IKEA has released the recipe for their famous Swedish meatballs, complete with instructions for making their mouthwatering creamy mustard sauce. If, like me, you’ve been missing these delicious morsels, I’m sharing the recipe with you so you can make them yourself at home.
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Swedish meatballs with creamy mustard sauce
I really enjoy the meatballs you can buy from IKEA, and I used to buy them all the time. Unfortunately, I moved house recently and my nearest IKEA is now over an hours drive away which makes it rather inconvenient. So you can probably imagine my delight when I found that IKEA had published their meatball recipe on-line. It even looks like the instructions for assembling a flat-pack!
I couldn’t wait to make them, but once I tried them I was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted good, but not quite what I was expecting. The texture wasn’t quite right, and they didn’t have the exact flavour that I was hoping for.
IKEA meatballs have a smooth, rather dense texture, whereas these meatballs in the recipe I tried have more of a crumbly texture – similar to the meatballs I normally make for these recipes:
- Meatball soup with vegetables and tomatoes
- Spicy meatballs with tomato sauce
- Spaghetti and meatball bake
And there was just something not quite right about the taste. The flavour wasn’t quite the same as I remembered.
So I tried again and made a few tweaks to the recipe. The result was much better, and a lot closer to the Swedish meatballs that I love.
Here is the original recipe if you would like to try it. If you want to see how I adjusted it, please read on ….
How to make Swedish meatballs
See the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the full list of ingredients and complete instructions for making my version of Swedish meatballs.
I found the original recipe made too many meatballs for 4 people so I’ve adjusted the quantity to 225g (or 8 ounces) each of ground beef and pork. If you prefer you can use just ground beef.
If you don’t have fresh breadcrumbs you can just grate 2 or 3 slices of day-old bread and add those to the meatball mixture. You will need 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
I also used 2 small eggs instead of the 1 egg in the original list of ingredients.
For the remaining ingredients, I stuck to the original recipe, but added a quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg and half a teaspoon of dried dill and 1 teaspoon each of all spice, oregano and parsley.
For the sauce, I stuck mostly to the original recipe, but added worcestershire sauce for extra zing.
What to do
Make the Swedish meatballs:
Place all the ingredients for the meatballs into the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a steel cutting blade, and then whizz them around to process the meat. This makes the texture of the meatballs less crumbly.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can just mix everything thoroughly with your hands. The texture of the meatballs will be more crumbly than dense though.
Roll golf-ball sized pieces of the meat into balls and place on a plate. Put the plate into the fridge and leave for half an hour or so to allow them to firm up before cooking. Depending on the size you make these meatballs, you should get approximately 20.
Top tip – when rolling the meatballs, keep a dish of clean, cold water to dip your hands into. The meat will not stick to wet hands.
Fry the meatballs gently in a little olive oil until they are nicely browned on all sides.. Use a pair of tongs to turn the meatballs so that they brown evenly. Once browned, reduce the heat and allow to fry until cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes. Test for doneness by cutting one meatball in half. There should be no pinkness showing.
Depending on how many meatballs you have made you may need to fry them in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the meatballs will stew in their own juices rather than brown.
Transfer the cooked meatballs to a serving dish and keep warm while you make the cream mustard sauce.
Make the creamy mushroom sauce:
For the cream sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and then stir in the flour until there are no lumps. Allow to cook for a minute.
To make the stock, dissolve 1 vegetable stock cube and 1 beef cube in one and a half cups of boiling water and pour into the butter and flour mixture. Whisk over a low heat until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat and mix through the cream, soy sauce and dijon mustard.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley and serve over a pile of spaghetti.
How to serve Swedish meatballs
Why not try serving these meatballs on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, or fluffy white rice, pour the sauce over the top and serve with a side dish of fresh green vegetables, such as broccoli or peas.
Cut the meatballs in half, top with a slice of lettuce, tomato and onion, and serve them inside a hamburger bun with your favourite burger sauce.
Make smaller meatballs, skewer them on toothpicks, and serve as an appetiser with a bowl of the creamy mustard sauce for dipping.
And of course, don’t forget a side helping of IKEA’s Lingonberry jam. If you can’t get your hands on that, you could use cranberry jam instead.
Can I freeze Swedish meatballs?
These meatballs freeze really well.
Arrange the raw meatballs in a single layer on a baking tray which has been lined with baking parchment to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the tray. Place the tray in the freezer and leave until the meatballs are frozen solid, then transfer the meatballs to a large plastic ziploc bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
To use, allow to defrost in the refrigerator and then fry as per the recipe instructions.
Can I make Swedish meatballs in advance?
You can make and assemble this dish up to 3 days in advance, allow to cool and then and store covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.
To heat, cover the baking dish with tinfoil and place in a hot oven (200C / 400F) for between 10 and 15 minutes until heated through.
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe for Swedish meatballs to your pinterest board so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Recipe – Swedish meatballs with creamy mustard sauce
Swedish meatballs with creamy mustard sauce
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Large plate or tray
- Serving dish
- 8 oz (225g) ground beef
- 8 oz (225g) ground pork
- 1 large onion (finely chopped) approximately 1 cup
- 1 clove garlic (minced) or 1 teaspoon garlic paste from a jar
- 1 cup (100g) fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 small eggs
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt optional
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying the meatballs
Cream Mustard Sauce
- 1½ oz (40g) butter
- 5 tablespoons (40g) plain flour for thickening
- ¾ cup (180ml) vegetable stock made with a stock cube
- ¾ cup (180ml) beef stock made with a stock cube
- ½ cup (120ml) double or heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or to taste
- salt to taste (optional)
- Place all the ingredients for the meatballs (except for the olive oil) into a food processor that has been fitted with a steel cutting blade. Process until everything is finely chopped.
- Transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl and press together with your hands to form a large ball.
- Roll golf-ball sized pieces of meat into balls and place on a plate (see Note 1). Depending on how large you make the meatballs you should get about 20. Transfer the plate with the meatballs to the refrigerator and leave for at least 30 minutes to give the meatballs time to firm up. This will help to prevent them from breaking up during the cooking process.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs gently, turning with a pair of tongs, so that they are evenly browned on all sides. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are fully cooked (see Note 2). This should take about 5 minutes. Test for doneness by cutting a meatball in half – there shoul be no pink showing.
- Transfer the cooked meatballs to a serving dish and keep warm while you make the creamy mustard sauce.
Creamy mustard sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then stir in the flour to form a lump-free roux. Cook, stirring continually for 1 minute.
- Dissolve the stock cubes in 1½ cups of boiling water and stir into the roux and stir well.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, and whisk over a low heat until thickened.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the serving dish and serve with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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