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The Best Swedish Meatballs with tender meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce! The meatballs are so flavorful and delicious. This Swedish Meatballs recipe is ready in 30 minutes! Make ahead and freezer friendly!

This Swedish Meatballs recipe is made from scratch using simple ingredients, a little time, and a lot of love. It is a special appetizer served at parties or as a satisfying meal over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice. While it’s special, this hearty recipe is still simple to make and results in a scrumptious dish perfect for a weeknight meal or even a special occasion!

Photo of swedish meatballs served on a bed of noodles.
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The Best Swedish Meatballs Recipe

This recipe was a favorite in my family and one of my Mama’s specialties throughout my childhood – long before the Ikea version became popular. You can easily make this recipe in the comfort of your own home with outstanding results that everyone loves every time I serve them.

Learn how to make the best Swedish meatballs with my Mama’s delicious recipe! While the recipe does contain a few steps and ingredients, the recipe is simple and so worth the effort.

Iron skillet holds swedish meatballs in sauce // addapinch.com

Swedish Meatball Ingredients

Ingredients for Swedish Meatballs in a glass bowl ready to be combined.
  • Ground Beef: We like to use ground chuck in this recipe for added 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 in this recipe
  • Olive Oil: Used to cook the meatballs

For the Swedish Meatball Sauce

Ingredients to make Swedish Meatball Sauce in individual containers on a white surface.
  • Butter: Adds flavor and richness to the sauce.
  • Flour: 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 blend of garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Fresh Parsley: Freshly chopped.

Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Make Swedish Meatballs

Two side by side photos showing how to make the meatballs for Swedish meatballs recipe.

Make the meatballs

  1. Prep. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and set aside.
  2. Make Meatballs. Using a scoop or spoon, form meatballs from the ground beef mixture.
  3. Prep Skillet. Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the skillet with a drizzle of enough olive oil to prevent the meatballs from sticking.
  4. Cook Meatballs. Drop the meatballs into the heated skillet, and occasionally turn to make sure that all sides of the meatball have been browned. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Drain on Plate. Once the meatballs are done, remove them from the skillet or pan and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels.
Two images showing the beginning steps for making Swedish Meatball sauce.

Make the Sauce

  1. Melt Butter. Reduce the heat on the skillet or pan to medium-low heat. Melt the butter and whisk in flour until it turns golden brown.
  2. Add Ingredients. Then slowly whisk in the beef broth and cook until thickened. Then add milk or cream, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt.
  3. Stir Sauce. Continue to stir the sauce until all ingredients are well-combined.
  4. Add Meatballs. Add the cooked meatballs back into the skillet, turning to coat them well with the rich, delicious sauce. Add fresh parsley, if desired.
Photo of Swedish Meatballs in rich, creamy sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

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 a few 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 ½ 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!

Close up image of meatballs smothered in creamy Swedish Meatball sauce.

How to Store and Freeze Swedish Meatballs

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.

Photograph of Swedish Meatballs on a white plate.

Here’s Mama’s Swedish Meatballs recipe. I think you’ll love it.


4.95 from 51 votes

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Dinner 30 mins

Photo of Swedish Meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce in a skillet.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 6
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
The Best Swedish Meatballs with tender meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce! The meatballs are so flavorful and delicious. Ready in 30 minutes! Make ahead and freezer friendly!

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 or coconut aminos
  • 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

How to Store and Freeze Swedish Meatballs

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 ½ 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!

Nutritional Information

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

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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

Beef Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Comments

    1. 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!

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

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

  2. 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. 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.