. Do not freeze the creamy sauce, as it will not do well. Make the sauce fresh.

To Serve: When ready to serve, allow frozen meatballs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or partially reheat frozen meatballs in the microwave or oven, then add them to the sauce over low-medium heat.

More Delicious Ground Beef Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

The Best Chili

Meatball Sliders

Skillet Lasagna or Best Lasagna Recipe

Bart’s Best Hamburgers

Photograph of Swedish Meatballs covered in sauce atop noodles on a white plate garnished with parsley.

FOR THE CREAMIEST SAUCE

Use whole-fat dairy for the sauce (as included in the recipe). It gives the sauce a rich, creamy texture.

If you tried this Swedish Meatballs Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

4.95 from 52 votes
The Best Swedish Meatballs feature tender meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce! These savory meatballs are ready in 30 minutes for a delicious dinner or satisfying appetizer!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Stone House Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 2 tablespoons bread or cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Stone House Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional

Instructions 

For the meatballs:

  • Mix together all ingredients for the meatballs. Set aside.
  • Using a tablespoon scoop or spoon, form meatballs from the ground beef mixture. Heat 12-inch skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Drizzle in enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet to prevent meatballs from sticking. Drop formed meatballs into the heated skillet, turning occasionally to ensure that all sides of the meatball have been browned, about 7-10 minutes. The meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165º F. Remove the meatballs from the skillet or saute pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

For the sauce:

  • Reduce the heat on the skillet or saute pan to medium-low heat. Melt butter and whisk in flour until it has turned golden brown. Slowly whisk in beef broth and cook until thickened, then add in milk or cream, worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt. Continue to stir until well-combined. Add meatballs back into the skillet, turning to coat well. Add fresh parsley, if using.

Notes

Storage Tips
To Store: Allow the Swedish Meatballs to cool. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: After the meatballs are cool, place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and into the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure the meatballs are not touching, as they will freeze together. Once the meatballs have frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag. Place in freezer for up to 3 months. Do not freeze the creamy sauce, as it will not do well. Make the sauce fresh.
To Serve: When ready to serve, allow frozen meatballs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or partially reheat frozen meatballs in the microwave or oven, then add them to the sauce over low-medium heat.
Variations
  • Meat: Use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork or substitute with ground chicken or ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • Gluten-Free: Substitute your favorite gluten-free crackers, bread, or Panko for a gluten-free meatball, and use gluten-free flour for making the sauce.
  • Dairy-Free: Use your favorite dairy-free milk instead of the milk used in this recipe.
  • Egg-Free: If you are sensitive or allergic to eggs, you can use a flax egg replacement. Combine one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Onion-Free: You can omit the onions from the meatballs if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: Use 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in place of Stone House Seasoning if you do not have it on hand. Nutmeg and allspice were not in my Mama’s original recipe. You can omit them from the recipe and still have a delicious dish!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1054mg | Potassium: 391mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2014.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

4.95 from 52 votes (1 rating without comment)

177 Comments

  1. Jay Alhadeff says:

    Can I change the flour to Almond as I’m doing a keto diet but these sound delicious.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Jay, you could use almond flour instead of the all-purpose flour for this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  2. june combs says:

    I’m going to make them and try making them keto friendly (no flour)

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I hope you enjoy, June!

    2. Jay Alhadeff says:

      How did they come out keto style. I am interested in trying this way,

  3. Missy says:

    We’re traveling some for Christmas then coming home to a house full of family! Wanted to make the meatballs ahead and freeze then make the sauce later. Would the sauce be ok kept on warm in the slow cooker for a few hours? I wouldn’t want it to separate or curdle. It’s just too much fun when the children are here to be occupied with cooking! So glad to find your recipes!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Missy, the sauce should be fine on Warm setting on the slow cooker. My mother used to make these and keep warm in the slow cooker just like you suggest. They were always delicious. I hope you find many more recipes you love here.

  4. Jamie says:

    Why are your recipes…….. that you email me ……. no longer able to be pinned to Pinterest?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Jamie, you need to click on the link to the post in your email and then pin it to Pinterest. Hope this helps.

  5. Alison says:

    5 stars
    So easy and SO good! Made the sauce to go over IKEA frozen meatballs I cooked in the slow cooker. Will definitely be making this again!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so glad you liked the sauce recipe for the meatballs, Alison. I hope you try the meatball recipe next time.

  6. Charlene says:

    Will oatmilk or some other type of nondairy substitute work with this recipe?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I haven’t made this with nondairy substitute like oat milk, Charlene, but I don’t see a reason it would not work. Hope you enjoy!

  7. Keegan says:

    How many servings is this please?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      This recipe makes 6 servings, Keegan. Hope you enjoy!

  8. Lyndsay says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy! Even my toddlers liked it!