Simple Swedish Meatballs

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Now you don’t need to wait until your next trip to Ikea to dine on delicious Swedish Meatballs! This recipe shows you how to simply make this Scandinavian dish in your own kitchen. Its distinctively Swedish flavors of nutmeg and allspice, garnished with lingonberry preserves, will be a unique addition to your dinnertime repertoire.

Swedish home chefs make their meatballs with a mix of ground beef, pork, and veal, mixing them in a broth containing cream and gravy. The recipe is originally Turkish, and was brought back to Sweden by its exiled king in the 18th century. who can blame the Swedes for taking such an exceptionally comforting and tasty dish and claiming it as a national treasure?

We make our Swedish meatballs with chicken or turkey instead of beef, veal, or pork, to lower its calorie count and fat content. We also mix high-protein, nonfat Greek yogurt with our chicken or turkey broth to produce a sauce that is low in fat, but high in protein and flavor. Of course, traditional lingonberry jam is the icing on the cake when sampling Swedish meatballs, but cranberry jam will do if your local grocery isn’t fully stocked with lingonberry goodies!

Top wide, whole wheat noodles with these tasty meatballs and sauce for a rich, warming dinner the whole family will gobble down. Or serve these meatballs as a party appetizer, on toothpicks. This recipe is versatile and simple, and is sure to please a crowd.

Simple Swedish Meatballs

Simple Swedish Meatballs

Yields: 24 meatballs/ 8 servings | Serving Size: 3 meatballs with sauce | Calories: 416 | Total Fat: 25 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 219 mg | Sodium: 233 mg | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Dietary Fiber: 1 g | Sugars: 9 g | Protein: 26 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 14


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 pounds lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) *if making at home, pulse until breadcrumbs are still coarse, not a fine grain breadcrumb
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat preferred)
  • 4 cups nonfat beef, chicken, or turkey stock
  • 3/4 cup nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup lingonberry preserves or cranberry jam, mixed into the sauce or served on the side (optional)


  1. Heat onion in one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until onions become softened and slightly translucent.
  2. Mix ground chicken or turkey with cooked onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, spices, and salt and pepper in a large bowl to combine.
  3. Form about 24 1" or so meatballs.
  4. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan over medium heat until oil is hot and shimmering. Add meatballs about 6 to 8 at a time, so the sides are not touching and the pan is not crowded, and allow them to brown on all sides, flipping to get even browning. After about 5 minutes, remove and place on a plate.
  5. For the gravy, add the olive oil to the pan, over medium heat. Add in the flour, whisking constantly, until a golden paste has formed, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the vegetable or chicken stock in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until the stock has thickened, for about two minutes. Stir in the nonfat sour cream or Greek yogurt and salt and pepper. If adding to the sauce, stir in the preserve or jam now until fully incorporated.
  6. Stir in all of the meatballs carefully, to coat with sauce. Cook for 10 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through.
  7. Swedish Meatballs would go well as an entree with our Mashed Cauliflower.

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3 Comments on "Simple Swedish Meatballs"

  1. Mindy  March 9, 2017

    This recipe looks amazing. Can you bake the meatballs? I usual bake mine when I make Italian-style meatballs. Thanks!

    • Gale Compton  March 9, 2017

      Mindy, Definitely! I bake them sometimes and they’re still delicious. 🙂

      • Mindy  March 10, 2017

        Thank you!


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