Classic Baked Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs in bowl
Melanie Acevedo/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
627 Calories
43g Fat
12g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 627
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 56%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 171mg 57%
Sodium 986mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 141mg 11%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 733mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Swedish meatballs may seem like a '70s fad, or a treat to enjoy at IKEA, but this treasured recipe is passed down from generation to generation and considered a classic in Swedish cuisine. Flavorful meatballs are tinged with the warm spice of nutmeg and served in a creamy gravy, making for a comforting dish the whole family will love.

These Swedish meatballs start on the stovetop and then finish in the oven. To make the meatballs, ground beef is mixed into soft breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk along with onion and seasonings; they are browned in butter and oil and then baked in a gravy made with the drippings, beef broth, and half-and-half or light cream.

Serve these rich and delicious meatballs with boiled potatoes, rice, or pasta. To keep it traditional, offer some Lingonberry jam on the side.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs, from about 3 slices bread

  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion, or 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or allspice

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Gravy:

Steps to Make It

Make the Meatballs

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg or allspice, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Let the milk soak into the crumbs for a few minutes.

  3. Gently stir in the ground beef until well blended. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.

  4. Melt the butter along with the vegetable oil in a large skillet or sauté pan; brown the meatballs (in batches if necessary), and then remove them with a slotted spoon to a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

Make the Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

  2. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the skillet. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly.

  3. Add the beef broth and half-and-half or light cream. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, for 1 minute.

Bake the Swedish Meatballs

  1. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the baking dish.

  2. Bake the meatballs for 35 to 45 minutes.

  3. Enjoy these Swedish meatballs with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, or pasta.


If using half-and-half for the gravy, watch the mixture carefully; if the heat is too high and the gravy comes to a boil, the half-and-half may separate.

Recipe Variation

You can use a combination of ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs if you like.