Swedish Meatballs (Ikea Meatballs) | Jernej Kitchen
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Swedish Meatballs
Served with creamy sauce

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are a fantastic main dish made in half an hour. Make them in an oven or on the stove, and serve the meatballs with the best cream sauce.

Swedish Meatballs
You can try these fantastic Swedish Meatballs, or Köttbullar as they call it, in every Ikea restaurant worldwide. We never ate them there, but we adore them nonetheless. So much so that we even wrote a version of the recipe in our cookbook Epic 30-Minute Roasts. These small, bite-sized balls are made with ground beef (either beef or a mixture of beef and pork), bread, onion, garlic, and spices. In this recipe, we use spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, to create warm flavors. This is the perfect family meal for all seasons.

The most delicious Swedish Meatballs

Mmm, these are SO GOOD! I am still daydreaming about that creamy sauce and gorgeous baked meatballs. Feel free to serve them with lingonberry jam; it creates a lovely balance. These are the top reasons why we love these meatballs so much:

  • The meatballs are small and perfect for two bites. The texture is soft and beautifully caramelized outside
  • make them in an oven or on the stove
  • the sauce is rich, creamy, and delicious
  • use BAM Spices or a mixture of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  • store them in the fridge or the freezer
  • the perfect family meal (our toddler loves them!)
  • great for any day of the year

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Essential ingredients for Swedish Meatballs

These are the essential ingredients you will need to make this recipe. They are all easily accessible all around the globe, even though they originate from Sweden.

Bread - use white sandwich bread without the crust. Cut into small pieces and add to the meat mixture. This will make the meatballs softer.

Milk - the milk will add a subtle dairy flavor and sweetness.

BAM Spices - We used BAM Spices Arabic Coffee Mixture in this recipe because even though it has the word "Arabic" in the name, it contains all the spices we need: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. If you can't get these spices in your country, feel free to use a mixture of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Meat - use ground beef or a mixture of ground beef (80%) and ground pork (20%).

Sauce - is thick, creamy, and perfectly spiced. It's made with butter, flour, beef stock, whipping cream, and herbs.

Dill - you will find a lot of dill in Swedish cuisine, which also adds a lovely aroma to this recipe.

BAM Spices Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs mixture

Swedish Meatballs before baking

How to make Swedish Meatballs on the stove

These Swedish Meatballs can be baked in an oven or pan-fried in a pan on the stove. 

To make them on the stove, use a large non-stick pan. Place a pan with a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the Swedish Meatballs and pan-fry them for 3 - 4 minutes or until brown and cooked. Leave enough space between the meatballs so that you can easily turn them.

making sauce for Swedish Meatballs

sauce for Swedish Meatballs

sauce for Swedish Meatballs

What to serve with these Ikea Meatballs

Serve these Swedish Meatballs with a generous amount of that delicious creamy sauce and one of these sides:

Storing and freezing

Feel free to store or freeze Swedish Meatballs. We can easily make them ahead and freeze them for later. This way, we can have them ready for a quick meal any day of the week. Always prepare the sauce from scratch.

Keep the cooked Swedish Meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before serving, reheat.

We can freeze the uncooked Swedish Meatballs (without the sauce) too. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer to freeze. Once completely frozen, transfer to a plastic bag. Keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost before using or bake them for three minutes longer if you are going to use frozen meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Try these delicious ground meat recipes


Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • cook/bake:
  • total time:


  • preparation (for oven baking)

    Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the fan-assisted oven to 220 °C / 430 °F or a conventional oven to 230 °C / 445 °F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • stir the ingredients for the meatballs

    In a bowl, combine bread cut into small pieces, warm milk, diced onion, garlic, and chopped parsley. Season with BAM Spices Arabic Coffee Mixture (or 1 tsp homemade mixture made of ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves). Add an egg and stir well with a spatula.

  • shape in meatballs and bake

    Add the meat and the bread mixture to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Knead into a smooth mixture and shape into 36 small meatballs, approximately 3 cm or 1-inch in diameter. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 12 minutes at 220 °C / 430 °F (fan-assisted oven) or at 230 °C / 445 °F in a conventional oven.

    Feel free to pan-fry the meatballs on the stove - more information above.
  • Swedish Meatballs

    Make the sauce. Place a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter. When it melts, add the flour and stir well with a spoon. Cook for 5 - 8 minutes or until the flour is golden-brown. Be careful not to burn it. While whisking continuously with a whisk, pour the beef broth to get a smooth sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the whipping cream and season with salt and pepper. Add the baked meatballs and simmer for another 6 - 8 minutes. Serve with chopped parsley and dill.


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