We have been making Swedish Meatballs in our family for decades! This is a slightly-changed recipe from great-grandma Prudy that I’m SO excited to share with you. The sauce is homemade with real cream and is the best. It actually comes together really fast and easy. I can’t believe we were cheating on the gravy for so many years when it’s very simple to make from scratch! I remember Nana rolling out hundreds of these meatballs every Christmas. Originally posted January 23, 2013.

Table of Contents
  1. Swedish Christmas Eve Dinner Menu
  2. What are Swedish meatballs?
  3. Swedish meatballs sauce and sides
  4. Ingredients for easy Swedish meatballs
  5. How to Make Swedish Meatballs
  6. What to serve with Swedish meatballs
  7. How to store the best Swedish meatball recipe
  8. Can you freeze Swedish Meatballs?
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. More Swedish recipes from Grandma Prudy
  11. More savory main dishes to try
  12. Canned Soup Version
  13. Homemade Swedish Meatballs Recipe
looking down into a skillet filled with creamy brown gravy, and swedish meatballs.

Happy New Year! How was your Christmas season? I was just telling my daughter Charlotte yesterday, I feel like January is moving soo sloowww, and I am totally here for it. November and December are always a blur! Right??

We are still in recovery mode over here. After 14 years of traveling every single December, we finally hosted for the first time. 19 days worth of house guests coming and going, 18 people in the house at the very height. Dozens of gifts for 4 families shoved under the tree, more toilet paper than you can imagine, children cartwheeling and hoverboarding in every hallway, and literally hundreds of cookies exploding out of my kitchen. That chaotic opening scene from Home Alone is the closest thing I can compare it too. It was SO MUCH FUN, but mama needs a nap this whole January 😂

Just kidding. I’ve been bustling away (in between doing yet another load of towels) perfecting my recipes for Swedish Meatballs, Rye Bread, and even the Liver Pate. These are all part of the traditional meal Eric’s family makes every Christmas Eve, and I’m so excited to finally share them with you! My mother-in-law Kris was here for the holidays and helped me record all the important details.

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a bowl filled with mashed potatoes, swedish meatballs in sauce, and cranberry sauce.

Swedish Christmas Eve Dinner Menu

Eric’s family is Swedish-American, and they have been serving the same meal on Christmas Eve for generations now. Here is the menu, every year, without changes:


  • Relish Tray (Black and green olives, green onions, pickles, sweet peppers, radishes,)
  • Rye Bread, that is served sliced with butter (but Eric and I usually sneak over to the toaster)
  • Liver Pate
  • Pickled Herring with saltine crackers
  • Flatbread, a Swedish cracker with anise (if we took the time to make it; it’s quite labor intensive!)

Main course:

  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Boiled potatoes (I prefer to serve Mashed Potatoes but I get glares from my mother-in-law when I do; her right as the matriarch and leader of this show for decades)
  • Lingonberry or Cranberry sauce
  • Reesy’s Sauteed Carrots and Shallots
  • Tomato Aspic (How 1950s is this! Someday I will share the recipe! It’s actually very tasty as a garnish to the meatballs.)


overhead shot of a plate of Swedish Christmas eve traditional food.

Meatballs and heathen mashed potatoes on the left, sauces top to bottom: Cranberry sauce, jarred lingonberry, and tomato aspic in the middle. Then to the right: my selections from the relish tray, some Liver Pate on a Flatbread cracker, pickled herring on a saltine, Reesy’s Carrots, and Prudy’s Rye Bread.

Do my kids eat all of this stuff? Hardly. Except for Truman. We joke that Truman is an 80-year-old man trapped in a 10-year-old’s body:

boy eating a plate of meatballs and carrots.

Just look at that serving of pickled herring.

Even if the kids take a few years getting used to these not-so-American flavors, I think it’s worth it to keep the memories alive. I can just hear Tevye in the background: “TRADITION!” (“…Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof!”)

