Creamy Swedish Meatballs

As a food blogger and recipe developer, I’ve made my fair share of meatballs, mostly with a tomato based sauce. These Creamy Swedish meatballs are a surprising departure from the usual. If you are late to the party like me, you are in for the most delicious surprise.

Meatballs and spaghetti originated from New York in the early 1920’s, the creation of ingenious Italian immigrants, not from Italy, as is often thought. Most countries have their own version of meatballs. Favourites in the Bibby’s Kitchen are tapas-style Spanish meatballs, North African chermoula meatballs and of course, Italian Prosciutto meatballs. Adding to the blog’s meatball repertoire is my latest favourite, creamy Swedish meatballs. It is my first time making this Nordic speciality, Sweden’s famed meatball, known to locals as Köttbullar.

Creamy Swedish Meatballs

The sauce is rich with sturdy flavourings that meld easily together. One would think that being a Swedish recipe, the ingredients would be hard to find. Surprisingly, they’re everyday pantry staples really – Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a pot of cream. That takes care of the sauce. For the meatballs you’ll need fresh parsley, mixed spices, egg and breadcrumbs.

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are made with pork mince. I made it with beef mince and it worked a charm. I’ve also added mushrooms to the sauce and a drizzle of lemony extra virgin olive oil to contrasts the richness of the sauce. Fluffy mashed potatoes or tagliatelle are happy bedfellows.

Creamy Swedish Meatballs


Creamy Swedish meatballs with mushrooms
Serves: 4
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (all spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) butter
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) Worcestershire sauce
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) Dijon mustard
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tbls)
  • 250ml (1cup) fresh cream
  • a handful fresh flat leaf parsley, to finish
  1. In a large-based frying pan, sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Scrape into a mixing bowl and cool.
  2. In the same pan, cook the mushrooms on a high heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Season lightly with salt and oregano. Remove from the pan, cover and set aside.
  3. To make the meatballs, combine the mince, sautéed onion, breadcrumbs, egg, chopped parsley, spices, salt and pepper. Mix by hand until all the aromatics and breadcrumbs are evenly worked through.
  4. Roll into smallish balls. The mixture yields about 20 -25 meatballs. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan and cook the meatballs until browned on all sides. Add the meatballs to the cooked mushrooms.
  5. Add the butter to the remaining oils in the pan and heat until bubbling. Stir through the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the hot chicken stock, whisking all the while to prevent lumps forming.
  6. Once all the stock is incorporated, add the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Stir in the cream and bring slowly up to the boil.
  7. Return the meatballs to the pan and coat in the creamy sauce. Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
  8. Scatter over a handful of chopped fresh parsley and drizzle with Lemon enhanced olive oil.
  9. Serve with buttered tagliatelle pasta or garlic mashed potatoes.

Here are those meatball recipes I mentioned before.

Spanish meatballs

Barbecue meatballs with bacon gravy




22 Comments. Leave new

  • Can’t wait to get home tonight !!!!
    They look great.

  • Just right for a rainy, grey day like this! I’m definitely going to try these Di. Thank you! x

  • So excited!!! I have been wanting to try Swedish meatballs for ages! And now I have a recipe from a trusted source 😉 Going to make this asap!!! Yay 🙂

  • I know, me too. Hard to believe it’s taken me so long, but finally I’ve made the Swedish version. So good.

  • Hey Gilly. It’s pure creamy comfort and so much simpler than I thought. x

  • You’ll have to move! Good things don’t hang around….

  • These meatballs look great Di. They are one of my favourite things and these look so authentic!

  • Kids of all ages (including grown up kids!), just love meatballs. These are creamy and so very comforting.

  • I made Swedish meatballs for the first time earlier this year. I was completely blown away by the sauce, just amazing. Thanks for this recipe! Try using sour cream instead of cream next time you make them, really yum 🙂

  • I’ve always stuck to a tomato based sauce with meatballs, so this creamy version is an interesting and very indulgent departure. I always seem to have a pot of sour cream somewhere in the fridge, so I’m going to give it a try soon. Thanks Mari.

  • Made these and they did not disappoint. Thanks Di!

  • Pleasure Michelle. How good? Real comfort food.

  • VICTORIA walker
    29 July 2018 4:45 pm

    Tried these mouth watering meatballs, which were loved by the whole family. Will surely make them again. Thank you.

  • Dianne Bibby
    30 July 2018 5:08 am

    Hi Vicky. I love recipes that the whole family can enjoy. It makes cooking so much simpler. These creamy meatballs always go down a treat here too! Thanks for stopping in.

  • I have made these quite a few times already now and plan to make them this evening for my Swedish mother-in-law (yikes). One time, I broke the sauce by mistake by putting in the oven to keep warm (still learning how NOT to do things but oh well)… such an amazing recipe. Thanks for introducing me to such yumminess!!

  • Dianne Bibby
    27 August 2018 8:10 am

    Hi Amy. I hope your Mum in law loved the meatballs. There are a couple of variations in this recipe that are slightly different from traditional Swedish recipes, but I think they add extra flavour. Thank you for sharing your meatball ‘pitfalls’ with us!

  • Wow! Didn’t know a meatball could be so good. That has to go up there with one of the best things I ever ate and I’m no stranger to good food.

  • Dianne Bibby
    15 April 2019 10:14 am

    Thank you Tom! They’re rather special. Never can say to a good meatball.

  • I always add a teaspoon of honey it takes this sauce to a new level

  • Hi Jo. Thank you for the handy tip. Definitely going to try this next time.

  • We always add some honey to the sauce – it’s next level. We make the meatballs with an equal mix beef & pork mince

  • I do love the combination of two different meats. Often, I’ll mix lamb and beef. I haven’t tried beef and pork together though. Next time I make these, I’m going to follow your tips. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.