Making Swedish Meatballs: My Family Recipe!

Hello, Mamas!

Winter is coming and I for one am certainly craving comfort foods. My family recipe for Swedish meatballs is definitely up there on my list of best comfort foods!

Making Swedish Meatballs: My Family Recipe!

I grew up with Swedish meatballs.  My mother is Swedish and this was standard fare in our house for dinner all year round.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy!  But there are steps to follow, so I really wanted to do a step-by-step demonstration with this recipe.  Easy instructions make me less nervous about the prospect of messing things up and burning, which is something that happens to me a lot…

So here goes.  Sent to you with love by me (and my mother Fleur).  This Swedish meatballs recipe is a family heirloom passed down from my Swedish great-grandmother and I am so happy to be sharing it all with you.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs


  • 1/4 stick butter (or enough to keep skillets properly greased and sizzling!)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium size red onion — grated coarsely
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 packages (around 2 lbs, give or take) 80 percent ground chuck
  • 1 cup (or more!) half and half
  • **This recipe will make about 36 meatballs!  You can easily cut into half if you desire a smaller amount!**


  • Grate onion coarsley and place in large mixing bowl.  Add breadcrumbs.  Add eggs, milk, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix into a thick paste.  Add meat and incorporate well.  Use a Kitchen Aid mixer if you’re lucky enough to have one!
  • Heat a good saucepan — you need a thick, Le Creuset-type or other cast iron saucepan — to high heat.  Place two tablespoons of butter into your saucepan and allot to melt.  As you can see from my photos here, I use two saucepans at a time when it’s a big amount.
  • Wet your hands and roll the meat mixture into balls.  One by one, place them onto your saucepan.  They should be about the size of a smallish golf ball.
  • Keep going as you fill your saucepan.  Leave your meatballs until they are very nicely browned to a crisp on the first side.  Then, gently flip them with a spatula onto the other side.  Here is how nicely browned they should be:
Recipe for Swedish Meatballs
  • Once you have browned the meatballs well on all sides (they must be very well browned to crispy, otherwise, they will fall apart in the sauce), cover generously with the half and half. You want them to be nicely coated so that you get a nice sauce:
Recipe for Swedish Meatballs
  • Put on low heat and cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • I serve these with red potatoes boiled with dill, carrots and broccoli – oh, and don’t forget a generous spoonful of Swedish Lingonberries for a condiment.
  • Here are our plates — Marielle’s is the little one with a smaller portion.  Little kids love these and you can even give them mashed up to babies once they’re comfy with solid foods!
swedish meatballs recipe
So that was our family meal on Sunday night.  Everyone was happy and went off with their belly full.  And mommy was happy to have some leftovers for the next day!

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo

  • Maddy Sauer

    My mom’s farina ball soup!

  • Mark

    Macaroni and cheese!

  • Minnie

    Anything on the grill.

  • kim


  • Angela Anders

    homemade Alfredo pasta

  • Lori S

    We tend to keep cooking pretty simple and basic (my mom wasn’t much of a cook so I didn’t get any cooking skills passed down from her), but my husband makes these awesome grilled sandwiches that he calls pizza sandwiches, which is basically like a more elaborate melt. It consists of lunchmeat, cheese, mushrooms and pasta sauce, with a parmesan and butter crust on the outside of the bread and toasted on the griddle. We also like to make our own pizzas. We buy pre-made crust and add pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce and whatever toppings we want, one side customized for him and one side for me (our toddler gets whichever side I think he’d like best). One of our favorites was a steak and mushroom pizza with a little steak sauce added to the pasta sauce.

  • sharon

    My roast and potatoes gratain!!

    • Sharon, I want that recipe! Say gratin, and I’m in! I love anything with cheese!

  • Lindsey Cooper

    One of my favorite meals growing up. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  • Georgiana

    My favorite family meal is traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin pie of course!

  • Raymond

    I enjoy a hearty steak and baked potato dinner! Thanks!

  • Keri Harley

    With the holidays coming, I can almost smell my grandmother’s turkey soup. Passed down for 5 generations, it’s been a favorite staple in our family for as long as anyone can remember.

  • susan kerek

    Love the receipe, first try was amess. I will try again cause they are yummy, despite my mess.

    • Susan, I was thinking about you as I made these again this Sunday night for dinner. Make sure your mixture is well incorporated. Also make sure the meatballs are very well browned on each side, that will prevent them from falling apart. If they are burning, add more butter into the saucepan. Best of luck and let me know how it goes! xo M

  • My favorite meal is Italian tortellini soup with homemade bread on a cold fall Sunday with the Bears on

  • Jodee H.

    My Mom’s lasagna and Grandmother’s hot potato salad. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your recipe, our family will try it. Sending aloha from Hawai’i! 🙂

  • Renata

    I love baked chicken breasts with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes – thank you!

  • Andrea Masterson

    Our favorite family meal is a one pot dish consisting of shrimp, orzo, tomatoes, capers, and goat cheese. (We juat call it shrimp and orzo.) My two and a half year old goes crazy for it, it’s definitely her favorite food!

  • mdoll

    My husband doesn’t get as excited about vegetables as I do, but I love a good, marinated skirt or flank steak with tons of veggies like butternut squash, broccoli or yes, brussel sprouts! Our baby (7 months) loves to gum and suck on a long piece of steak she can hold in her hand.

  • Barbara Mayes

    Our favorite family meal is spaghetti with salad and garlic toast!

  • Bo

    Our favorite meal is Jambalaya!

  • Sarah

    We love to eat homemade cheesesteaks 🙂

  • ed j smith

    my favorite family meal is pasta with alfredo sauce

  • Jennifer

    Baked ziti

  • Surprising to me how much the family loves when I make stuffed green peppers! One of my faves 🙂

  • Liz

    Your recipe sounds delicious! I am vegetarian, and my daughter has food allergies, but I am determined to come up with a vegan version.

    Lasagna would have to be our favorite.

    I am looking forward to hearing if you have any Julbord traditions!

  • whitney