My first Christmas Eve at Eric’s parent’s house, I think I only ate carrots, meatballs, and cookies. I’m from California and always had Tri Tip on Christmas. I was in a bit of shock (and only 20, a picky baby!) But over the years I’ve made a pretty strong turnaround; I love it all now. (Except the pickled herring. Not into that. Give me another 15 years.)

This year was the first time Eric and I were in charge of menu planning and shopping for the big meal, and I forgot to get the pickled herring. We realized this the night before Christmas eve at about 10:30pm.

Eric drove to 3 different grocery stores and could only come up with herring. The package said “Kipper style!” “Delightful seafood snack!” I asked him if he was sure it wasn’t meant to be cat food. People eat this stuff??

But even then, regular herring would not do. Eric was committed. He looked up a homemade recipe for pickling spice and brined it overnight. His dedication to this tradition is the only reason I was able to choke down the tiny morsel you see on my plate up there.

Even if it’s not my favorite, I love how his family keeps this meal tradition alive every single year.

family around a kitchen eating a buffet of food.

My mother-in-law, Kris, is in the red skirt and glasses. Prudy was her Swedish grandmother.

Now let’s dive into the BEST part, the one menu item that NO one argues or complains about: the beloved meatballs.

What are Swedish meatballs?

So, just how are Swedish meatballs different than other meatballs? I’d say that here in the U.S., when someone just says “meatballs” the first thought is of an Italian style meatball with red sauce. Which are delicious, of course! But there are some slight differences.

close up shot of a golden brown fried meatball with more cooked meatballs in the background.

Swedish meatballs are made with beef and pork, torn bread, milk, eggs, and seasonings. The fattiness of the pork, plus the milk soaked bread make for a SUPER soft meatball! They absolutely melt in your mouth. (This also makes them a beast to fry without falling apart, but I promise it’s worth it.) They also have different seasonings: nutmeg and allspice. No basil or oregano here, no sir. And if you’ve ever been to Ikea, you know Swedish meatballs are often rolled smaller as well. We roll ours about the size of a ping pong ball, really any size is fine.

I would love to tell you that you can make life easier by swapping in your favorite store bought meatballs in this recipe! But unless they are labeled Swedish meatballs, they aren’t going to have nutmeg and allspice in them, and the flavors will be way different.

close up of three swedish meatballs nestled in with delicious creamy brown sauce.

Swedish meatballs sauce and sides

Meatball differences aside, what really makes Swedish meatballs special is all about how you serve them up! We’re going to ditch the red sauce for this recipe. Instead, the drippings left after frying the meatballs are used as a base to make a delicious, creamy gravy sauce. Butter, cream, and beef broth make the sauce super rich and flavorful. In Sweden, they often serve meatballs and sauce separately or with no sauce at all, especially if it’s part of a smorgasbord.

The classic sides to go along with the meatballs is of course lingonberry preserves, and boiled or mashed potatoes.

At some point after coming over to the states, Prudy (or possibly Nana, her daughter-in-law, Kris’ mother) started making life a little easier by swapping a homemade sauce for canned cream of mushroom soup. It’s the way Eric’s family has made it for decades! But being me, and not necessarily being anti– canned soup, but knowing we could do better…I wanted to try for a homemade sauce. Turns out it’s ridiculously easy and in my opinion, SO much better. The original (unoriginal?) recipe with the canned soup is in the recipe notes!

a plate half filled with mashed potatoes the other half with swedish meatballs and gravy.

Ingredients for easy Swedish meatballs

The ingredient list may seem long, but none of them are hard to find. In fact, I bet you have a lot of these things at home already, which should make for a quick shopping trip. Be sure to take a look at the recipe card below to get exact measurements and instructions.

all the ingredients needed for Swedish meatballs - pork, beef, white bread, milk, nutmeg, etc.

