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Amazing Swedish Meatballs in Creamy Gravy is made with a flavorful blend of ground beef and pork with gravy just begging for mashed potatoes!
C ‘mon in as you’re just in time for me sharing my amazing Swedish Meatballs recipe! These yummy bites are a delightful blend of ground beef and pork seasoned with aromatic spices and herbs and are simmered in an aromatic brown gravy versus the familiar ‘sweet’ Swedish meatball sauce or a cream sauce.
Served in creamy gravy, they make a comforting and satisfying meal. Whether you prefer them atop creamy mashed potatoes, nestled in a bed of egg noodles, or alongside a flavorful casserole, these amazing Swedish Meatballs will surely please your taste buds.
With its familiar yet unique flavors, comforting nature of these easy Swedish Meatballs make it a dish that both kids and adults will enjoy. To make these quirky ‘lil bites a meal, serve alongside my French Onion Noodle Casserole or with a comforting side of Mashed Potato Casserole. Pump up the vege with Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli or a side of Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts!
Ingredients That Go Into This Recipe
Making Swedish meatballs uses easy-to-find ingredients and could just be the best thing to emerge from your kitchen in right around 30 minutes. While the following list is pretty basic, I’ve added some notes and pointers below that are worth a quick read.
- Ground beef – Look for lean ground beef (90% lean) for a healthier option. A grocery store’s meat section will have it.
- Ground pork – If you prefer a milder flavor, you can substitute the ground pork with additional ground beef. Ground pork is usually available in the meat section as well.
- Panko breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs are light and crispy, providing a great texture to the meatballs. You can find them in most grocery store’s baking aisle.
- Parsley – Fresh parsley adds a burst of freshness to the meatballs. You can find it in the produce section of the grocery store.
- Nutmeg and allspice
- Onion – Grated onion adds moisture and flavor to the meatballs. Various onions can be used, such as yellow or white onions.
- Garlic powder – Garlic powder adds flavor without needing fresh garlic. The spice aisle has it.
- Egg – The egg acts as a binder for the meatballs, keeping them together. The dairy section of the grocery store has eggs.
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Olive oil – Look for extra virgin olive oil.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter to control the dish’s saltiness. Dairy sections usually have butter.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is commonly available in the baking aisle.
- Beef broth
- Heavy cream
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard – Whole-grain Dijon mustard adds a tangy and slightly grainy texture.
- Starch of choice – serve over mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, or homemade dumplings.
Substitutions and Variations
- Ground turkey or chicken – Use in lieu of ground beef and pork for a leaner option.
- Regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers – Use as a substitute to panko breadcrumbs.
- Fresh dill – Is an altogether lovely deviation from fresh parsley.
- Cinnamon, cloves, juniper berry, or ginger – Add similar warmth and depth of flavor if you require an alternative to nutmeg or allspice.
- Grated shallots – A single shallot goes a long way in this dish and is a unique stand-in for onion.
- While traditionally served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, you can try serving the meatballs with steamed rice, quinoa, or roasted vegetables for a healthier option.
- Serve with a side of lingonberry jam or cranberry sauce for added freshness.
Using Juniper Berries for Authentic Scandinavian Flavor
Dried juniper berries can be used to add a distinct aromatic flavor commonly used in Scandinavian cuisine. Their essence complements Swedish Meatballs nicely. To incorporate juniper berries, combine ground beef with all ingredients and add 1-2 finely crushed juniper berries to the meatball mixture. Juniper berries have a strong flavor, so start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste preferences. Crushing the berries releases their essential oils and infuses the meatballs with a unique earthy and slightly pine-like taste, adding an extra dimension and seriously leveling up the dish.
What Skillet Should I Use to Cook Swedish Meatballs?
The best type of skillet to cook Swedish Meatballs in is a heavy-bottomed skillet or a cast-iron skillet. These types of skillets distribute heat evenly and retain heat well, allowing the meatballs to cook and brown evenly.
Choose a skillet that is large enough to accommodate all the meatballs without overcrowding. This will ensure that the meatballs have enough space to cook properly and develop a nice golden crust.
Can Swedish Meatballs Be Made Ahead?
Yes, Swedish Meatballs can be made ahead of time. Both methods allow for convenient meal planning and save time on the day of serving.
- Cooked meatballs: You can fully cook the meatballs according to the recipe instructions and then store them in the refrigerator. Allow them to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the meatballs in a skillet or in the oven until warmed through, and then proceed with making the gravy.
- Uncooked meatballs: Alternatively, you can shape the meatballs and refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 24 hours before cooking. This allows you to prepare them a day ahead and cook them fresh when needed. When ready to cook, follow the recipe instructions for browning and cooking the meatballs, and proceed with making the gravy.
