Swedish Meatballs recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This Swedish Meatballs recipe is made with juicy homemade meatballs, simmered in a rich and creamy beef gravy — perfect for serving or noodles or mashed potatoes! See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.

overhead image of swedish meatballs in gravy in black pan

Love meatballs? Try this Porcupine Meatballs recipe, this Italian Meatball Soup or these Air Fryer Meatballs next!

We are a little meatball-obsessed around here, which explains our February theme for 6 Ingredient Staples — this easy Homemade Meatballs recipe.

So far, we’ve used it to make this classic Spaghetti and Meatballs (one of our all time favorite meals!) and now we’re tossing them in a rich and creamy gravy that couldn’t be simpler!

These Swedish Meatballs are totally juicy, loaded with flavor and made with just a few ingredients.

close up image of swedish meatballs in pan with wooden spoon

Serve them over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes with a solid ladle of that creamy, beefy gravy and a side salad and one of my Mom’s Homemade Buns for a meal that screams comfort food!

What is in Swedish meatball sauce?

I guess that depends on who you ask 😉

Traditionally, Swedish meatball sauce is a creamy beef gravy that starts with a simple roux (melted butter and flour to thicken), beef stock or broth and a few simple seasonings plus something to make it extra rich and creamy.

Often, that something is sour cream, and since I’m not a big fan of sour cream I usually use heavy cream instead. The heavy cream adds the perfect richness and we really love it this way!

I’ve included both in the recipe, so you can use whichever you prefer and both will be delicious!

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Variations and Substitutions:

  • Meatballs: you can swap the homemade meatballs for store bought meatballs in a pinch, though nothing compares to homemade! If you are making homemade meatballs just for these Swedish meatballs, feel free to add ¼ teaspoon nutmeg for a more authentic flavor!
  • Beef broth: I always choose low sodium stock and broth and add my own seasoning. If you have regular beef broth with salt added, you will want to leave the salt out and add to taste at the end.
  • Cream: I make my sauce with heavy cream, but you can use either cream or sour cream (and I’ve included both in the recipe), without changing anything else in the recipe and both will work just as well!
  • Seasonings: since I use my classic homemade meatball recipe for these Swedish meatballs, I add a bit of nutmeg to my sauce to get that classic flavor coming through. You can adjust the seasonings to taste as you like!

Can I make these Swedish Meatballs in the crockpot?

If you’re looking to make these meatballs in the slow cooker, check out my Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs recipe and post for more information.

Can I make these meatballs in the Instant Pot?

If you want to make Swedish meatballs in the Instant Pot, check out my Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs and Noodles for more information.

close up image of swedish meatballs on a plate of egg noodles

What should I serve with Swedish Meatballs?

We love these Swedish Meatballs served over plain cooked egg noodles or these Crockpot Mashed Potatoes — but these Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes would be an indulgent addition to your meal!

This Instant Pot Brown Rice also rounds out the meal nicely!

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Swedish Meatballs

5 from 25 votes
This Swedish Meatballs recipe is made with juicy homemade meatballs, simmered in a rich and creamy beef gravy — perfect for serving or noodles or mashed potatoes!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine American, Swedish
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 456cal



  • 1 slice soft bread
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Swedish Meatball Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or sour cream)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg



  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with tin foil — optional but helps with clean up! (OPTIONAL: instead of baking, you can also simmer right in the sauce for 8 minutes per side. I bake a big batch at once, which is why I bake them).
  • Tear bread into small pieces and place in a food processor. Process until the bread is in fine crumbs and combine with water. Stir and let sit for a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, nutmeg and soaked bread until just combined — don't overmix!
  • Shape into 1.5-2″ balls (I get about 20 this way, but you can get up to 30 if you shape them into 1″ balls) and place 1″ apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (longer for 2″ rounds, shorter for 1″ rounds), until a meat thermometer reads at least 160 degrees F in the largest meatballs (a meat thermometer is your best chance at having perfectly cooked meatballs!)
  • Remove from the oven.

Swedish Meatball Sauce

  • In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together broth, cream, Worcestershire sauce, corn starch, garlic, parsley, salt, thyme, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Pour into a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer until slightly thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs, stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until heated through (or 8 minutes per side if you are adding them raw).
  • Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes and refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 456cal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords meatballs, 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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Reader Interactions


  1. Sharon M. says

    Eating this as I’m commenting, and it is FANTASTIC!! So flavorful. I doubled the recipe and SO glad I did. Thank you for this recipe. I made exactly as written and it turned out perfect.

  2. Patty says

    I just saw this and saved! Looking forward to making!
    Question: can I use 1/2 & 1/2 instead of cream?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Patty, I haven’t tested it with 1/2 & 1/2 but you possibly could. The sauce might be a little runnier than intented.

  3. Marlene Stjernfeldt says

    Sound good but it’s not even close to real swedish meatballs. Not the ones we do here in Sweden anyways. Nor the sause but it still sounds tasty.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Marlene! It’s very tasty! Definitely not claiming it to be the real version. Each country has their own ingredients, products and ways of making recipes, so this is just my spin in on.

  4. Tara Alden says

    Absolutely loved this recipe! I didn’t listen and used beef bouillon cubes and was way too salty so did tone down with milk and sour cream. Will definitely make again with low sodium beef broth! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Megan says

    Usually with recipes I find on Pinterest I have to make a few times and figure out what to change. This recipe however was amazing first time! The only thing I’d change is doubling the sauce we were fighting over who got the last of it! So delicious thank you!

  6. Nicole says

    So I notice cheese in the picture for the meatballs do you just not put it in if you are just making them for Swedish meatballs?

  7. Brooke Mead says

    Instead of the bread can you use bread crumbs store bought? Do you still need to soak them? And how much breadcrumbs?

  8. Claudia Lamascolo says

    I have never had anything like this, heard of them but never wanted to try them until I saw this mouth watering photo On my list to make

  9. Jacqueline Meldrum says

    I usually have meatballs American style in a marinara sauce but now you’ve made me crave them this way with gravy

  10. Anjali says

    Thanks for these helpful tips to make the perfect meatballs!! These turned out to be moist and satisfying and everyone loved them!

  11. Melissa Berman says

    If I wanted to substitute almond flour for the processed bread in the meatball recipe, how much would I need? Let me know. Thanks!

5 from 25 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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