For the meatballs

  • white bread
  • milk
  • butter
  • onion
  • ground beef
  • ground pork
  • large eggs
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • dry mustard
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • tabasco sauce
  • oil for frying

For the sauce

  • soy sauce
  • water
  • heavy cream, or half & half
  • black pepper
  • parsley or dill, optional
swedish meatballs in creamy gravy poured over the top of mashed potatoes in a bowl.

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

Start by tearing up some white bread in a big ol bowl, and pouring milk all over it.

top pouring milk over torn white bread, bottom, mixing the two together.

This is the secret to super soft meatballs! A lot of recipes use dried breadcrumbs, but using bread and milk brings in a lot of moisture, making the meatballs oh-so-tender. Let the bread soak a while, then mash it all together.

chopped onions sautéing in a large skillet being stirred by a wooden spoon.

Chop up on onion and sauté about half of it in a large skillet with some butter . These onions are going in the meatballs, and we want them soft and mild, not sharp and raw. Use a big nonstick pan, you will need it again later!

Add the onions and all the meatball ingredients to the bowl with the bread and milk.

top meatball ingredients in a glass bowl, bottom grating fresh nutmeg with a microplane.

Have you ever used fresh nutmeg? There is something kind of magical about it. Plus I always hear Hades in my head talking to Hercules’ girlfriend: “Meg, my little flower, my little bird, my little nut…MEG.” Ha. But seriously though, nutmeg is a major flavor component in these meatballs, so if you can’ get your hands on some fresh nutmeg pods, do it. You will need a fine grater, like a microplane. If not, powdered nutmeg works fine! Don’t forget the allspice too.

Now it’s time to mix it up! It’s best to use your hands. I know, I know. But it’s actually kind of fun, especially if you have disposable gloves, which I highly recommend.

top hand in blue disposable glove mixing meatball ingredients. bottom all mixed.

Traditionally, the Swedish meatball mixture is pureed to be very fine. I tried it in my rather large, nice food processor and it didn’t go well (it wouldn’t mix all the way? Too thick I think), plus it’s a pain to clean. So I just stick with the glove method, it works for me.

Now it’s time to shape into meatballs!

uncooked meatball mixture in a small cookie scoop to get the correct size.

I like to use a cookie scoop. I press the meat mixture in with my fingers (to help it keep its shape), then release from the scoop, and roll it a bit more in my hands. You can make the meatballs whatever size you like, just make sure they are uniform. We make ours about the size of a ping pong ball or smaller.

Now fry them up! In plenty of oil. I am still working on getting meatballs to be perfectly round, I think this takes a bit of practice! My best tip is to use a nonstick pan, so they release better after browning, and to shake the pan often to keep them moving. I read that rolling each meatball in flour also helps keep their shape. The most sure fire way is to chill the rolled meatballs on a plate for a couple hours before frying, but I was in too much of a hurry to eat these!

top frying meatballs in a large skillet, bottom fried meatballs transferred to a baking sheet.

I transferred my fried meatballs to a baking sheet after each batch. But you can also skip frying altogether and just bake the meatballs at 450 for a few minutes. It’s much easier, but you do miss out on the amazing browning flavor, which is honestly pretty significant.

Now it’s time to make the meatball sauce!

finely chopped mushrooms on a cutting board with whole mushrooms in the background.

I like to add chopped mushrooms to my Swedish meatballs, but this is not necessary. I’m used to it because we used canned cream of mushroom soup for so long! You don’t need to add them, and even if you do, don’t add a lot. Just about a half cup chopped is fine. We want the flavor of the meatballs to shine.

top a stick of butter melting in the meatball drippings, bottom adding flour over the top.

Add a stick of butter to your blackened pan. Saute the onions and mushrooms until they are soft, then add in some flour. You will have a pretty thick roux at this point:

top roux mixture with butter, onions, mushrooms, flour bottom, pouring in water to make gravy.

