For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 small onion (very finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- black pepper (to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon oil
For the gravy:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon grape jelly OR lingonberry jam
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- Make the meatballs: Add all ingredients for the meatballs EXCEPT the oil to a large bowl. Knead very well. I like doing this with a handheld mixer with the hook attachment – it’s so much faster! Using about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture, roll into firm balls. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for 5-10 minutes.
- Cook the meatballs: Heat the oil in a wide, deep skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides, until just cooked through. This will take between 6-8 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. If you prefer baking the meatballs, place them on a lined baking sheet and bake them at 425°F for 10-12 minutes or until browned and no longer pink in the middle.
- Make the gravy: Bring the skillet back to medium heat. Melt the butter, then stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until medium brown. Quickly pour in the beef broth while whisking constantly. Simmer until thickened, then whisk in the milk, mustard and jelly. Simmer gently over medium-low heat until creamy, about 1 minute. Season to taste.
- Finish the dish: Place the meatballs back in the gravy and warm until heated through. Serve immediately.
Step by Step Recipe Video
Important Cooking Tips:
- if you’re in a hurry: use regular store-bought meatballs – you’ll need about 1.5 pounds
- make sure to shape homemade meatballs tightly, or they’ll fall apart in the sauce
- if you don’t knead/shape the meatball mix well, the meatballs will fall apart as you’re cooking them in the pan. if you’re unsure, bake the meatballs instead of pan-frying them to help them retain some shape (they could still fall apart in the sauce, so please do really make sure to roll them into firm balls).
- if the jelly and mustard in the sauce sound weird to you (apparently those kind of people exist 😉), feel free to leave them out – but you’ll lack some of that beloved IKEA flavor if you do
- to keep the meatballs round during cooking: freeze them for 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet after shaping them. sounds weird, but it works!
VIP Tips to Keep the Gravy Lump-Free:Swedish meatball sauce starts with a roux. That’s just the fancy French word for gently heating some butter and flour before adding the liquids. The first step to perfect gravy is to make sure you don’t burn the flour and butter for the sauce! It should turn a medium brown, but no more. (I’ve had to re-start the sauce before because I burnt the flour, it can’t be saved.) For lump-free gravy, you’ll need to whisk very well and fast once you start adding the liquids. As soon as you start pouring the beef broth into the cooked flour and butter mix, it will begin to seize up and thicken. Do not be alarmed by this, it’s important that you keep going and add all the liquid while whisking! Whisk all the while you’re pouring the liquid into the pan, and then keep whisking until it’s smooth.
What we enjoy these with:We love eating these either with the best mashed potatoes in the world (really, so easy and so good!) or with simple egg noodles. PS If you have an Instant Pot? Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes! As a veggie side, we often enjoy my easy sautéed green beans or roasted asparagus.
Swedish Meatballs are my family’s favorite type of comfort food – especially with all that delicious and creamy gravy. For more comfort food dinner recipes, see my Beef Tips and Gravy Skillet or my Instant Pot Sour Cream Pork Chops!
I’ve been meaning to share my Swedish meatball recipe here on the blog since 2014, ever since my Sticky BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs got so popular, ha! I just never managed to snap a photo I was happy with.
Why are the tastiest foods the ugliest?
But my word of the year is pursue, so I’m making it my mission to pursue everything I want for Savory Nothings. And thus, here’s the best Swedish meatball recipe for you today.
No matter how you serve them (oh hey, I just wrote a post on all the possible side dishes for any kind of meatballs!), I can guarantee you one thing:
They definitely taste better than IKEA’s – well, at least in my opinion they do.
P.S: Check out our collection of easy dinner recipes with ground beef for more ideas!