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Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

Prep Time 40 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 55 mins
Servings 8 servings

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These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are perfect for busy weeknights or an elegant holiday dinner! Made with homemade meatballs, beef broth, cream and perfectly seasoned, the slow cooker does all the work!

easy swedish meatballs overhead on grey plate with mashed potatoes and asparagus

November is here and we are officially well into comfort food season (if we weren’t already a month or two ago!).

Meatballs are one of my favorite comfort foods, and I love how many ways there are to do them up! We’ve been loving these Sweet and Sour Crockpot Meatballs and Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs for a long time now.

These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are one of my favorite new recipes for a few reasons:

  • The slow cooker makes weeknight dinners manageable during this crazy season! And Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners make clean up pretty much non-existent — done in 8 seconds or less!
  • They’re saucy — like my toddler, I’m all about the sauces, the dips and the garnishes. I like my meat smothered in something creamy and delicious, and this Swedish meatball sauce definitely does the trick!
  • They’ll do double duty: need an easy meal to throw in on a busy night? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs! Need a potluck offering for a holiday dinner? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs! Need something elegant to serve guests that won’t make you lose your mind? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs!
crockpot swedish meatballs overhead with slow cooker liner on white background

So go grab your slow cooker, your Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner, and let’s get this party started 😉

How to make Swedish Meatballs:

  1. We’re making our meatballs from scratch, but they come together quickly with just a few ingredients. I like to use a combination of lean ground beef and pork (and I do this often when I make burgers as well!), but you can use all beef or even chicken or turkey if you like. When I make meatballs, I love to make a big batch, bake them off, and freeze so they’re ready to just throw in the slow cooker.
  2. Stir together the sauce — and you can do this in about 3 seconds 😉
  3. Throw both together in the slow cooker lined with a Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner, and let the magic happen — clean your house, put up your feet, or sip a glass of something bubbly before your guests arrive.
  4. Scoop and serve! There’s nothing to do before serving, which makes it easy to get your side dishes in order.

What’s in Swedish Meatball Sauce?

There are a couple of different ways to make Swedish meatball gravy, and I’m a little opinionated on the matter for one reason: I don’t like sour cream.

It’s a weird preference I have: no sour cream, no mayo, no dressings. But once I figured out how delicious Swedish meatball sauce is made with cream and no sour cream, I feel head over heels in love.

My Swedish meatball sauce is made with beef broth, cream, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and parsley. It is so easy and so flavorful!

Many people swap the cream for sour cream, and you can absolutely do that if you prefer.

swedish meatballs in gravy on mashed potatoes on grey plate with white background

Can I use frozen meatballs for these Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs?

Absolutely!

If you know me, you know I’m all about taking advantage of smart shortcuts when you need them.

You can swap the homemade meatballs for frozen, store bought in these Crockpot Swedish Meatballs and no one will know, which makes this recipe even more weeknight-friendly.

Can I skip the baking and just throw the meatballs right in?

I recently tested this recipe with the raw meatballs added to the slow cooker with the sauce and cooked.

It worked fine, but the meatballs will release more of the meat juices into the sauce as they cook. This can lead to the sauce looking “fatty” or being thinner than expected.

The meatballs themselves were great and the sauce was still delicious.

Can I sear the meatballs on the stove top instead of baking?

You can absolutely sear the meatballs before adding to the slow cooker rather than bake them.

I usually bake my meatballs because, with 3 kids running around, it is easier and requires less of my attention.

To sear, simply heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil.

Add the meatballs in a single layer, leaving a little room in between each. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and brown the other side.

You do not want them to cook completely, as they will finish cooking in the slow cooker. Our goal is just to keep the juices inside the meatballs.

What should I serve with easy Swedish Meatballs?

I like to keep my sides simple as a blank slate to soak up all of that gravy — these Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes are the perfect complement, but plain boiled egg noodles work just as well!

Add something green — a salad, some steamed broccoli, green beans or asparagus — and you’re good to go!

slow cooker swedish meatballs plated with bowl of meatballs and reynolds slow cooker liners

More slow cooker meals you’ll love:

*This post has been generously sponsored by Reynolds Kitchens and I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Recipe Rebel!