Add in some soy sauce, beef base, and gradually add in some water (or use beef stock). Make sure you stir a lot and incorporate any liquid added before adding more. You need it to emulsify!

a glass measuring cup pouring cream into the gravy to make it creamy.

Finally, add in the cream or half and half. Give is a taste! Add salt and pepper if it needs it.

Add the meatballs back in, cook for a few more minutes to make sure they are done all the way through, and voila!

What to serve with Swedish meatballs

See the beginning of the post for our traditional Christmas Eve menu, with Swedish Meatballs, potatoes, rye bread, picked herring, and tomato aspic!

But I totally understand if you are not interested in making 1950s tomato jello 😂 If you’re looking for a more casual side for a weeknight, here are great options you can pair Swedish meatballs with:

a ceramic bowl with a serving of mashed potatoes and swedish meatballs with brown sauce.

How to store the best Swedish meatball recipe

Swedish meatballs make the BEST leftovers! Just like so many other recipes, a day in the refrigerator makes them even better. All you need to do is store them in an airtight container and stick ’em in the fridge, where they’ll last for up to 4 days. I like to reheat in the microwave on power level 5 for a minute or two until they’re hot (reheating at a lower power helps the meat stay tender).

Can you freeze Swedish Meatballs?

Yes, they freeze beautifully! It’s so easy to do. Add the meatballs and sauce to freezer ziplock bags. I like to fill the bag so all the meatballs make one layer when the bag is flat on the counter. It makes freezing and thawing so much easier. You can use whatever size bag makes a convenient future serving size for you, and fill as many bags are needed. Make sure it comes fully to room temperature, then put the bag(s) in the freezer. The meatballs will last 3-4 months there. Much beyond that they will start to get freezer burn and dry out.

To reheat your frozen meatballs, thaw the bag in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours on the counter. Add to a sauce pan and heat on medium low til heated through, or add to a crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours. You will need to stick around and whisk the sauce a bit to get it to the right consistency as it heats. Don’t turn the heat up high, you want to reheat slowly to keep the meat tender, so be patient!

creamy, velvety swedish meatball sauce covering several meatballs.

Frequently asked questions

How to prepare Swedish Meatballs?

It’s a pretty straightforward recipe! A mix of ground beef and pork, torn white bread, milk, special seasonings like nutmeg and allspice, and a few other ingredients all get mixed together and then fried in a pan til golden brown. After that, the drippings are used to make a truly amazing brown gravy made with butter, beef broth, and cream (yum) to pour over the top. See the step-by-step above in the post or below in the recipe card for more details!

What makes Swedish meatballs different?

Unlike the ubiquitous Italian meatball with its heavy oregano and basil seasoning and red sauce (delicious), the Swedish meatball uses warming spices like nutmeg and allspice, and is topped in a creamy, savory brown gravy. Not only that, but traditionally there are very specific sides that accompany the meatballs.

What are Swedish meatballs served with?

Swedish meatballs have a pretty set menu of sides! Potatoes are a given, or noodles are a good sub. Lingonberry jam. And traditionally, pickled cucumbers are served. In our family, our traditional menu includes boiled or Mashed Potatoes, Lingonberry or Cranberry sauce, Sauteed Carrots and Shallots, and Tomato Aspic. This is of course, after the traditional appetizers of a Relish Tray, Rye Bread with butter, Liver Pate, Pickled Herring with saltine crackers, and Flatbread.

a large wooden spoon stirring together swedish meatballs and creamy gravy.

More Swedish recipes from Grandma Prudy

Grandma Prudy was born in Minnesota to Swedish immigrant parents, and carried on their homeland food traditions her whole life. Read more about Prudy on my Rye Bread post.

