Back to Classic Swedish Meatballs

Print Options


Card Sizes

Classic Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Classic Swedish Meatballs Recipe

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.

More Meatball Recipes »

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


  • 1-2/3 cups evaporated milk, divided
  • 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
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Canned lingonberries, optional
  • Hot cooked egg noodles, optional


  • 1. Combine 2/3 cup evaporated milk with the next five ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly. Refrigerate.
  • 2. With wet hands, shape meat mixture into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Brown meatballs in batches. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Pour over meatballs; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.
  • 3. Meanwhile, stir together cold water and flour. Remove meatballs from skillet; skim fat, reserving juices. Add flour mixture and remaining evaporated milk to pan juices; cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens.
  • 4. Return meatballs to skillet. Stir in lemon juice. If desired, top with lingonberries and serve with hot cooked egg noodles. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

3 meatballs: 110 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 261mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0g fiber), 9g protein .

Reviews for Classic Swedish Meatballs

Sort By :
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!!"

Tennessee Momm
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2011

"I thought this was a good recipe. My husband did not care for it. I thought the sauce could be a bit thicker."

Reviewed Aug. 1, 2009

"This is one of my favorite Swedish meatball recipes. I've prepared it with ground turkey as well as beef and it's delicious either way. The only issue I have had is keeping the meatballs together while I brown them. Adding some extra bread crumbs, as well as putting the formed meatballs in the freezer for an hour helps them stay together."

Loading Image