Sunday, January 24, 2010

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a necessary part of any smörgåsbord, and are a great belly-warmer during the cold winter months. This recipe uses a lot of breadcrumbs, which helps the meatballs to really soak up the Swedish gravy-sauce. This meatball recipe is great by itself, though, and using panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) instead of white bread gives these meatballs a lighter texture.

I don’t like to overcrowd the Swedish gravy-sauce, so this recipe actually yields a few extra sauce-free meatballs - feel free to use them up later in the week with spaghetti or on a meatball sub!

Yields 96 meatballs; for larger meatballs, use a 1-tablespoon measure instead - recipe will then yield about 48 meatballs.

Directions (adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe):
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth
  1. Preheat oven to 475° F. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, ½ cup milk, eggs, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Mix just until combined, being careful not to overwork the meat.
  2. Using a rounded ½-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 96 - for larger meatballs, a 1-tablespoon measure should yield about 48 meatballs). Place meatballs onto two rimmed baking sheets, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high, and add flour, whisking for 1 minute (do not let darken). Slowly whisk in remaining cup milk and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, add meatballs to bowl with sauce; gently toss to combine. Serve as a side dish with lingonberry jam (or as an appetizer on toothpicks). If served as a main course, mashed potatoes or egg noodles are traditional pairings.


  1. Yummy! This looks especially good because I'm freezing right now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Meatballs in sauce are not appropriate for a Smorgasbord. Sauced, they are a standalone entree. Panko is a foreign abomination and should be avoided.

  3. @Anonymous: i love panko! this may not be "authentic smorgasbord" stuff, but it sounds way better and lighter than some dense brick of a meatball. and who wants to eat meatballs without sauce? way to go little scarlet, these sound fab! can't wait to try them!

  4. Where's the lingonberry jam!? Is that traditional or has Ikea been making things up?

  5. Hey Anonymous (#2)! I'm 99% sure lingonberry jam is traditional, but even if IKEA made it up, it still tastes great! It's not in this picture here, but it made its way on to the plate at the end (see step 4).

  6. Funny story about Swedish Meatballs. My wife and I stopped at a deli early one morning. The boss was telling a new employee make a sign for the meatballs, while I wait on these people. While the boss was filling our order the lady put the sign out Sweetish Meatballs $x.xx per pound. My wife and I laughed and wondered if they would catch the sign before the day was over.

  7. Hi Scarlet.

    I so wish there was a place to rate and review these recipies. I would give this 5 out of 5 stars.

    I made your recipie about a month ago. I did not have panko (do they have this at wholefoods?) but they still came out great with normal beeadcrumbs.

    I am going to make these again for our Superbowl party. Will check WF for panko.

    Thanks again for the recipie!!


  8. what law of the land says meatballs in sauce are not for a smorgasbord? who left you in charge? a smorgasbord is anything you want it to be.