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Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

3.7 from 10 votes
These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are perfect for busy weeknights or an elegant holiday dinner! Made with homemade meatballs, beef broth, cream and perfectly seasoned, the slow cooker does all the work!
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 55 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings
Calories 264cal

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef (more fat, means juicier meatballs but higher calories)
  • 1 lb ground pork (more fat, means juicier meatballs but higher calories)
  • 1/2 onion grated or finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 1/4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg

Instructions

Baked Meatballs

  • Stir together beef, pork, onion, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and egg in a large bowl just until combined — don't overmix.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Shape meat into 1-1.5" balls and place 1" apart on baking sheet. (I get about 35 1.5" meatballs)
  • Bake for 10 minutes, just until browned on the outside (see post above for other options).
  • Set aside to cool slightly. (*At this point, once cooled, you can freeze up to 3 months for a variety of uses).

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

  • Place one Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner in a 2.5-4 quart slow cooker. Place meatballs in slow cooker.
  • Stir together broth, half and half, corn starch, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsley, salt, thyme, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over meatballs in slow cooker.
  • Cook on low until heated through and sauce has thickened — about 4-5 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
  • Serve with sauce over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 264cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 616mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords crockpot swedish meatballs, slow cooker swedish meatballs

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Gil says

    Followed this recipe verbatim. The starch separated and looks clotty. Seems like some element like sour cream is missing from this recipe. For those that were “successful” did you follow this exactly or add something else. If you have to have something boil in a crockpot i.e cornstarch that seems counter to the purpose of slow cooking

  2. Emma S says

    Delicious! I made this last night for my roommates and I. I was short on time, so I cooked mine on high for two hours. I was worried at first bc my sauce hadn’t really thickened up, so I separated it from the meatballs and simmered it on the stove. I added a little more cream and another tbs of corn starch, as well, and that did the trick! The meal turned out great and the meatballs were flavorful and juicy. Thanks for this recipe! You’re my favorite food blogger!

  3. Stacy says

    The flavor of the sauce was good, but unfortunately the meatballs were very dry and lacked flavor. I followed the directions to a tee. We won’t be making this one again.

  4. Darcey says

    This recipe is soooo confusing. The way that it is written, you make it seem like, you make the meatballs and then crockpot.

  5. Sarah says

    This recipe is delicious! But how do I get my sauce to thicken?? I added more corn starch near the end but it still separated and turned runny.

  6. Beth Pierce says

    I made these over the weekend for my family and they just loved them! Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Katie says

    Are you supposed to use half and half or heavy whipping cream. You alternate back and forth in the description. Thanks!

  8. Stephanie says

    Yummy recipe and making it again. My question is if you half the recipe, how long do you cook it on low for? Plan on putting about 25 meatballs in the crockpot.

  9. Shelley says

    This recipe is confusing. It’s labeled slow cooker meatballs so I didn’t see that the first part of the recipe was for baked and they were seperate recipes. So now I baked and put in the Crock-Pot and I have disgusting overcooked meatballs that I just have to toss in garbage.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Shelley. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy them! Baking meatballs, and then slowly simmering in a creamy sauce is not an uncommon technique and should not results in overcooked garbage meatballs. Most slow cooker meatball recipes will require fully cooked or at least browned meatballs, so I didn’t think this would come as a surprise.

      • Kelly M says

        Hello! If I want to make the meatballs (not frozen) and slow cook it- would I add the meatballs raw or bake them first and then add to slow cooker?

        Thank you! So excited to try this.

        • Ashley Fehr says

          I would bake, broil or pan fry first, even if they are only browned on the outside and not cooked through. It will keep in some of the juices and prevent your sauce from getting all fatty.

  10. Dani Brady says

    Do I have to use that Reynolds wrap liner ? Is the purpose just for easy cleanup or will it be ruined if I don’t use it ? 🙂

  11. Meg Fehr says

    Served these meatballs overtop of cream cheese mashed potatoes (recipe also from Recipe Rebel) and dinner was a huge hit! I elected to add a little more cornstarch near the end of cooking to thicken the sauce up a bit more, but the flavours were awesome and all the plates were scraped clean!

  12. Kendra says

    My sauce never thickened in the slow cooker – I cooked it on 5 hours on low. Any idea what I might have done wrong? I mixed everything up the night before (double checked all the ingredients) so I could throw it in the slow cooker in the morning… could that have caused the issue?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I don’t think that caused an issue! I’m wondering if your meatballs were frozen or maybe they were very juicy and released extra moisture? I would just stir together some extra cream and corn starch to thicken the sauce

  13. Tracy says

    I am getting ready to try this recipe, but I noticed in the first step to bake the meatballs that egg is listed to add, but it isn’t in the list of ingredients. Can that be corrected?

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