IKEA style Swedish Meatballs are so easy to make at home! My Easy Homemade Swedish Meatballs recipe can be ready in just 30 minutes… Serve with creamy gravy, mash and lingonberry jam for the full IKEA experience at home!
My favourite bit about visiting IKEA
Are you an IKEA lover or an IKEA hater? I am 100% an IKEA lover… (Take one look at my house and that much is obvious) I’m a big lover of their simple Scandi style furniture, the whole room set layout of their shop (I know it drives some people mad… but I absolutely love it!), the cute names of the furniture and even down to the fun of racing round the self service area trying to find the right code!
But hands down my favourite part about a trip to IKEA is the meatballs! No trip to IKEA is complete without the full meatballs (topped with that amazing creamy gravy), mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam experience IMHO!
Real Swedish Meatballs in Sweden
Well you can imagine my excitement this year when we decided to actually go to Sweden as part of our summer holiday! We ended up doing bit of a random road trip from Berlin to Hamburg to Copenhagen and back to Berlin. And while we were in Copenhagen… well it seemed rude not to hop over to Sweden on that amazing bridge!
Once I knew that we’d be going to Sweden… well you can guess what I did next… some serious research into the best place to eat real actual Swedish meatballs in Malmö (the Swedish town on the other side of the bridge…lovely place to visit – I’d definitely recommend it!). Turns out THE BEST place to eat meatballs in Malmö is a place called Bullen…
Meatballs at Bullen
Bullen is a wonderful restaurant in central Malmö and I’d hands down recommend it to anyone who wants to eat really good Swedish food in a lovely cosy restaurant with fab service and a great atmosphere. It’s especially good if it’s absolutely tipping it down outside and you have a table reserved! (Note – whatever you do, make sure you reserve a table!).
The menu is fab and I could have happily eaten most of the dishes on the menu, but since we only had one day in Sweden, there was only one thing I wanted… actual proper Swedish meatballs in actual proper Sweden. And I was not disappointed…
The meatballs were insanely delicious… the creamy gravy had the added loveliness of a splash of whisky (oh yeah!), and it was served with the traditional accompaniments of lingonberry jam and pickled cucumbers…
It was even better than IKEA (sorry IKEA – I love your meatballs… but Bullen’s meatballs were next level… however they were, I hasten to point out, also considerably more expensive than IKEA meatballs!)
Homemade IKEA meatballs
Well… I’m sure you can imagine how much I wanted to make proper Swedish style meatballs when I came home! It took me a few goes to get it just right… but I am really pleased with the results.
To get the right flavour to the meatballs, I’ve combined beef and pork mince then added onion, nutmeg, allspice, dill, salt, pepper and just a touch of garlic.
I then shape the mixture into meatballs and, to keep things easy peasy, grill (broil) them until they are nicely browned all over.
White the meatballs are browning I get going with the creamy gravy – combining beef stock, a little cornflour and double cream (and you can totally add a small splash of whisky here too if you fancy!)
What to serve with Swedish Meatballs
I like to serve my Easy Swedish Meatballs with the traditional accompaniments of buttery mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and my homemade Quick Cucumber Pickle.
HOWEVER, if you can’t get hold of lingonberry jam, cranberry sauce works just as well and right now that’s definitely easy to get hold of (or you can make your own using my Easy Peasy Cranberry Sauce recipe!)
What to drink with Swedish Meatballs
My favourite match for Swedish Meatballs is Pinot Noir – either from Burgundy in France, New Zealand or the USA (California, Oregon and Washington State all make good Pinot Noirs) – which works really well with the lightly spiced meatballs, the creamy sauce AND the accompaniments.
If you really want to be adventurous, why not try a German Pinot Noir (usually called Spätburgunder) or even an English one!
Other wines that would work well with Swedish Meatballs include Barbera and Dolcetto from Northern Italy or a decent Beaujolais from France.
I don’t personally think this dish works very well with white wine, but I guess an oaked chardonnay from somewhere like Australia or California would be OK.
Can you reheat Swedish Meatballs?
Yes – very successfully. Pop any leftover meatballs and gravy in a plastic lidded container and place in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.
To reheat, simply place the meatballs and gravy in a small saucepan and add a splash of water. Reheat until the meatballs are piping hot and the gravy has thickened to your liking. Add a splash more water if the sauce gets too think before the meatballs have cooked through properly.
Can you freeze Swedish Meatballs?
Absolutely! And this is a great one to stock up the freezer with. Pop your cooked meatballs and gravy into a plastic lidded container and, when cool, place in the freezer (ensuring you get the meatballs into the freezer within 2 hours). They will keep for 1 month.
When you want to eat them, defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat as above.
If you like my Easy Swedish Meatballs…
…then you might like:
Easy Swedish Meatballs (IKEA Copycat)
Easy Swedish Meatballs
- 250 g beef mince (see note 1)
- 250 g pork mince (see note 1)
- 1 small onion grated
- 1 garlic clove grated or crushed
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- ¼ teaspoon allspice (ground)
- 1 tablespoon dill chopped finely (plus extra for garnish)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Creamy Gravy for Swedish Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 550 ml beef stock (From a cube is fine – I used 2 Kallo organic beef stock cubes)
- 50 ml double (heavy) cream
- Start by placing all the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl and mixing together with your hands until well combined.
- Divide the mixture into quarters and then make 5 meatballs from each quarter (so 20 meatballs in total). Each meatball will weigh approximately 25g (I like to weigh my first meatball as a guide and then try to make the others about the same size).
- Put the meatballs on an oiled grill rack over a tray covered in foil and place under a medium hot grill (broiler) for 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
- While the meatballs are cooking, get your creamy gravy started... In a large jug, mix the cornflour with a small amount of cold water to make a paste, then add the beef stock. Pour into a large wide saucepan or frying pan and cook over a medium heat until nicely thickened. Add the double cream and mix together thoroughly.
- Finally add the meatballs to the creamy gravy. Cook the meatballs in the cream sauce for 1 more minute and then serve with the mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam (or cranberry sauce) and picked cucumber. Garnish with dill.
- You can make these meatballs with just beef mince, but I prefer the flavour you get from mixing beef and pork mince.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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