More savory main dishes to try

Canned Soup Version

Swedish Meatball Recipe Crockpot

Here is the original photo from when I posted these the first time back in 2013! (This canned soup version of the recipe is in the notes of the recipe card.) Here is the story I wrote from back in the day, when I was pregnant with Truman:

I think I might be nesting. Or maybe I’m just finally reaching what most people would consider a normal level of cleanliness. We’ll see how long it lasts. Today I scrubbed my oven within an inch of its life. I deep cleaned my Kitchenaid. I did all the laundry in the house. Changed all the sheets. I even cooked dinner. Yet somehow I managed to avoid the biohazard level of dirty dishes that were literally overflowing my sink. You know those days, when the dishes are stacked so high that it’s impossible to fill your water  pitcher without bailing in water from a cup, and you can’t wash your hands without lifting up your elbows.

Sometimes I write about stuff on this blog that I think other people will relate to, but then I realize that no, I’m the only one in the world who is this disgusting.

These meatballs, on the other hand, are divine. Eric’s family is Swedish, and this is the special meal they eat every year on Christmas Eve. It is a nonnegotiable family tradition hailing from his beloved Grandma Prudy. They are awesome and delicious and guess what, they are super easy. Check out the section at the end of the recipe with instructions on how to make them in the slow cooker.

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Homemade Swedish Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
We have been making Swedish Meatballs in our family for decades! This is a new improved recipe that I'm SO excited to share with you. The sauce is homemade with real cream and is the best. It actually comes together really fast and easy. I can't believe we were cheating on the gravy for so many years when it's very simple to make from scratch! I remember Nana rolling out hundreds of these meatballs every Christmas.


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1 cup milk, I use whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for softening onions
  • 1 onion, chopped and divided
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef*, I like 85%
  • 1/2 pound ground pork*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, I love to grate fresh nutmeg.
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 10 dashes tobasco sauce
  • oil, for frying

For the sauce

  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, optional, chopped tiny
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Beef Base**
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce***
  • 3 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or half & half
  • black pepper , to taste
  • more kosher salt, to taste

