Omi’s Swedish Meatballs


Total Time:

25 minutes



So you’re probably asking yourself – who is Omi and are her Swedish Meatballs as good as Ikea’s? Let me tell you…

Omi's Swedish Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Well, Omi is my mom’s mom!! She’s responsible for MANY of our favorite recipes here on WGC and in my cookbooks and YES THESE SWEDISH MEATBALLS ARE ABSOLUTELY as good as Ikea’s, if not better! Thank you very much and apologies for yelling! They just bring back mega memories of childhood and I’m very excited!

You know those fried potatoes in book 3 – those are hers!! And that green bean salad in book 2 – Omi gets full credit!! Her recipes are packed with flavor but simple and not complicated! The woman had 3 kids to feed back when they were all living at home, she needed max flavor without crazy long prep times. So today, you’re getting her version of Swedish Meatballs!

Anya (my sister) and I used to BEG her to make these every time she would come visit or we’d go visit her! They are hands down one of my top 10 favorite recipes from childhood and you guys will be obsessed.

Omi's Swedish Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Most Swedish Meatballs are a combo of ground beef and ground pork. I know that many of you don’t eat pork or just never have it on hand, so you’ll notice the recipe below only calls for ground beef. But if you’re into the pork, DO IT! Just do a 50/50 split of ground beef to ground pork and you’ll get even more flavor!

And the creamy gravy sauce – omg. It’s so simple and perfect. Starts with a little roux and gets finished with some heavy cream (whole fat milk would work too) and beef broth. It’s creamy and delicious and PERFECT for dunking the meatballs in to make them extra flavorful. Swedish Meatballs coming in hot!! Enjoy!

Omi's Swedish Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Swedish Meatballs

My Omi's tried and true Swedish Meatballs!! You can make them entirely with ground beef, or half beef/half pork! Works perfectly either way!
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Swedish, European
Servings 4 people


For the Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (alternatively you can use 3/4 lb ground beef and 3/4 lb ground pork if you want to use pork)
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 beef boullion cube
  • 1/2 cup hot water

For the Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or full fat milk)
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • parsley to garnish


  • Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and let sit for 15 minutes. Then shape into balls.
  • Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides until golden.
  • Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water and pour over the meat and continue to cook until meatballs are browned. Remove the meatballs from the pan to a clean plate and set aside. The liquid will mostly evaporate.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet and add the flour and stir to combine. Cook until the flour is evenly combined and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and stir in heavy cream and beef broth and cook until mixture thickens. Nestle back in the meatballs and simmer together for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve solo or alongside any sort of egg noodle or rice.

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Recipe Rating


    • Gaby

      I usually serve pasta or rice as mentioned in the post 🙂 A big salad is nice too

  1. Cara

    Oh man, I saw this too late! I made another version of this tonight and it was underwhelming, to say the least. I’m excited to try yours!

  2. Julie

    Gaby, I’m not sure I’m understanding step 3 & 4 correctly. After we douse the dissolved bullion over the meatballs, what exactly do we set aside? Just the meatballs? Or meatballs AND bullion mixture… ? Thank you in advance!

  3. Allie

    5 stars
    Never had Swedish meatballs before and decided to give them a try. WOW delicious! The whole family loved them.

  4. Margaret

    5 stars
    this was so good. i served it with biscuits for a biscuits and gravy situation. Def not a low-cal meal but so so cozy and delish 🙂

  5. Katrina

    Looking forward to making this tonight. Hubby is lactose intolerant. Can I sub coconut cream instead of heavy cream?

    • Gaby

      I think coconut would change the flavor profile too much. I would do an almond milk creamer

  6. Melissa

    5 stars
    This was great! It was easy to make and my husband loved it. It reminded me of something my mom would make when I was a kid. Best of all, there are leftovers! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Trude

    5 stars
    My husband and I really enjoyed these meatballs! Such great comfort food. I made them as written using both pork and beef. The only minor changes included using whole milk instead of cream and “Better than Bouillon” brand beef concentrate instead of the cube. Such wonderful flavors! Exactly how I want Swedish Meatballs to taste!

  8. Gina Moore

    5 stars
    Gaby I made these for dinner tonight and they were the BEST Swedish meatballs we have ever had!!!! Thank you Omi!!!

  9. Megan

    5 stars
    So so good! We made this last week and loved it! Served over egg noodles and heated well as leftovers. I highly recommend this. Such an easy recipe. Will absolutely be apart of our regular rotation!

    Our grocery store was out of ground pork, so we did all ground beef. Can’t wait to try it next time with the beef and pork.

  10. Alex

    5 stars
    This was the Election Day pick me up I needed! These are so delicious, absolutely better than IKEA 🙂 Definitely use the ground pork, it really adds a depth of flavor. I made it with egg noodles and the acts as a perfect sauce for those too. This recipe is pretty rich so I consider it more of a treat meal. Thanks Gaby and Omi!

  11. Jennifer Monsalve

    5 stars
    These meatballs are so good! We made this over rice and substituted soy for Worcestershire sauce. Still so delicious and great the next day!

  12. Anna L.

    5 stars
    Made these last night and they were delish! I used 50/50 pork/beef.

    When serving, I highly recommend a dollop of jam to dip the meatballs in. Lingonberry would be the best, but I only had had raspberry and it still tasted great.

  13. Kim

    Do you have a good suggestion for the beef bouillon? A few stores around me are out of stock 🙁

  14. mimi coppola

    So amazingly delicious!!! I would love to make them as a yummy app for the holidays…friends can pick them up with a toothpick! Could these be made ahead of time?

  15. Vicki C

    5 stars
    My family LOVED these! They were so easy to make and we’ll have them again and again. I was very bad and added a 1/4 cup of sour cream to my gravy.

  16. Laura

    5 stars
    These were delicious! I served over buttered egg noodles and hubs and our 1 year old gobbled them up. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Colleen Harriott

    If I wanted to freeze these, would I freeze them cooked or before they are cooked?

  18. Meredith Fitzpatrick

    5 stars
    Such an easy, awesome recipe. A huge hit with the entire family. Such a comfort food from childhood but leveled up in deliciousness!

  19. Sarah O.

    5 stars
    These are the best Swedish meatballs ever!! So delicious! My daughter made these last night and we devoured them. She followed the directions exactly (with all beef) and they turned out perfectly. She made pasta and served them over noodles. Thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe! Can’t wait for her to make them again.

  20. Chelsea

    5 stars
    Love these! We double the sauce and sometimes add a little chopped dill before serving, but really enjoy them as is too! It’s a Gaby favorite in our house!