How To Make The Best Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Salt and pepper beef and pork swedish meatballs are glazed in a rich but lightened up gravy sauce poured over gluten free egg noodles!

The Sweeds know what is UP with their Swedish meatballs.

Not that I’ve ever been to Sweden – it’s on the list. But I’ve been to IKEA. Not *quite* the same I’m sure… but THE MEATBALLS. Oh my they’re heaven.

Now if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting IKEA meatballs post a modern furniture labyrinth then well honey, you haven’t quite lived yet. LOL. But here’s what you’re missing: salt and pepper seasoned light and tender meatballs swimming in a richly flavored beef gravy, usually with some sort of noodles to bring the dish to life. Truly, I’m drooling just typing!!

But here’s the thing — a LOT is going into that sauce that makes it so scrumptious: butter, butter, flour, heavy cream, sour cream, and some more butter just for that extra touch. I knew we could make a lightened up version of the gravy that would be just as satisfying!

Well not to toot my own Scandinavian horn but I think we’ve done it. It will require butter, just not a pound of it. You’ll use a little flour for the roux… but we’re going gluten free. And for the creaminess? Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Easy, healthier swaps!

Here’s how you’ll make these Lightened Up Swedish Meatballs:

  1. Combine ingredients for the meatball mixture.
  2. Form meatballs into 2″ rounds.
  3. Brown meatballs in skillet for 2 minutes per side.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. Make gravy in the same skillet you cooked your meatballs.
  6. Add noodles to sauce, place meatballs in noodles and top with garnish!

I think you’ll find rolling the meatballs to be relaxing! I love doing a repetitious task while listening to a podcast or watching TV – you’ll feel like it takes you no time. Hope you enjoy!

Tips for Making Lightened Up Swedish Meatballs

  • I used a combination of beef and pork for an authentic tasting meatball, but you could easily swap either (or both) for ground turkey for an even lighter dish.
  • Use any noodles you have on hand, just note the cooking time on your individual package and subtract two minutes for the noodles to finish in the gravy.
  • You can mix and roll your meatballs ahead of time and store either in the refrigerator or the freezer until ready to brown.
  • Feel free to swap out the butter for ghee or a non-dairy substitute. Same with the Greek yogurt!

FAQ Section

1. Can I use ground turkey instead of a combination of ground beef and ground pork in the meatball ingredients?

Yes, you can easily swap the combination of ground beef and ground pork for ground turkey to make a lighter version of the Swedish meatballs

2. What are the key ingredients for making homemade Swedish meatballs?

The key ingredients for making homemade meatballs include ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, and a blend of seasonings.

3. Can I substitute sour cream for Greek yogurt in the creamy gravy sauce?

Yes, you can substitute sour cream for Greek yogurt in the creamy sauce for a slightly different flavor.

4. What heat should I use when cooking the meatballs?

Cook the meatballs over medium-high heat in a large skillet to ensure they are cooked through and browned on the outside.

5. Can I make Swedish meatballs in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can make Swedish meatballs in a slow cooker. Simply follow the recipe instructions for the meat mixture and shape the meatballs. Place them in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. 

6. Can I use a mixture of ground beef and pork for Swedish meatballs?

 Absolutely! Using a mixture of ground beef and pork is a common practice for Swedish meatballs. It adds flavor and helps to create a juicy texture. For best results, use half beef and half pork in your meat mixture.

7. How do I make the meatballs golden brown and juicy?

To achieve a golden brown color on your meatballs, you can either bake them in the oven or fry them in a pan. If baking, place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. If frying, heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs until they are browned on all sides. To make the meatballs juicy, be sure not to overmix the meat mixture and avoid compacting the meatballs too tightly. This will help to retain moisture and create a tender texture.

8. Can I freeze Swedish meatballs?

 Yes, you can freeze Swedish meatballs. After cooking, allow them to cool completely, then place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them in a sauce or in the oven until heated through. 

9. What is the best way to store leftover meatballs?

You can store leftover Swedish meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

10.What can I serve with Swedish Meatballs?

 A traditional Swedish meatball recipe is often served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. They also pair well with rice or roasted.

Thank you for being an amazing reader of The Savvy Spoon! If you loved this post, I would so appreciate you rating it below and/or leaving a comment! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more recipes, twin mom and healthy lifestyle content!

Swedish Meatballs

How to Make the Best Swedish Meatballs

Salt and pepper beef and pork meatballs are glazed in a rich but lightened up gravy sauce poured over gluten free egg noodles!
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Scandinavian, Swedish
Servings 4


  • ¾ lb. ground beef I used 90/10%
  • ¾ lb. ground pork
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs. parsley leaves chopped finely
  • 1 lb. gluten free fettuccini noodles
  • olive oil

gravy sauce

  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. gluten free flour I like Trader Joe's or Bob's Red Mill
  • 3 cups low sodium beef stock
  • cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper


  • Mix together all ingredients for the meatballs: ground beef, ground pork, egg yolks, garlic, salt, pepper, panko and parsley. Use hands to mix gently.
  • Use a tablespoon to measure meatball mixture. Scoop 1 tbs. of mix out and roll into a ball. Place onto a sheet pan lined with foil, then continue to form all meatballs. You should have between 25-30 total!
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs. of olive oil. Place meatballs in pan and cook for two minutes before turning over carefully. Cook for another two minutes, then turn onto pink side. Cook for another two, then remove from pan back onto tin foil.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat (it will heat faster with the lid on). Cook pasta according to package directions minus two minutes.
  • In the same skillet you browned your meatballs, melt 3 tbs. of butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to create your roux. Slowly pour in beef broth while whisking to create your gravy. Season with salt and pepper then cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened – about 5 minutes.
  • Once sauce has thickened, turn heat to low. Stir in Greek yogurt and whisk until smooth.
  • When pasta has cooked, drain and place directly into thickened gravy. Place meatballs into pasta and sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve warm!
Keyword beef, ground pork, meatballs, noodles, pasta, swedish
Tried this recipe?Share with others how it was!


  1. 3 stars
    This review is just based on the sauce because I used some other meatballs I already had on hand. I was really torn how many stars to give because I so appreciate the share on this recipe. It may be my skill level, but the sauce turned out way too thin for me. It was more like a soup. I tried to let some evaporate for 5 minutes, 10, all the way up to 20. At some point I started trying to mix in more roux, but no matter what I did, it never did get thick. Not even after adding in the yogurt. I will say the sauce was tasty! If I made it again, I’d probably half the amount of broth or make a lot more roux! I would also reduce the pasta portions. I did not have enough sauce to cover an entire pound of pasta, despite it being soupy. On the bright side, the noodles that did soak in the sauce were really tasty. It’s just the texture wasn’t quite right. I hope others have better luck and if I see some good tips, maybe I’d try again.

  2. 5 stars
    my roux was thicker @chloe. I use turkey ground meat and chicken broth . It didn’t taste like actual Swedish meatball dish , but I enjoyed learning this recipe and it was still delicious.

  3. 4 stars
    This swedish meatball sauce recipe is really yummy to make I love Swedish meatballs they are amazing and very tested. and it’s my favourite dish 🙂

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