Swedish Meatballs


Let’s be honest. Swedish food isn’t very well known or appreciated outside of Sweden. Ever heard of Blåbärsoppa? Most of the world hasn’t. It’s a blueberry soup, for the record. You might have heard of Lutefisk, but unless you grew up eating it, the thought of dried, salted Cod preserved in lye probably doesn’t make your mouth water. Sweden’s best known culinary contribution to the world, apart from the Smörgåsbord, are their meatballs.

My grandfather, who was more like a father to me, was the son of Swedish immigrants. This recipe became a bit of a pet project after he passed away. I spent about a decade experimenting and tweaking ingredients to find my version of the perfect plate of Swedish Meatballs. This is it.


This is a big batch recipe. Serves 6 with leftovers. Freezes and reheats well.


2 lbs ground sirloin


1 lb ground pork


3 lbs ground beef with a higher fat content. 80/20 or 70/30

2 cups bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers

1/4 cup dehydrated onions

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 eggs


4 cups reduced sodium beef broth

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste


  • In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all of the meatball ingredients.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon disher or measuring spoon, portion all of the meat mixture onto a large plate, tray or cookie sheet.
  • Roll all of the 1 tablespoon portions into balls
  • In a large dry pan or pot over medium heat, cook the meatballs in batches until they’re browned on all sides but still raw inside. Set aside. They’ll finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Add the butter or olive oil to the fat in the pan
  • Add the onions and cook until they’re translucent and lightly browned
  • Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the beef broth a little at a time making sure to fully incorporate each addition. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Using a whisk helps avoid lumps.
  • Add the Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • If the sauce is not as thick as you’d like, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with the cold milk before slowly stirring it into the sauce. Otherwise add it by itself. Return to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  • Add the meatballs, cover the pan and simmer over low heat 15 minutes or until they’re cooked through.
  • Finish with parsley

Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Maybe with a side of Lingonberry jam.




The Swedish word for contribution is bidrag.

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