Tender and juicy, these Swedish Meatballs are made with a combination of beef and pork with warm nutmeg and allspice spices, and then smothered in a delightfully creamy beef gravy. Enjoy over mashed potatoes for an easy weeknight dinner.
Classic Homemade Swedish Meatballs
These homemade Swedish meatballs are one of my family’s favorite recipes. And one that I don’t mind cooking whenever they’re requested, because they’re so quick and easy to prepare. (Pro tip: Make double the amount of meatballs so you have some to freeze for a future dinner!)
Unlike many other homemade meatball recipes, these are seasoned with nutmeg and allspice. The warm spices are crucial for the traditional flavor and I definitely don’t recommend substituting them. It’s part of what makes this dish stand out and the warm spices pair so well with the creamy sauce.
From start to finish, this dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Add some mashed potatoes or egg noodles and you have a quick and easy weeknight dinner everyone will love!
What Are Swedish Meatballs?
Swedish meatballs are tender, juicy meatballs made with a combination of beef and pork and seasoned with nutmeg and allspice for a warm flavor. They’re then topped with a creamy beef gravy and usually served over mashed potatoes or noodles for a decadent, savory dinner.
These are also often called Ikea meatballs or Ikea Swedish meatballs, as they were one of the most popular items on the menu at Ikea, until they closed the restaurants.
What You’ll Need
These homemade Ikea meatballs are made with ground beef and pork, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and just a few other ingredients. See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Ground beef and pork – These meatballs are made with equal amounts of ground beef and ground pork for extra flavor.
- Garlic & onion
- Egg yolks – Help hold everything together.
- Panko crumbs – I prefer panko to other breadcrumbs as they have a crispier texture.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, ground allspice, and nutmeg give these meatballs a warm but savory flavor.
- Olive oil – For cooking the meatballs.
- Butter – Helps make the gravy rich and creamy.
- Beef broth – Use low-sodium to control the salt levels.
- Sour cream – Adds a slightly tangy flavor to the gravy while making it nice and creamy as well.
- Flour – Thickens the gravy.
How To Make Swedish Meatballs
One reason these Ikea meatballs became so popular – besides the great flavor – is how quick and easy they are to make.
- Form the meatballs. Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs.
- Cook the meatballs. Heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Cook the meatballs in batches, until golden brown. About 6-7 minutes, turning as needed. Add more oil between batches. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Make the gravy. Melt the butter in the same skillet. Whisk in the flour. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes to thicken. Add in the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the meatballs. Return the meatballs to the pan and toss in the gravy. Cook until heated through.
Recipe Tips & Variations
If you’re making Swedish meatballs for the first time, here are a few tips to help you out.
- Can I use frozen meatballs? In most of my meatball recipes, I would say yes – but the key to good Swedish meatballs is the nutmeg and allspice, which are not found in most frozen meatballs. If you just use a bag of regular meatballs, you won’t get that classic flavor.
- Can I use different ground meat? Using equal parts pork and beef helps create extra flavorful meatballs but the pork also adds extra fat to keep them super moist. However, you could use all beef or even ground chicken or turkey.
- Make sure all meatballs are the same size. When shaping your meatballs, make them all an equal size. A small ice cream scoop can be helpful in achieving this.
- Make sure the meatballs are cooked fully. You want them to be golden brown on the outside and also completely cooked through on the inside. Use a meat thermometer to double check if you’re not sure. It should be about 160F.
What to Serve with Swedish Meatballs
A serving of Ikea Swedish meatballs is not complete without some creamy mashed potatoes. Another option is to serve these over noodles. Egg noodles in particular are a great option. A slice of bread is always nice to ensure you get to soak up every last bit of that incredible gravy.
I’ve also seen people turn these into a Swedish meatball sandwich by serving them on a roasted roll, which is a fun idea.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Store leftover Swedish meatballs in the fridge for up to 3 days, with the gravy.
- Reheat. Reheat on the stovetop or the microwave until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Swedish Meatballs?
The meatball portion of this recipe freezes very well, though the sauce does not. I recommend freezing the meatballs separately and then preparing the sauce when you’re ready to serve them.
To freeze the cooked meatballs, flash freeze them on a baking sheet until solid then transfer to a freezer safe ziploc for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or in the microwave, then cook in the sauce as usual.
You can also freeze the raw meatballs. Once you shape them, flash freeze on a baking sheet and transfer to a ziploc once frozen solid. You can cook them from frozen, it will just take longer and you’ll want to use a meat thermometer to ensure the center is fully cooked before adding them to the sauce.
More Easy Meatball Recipes:
Gravy Sauce Ingredients
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 cups beef broth
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs.
- Add 1 Tbsp oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook meatballs in 2 batches until golden brown and cooked through (6-7 minutes), turning as needed. Add more oil as needed. Remove from the skillet and cover with a towel or foil to keep warm.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the beef broth and whisk in the flour and cook until golden. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it thickens, about 2 minutes. Add in sour cream and salt/pepper to taste.
- Add back the meatballs and toss in the gravy sauce. Cook until meatballs are heated through.