Homemade Swedish Meatballs coated in a simple, but rich gravy sauce that is completely luscious! This from scratch recipe is so easy and even better than the ones you get at IKEA!
Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles. Classic comfort food and a great dinner the entire family will ask for again and again!
Swedish Meatball Recipe Better Than IKEA
If you’ve never had Swedish Meatballs, your life is just not complete. Really! Tender meatballs coated in a rich, luscious brown gravy and served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Sigh. So good.
Most people think of IKEA when Swedish Meatballs are mentioned. Naturally. Because IKEA’s recipe is iconic and what a lot of people go to their stores for – maybe even more so than the furniture! They recently published their highly coveted recipe and the world flocked to it like soy sauce on rice. HA. But dare I say, our Swedish Meatballs recipe is better? Really similar, but ours has more flavor and takes less time to make!
Are these Authentic Swedish Meatballs?
Not exactly. Real authentic Swedish meatballs are made with day old bread soaked with milk. We just use milk and breadcrumbs. They also don’t use garlic, but we just have to have garlic in our meatballs! We also add a pinch of allspice and nutmeg to our mixture, which the Swedes do not.
Native Swedes tend to enjoy their meatballs with just a bit of lingonberry jam – they don’t typically use the rich brown gravy that is commonly associated with IKEA. But our recipe more resembles IKEA, so that’s what we’re taking about today.
But trust me, after you make this Swedish Meatball recipe, you won’t care! It’s so good and comes together really quickly. Certainly faster than flying to Sweden. LOL.
How to Make Swedish Meatballs
These meatballs are made in a few easy steps. Here’s a quick summary:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for all the details and measurements.)
- Form the meatballs.
- Pan fry the meatballs, then transfer to a plate.
- In the same skillet, make the cream sauce.
- Transfer meatballs back to the skillet.
- Serve over cooked egg noodles.
Can Swedish Meatballs Be Made In A Crock Pot?
It’s not my favorite way to make them because the Swedish meatball sauce doesn’t thicken the way it does on the stove top, but yes, this can easily be made in the crock pot. You can also cook the meatballs in the sauce and transfer to a slow cooker to keep them warm, if you’re entertaining. Recipe variation included in the printable recipe card, below.
Tips and Variations
For the meatballs:
- The meat. This recipe calls for a mixture of ground beef and pork, but you can use all ground beef, ground turkey, or a combination instead.
- Breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs work fine if you don’t have Panko.
- Freeze meatballs for a bit before pan frying. If you have time, I recommend forming the meatballs and then freezing them for about 30 minutes before cooking in the fry pan – this helps them hold their round shape. If you don’t care, then cook right away.
- Bake instead of pan frying. You can bake the meatballs instead of pan-frying, if you prefer, for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F. But then you won’t have the skillet drippings, which lend flavor to the sauce.
For the sauce:
- Heavy cream or sour cream? Sour cream can be used instead of the heavy cream, but the flavor will be more tangy and the sauce will be thicker. You could also use a combination of heavy cream and sour cream.
- Lighten the dairy. Whole milk can be used, but the sauce won’t be as creamy or rich.
- Replace the soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce.
- Broth. Chicken or vegetable broth can replace the beef broth, or use a combination.
Video: Homemade Swedish Meatballs
- Storing leftovers. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will keep up to 3 days.
- Reheat. Reheat over low on the stove with the sauce until warmed through.
- Can I Freeze Swedish Meatballs? You can freeze the meatballs, but I don’t recommend freezing the sauce – cream sauces tend to “break” once defrosted and end up grainy and unpleasant. Allow cooked meatballs to cool to the touch; then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and “flash freeze” uncovered about 1 hour or until firm (this prevents them from sticking together once completely frozen.) Place partially frozen meatballs in a heavy plastic freezer bag or freezer container. Seal, label, and freeze no longer than 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
More Meatball Recipes:
- Chicken Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs
- Grape Jelly Meatballs
- Beef Kofta Meatballs
- Italian Beef Meatballs
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
For the Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 small sweet onion , finely diced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , for frying pan
For the Cream Sauce
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/4 cups beef broth
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley
- Cooked egg noodles
- In a large bowl combine ground beef and pork; mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps. Mix in all the other meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) until combined.
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. (Place on a clean platter, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, if possible – this helps them retain their round shape when cooking.)
- In a large nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
- Add the butter to the skillet and once melted, whisk in the flour; stir to combine and cook stirring constantly for about 1 minute until no lumps remain and flour just begins to brown.
- Slowly whisk in the beef broth and then the heavy cream. Whisk in the soy sauce and mustard; bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 3 minutes to finish cooking and warm through.
- Serve over cooked egg noodles with a sprinkle of parsley.
Reader Questions and Reviews
I’ve never eaten these at IKEA so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but this recipe is absolutely delicious! My whole family loved it.
Loved this recipe. It’s a keeper.
This dish is absolutely fantastic! It is the best Swedish Meatballs recipe that I’ve ever made. It makes me look like a pro!
this recipe is AMAZING! my 15 month old tore it up and my husband and I loved it. the flavor is perfect
We absolutely LOVED this recipe and will make again!!!
I jus made this for dinner tonight let me tell you I can’t keep my hands n mouth away from it so so good thank you for this recipe it’s a keeper
These are THE best things I have ever tasted in my life. That sauce!!!
This was DELISH! Will definitely make again.
This was awesome – whole family loved it!
Having loved IKEA meatballs for years, I was so excited to try this recipe. It was FANTASTIC! Even better! I will definitely make again!