Step By Step Instructions
The delightful blend of flavors and the creamy, comforting nature of Swedish Meatballs make it a dish that both kids and adults will enjoy. Whether served over mashed potatoes, alongside egg noodles, or with a favorite casserole, kids will relish the tasty meatballs and enjoy the fun factor of scooping them up with their fork.
1: To a large bowl, add ½ pound lean ground beef, ½ pound ground pork (or substitute all ground beef), ¼ cup of Panko breadcrumbs, three tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, one teaspoon ground nutmeg, one teaspoon ground allspice, ⅓ cup of grated onion, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, one egg, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
2: Mix the ingredients using your hands until well combined. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes. Roll the mixture into 12 large meatballs or 18 smaller meatballs. This is where I go with 18 smaller meatballs because smaller cook just that much faster. Also, I guess I always think of Swedish meatballs as being bite sized. Do what resonates with your eaters.
3: Uniformity is important so that all of the meat cooks at the same pace. If one meatball looks larger than another, pinch a little off and add to it the smaller meatball. They should all be the same size. If making ahead, place the rolled meat into an airtight container for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, follow the recipe instructions for both meatballs and gravy.
4: Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook, turning continuously, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Using two spoons helps to turn them. This step should take about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a plate and keep them warm.
5: Add the remaining four tablespoons of butter to the same skillet and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add four tablespoons of flour to the skillet and whisk until it turns brown and develops a nutty aroma.
6: Slowly stir in 2 cups beef broth and 1 cup of heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. The combination of butter together with the fond from the bottom of the pan will add delicious flavor to the Swedish meatballs gravy.
7: Stir in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and one teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Allow the sauce to thicken. Taste the gravy and season with additional Worcestershire, salt, or pepper, if needed.
8: Return the meatballs and their juices to the skillet with the gravy. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. Note that cutting the heat and allowing the gravy to stand will also aid in thickening.
9: Serve the Swedish Meatballs with thinly sliced cucumber and lingonberry jam or cranberry sauce. Spoon over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or alongside a delicious French Onion Noodle Casserole.
How to Serve Swedish Meatballs
- Serve the Swedish Meatballs over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.
- Thread the cooked Swedish Meatballs onto small skewers or toothpicks, creating bite-sized appetizers. Serve them as a party or finger food option with a side of the creamy gravy for dipping. This presentation is perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or as a tasty addition to a buffet spread.
- Assemble a Swedish Meatball Skillet Bake by arranging the cooked meatballs in a baking dish. Pour the gravy over them, and top with shredded Emmentaler cheese. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve it family-style with crusty bread or French bread rolls for dipping.
- Transform this dish into a Swedish twist on the classic Beef Stroganoff by making Swedish Meatball Stroganoff. Serve the meatballs and creamy gravy over egg noodles or rice, and garnish with sour cream and fresh herbs like dill or chives.
Swedish Meatball Sliders with Lingonberry Jam!
Place fully cooked meatballs on slider buns using a dollop of lingonberry jam (or cranberry sauce) and some thinly sliced cucumber as a base. Add a drizzle of the creamy gravy on top of each meatball, along with shredded Emmentaler cheese. BAM! An instant portable option great for parties, picnics, or a fun weeknight dinner. Don’t forget napkins! Things are about to get messy in the best way possible. Satisfaction like this is worth it when you’re indulging in the best kind of tasty chaos!
- If you have any leftovers, store the Swedish Meatballs and gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can refrigerate them for three days.
- To freeze, place the cooled meatballs and gravy in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips
- To ensure the meatballs hold their shape, refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes before rolling them.
- Avoid overcrowding the skillet to achieve a nice golden crust when browning the meatballs.
- For a healthier option, you can bake the meatballs in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes, turning them once halfway through.
- Add more beef broth or heavy cream to adjust the consistency if the gravy becomes too thick.
- Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a pop of color and added freshness.
You can use frozen meatballs if you are short on time. Cook the frozen meatballs according to the package instructions and make the gravy.
Absolutely! You can make the meatballs in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
More Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love
Amazing Swedish Meatballs in Creamy Gravy
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ¼ cup Panko
- 3 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅓ cup onion grated using largest holes on a box grater
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- starch of choice for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, panko breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, allspice, nutmeg, grated onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and egg. Using your hands, mix until combined.
- Roll into 12 large meatballs or 18 smaller meatballs. In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Remove the meatballs to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the fond in the bottom of the pan and scrape the browned bits. This is where all of the flavor is hiding!
- Add the flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown and takes on a nutty aroma. Slowly stir in the beef broth and heavy cream. Bring to a gentle boil and add Worcestershire sauce and the Dijon mustard. Sauce will begin to thicken.
- Taste the gravy to see if it needs salt or pepper. Return the meatballs and their juices to the gravy and simmer for 10 minutes or until the gravy is cooked to the consistency that you like it.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, over egg noodles, or alongside my Crazy Good French Onion Noodle Casserole.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.