Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

Swedish meatballs

Iconic meatballs made from scratch.

These meatballs are a homemade version of the iconic furniture shopping meatball favourite. It's not strictly traditional in Sweden to serve a creamy sauce with meatballs, however given the rest of the world loves them this way, we’ve recreated them. If you like Swedish meatballs, IKEA style, be prepared to LUV this made-from scratch version.  

Nothing beats mincing your own meat for freshness, flavour and texture. We use a combination of beef and pork in this recipe. The beef gives lots of flavour and pork add a bit of fat which makes them extra tender.

Swedish meatballs

The secret to ultra-soft Swedish meatballs is using fresh bread rather than dry breadcrumbs. We soak the bread in a creamy soup of grated onion, subtle spices, cream and milk before kneading into the ground meat. Once cooked, the onion and bread puffs up creating the softest meatballs you’ll ever know. We sampled a batch made with gluten free bread and they tasted equally divine.

The sauce for Swedish meatballs is a creamy gravy that is made with butter, beef broth and cream, however we think the most important flavouring comes from the pan drippings left over from browning the meatballs. Be sure to leave this in!

Serve Swedish meatballs on their own as an appetiser, as dinner over creamy mashed potatoes, rice or noodles or portion them up in vacuum seal glass containers and have meals covered for days.

Swedish meatballs

Meal prep & freezing Swedish meatballs

Why not double the recipe, Swedish meatballs are an ideal freezer meal for the weeks ahead. After rolling the meatballs transfer to a plate or tray lined with baking paper but make sure they are not touching, or they will freeze together. Freeze for about 2 hours, then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the meatballs to thaw overnight in the fridge, then cook as per recipe instructions.

Swedish meatballs


700g ground beef

300g ground pork
3 slices of bread, crusts removed and crumbled or diced
1/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of cream (optional or extra milk)
1 egg
½ onion, grated
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground all-spice powder (also known as pimento)
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of butter

Cream Sauce
3 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose plain flour or corn flour for GF
2 cups beef broth/stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish


1.   Use the 8mm cutting blade and run the meat through the mincer twice.
2.   Combine both the pork and beef mince together in a large bowl.
3.   Whisk the milk, cream and egg together in a bowl. Add the bread, grated onion, garlic powder, spices and salt and pepper. Stir to combine then set aside for 10 minutes.

Swedish meatballs

   Add the bread mixture and fresh parsley to the ground meat and mix well to form a uniform consistency. The meatball mixture can be rolled immediately or left to marinate in the fridge until you are ready to cook and serve.

5.   Use an ice cream scooper to spoon out evenly sized portions. Once all the mixture is portioned, roll between your palms to form smooth round meatballs.
6.   In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter until sizzling.
7.   Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, then set aside on a plate.

Swedish meatballs

 To make the sauce - add butter to the pan and melt over medium heat.

9.   Add the flour or (corn flour) and whisk continuously until it bubbles and thickens.
10.  Whisk in the beef broth, cream, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
11.  Continue whisking for approx. 2 minutes until it thickens.
12.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Swedish meatballs

  Add the meatballs and coat with the sauce.

14.  Place a lid on and cook for a further 3 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
15.  Garnish with parsley and serve immediately
15.  Store leftover cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.


Swedish meatballs

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