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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. —Emily Gould, Hawarden, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min. YIELD:42 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
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Canned lingonberries, optional


  • 1. Combine 2/3 cup evaporated milk with the next five ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • 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. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 meatball: 36 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 87mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews for Classic Swedish Meatballs

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 268861
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2017

"This is the best recipe I have for Swedish meatballs!! I have fixed them many times over the years and they still get rave reviews everywhere I take them!! Soooo good!!"

amsm User ID: 8302234 264369
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2017

"I thought that this was an okay dish. My sauce did not get as thick as I would have liked. I did make a few changes to the meatballls. I used pork instead of beef, I added an egg to help the meatballs stay together, and I added half the onion and allspice that it called for. My family is not big on onion taste, and halving the onion still gave these meatballs plenty of onion flavor."

jetluvs2cook User ID: 1675049 261416
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2017

"Made these tonight! Very tasty!

I did bake them instead of frying in a pan so that they stayed together better!"

ejshellabarger User ID: 3870843 259586
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2017

"I followed the ingredient list and recipe to a "T" and my meatballs pathetically fell apart. I ended up just cooking the meatballs like a meat sauce and pouring it over pasta. The flavor was great."

cmhwheel User ID: 1818768 259517
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2017

"This is close to my dear mother's recipe, but one significant change is the meat. We use a mixture of ground pork and ground beef. I never served Lingenberries with mine, but sounds great!!"

schamberlain User ID: 8299832 224155
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2015

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

captgeo5 User ID: 6856757 216369
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2014

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

MaikoEmi User ID: 4616610 8716
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."

Hollieeee User ID: 6203108 24681
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 =))"

Hollieeee User ID: 6203108 14331
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 User ID: 4848549 41244
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."

mattypee User ID: 4275327 39457
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."

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