Swedish Meatballs

Fork Facts:

For many of us, Swedish Meatballs are only something we get to experience on our annual trip to IKEA. Believe it or not, this homemade version blows IKEA’s out of the water. Did you know that Swedish meatballs may actually have not originated in Sweden? According to the official Twitter page of the country, Swedish meatballs actually originated in Turkey! What we now know as Swedish meatballs are based on a recipe that King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century. One component of the famous dish actually does originate in Sweden — the lingonberry jam. While the berries are not unique to the country, Sweden has a generous amount of wild Lingonberries. These berries have a taste not much different than cranberries; somehow they are sweet, sour and tart all at once. While the origin of Swedish meatballs may be up for debate, there is one thing we know for certain … they’re delicious!

SERVES: 6 portions

RECIPE TIME: 50 - 60 Minutes

Palate Profile

Swedish meatballs are a wonderfully satisfying food this time of year. They’re rich in flavour and warm — the ultimate comfort food. While traditional Italian meatballs are often served in a tangy, thick tomato sauce, Swedish meatballs have an entirely different flavour profile. Swedish meatballs are slightly smaller than traditional meatballs — think the size of a golf ball — so that they can be easily picked up by a toothpick and popped into your mouth. As for the sauce, Swedish meatballs are cooked in a rich, creamy gravy that is most often created from bone broth and cream.

Additional Tips:

  • If you’re looking to serve these meatballs as an appetizer at your next Holiday party, place them on a large serving plate and stick a toothpick in each one! Garnish the plate with parsley for some added colour and flavour.
  • Traditional Swedish meatballs are often made with a mixture of both pork and beef. If you’re feeling experimental, try this recipe with 1lb of ground beef and 1lb ground pork!
  • In Sweden, these meatballs are often served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. If you can’t find lingonberry jam on this side of the pond, you can substitute it with raspberry jam or red currant jelly.
  • If your family loves these meatballs, but you don’t always have time to make them between swimming lessons and hockey practice, you can double or even triple the recipe. Freeze the extra cooked meatballs and save them for busy days!

What you need:

  • ½ Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Veggie Oil
  • 1 Cup Diced Onion
  • 1 Cup Diced Celery
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cup Veggie Stock

What to do:

  1. Make sure to wash your hands before you begin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together bread crumbs, ½ the garlic, ground beef and eggs.
  4. Roll meat into small golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking dish.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes then turn them over and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.
  6. In a large skillet heat veggie oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic and cook until translucent, set aside.
  7. Melt butter in pan. Add flour, whisking for 1 minute gradually adding milk and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.
  8. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer sauce for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately, enjoy!