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Classic Swedish Meatballs Recipe
Classic Swedish Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Classic Swedish Meatballs Recipe

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I'm a "Svenska flicka" (Swedish girl) from northwest Iowa, where many Swedes settled at the turn of the century. This recipe was given to me by a Swedish friend. It's obviously a 20th century version of a 19th century favorite, since back then they didn't have bouillon cubes or evaporated milk! I think you'll agree that these modern-day "Kottbullar" are very tasty.

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TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.
MAKES:14 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.
MAKES: 14 servings


  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (3 each) equals 130 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 33 mg cholesterol, 297 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 10 g protein.


  1. Combine 2/3 cup evaporated milk, onion, crumbs, salt, allspice and pepper. Add meat; mix well, chill. Shape meat mixture into 1-in. balls.
  2. In large skillet, brown meatballs in butter. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water; pour over meatballs and bring to boil over medium heat. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, blend together cold water and flour. Remove meatballs from skillet, skim fat from pan juices and reserve juices. Stir 1 cup evaporated milk and flour/water mixture into pan juices in skillet; cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens.
  4. Return meatballs to skillet. Stir in lemon juice. Serve with cooked noodles that have been tossed with poppy seeds and butter. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Swedish Meatballs in Country December/January 1990, p49

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Reviewed Apr. 4, 2015

"Really good, I used lamb instead of beef my husband devoured them"

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2014

"Very good , made them for a party and everyone loved them ."

Reviewed Sep. 11, 2012

"My boyfriend really enjoyed this, and I liked it as well. I think I just don't care for the taste, not the recipe."

Reviewed May. 11, 2012

"This is like my 8th time making this recipe. My fiancee Sam LOVES this recipe!!! BUT truth be told, Him and I had been drinkin a lil wine and I messed up the recipe a lil.... Just know that if you brown the meatballs completely and forget to add the bouilon cubes and then remove the meatballs and mix the flour with the liquids... let it boil down, to thicken and then add meatballs, noodles and sprinkle with lemon. Still the MOST FANTABULOUS recipe ever.. even when you mess up because you're having a good time with your family and you lost track of time. Thank you for this...and the added smiles =))"

Reviewed Jan. 27, 2012

"This recipe is awesome!! My Sam loves it!! This is the second time I made this.. but this time, instead of just buttering the noodles and sprinkle them w/ poppy seed... once I drain the noodles, I put them in a hit pan of already melted butter, let them fry up a little and then add poppy seed and sprinkle with parm and parsley.Yum =) I even had to take a picture of it!!"

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