culinary review

Traditional Swedish Meatballs (Svenska Köttbullar)

Last Modified: 12/06/10
First Published: 10/18/07
Views: 12696
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Views: 12696
one ounce meatballs

Traditional Swedish Meatballs (Svenska Köttbullar)

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General Info
Servings: 30
Total Cost: $10.72
Cost Per Serving: $0.36
Total Calories: 1,790
Calories/Serving: 60
Milk, Whole (hot) 1/3 Cup 79.20 Grams $0.08 50
Bread Crumbs Italian Style 1/4 Cup 28.00 Grams $0.16 110
Bouillon Cubes, Beef * 12.00 Grams $0.19 40
Onion, Yellow Diced 1/2 Cup 80.00 Grams $0.18 34
Beef, Ground * 0.75 Pound $3.04 425
Pork, Ground * 0.75 Pound $6.07 547
Eggs, Chicken 2/3 Cups 95.11 Grams $0.32 148
Worcestershire Sauce 2 Tablespoons 30.00 Grams $0.20 30
Salt, Kosher 1/2 Teaspoon 2.40 Grams $0.01 0
Black Pepper, Ground 1/2 Teaspoon 1.07 Grams $0.01 3
Nutmeg, Ground 1/4 Teaspoon 0.58 Gram $0.11 3
Allspice, Ground 1/4 Teaspoon 0.50 Gram $0.10 1
Butter, Unsalted 4 Tablespoons 56.00 Grams $0.25 400

Swedish meatballs are real comforting fall and winter food. Warm, hearty and oh-so tasty, they are a perfect project on a dreary Sunday afternoon. We like to make a double (or triple) batch and freeze some, because they are perfect to keep on hand in the freezer.Swedish_meatballs

There is something nice and soothing about rolling each little meatball to a perfect size and watch them line up on baking sheet one by one. Then frying batch after batch and satisfyingly watch your fall storage come together. This is a project that’s fun to gather your friends and family around. Anybody with clean hands, old or young can help out and roll. And let’s face it, after rolling 20 or 30 meatballs, you don’t mind switching off and letting someone else take a turn…

Swedish meatballs are usually quite small as opposed to Italian meatballs and traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam. If you can’t find lingonberry jam, a nice cranberry sauce is a possible substitute, since cranberries share the lingonberry’s sweet tartness.

These meatballs are also nice to serve next to a red beet salad – or favorite is making sandwiches using a dark bread, red beet salad and meatballs cut in half. That’s also quite a traditional combination, and for those of you who never heard of it, you should really try it, because it’s quite good!

Swedish Meatballs (Svenska Köttbullar)swedish_meatballs

About 30 meatballs (4 to six servings)

  • 1/3 cup hot milk
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 bullion cube
  • ½ cup very finely chopped onion (or grated)
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Butter for frying

Swedish_Meatballs Method:

In a small bowl, combine hot milk, bread crumbs, crumbled bullion cube and chopped onion. Stir and set aside and let swell for a few minutes.

In a bowl, or a mixer, with paddle attachment combine the meat, the bread-and-milk mixture, the eggs, the Worcester sauce and the spices. Either mix well with a wooden spoon or beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.


Roll our meatballs, using your hands and place them on a sheet pan. We like to make each meatball slightly under 1 oz in weight, but you can certainly make them as large or small as you like. Swedish meatballs are traditionally quite small…

When you have rolled them all out, heat some butter in a cast-iron pan. Wait until the butter is warm and bubbly, and carefully add the meatballs. Be sure to not turn them too soon, you want to make sure they form a nice surface before rolling them around, or they might break. Sauté until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes, then transfer to another sheet pan and start a new batch.

If you’re planning to eat these right away, then you can keep them in a low oven to keep them warm, while you sauté the rest. If you want to cool them, you can place them on a sheet pan with a drying rack on top turned upside down with some paper (newspaper or paper towels) between the sheet pan and the drying rack. This will help absorb any extra fat or drippings.

Once you’re done cooking, you could utilize the scrapes of the pan and make a gravy. Simply whisk in some flour to make a roux. Next, add some beef stock, or some water, and finish off with some heavy cream. Possibly season with some extra salt and pepper.