IKEA Swedish Meatballs

These IKEA Swedish meatballs, made with ground beef and pork, and served in a Dijon cream sauce, are the real deal, except you don’t have to leave the house or walk through the store to enjoy them. Here’s how to cook them.

IKEA Swedish Meatballs Recipe

In a crave-worthy act of compassion, IKEA has given the world the keys to the meatball kingdom. By sharing the recipe for their little meatball beauties slathered in cream sauce, we can all still get our Swedish fix. This at-home alternative is made with easily accessible ingredients and offers some inspiration for people with some time on their hands. The recipe takes a little time but that pile of juicy meatballs you get at the end is truly worth it.–Jenny Latreille

What Makes Swedish Meatballs Different?

Swedish meatballs are typically smaller in size than Italian meatballs. They might also use spices such as allspice and nutmeg for flavoring instead of relying on Parmesan and oregano. Slathered in a creamy sauce flavored with Dijon and soy, they’re often served with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

IKEA Swedish Meatballs

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 55 M
  • 3 H
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs
  • For the cream sauce

Directions

Make the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the beef and pork, and mix with your fingers to break up any lumps. Add the onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, and mix to combine.

Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper.

Tester tip: To check for seasoning you can break off a bit of the meatball mixture and fry it before tasting.

Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) round balls. Place on a clean plate, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours (this will help them hold their shape while cooking).

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Working in batches if necessary, gently add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes.

Place the meatballs in an ovenproof dish and cover. Bake for 30 minutes.

Make the cream sauce

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and stir for 2 minutes.

Whisk in the vegetable and beef stocks, followed by the cream, soy sauce, and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

Tester tip: If your sauce becomes very thick, thin with additional vegetable or beef stock.

Serve the meatballs with the cream sauce.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is a new twist on meatballs with a taste similar to the Swedish meatballs that I’ve tasted in the past. It makes a large amount of sauce that would also pair nicely with egg noodles.

I prefer bolder flavors so I would omit the 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and replace it with 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I think it would greatly enhance the flavor of the sauce.

We are huge fans of Swedish meatballs and these IKEA meatballs were delicious. Using soy sauce and Dijon in the cream preparation definitely yielded a more umami result. The meatballs were tender and tasty; the cream sauce was bread-sop-worthy. These are addictive little balls of meat!

Next time I’ll skip the freezing and the pan-frying and just roast them in the oven. The cream sauce is the real star here. I served them with mashed potatoes, sauteed kale, and lingonberry jam.

These IKEA Swedish meatballs are the perfect winter recipe when you want to exert minimal effort with a pretty satisfying result. While it takes some time to prepare, these will appeal to even the pickiest of eaters due to the simple ingredients and the familiar taste.

The sauce is definitely on the thicker side (think more of a béchamel rather than a loose cream sauce) so I recommend adding an additional 1/2 cup of liquid (preferably one of the broths) if you want to either stretch out the sauce a little more of if you don't want a thick sauce. The flavour is pretty great but would definitely suggest finishing the sauce with some lemon juice to add some much needed acidity to the dish. I also added a little hot paprika to bring some smokiness and heat to the dish.

I threw the meatballs and sauce on top of a bed of egg noodles but would also serve them with some toothpicks at a party or even on some mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort food.

This simple IKEA Swedish meatballs dish is nice for a comforting meal especially if the meatballs are prepared ahead of time and frozen without the sauce. The meatballs are moist and the flavorful sauce is creamy smooth and would be a tasty topping for steamed broccoli or cauliflower.

The meatballs didn’t throw off much oil in either the browning or baking so I didn't need to drain any fat from the pan. They were perfectly baked in 30 minutes.

This isn’t a "make after work" recipe. The meatballs could simply be pan fried a bit longer then simmered in the sauce and skip the baking step or just baked on an uncovered sheet pan. Overall, this is a nice meatball recipe to use as a base for experimentation with other herbs and spices. Serve with roasted green beans for color on top of creamy polenta instead of the more expected buttered egg noodles.

These IKEA Swedish meatballs instructions were very easy to follow and it was nothing complicated to cook.

I fried a small meatball to check the seasonings and added a hint more salt. I used an ice-cream scoop to make the meatballs, so they would all be the same size. I made 40 medium meatballs.

My only tweaks: I would suggest adding more garlic to the ground meat. For 1.5 pounds of meat, one clove of garlic didn’t add enough flavor. Next time I’ll add some dried oregano and more garlic in order to enhance the taste.

I could have 6 portions for 6 meatballs per portion.

This easy IKEA Swedish meatballs recipe is both comforting and delicious. The recipe for the meatballs is pretty standard but the cream sauce put it over the top for us. Reminiscent of stroganoff in flavour, it all came together pretty quickly.

I ground a couple heels of bread that were going stale in the food processor to make the bread crumbs. The meatball mixture really comes together quickly. We made 73 small meatballs about 1" big. Next time I may make larger meatballs to save a little time.

While the meatballs finished cooking in the oven, I made the cream sauce. Again, it was an easy sauce to pull together with minimum effort and a little whisking. We put the meatballs into the sauce to serve, but next time we may serve the sauce along with the meatballs in a separate container. It’s truly a versatile recipe.

We served it over vegetable noodles for dinner and it was great. I think it would go well with potatoes, rice, pasta or as an appetizer on a buffet. My husband would be happy to eat it as is in a bowl with a spoon. We plan to include this for our New Year's Day Brunch with Cranberry Sauce and lots of fresh bread to sop up the sauce.

I think when I make it again for New Year's, I’ll add chopped mushrooms and some parsley to the sauce. We got 3 generous dinner servings and divided the last serving for a couple lunches for the next day.

At first glance, this recipe reminded me of Swedish meatballs, but without the dill and sour cream that can overpower other recipes. I was making this as a weeknight meal, so I have to admit I made a few changes, but I don’t think it really changed the outcome.

The meat seemed a bit dry after mixing, so I added 2 additional tablespoons of milk. The meat was firm and easy to work with. For the sauce, I used a beef base (Minor’s) and a vegetable base (Better than Bullion). I reduced the amount of soy to 1 teaspoon as the base mixtures can be salty.

I found the instructions clear, but didn’t have time to chill the meatballs. I had no problems with the balls holding their shape (although I did have a wetter mixture due to the extra milk). I fried 36 meatballs in corn oil in 2 batches. After frying, I put them on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil, just to get some nice browning and extra flavor.

My IKEA meatballs did have some shrinkage, but after a slight cooling period, I found them to be pleasantly moist on the inside. The roux came together nicely, cooking over medium-low heat. I increased the heat after adding the water, stock bases, and seasoning. Over medium-high heat, the sauce thickened up in about 5 minutes. It was pleasantly creamy with good umami and was a nice complement to the meatballs.

I served them over rice and a sprinkling of finely shaved green onion tops. I’m planning to freeze the extra meatballs for a quick weeknight meal. Comfort food at its best!

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