Swedish Meatballs



I made these Swedish Meatballs tonight and they were so good I had to post the recipe.   The photo doesn’t really do them justice, but I wanted to put the recipe up, so I decided to go with it.

In my post-college days before I began to do a lot of cooking, I used to eat frozen dinners.  For some reason, I never found it a lot of fun to cook for myself.   I loved to have dinner parties and cook for groups, which I did on many a weekend, but when I got home from work on a weekday I’d often have a frozen dinner and Stouffer’s Swedish Meatballs was one of my favorites.  In the most recent issue of Cooks Illustrated magazine (which I love by the way – my parents gave me a subscription for Christmas) I found the recipe for Swedish Meatballs and decided I had to try it.   They’re really easy to make.  These meatballs beat Stouffer’s in taste hands-down, and they’re much better for you.   Can you believe that the Stouffer’s meatballs contain trans-fats??  Who knew?  I didn’t think anyone sold food with trans-fats anymore, but I guess not.    I highly recommend that you try these, they’re really good!   They’d be great over egg noodles.

Swedish Meatballs
Cooks Illustrated, January-February 2009

For the Meatballs

1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 slice white bread, crusts removed and bread torn into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces ground pork
1 small onion, grated on large holes of box grater (about 1/4 cup)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground black powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces 85% lean ground beef
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

For the Sauce

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed from 1 lemon
salt & fresh ground pepper

For the Meatballs: Whisk egg and cream together in medium bowl.  Stir in bread and set aside.  Meanwhile, in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat pork, onion, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary.  Using fork, mash bread mixture until no large dry bread chunks remain; add mixture to mixer bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute, scraping bowl as necessary. Add beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as necessary.  Using moistened hands, form generous tablespoon of meat mixture into 1-inch round meatball; repeat with remaining mixture to form 25 to 30 meatballs.

Heat oil in 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until edge of meatball dipped in oil sizzles (oil should register 350 degrees on instant-read thermometer), 3 to 5 minutes.  Add meatballs in single layer and fry, flipping once halfway through cooking, until lightly browned all over and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking.) Using slotted spoon, transfer browned meatballs to paper towel-lined plate.

For the Sauce: Pour off and discard oil in pan, leaving any fond (browned bits) behind.  Return pan to medium-high heat and add butter.  When foaming subsides, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is light brown, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Add brown sugar and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and return to simmer.

Add meatballs to sauce and simmer, turning occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 4 – 6

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4 comments to Swedish Meatballs

  • Carly

    Thanks again, Diane, for your awesome website. I constantly refer to it for inspiration. Just this week, I needed to fix a couple of meals for some teachers at my grandson’s school (one had a very sick husband and the other a new baby). The meatballs were a great idea!

  • January

    Hi Diane,

    I too love swedish meatballs, and also used to eat the Stouffer’s version. The problem is that they just don’t give you enough, and I know they are full of sodium. I made this recipe last week, and they were SO good, I’m making them again tonight. Delicious!

  • Hi January,

    I’m so glad you liked them!


  • Man, my grandmomma was Italian and she made the most amazing meatballs I ever tasted, like you had died and gone to meatball heaven. Sadly, she died last year and she didnt leave a recipe for me so I’ve been trying to work it out on my own… slowly working my through the meatball recipes here, I still cant figure out what her secret ingredient was though!!!

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