Favorite Swedish Meatballs

Classic Swedish Meatballs
Classic Swedish Meatballs. Diana Rattray
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
853 Calories
51g Fat
31g Carbs
64g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 853
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 22g 109%
Cholesterol 390mg 130%
Sodium 1028mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 64g
Calcium 175mg 13%
*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.)

These classic Swedish meatballs are a family favorite. We like them with mashed potatoes, but cooked noodles or rice would be excellent as well. They make an excellent appetizer, as well. Serve them buffet-style (smorgasbord) from a chafing dish or slow cooker.

I like the mixture of beef and pork in these meatballs, but you could use all beef or a mixture of beef and veal.

The classic beef-flavored cream gravy is a typical sauce, and if you want to be very traditional, add lingonberry preserves to the meal. 


  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% to 90%)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: fresh chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the bread crumbs and the milk in a small bowl; stir to blend. Set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and saute, frequently stirring, until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes. 

  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, the bread crumb mixture, sauteed onion, honey, egg, salt and pepper, and the spices. Mix with your hands until well blended.

  4. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

  5. In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook the meatballs, turning to brown all sides, for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.*

  6. Alternatively, you may bake the meatballs.

  7. Transfer the meatballs to an oven-safe pan, cover with foil and keep warm in a warming drawer or oven at 200°.

  8. In the same large skillet, stir the flour into the drippings, adding a little more butter if necessary. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the beef stock and continue cooking, whisking, until thickened. Stir in the heavy cream and cook, stirring, for a minute longer, or until thickened as desired.

  9. Arrange the meatballs on a platter or in a serving dish and spoon the sauce over them. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

  10. Serve these meatballs with mashed potatoes or hot cooked buttered noodles.

  11. As an appetizer, serve them hot from a slow cooker or chafing dish with toothpicks, small plates, and napkins available for guests.

Makes about 24 to 30 meatballs.

*According to USDA, ground beef and pork must be cooked to at least 160 F (71.1 C) on a food thermometer. If you use any ground turkey or chicken in the meatballs, the minimum safe temperature is 165 F (74 C).