To serve

  • parsley or dill, to garnish
  • 1 batch Mashed Potatoes, or cooked pasta


  • Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, tear up 2 pieces of white bread into pieces. Pour 1 cup of milk over the top and smoosh the bread into the milk to get it soaking. Let sit for a while.
  • Meanwhile, chop an onion small. In a large, high sided 12-inch skillet (preferably non-stick), melt about 1 tablespoon butter (from a 1/2 cup stick of butter, save the rest of it for the sauce) over medium heat.
  • Add a little more than half of the onions to the butter in the pan, and saute for about 4-5 minutes, until the onions are soft but not yet turning brown. Remove from the heat. (Save the remaining onions for the sauce.)
  • Meanwhile, stir your soaking bread and use a spatula to break up the bread and turn it all to mush. Add the softened onions to the bowl with the bread (Don't bother washing the pan, we need it later).
  • Add all the remaining meatball ingredients: 1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and about 10 shakes from a jar of Tabasco.
  • Put on your big girl pants and mix up these meatballs with your hands. A spoon will just not do. I like to wear disposable gloves for this task. Mixing meatballs with your hands and squeezing all the ingredients together really gives you the best meatball texture. Don't over mix, or your meatballs will be tough. But do make sure the ingredients are fully combined and the meat broken up.
  • Shape the meatballs. Use a cookie scoop to form the meatballs, You want your meatballs to all be uniform in size so they cook at the same rate. I like to shape them to about 1 and 1/2 inches across.
    Use your fingers to press each meatball into the scoop, to help it create its shape. These meatballs are very soft and tender, making them a little challenging to work with, but you will appreciate this once you bite into one.
    If you are planning to fry, and you have a lot of time, chill your meatballs in the fridge for 1-2 hours. This will help the meatballs keep their shape.
  • Fry the meatballs. (You can skip this step and move straight to roasting them in the oven, if you prefer. See notes)
    Heat the same pan you used for the onions over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon oil and swirl it around. Wait a minute, and when it is nice and hot, start adding in your meatballs. I scoop the meatballs as I go. Do not crowd the pan, you need to leave about 1 inch of space in between each meatball so that they are able to brown. You will fry in several batches.
    Let the meatballs fry undisturbed for about 1 minute, until the bottom is quite brown. Then use a spatula to gently scrape up the bottom and turn the meatballs onto their sides, not completely flipped. Do your best to keep the meatballs together. The more often you turn the meatballs, the more round the shape will be.
    Continue this process until the meatballs are browned on most or all of the edges. It should take 2-4 minutes for one batch. They do NOT have to be cooked all the way through. Remove the browned meatballs to a large baking sheet or tray.
    Continue with another batch of meatballs, repeating the process and adding oil as necessary.
  • Make the sauce. Once the meatballs are done and removed from the pan, add the rest of the stick of butter (that you used for the onions earlier) to the pan. (Do not remove meatball drippings unless are is more than 1/4 cup). Melt over medium heat.
  • Add a 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms (optional) and the remaining onions to the butter. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Slowly sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over the onions and mushrooms, using a wooden spoon to stir the flour in a little at a time. Add 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Gradually add 3 and 1/2 cups of water to the mushrooms. Start slow and stir in between every addition of water. You want the water you add to be mostly incorporated into the sauce before adding more.
  • Add 1 cup cream or half and half to the sauce.
  • Once the sauce has come together, add the meatballs back into the pan, including any resting liquid. Cook the sauce and meatballs over medium heat, making sure there are some slow bubbles happening, for another 10 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the center of a meatball. If the gravy gets too thick, simply add more beef broth, a little at a time, stirring completely with every addition, until it is the consistency you want. The longer you cook, the thicker your sauce will get.
  • Taste the sauce and decide if you want to add more salt and pepper. An optional and excellent garnish is chopped fresh parsley or dill, either adding it to the pan and stirring in, or topping each plating.
  • Serve Swedish Meatballs with Aunt Shirley's Creamy Mashed Potatoes, or with buttered pasta. It's also excellent with a jar of Lingonberry jam, or Homemade Cranberry Sauce!
  • Store meatballs in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • How to freeze: Meatballs and sauce freeze beautifully! Freeze in ziplocks. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then add to a pan with a bit of water. Heat over medium low, whisking the sauce in between meatballs as it heats. Add more beef broth if your gravy has become too thick.


*You can use any combo of meat that you like. Half beef and half pork is sometimes more convenient for me, just depending on what I have. You want that beefy flavor, the pork is added in the recipe mainly to add fat. If you have super fatty ground beef (like 80%) then you can use less pork, but I still would use some if you want really tender meatballs.
**Or skip the water and beef base, and use 3 cups of really high quality beef stock.
***You can use Worcestershire sauce in place of the soy. I tried it both ways and we liked the soy slightly better, but they are both really good. 
Baking meatballs instead of frying: Frying the meatballs in a skillet gives you a whole other flavor component from the super crispy blackened edges, but it is definitely a pain. You can skip this step. Place the shaped meatballs on a baking sheet, right next to each other but not touching. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are nice and brown. Make the sauce as instructed (there is enough butter in the recipe that you will be okay without meatball drippings) and add the meatballs to the sauce. You don’t need to keep cooking the meatballs in the sauce, since they are cooked all the way through already. You can just serve right away once the gravy has thickened to a consistency you like. 
Make ahead option: if you are cooking this for a holiday meal, you can make the recipe start to finish on the stovetop (frying meatballs or roasting) and then transfer the whole thing to a crock pot and heat on low, or even just the warm setting. For future holidays, I will make the meatballs and sauce a day or two ahead of time, transfer to a crock pot, and refrigerate overnight. Then I will just put the crock pot on low heat, stirring often, until warmed through, I’m guessing it will take about 3 hours. I’ll report back when I know for sure the details on this method! 
Nutrition facts do not include Mashed Potatoes. 


