4.40 from 23 votes

Swedish Meatballs

Smothered in a creamy, rich gravy, these perfect meatballs taste like the classic Ikea recipe. Serve these Swedish Meatballs as an easy family meal or appetizer.

swedish meatballs with sauce in a cast iron skillet


Growing up, my mom made Swedish Meatballs several times a month for dinner. She would typically serve them on a bed of cooked egg noodles. They were SO good. The creamy beefy sauce was my favorite.

I love making them for dinner now as an adult for my family. They are quick to make and ready in about 40 minutes and there are usually not any leftovers. 

I have friends that serve them over the Christmas holidays and it’s become one of their family traditions. That’s a tradition I could totally get on board with!

What You’ll Love About This Swedish Meatball Recipe

  • Dinner is ready in 40 minutes
  • Delicious comfort food that is full of savory flavor
  • Easy family meal
  • Pairs with many side dishes
  • Kids love them
  • Tastes like the IKEA classic meatballs
  • Easy to find ingredients
  • Can also be served as an appetizer
meal planning binder image

Ingredients for Swedish Meatballs

  • Lean ground beef
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • White onion
  • Ground cloves
  • Garlic salt
  • Dried parsley
  • Salted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Beef broth
  • Whole milk
ingredients to make swedish meatballs

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

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    Step One: In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, olive oil, onion and spices. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until everything is evenly distributed.

    swedish meatballs prep

    Step Two: Divide the meat into tablespoon-sized balls.

    Step Three: Heat a skillet and cook the meatballs on medium-high heat until they are browned and reach an internal temperature of at least 145F. The meatballs will finish cooking in the gravy.

    swedish meatballs prep

    Step Four: Remove the meatballs from the skillet and melt the butter. Stir in the flour until it is combined with the butter.

    Step Five: Add the beef broth and milk to the skillet and stir constantly until the mixture is thick.

    Step Six: Add the meatballs and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160F. Serve hot.

    swedish meatballs prep

    Equipment Needed to Make IKEA Swedish Meatballs

    This post contains affiliate links.

    What to Serve with this Swedish Meatballs Recipe

    swedish meatballs with sauce in a cast iron skillet

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Use frozen cooked meatballs if you are short on time.
    • Use ground pork instead of ground beef.
    • Try 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg or allspice instead of the ground cloves.
    • For an extra creamy Swedish meatballs sauce, use heavy cream in place of the whole milk.
    • Use panko bread crumbs in place of the regular breadcrumbs.
    Swedish meatballs on a serving spoon

    Storage Instructions

    Best Way to Store Leftover Swedish Meatballs 

    Store any leftover Swedish Meatballs in a covered airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Can I Freeze?

    Yes, you can freeze this meatball recipe. If prepping them cooked, simply place them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat, thaw them in the fridge overnight and then once thawed, heat them in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through (microwave times vary).

    If prepping them uncooked, store the balls of uncooked meat in the freezer for up to two months. When you are ready to cook, thaw them out in the fridge overnight and follow the recipe directions until they reach the necessary temperature.

    Can I Make Ahead?

    You can prep the meatballs ahead of time up to a day before and store them in the fridge. 

    When you are ready to cook, simply take them out of the fridge and proceed through the recipe instructions.

    swedish meatballs in a cast iron skillet with a wooden serving spoon

    What kind of beef is best for cooking meatballs?

    Beef with a lower fat content is best for making meatballs. 90-10 and 93-7 beef are typically best to use. However, if you are in a pinch, any type of beef will get the job done.

    What is the difference between Swedish meatballs and Italian meatballs?

    The main difference between these two types of meatballs is the flavor profile. While Italian meatballs rely heavily on herbs, Swedish meatballs rely more on warm spices like cloves. This gives Swedish meatballs a slightly more earthy flavor that are perfect for the cooler weather.

    swedish meatballs on a white plate with loads of swedish meatball sauce

    Meatball Recipes

    You’ll also love this Brown Gravy.

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    4.40 from 23 votes

    Swedish Meatballs

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 4
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Smothered in a creamy, rich gravy, these perfect meatballs taste like the classic Ikea recipe. Serve them as an easy family meal or appetizer.

    Ingredients
     
     

    • 1 lb lean ground beef
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ cup white onion diced
    • 1 tsp ground cloves
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • ½ cup salted butter
    • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups beef broth
    • ½ cup whole milk

    Instructions

    • In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, olive oil, onion and spices. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until everything is evenly distributed.
    • Divide the meat into tablespoon-sized balls.
    • Heat a skillet and cook the meatballs on medium-high heat until they are browned and reach an internal temperature of at least 145F. The meatballs will finish cooking in the gravy.
    • Remove the meatballs from the skillet and melt the butter. Stir in the flour until it is combined with the butter.
    • Add the beef broth and milk to the skillet and stir constantly until the mixture is thick.
    • Add the meatballs and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Serve hot.

    Video

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 614kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 1066mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Main Dishes
    Cuisine Swedish
    Keyword ikea swedish meatballs, swedish meatballs, swedish meatballs recipe

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    4.40 from 23 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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    2 Comments

    1. Vicky Olsen says:

      The picture of the ingredients shows garlic salt, but it is not listed in the ingredients list. If it is used, how much should it be?

      1. Hi Vicky, Thank you so much for the heads up! It’s 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. I’ve just updated the recipe.

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