Global Recipe: Elise's Swedish Meatballs

Elise’s Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are a traditional delicacy from Sweden especially popular around Christmas Time. They can be served on their own with a side of jelly as an appetizer, or with the cream sauce and noodles as a meal.



Prep Time: 20 minutes     Cook Time: 1 hour    Servings: 8-10 (40-50 meatballs)



  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled, grated (use the large holes of a box cheese grater)

  • 2/3 cup milk

  • 4-5 slices of bread, crusts removed, bread cut into pieces

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper


  • 6 Tbsp butter

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 quart beef stock

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream

  • Salt

  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of Lingonberry, red currant, raspberry or cranberry jelly, less or more to taste (optional)

Egg Noodles (Optional)



Mince onion and saute with butter for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Set aside to cool.

Tear bread into small pieces and soak in a large bowl with the milk. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes for the bread to absorb all of the milk. Once the bread has soaked up the milk put the bread in a food processor and pulse until it has been completely broken up (or shred by hand). Return the pulverized milk soaked bread to the bowl.

Combine bread, onions, eggs, meat, spices: Stir the cooled onions into the milk bread mixture. Add the eggs, ground pork and beef, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Use your (clean) hands to mix everything together until well combined.

Form meatballs: roll meatballs about an inch-thick and place them on a plate or sheet pan.

Brown meatballs on all sides: Heat 6 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted and foamy, start adding some meatballs to the pan. Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, slowly brown the meatballs on all sides. Handle the meatballs gently so they do not break apart as you turn them.


Once the meatballs have browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and set aside. You do not need to cook the meatballs all the way through at this point, you only need to brown them. You'll finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce later.

Add 6 Tbsp of butter to the pan.  Add flour to butter in pan to make roux: To make the sauce, first make the roux. Heat the butter in the pan on medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stir until smooth. Continue to stir, allowing the flour mixture to cook, several minutes, until the roux is the color of coffee-with-cream.  When the roux has cooked to a lovely shade of light brown, slowly add the stock to the roux, stirring as you add the stock. Stir slowly over heat until the sauce becomes silky smooth. (may take a few minutes)


Add meatballs to sauce: Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and lower the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. You may need to work in batches.

When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a serving dish to serve. Add sour cream to the roux. Either stir the jelly into the sauce or serve it on the side.

Best served over egg noodles.





Recipe originally found here.