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Better Than IKEA Swedish Meatballs

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Swedish


These easy IKEA-style Swedish Meatballs are really easy to make at home with a traditional gravy, delicious served with mashed potatoes, peas and Swedish lingonberry jam.



For the Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • light oil
  • 400g (14 oz) pork mince
  • 250g (8 1/2 oz) beef mince
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • light oil
  • mashed potatoes, to serve
  • green peas, to serve
  • lingonberry jam, to serve

For the Gravy

  • 50g (1 3/4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (heaped) plain flour
  • 600ml (2 1/2 cups) fresh chicken or beef stock
  • 2 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp single or double cream (optional)


  1. To make the meatballs, peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic clove before gently frying in 1/2 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. Place the cooked onion and garlic, pork and beef mince, panko breadcrumbs, the egg, milk, salt, nutmeg and a generous amount of black pepper in a large bowl before mixing well with your hands. You want everything combined into a uniform mixture, but you want to avoid scrunching the meat together too much – this will make hard and heavy meatballs.
  3. Using wet hands to help with the shaping, shape the meatball mixture into slightly smaller than average meatballs. You should get around 44. Set aside.
  4. Heat just enough oil to completely cover the bottom of a large frying pan over a medium high until it is shimmering. Fry the meatballs in batches, turning regularly to make sure they’re golden on each side and just cooked through. Work in batches, frying them in a clockwise circle so you can always keep track of how long they’ve been on, setting them to drain on a kitchen towel lined plate to catch any excess oil once they’re done.
  5. Pour any excess oil from the pan and use another piece of kitchen towel to carefully gather up any burnt bits. You can of course start with a new pan or totally wipe it clean, but brown rather than burnt bits will help add flavour to your gravy.
  6. Return the pan to the heat along with the butter and melt until frothy. Add the flour and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes until the flour is nutty brown. Gradually whisk in the stock until you have a smooth, thickening sauce. Add the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste before returning the meatballs to the sauce, stirring so that they’re all coated in the gravy. Leave them on the heat for 5 minutes or so until heated through. Stir through the cream and a little more water, stock or even milk if you need it to loosen the sauce. Check the seasoning again before serving alongside mashed potatoes, boiled peas and a good dollop of lingonberry jam.