Swedish Meatballs

Total Time: About an hour | Serves 4-5


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Microplane (optional)
  • Medium SautĂ© Pan (~4qt)
  • Baking pan (sheet)
  • Pasty Brush (optional)
  • A Sharp Knife 🙂
Prep: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Ingredients: Meatyballs

  • 1 C breadcrumbs
    • Or crushed panko, it needs to be fine
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • ⅓  C white onion: finely minced
    • Or 1 T onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves: microplaned
    • Or 1 t garlic powder
  • ¼  teaspoon ground allspice (a pinch, basically)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
    • Peppercorn medley is fine, even better
  • 1/2 C Whole Milk
  • 1 t  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb 80/20 Ground Beef: slapped
  • 1/2 lb Ground Pork: caressed
  • 1 Large egg, plus 1 egg white: whipped until safe-word is given
  • Vegetable oil, enough to coat a pan

Ingredients: Gravy

  • 2 T  unsalted butter
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C beef bone broth
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 2 T Sour Cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  • 2 T chopped fresh flat parsley (garnish, optional)

Directions: Meatballs

  1. Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
    • If using powdered spices, add in with the milk below…
  3. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. 
  4. Pour the milk mixture over the breadcrumbs and stir to make a thick paste and allow to cool.
  5. Add the beef, pork, egg and egg white to the bowl and mix until combined.
  6. Brush a full-size baking sheet with the vegetable oil.
  7. Roll the meat into ~ 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  9. Bake the meatballs until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Directions: Gravy

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking until smooth and light blonde. Whisk in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. (it may seize up at first, but keep whisking)
  2. Add the heavy cream and sour cream, reduce the heat to medium low.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the gravy can heavily coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish; garnish with chopped parsley and a side of lingonberry jam (optional, but the jam does add a bright contrast to the heavy gravy)

Swedish Chef: “Hirdy Birdy Firdy, Bjork-Bjork!”

Translation: “It rubs the gravy on its skin, or else it gets the spoon again.”

– Jim Henson, Probably

Optional Plating

  • Cook half bag of ribbon-style egg noodles
  • Toss the cooked noodles in with the gravy and add the meatballs with some thin shaved mushroom caps. They will cook in a minute or two.
  • Lingonberry jam, on the side (optional but worth finding)


  • Make as many as you want, roll around in them like a meaty ball-pit. You could also freeze them, because they freeze really well.
  • Sour Cream adds a bit of tang to the gravy, but is not necessary if you prefer to omit it.
  • “Heavy coats the back of a spoon” – dip a cooking spoon in the gravy, pull it out vertically. Take your finger and wipe a line across the back of the spoon. Light, and heavy is determined on how long it takes the sauce to cross that line. Heavy should take at least 5 seconds, and light about 3. If the sauce never closes that gap: congratulations, you’ve made beef pudding.

I’ve seriously contemplated filling a bathtub with these, and then tossing our two dogs into it. It’s a bathtub, but it’s also meat-balls… I’m pretty sure their little minds would break.

– Love Jimi

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