Swedish Meatballs Recipe

A recipe from Sweden modified for today's culinary culture. Keeping to the true flavor and techniques in the book, this is a recipe for anyone and good enough to be included on this site. 

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 40 meatballs


  • 3 cups soft breadcrumbs cut in small pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup thin cream or heavy milk whole milk or half and half


  1. Soak bread crumbs in milk for 10 minutes

  2. Meanwhile saute the onions in 1/2 the butter over medium heat until onion is light brown

  3. Mix the meat with the spices, egg, breadcrumbs and onion.  NOTE:  I forgot to add the onion and instead used the onion in the sauce and it was awesome. So if you don't like onion in the meatballs, just leave them in the pan.

  4. Form into small balls.  I used a cooking scooper then divided htem in half.  This made them much easier to keep similar in size.   NOTE:  The meatball mixture will be moist, but not so much you can't form a ball.  

  5. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan to melt over medium heat

  6. Add the meatballs and roll them so they are coated with the butter on all sides (I found this to help)

  7. Slightly brown the meatballs on all sides.  This involves using a spoon or other utensil to turn them as they cook.  I found a spoon was easiest to use. 

  8. When browned on all sides, coat the meatballs in the pan with the flour and cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

  9. Add the 1/2 cup of rich milk, cover and cook another 5 minutes.  

  10. Make sure meatballs are cooked all the way through, if not continue cooking. 

  11. Enjoy and serve warm with sauce. 

Recipe Notes

  1. In my pictures you'll see onion in the pan.  That's because I made a mistake and forgot to mix it in with the meatballs.  It ended up being a good mistake as it added flavor to the sauce even more so.  Either way is fine.  But the original recipe says to add the onions to the meat mixture.  
  2. The original recipe called for 1 lb of beef chunks that would be put through a grinder.  So I used 1 lb of ground beef at first but it was not enough beef and the mixture was so moist that I could not even form balls.  So to compensate I added in more breadcrumbs and another pound of beef.   Upped the quantity only of my paprika as I was afraid anymore nutmeg would be too strong.  
  3. I used a cookie scooper that we bought originally for baking.  I used it for my first batch but decided they were about double the size of those small Swedish meatballs.  Frankly, since I was doing this for a large crowd I made my next batch smaller so we'd have more "quantity" just in case.  So this can make about 20 medium sized balls and about 40 small ones.  Use what works for you just make sure the balls are cooked all through. :)