Authentic Swedish Meatballs (IKEA copycat) can be ready to serve in 30 minutes which makes them perfect for last-minute meals! Served in a creamy gravy and you only need pantry ingredients and ground beef to make them!
What makes a meatballs Authentic Swedish Meatballs?
Swedish Meatballs are different than other meatballs because they are primarily cooked in a creamy milk-based gravy. By browning them first, then finishing the cooking in the gravy you are given a tender and moist meatball that literally melts in your mouth.
There are arguments on whether to add breadcrumbs, (this recipe doesn’t have them) whether to cook the onions or just add them in raw and let them cook while in the gravy (this recipe cooks them in the meatball.) But all Authentic Swedish Meatballs have the creamy milky gravy surrounding them.
This recipe is one of my husband’s favorite meals from when he was a child. I know, from all of my posts on meatballs such as Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Bacon wrapped Blue Cheese Meatballs and Cheesy Gouda Meatballs you would be shocked to know I used to hate meatballs.
Every time I would eat them they would be heavy, packed with bread and pretty tasteless. Now that I know how to make a meatball so its light, juicy and full of flavor I can’t get enough of them.
One day we served them after work on a Friday and our guests commented how similar they taste to the ones they serve at IKEA.
Now when those friends come over they always ask for the homemade IKEA meatball to be made! (I must admit though, those IKEA meatballs are pretty tasty, but these come together so quickly and are so fresh we make them all the time.)
Points of Interest for Authentic Swedish Meatballs:
Easy/Hard: Chopping an onion is the hardest part of the recipe. The fact that the whole recipe comes together in 30 or so minutes makes it a sure-fire winner.
Serving Suggestions: As an appetizer serve them alone with a spoonful of sauce. If you are serving them for a meal serve atop buttered egg noodles. It also works really well over simple steamed rice. In true Swedish form and like they do at IKEA you can serve a side of lingonberries with them too!
Cocktail Suggestion: Pair this with a lighter wine. The sauce is not heavy, but it is rich so a heavy red wine won’t do. It also goes great with a nice lager beer. I’ve also served it with a hefeweizen beer because they are lighter as well.
Authentic Swedish Meatballs (IKEA Copycat)
Authentic Swedish Meatballs (IKEA copycat) can be ready to serve in 30 minutes which makes them perfect for last minute meals! Served in a creamy gravy, you only need pantry ingredients and ground beef to make them!
- 1.5 lbs 80/10 ground beef
- 8 ounces chopped onions, rough cut
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 3/4 in meatballs, 1/4 in gravy
- 1 extra- large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 12 ounce can Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk, low-fat
- salt and pepper to taste for gravy
- Roughly chop peeled onions.
- Mix in a bowl: ground beef, onions and 3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg salt and pepper.
- In a sesperate bowl, crack egg and place in bowl sans shell. Using a fork, beat egg well until all combined.
- Add egg to meat mixture, mix egg well into all parts of meat. (Egg acts as a binder so your meatball won't crumble when cooking) Make small balls about 56 grams a piece. (you should get 12-13 meatballs when done.
- Heat a skillet or dutch oven that you have a lid for to high, Brown all sides of meatballs leaving enough room in between to flip them so that all sides are nice and browned. About 5 minutes. Remove meatballs from pan, place on separate plate. (Meatballs will not be cooked thru at this point.). Reduce heat to medium high.
- Pour condensed milk into pan. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits from bottom. Add last 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Place meatballs back in pan and bring milk to simmer. Place lid on pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes until gravy thickened and meatballs are cooked through and tender. (Stir occasionally and check while sauce is thickening.)
- Serve meatballs with a spoonful or two of gravy. See serving suggestions in post if you are using this as a meal.)
This recipes calorie information was obtained by using the ingredients I purchased specifically using My Fitness Pal. If you are following a strict diet, please know that substituting ingredients, brands etc will alter the caloric information and plan accordingly.
Serving Size:4 svgs, about 3 meatballs w/sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 43g
Thursday 28th of March 2019
I don’t like nutmeg. What can I use instead?
Monday 1st of April 2019
Tina... Id just leave it out... it will be fine without it! ~m
Tabitha M Stroshein
Wednesday 27th of March 2019
I even added sage to the gravy and it was still bland. Sauce didn't thicken either. Will try another recipe next time.
Thursday 28th of March 2019
Tabitha~ Im sorry it didn't work out for you. Swedish meatballs are a subtle flavor and aren't for everybody. I've made these so many times and never had the sauce not thicken though..., Im wondering if it didnt simmer long enough or if perhaps you used regular milk in place of the condensed milk. Regular milk would not only take longer but it would also need a little more flour to help it thicken to the right consistency... ~michele
Friday 21st of December 2018
These meatballs are delicious! I adore them and they are SO EASY to make. Thanks for sharing!!
Thursday 27th of December 2018
Thanks JoDee~. Im glad you like them!
Thursday 1st of March 2018
Swedish meatballs are the perfect comfort food! Yum!
Michele @ Bacon Fatte
Wednesday 28th of February 2018
You can't go wrong with a good Swedish Meatball recipe! Happy to have one now that I've found this one!