Home » Recipes » Kitchen Experiment #2 – Swedish Meatballs

Kitchen Experiment #2 – Swedish Meatballs

Years ago, while my husband and I still lived in Oregon, I got into a non-traditional tradition of making Swedish meatballs for Christmas dinner because it was only just three of us at the time.  My go-to mix, Tempo Meatball Mix, wasn’t sold in Oregon grocery stores, so my Mom would send care packages with some of the things from “home” I couldn’t get out West.  At the time, mostly because I had nothing to with which to compare them, I truly believed the Tempo meatballs were fabulous, despite not really making a good gravy to accompany them.  I knew there was something missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Even after we came to Florida and could have easy access to the mix at any time, I seldom bought it unless I was making Italian style meatballs.  I just felt there was something missing in the Swedish variety.  And then, my local grocer stopped carrying the Tempo mix completely.  Frozen dinners from the store just aren’t what I was looking for, and tasted eerily like the Tempo mix I’d been using for years.  It was a good excuse to go hunting for a good recipe for Swedish meatballs, and I found what might be the perfect recipe on a blog called Damn Delicious.  They claim on their site to be better than Ikea’s recipe (in the interest of disclosure, I’ve never had Ikea Swedish meatballs so I have no point of comparison.  I can tell you they are indeed “Damn Delicious”)  These meatballs are ridiculously easy to make, smell unbelievably awesome while cooking, and are “slap your Grandma” good.*

Here are the ingredients, For the meatballs:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp ground Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the gravy:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Panko, egg yolks, allspice, nutmeg and cooked onion; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add meatballs in batches, cooking until all sides are browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • To make the gravy, melt butter in the skillet.  Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in beef broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally until heated through and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley if desired.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

I generally like to serve anything with gravy over egg noodles, but you can serve this will just about anything or have them alone.  Maybe a good homemade biscuit to sop up the gravy, because believe me, you won’t want to miss a drop of it.

If you decide to give these a try, let me know in the comments section how they turned out!

Buon appetito!

*For the record, I don’t condone the “slapping of anyone’s grandma,” or abuse of any kind, especially involving an elderly person.  This is a Southern expression that means, roughly, “Hey, this is REALLY good!”  For more information on the expression, I would suggest a Google search.


3 thoughts on “Kitchen Experiment #2 – Swedish Meatballs

    • I made these gluten free for Christmas using gluten free, plain bread crumbs. Instead of the 1/2 cup of panko, I used 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs and they came out perfect. I think as long as you are able to keep the spices and the beef broth in the recipe, the flavor will remain, even without the sour cream. Let me know how they turn out!



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