Below is Eric’s family’s original Swedish meatballs recipe, which I published on the blog back in 2013. It uses canned cream of mushroom soup, because that’s what people did in the 50s and 60s! I prefer the from-scratch recipe above, but this one is awfully good too. (the meatballs are very similar, it’s the sauce that makes the biggest difference.)  Here is the recipe, for all the family members who still like to make it this way (Britta, I’m lookin at you. :)
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3-5 dashes hot sauce
  • 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 & 1/2 cans water
  • 5 lbs boiled potatoes
Combine all meatball ingredients (ground beef through hot sauce) in a large bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then spray lightly with nonstick spray. With moistened hands, shape the meat into balls that are about the size of a ping pong ball. (It doesn’t really matter as long as they are uniform.) Place them on the baking sheet; you can put them right next to each other, just make sure they’re not touching. Bake in a 450 oven for 12-16 minutes, until they are brown and starting to get crispy on top.
You can cook this in the oven or in the crock pot.
Oven directions: In a 9×13 casserole dish, combine mushroom soup with 1-1/2 cans of water. Add the meatballs and stir. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Crock pot: Combine the soup and water in the crock pot. Add meatballs and stir. Heat on low for 5-7 hours, or on high for 3-4. You just need it to get hot.
Serve over boiled potatoes.


Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1244mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 908IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Swedish
Calories: 586
Keyword: meatballs, swedish
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. So happy you posted this Karen! This update is a DEFINITE improvement! And so worth the little bit of extra effort. NEVER GOING BACK! You are no longer a charlatan. I crown you the MEATBALL Queen! 👑

  2. I’ve been reading through  your recipes and want to try a few that I have bookmarked.  My primary question is you mention 3 cans of soup in this particular post. What volume are the cans you refer to?  Up here in Canada our cans are slightly different in size, and we have numerous variations (as I’m sure is the case south of the 49th parallel). Being a neophyte in the kitchen I haven’t got a clue as to what a standard “can” would equate to in a recipe 😮.
    Additionally in this case would the soup be the add water (or whatever) variety or the heat and serve.  
    Hope the stupid questions don’t make you laugh out too loud

    1. Hi Gord! Not a stupid question! The 3 cans of soup are about 10 ounces each. And you can add the soup straight from the can, then add the water as the recipe instructs. Hope you enjoy! These are a family favorite!

  3. I sometimes leave the dishes for last, too! A lot of the time while I’m boiling water for tea I will see how many dishes I can wash and voila done quicker than I thought. I love your sense of humor.

    1. Hi Sunny! You could replace with cream of chicken soup I think. It wont be quite the same, mushrooms are a key ingredient in Swedish meatballs. But I bet it will be tasty! Enjoy!

  4. Hello! Love your recipes, wondering about freezing these. Should I flash freeze, then freeze like regular meatballs and when ready to use in say crock pot just add frozen meatballs and soup etc.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Samantha, thank you! Yes, exactly what you said. Bake them, let cool a bit, then remove meatballs to a clean un-greased baking sheet. (I suppose you could use the one you cooked it on, but I like to spoon off the fat that pools around the meatballs.) Freeze for about an hour, then throw them in a ziplock and use them in whatever you want. This recipe has nutmeg and mustard in it, which I love, but if you would like a more general meatball that you can switch up the sauce on, I like to use this Easy Baked Meatballs recipe. It’s adapted from this Swedish one. Hope you enjoy them!

  5. I relate to so, so, so many things that you write about. The mile high stack of dishes in the sink? Yep. One of the reasons I insisted on a fridge that has water and ice was so my kids won’t knock over the insanely large mountain of breakable items in their quest to hydrate.

  6. I remember when you made these for us, they were delicious! You didn’t mention when to add the dashes of hot sauce – do you put that with the meatball mixture or the sauce? Oh and I’m glad you didn’t ‘nest’ enough to polish off those dishes – we don’t want that baby here just yet!

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