Swedish meatballs

Tooday ve haf for yoo a reskipee fur da meetabolls, made da Sveedish way.

bork bork bork

This recipe has been one of our family’s holiday favorites for years and years–my entire life, actually. I am a tad embarrassed to admit, though, that I have never once actually watched my parents make it. The meatabolls, they just appear, like magic! But last week I sat them down and we wrote out the recipe so I could make it on my own. I was surprised at the steps involved. How the details of making this delicious dish have escaped me all this time is one of those mysteries that will never be fully explained.

I made my first batch tonight, and, as we like to say, “it was my best ever.” Not as good as my parents’, yet, but I still have time to improve.

Swedish Meatballs
For the meatballs:
2 lbs. ground chuck (15% fat)
1 lb. ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Sourdough bread equal to roughly half the amount of meat, cubed and toasted or dried

For the gravy:
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs flour
1 beef bullion cube dissolved in 1/2 cup of water


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. If needed, toast the bread for 10-15 minutes until dry.
  3. Put cubed, toasted bread in a large bowl and cover with milk. Let stand 15 minutes.
  4. Squeeze the milk out of the bread by handfuls and crumble them into a separate bowl. Discard the milk.
  5. Combine the bread, meat, eggs, salt and pepper, and mix well.
  6. Roll the meat into walnut-sized balls (you want them small so they brown quickly).
  7. Brown the meatballs in a skillet with a little oil, in batches.
  8. Transfer the browned meatballs to a Dutch oven or large covered baking dish.
  9. Sauté the red onion in the skillet with the pan drippings until golden. Add the flour and stir in, cook for about a minute.
  10. Add the bullion dissolved in water to make gravy. Add more water if the mixture is too thick. Cook about 5 minutes.
  11. Pour the onion mixture over the meatballs and stir to combine.
  12. Cook covered for 30 minutes at 250°F.
  13. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

Some pics of the process:


Bullion, eggs, bread soaking in milk, ground meat, and chopped red onion, all ready to go.


No such thing as too big of a batch! I kept them in a single layer to keep them from sticking together.


I might have put a few too many meatballs in the pan for ideal browning, but I was impatient. You’ll want to use a little oil of some kind to keep these from sticking.


My folks use an ancient clay pot to bake their meatballs, but my Dutch oven works just as well. The noodles are ready to go there in the back.

So der yoo haveet, da Sveedish meetabolls.

Perhaps I’ll try making Norwegian meatballs next to celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day. 😉

You can also make this with all ground beef, if you prefer.


4 thoughts on “Swedish meatballs

  1. Love the Norwegian guy! I remember him, too, from my kids watching those kid shows back in the 70s. Wonder if your recipe would translate into vegetarian? Might have to investigate that.

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