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A plateful of swedish meatballs served with mashed potatoes, lingonberry sauce and cucumber salad.

Swedish Meatballs (Kottbullar)

The national dish of Sweden
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Swedish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 526kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine


  • 2 pieces day-old white bread crumbled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon butter plus 1 tablespoon butter divided
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2/3 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 pound finely ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup beef stock

Brown Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons Swedish meatball pan drippings
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350º F
  • Place the bread and cream in a small bowl, mix, and let stand about 10 minutes until absorbed.
  • Melt the teaspoon of butter in a large, shallow skillet and cook the onion for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
    Transfer browned onion to a large mixing bowl and add the meats, brown sugar, salt, spices, and egg, then mix until nearly combined.
    Add the moistened bread and mix gently until combined.
  • Melt the tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat.
    Form meatball mixture into 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and cook in batches until the outsides are evenly browned, approximately 5 minutes. The meatballs will still be pink inside.
    Transfer to a baking dish when browned and add more butter to the skillet as needed to cook all of the meatballs.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of broth into the baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked and tender.
  • Transfer meatballs to a serving dish and pour gravy over (recipe follows).

Brown Gravy

  • After making the Swedish meatballs, transfer their drippings to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook until light gold in color, then slowly pour in stock while whisking constantly.
  • Simmer the gravy until thick, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Just before serving the meatballs, stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve warm with mashed or boiled potatoes, lingonberry sauce and Swedish cucumber salad.


Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 986mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 718IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg