Omi’s Swedish Meatballs

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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

5 from 24 votes
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!
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 (I prefer panko)
  • 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 tablespoon olive oil
  • 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 – a little smaller than a golf ball.
  • Heat the 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 be mostly evaporated at this point any remnants, don't worry about.
  • 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, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in heavy cream and beef broth and cook until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. 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.


  1. 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. 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. 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 🙂

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 5 stars
    Gaby I made these for dinner tonight and they were the BEST Swedish meatballs we have ever had!!!! Thank you Omi!!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I served over buttered egg noodles and hubs and our 1 year old gobbled them up. Thanks for sharing!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. Hi Gaby,
    I will definitely will be making these Swedish meatballs. I was wondering if you have a good recipe for the red cabbage that sometimes these meatballs are served with.
    Thank you for this recipe!
    Have a great week.

  19. Just made your Swedish Meatballs exactly as written, it was absolutely delicious. I could literally drink the sauce. Thank you so much for a great recipe!!

  20. 5 stars
    These meatballs are UH-MA-ZING! One zillion stars. Seems like a lot of ingredients at first glance, but had most on hand. Easy peasy and SO delicious. YUM.

  21. I made these for dinner tonight using beef and pork. So good!!! My husband loved it too. Easy to make and on the table in no time. Can’t wait to make it again. Thank you!

  22. 5 stars
    This was truly delicious and so so easy! I have a picky eater in the family and they loved it. I’ve added this to my weekly dinner rotation!

  23. 5 stars
    Can you freeze the meatballs before cooked or after at all? Or should you just half the recipe if I’m not able to eat all of it that day

  24. 5 stars
    So so good! There’s even room to thin the sauce out for a little extra drizzle over noodles. Everyone loved this!

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