These Authentic Swedish Meatballs are a real Swedish family recipes. They're soft and delicious and make a great dinner or appetizer recipes.
Authentic Swedish Meatballs
A great majority of my side of the family is Swedish, and this is our family recipe. It's pretty dang authentic. Every Christmas my grandma would host a Smorgasbord on Christmas, and these would always be on her menu, along with some other authentic Swedish foods and some American ones too. Since having my own family, I've decided to carry on the tradition, and these meatballs are still on the menu.
They're soft, juicy, and comforting, and waaaay better than the ones you can buy at the store! They make a great and filling dinner or a yummy appetizer recipe too. I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine does!
why they're awesome
Are Authentic Swedish Meatballs Really Baked?
Well, no. That's the only part of this recipe that doesn't follow my grandma's. I usually triple or quadruple this recipe for holidays, so I started baking them because it's sooo much faster than pan cooking them in batches.
Here are the pan-cooking directions if you want to cook them like my grandma:
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Brown the meatballs, a few at a time, in the butter. They will need near constant rolling to get them to keep their ball shape (which I haven't entirely mastered). I also usually brown only 5-6 at a time so I can watch them and try to get them to keep their shape. Remove meatballs from skillet and place in a large baking dish. Continue browning your meatballs until they're all done. If you feel you need more butter, go ahead and add some.
How to Serve Swedish Meatballs
Traditionally Swedish Meatballs are served with pureed potatoes, lingonberries (which you can find here on Amazon), and pressed cucumber. In America, you can substitute lingonberries for cranberry sauce, as it's way easier to come by, and pressed cucumbers are similar to cucumber salad made with vinegar.
Serve your Swedish meatballs with warm buttered egg noodles or creamy mashed potatoes to soak up all that gravy goodness.
More X Recipes You'll Love
- Swedish Meatball Mac and Cheese - a fun cheesy take on Swedish meatballs. Would also be a yummy way to use up leftovers.
- Authentic Swedish Limpa Bread - a unique spiced Swedish bread that we mostly reserve for Christmas.
- Gingersnaps - another recipe passed down to me by my grandma. These cookies are snappy on the outside and soft in the middle with the perfect spiced flavor.
Authentic Swedish Meatballs
For the meatballs
- 1 ½ cups bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¾ pounds ground beef
- ½ pound ground veal
- ¼ pound lean ground pork
- 1 cup half and half
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoons instant coffee
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the Gravy
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half and half
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Salt to taste
- In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and milk. Set aside and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a skillet, saute onions in 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your meats, onion, half-and-half, parsley, bread crumbs, ginger, and instant coffee. Mix with clean hands until everything is incorporated very well.
- Scoop a rounded tablespoon of the meat mixture, and form into a ball. Place into a mini muffin tin. Continue rolling until you've used all your meat or your tin is full.
- Place tin on a baking sheet to catch drips that might fall in your oven. Bake in a 400°F oven for 17-20 min, until cooked through.
- Remove meatballs from tin using a spoon. Place on a plate and set aside. Empty remaining drippings into a large pot.
For the gravy
- Add butter to make a full ¼ cup of drippings if you don't have enough.
- Stir flour into the drippings, and allow to warm for about a minute.
- Slowly add your half-and-half, and stir to combine until the mixture is smooth. Your mixture should be fairly thin at this point, about the consistency of plain half-and-half. If your mixture is to thick, add a little more half-and-half, a quarter cup at a time until it thins.
- Add the ginger and instant coffee, and continue stirring over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until gravy thickens.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add meatballs back to gravy, and stir to coat.
- Serve alone or over warm butter egg noodles.
- You'll need at least ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) drippings from the meatballs. If you don't have enough, make up the difference with butter.
- You can use a mixer to mix the meat mixture, but your meatballs will be more soft and tender if you use your hands to mix.
- If meat is sticking to your hands while rolling meatballs, wet them with cold water. Just re-wet whenever the meatballs start sticking again.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet on the stove or in individual servings in the microwave.