No need to go furniture shopping. With this easy Swedish meatball recipe, you can enjoy the classic meatballs in your own home.
If you’ve only ever had Swedish meatballs to revive yourself in the midst of an Ikea shopping trip, you’re missing out. I’ll admit that I don’t think Ikea’s Swedish meatballs are actually that bad, but you can do better at home. By better, I mean fresher and tastier. Not to mention, you don’t have to endure the several hour shopping coma Ikea is so good at luring you into.
One important thing I bet you're dying to know is that yes, they do actually eat meatballs like these in Sweden.
not all meatballs are the same
What’s the difference between a Swedish meatball and an Italian one? If you ask me, the difference is insignificant. Many Italian recipes use a mix of ground beef and pork, and so do Swedish recipes. Sometimes you'll find veal, with each meat making up a third of the mix. If inclined to include veal, the easiest option is to grab a meatloaf mix package from the grocery store.
As for the seasoning, one big difference is the omission of grated cheese in Swedish meatballs, as is common in Italian recipes. Nor do you include herbs like basil and oregano. Instead, what I think makes the flavor profile so different is the inclusion of allspice and nutmeg. We often use allspice and nutmeg in baking rather than cooking, yet they go well with many types of meat and adds a curious depth of flavor when used in moderation.
The other differing component with Swedish meatballs is the sauce. Italian meatballs are often served with a tomato sauce, while Swedish ones commonly use a cream sauce. I like to include chopped mushrooms in my cream sauce, as they help add more flavor.
tips for making meatballs
Whether making Italian or Swedish meatballs, I think the cooking process can be kept rather simple. Some recipes have you pan fry and bake them. Some have you just pan fry. I prefer to keep things easy and bake them on a tray in the oven.
No matter what kind of meatballs I’m making, I’m always sure to use fresh bread rather than bread crumbs. It doesn’t have to be any special bread, but the difference is noticeable. Fresh bread absorbs the milk and helps keep the meat moist. I think dry breadcrumbs add more texture than anything else.
If you have one, a cookie or ice cream scoop makes it easy to evenly portion out meatballs.
Want to make these for a party appetizer, instead? Just make them about half the size - aiming for 24 instead of 12.
what to serve with Swedish meatballs
You can serve Swedish meatballs with rice, egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or anything else that will absorb the sauce. Lingonberry jam is a common accompaniment to Swedish meatballs, but it’s not commonly found in stores in the United States. But any tart jam, such as cherry or cranberry, also makes for good dipping.Print