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A Taste of Sweden: Savory Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Embark on a culinary adventure to Sweden with this heartwarming recipe for classic Swedish Meatballs. These tender, flavorful orbs of goodness nestled in a rich and creamy gravy, served over fluffy egg noodles, are guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and comfort your soul.


  • Meatball Magic:
    • 1 pound ground beef (80/20 mix) - The foundation of the meatballs, offering a satisfying heartiness.
    • 1 pound ground pork - Adds another layer of savory richness to the meatballs.
    • 1 onion, finely diced - Provides a subtle sweetness and aromatic depth.
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil (for sautéing) - Keeps the onions from sticking and adds a touch of moisture.
    • 1 slice of bread - Adds texture and helps bind the ingredients together.
    • ¼ cup milk - Softens the breadcrumb mixture and adds moisture.
    • 2 eggs - Helps bind the ingredients and creates a tender texture.
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs - Adds structure and a delightful textural contrast to the meatballs.
    • 1 teaspoon of salt acts like a magic key, unlocking the hidden depths of flavor in all the ingredients
    • 1 ½ teaspoons pepper - Adds a touch of warmth.
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg - A classic Swedish meatball spice, offering a subtle sweetness and warmth.
    • ½ teaspoon cloves (or allspice) - Provides a hint of spice and complexity.
  • The Creamy Gravy:
    • 4 tablespoons butter - Creates a rich and flavorful base for the gravy.
    • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour - Thicken the gravy to a luxurious consistency.
    • ⅓ cup sour cream - Adds a delightful tanginess and creaminess to the gravy.
    • 4 cups unsalted beef broth - Provides the base for the savory gravy.
    • Just a half teaspoon of salt adds a subtle lift.
    • ½ teaspoon pepper - For a touch of warmth.
    • 2 tablespoons parsley (fresh or dried) - Adds a touch of freshness and color.
  • Nesting Noodles:
    • 4 cups egg noodles (uncooked) - The perfect bed for the meatballs and gravy, offering a comforting and satisfying element.

Equipment Needed:

  • Instant Pot or Dutch Oven - For versatility in cooking the meatballs and gravy.
  • Large mixing bowl - To combine all the meatball ingredients.
  • Silicone-coated whisk - For gentle mixing and avoiding scratches on your bowls.
  • Wooden spatula - For scraping and stirring.
  • Meatball maker (optional) - Ensures uniform and perfectly round meatballs.


  1. The Onion Symphony: Begin by finely dicing the onion. Sauté it in a small pan or your Instant Pot using olive oil until translucent. This releases the natural sweetness of the onions and adds depth to the meatballs.
  2. Milk Makes it Moist: In a separate bowl, soak the bread slice in the milk. Allow it to absorb the milk completely, creating a softened breadcrumb mixture that binds the meatballs effectively.
  3. The Meatball Masterpiece: In your large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, soaked bread and milk mixture, eggs, sautéed onions, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cloves. Use your hands or a silicone-coated whisk to gently mix until everything is well incorporated. Treat the meatball mixture with a light touch. Overmixing activates the gluten, leading to tough meatballs. A gentle touch is key! Overmixing the meatball mixture can lead to tough and chewy meatballs. Aim for a uniform consistency without going overboard.
  4. Shaping Perfection: With slightly damp hands, form the meatball mixture into uniform 1 ½- to 2-inch balls. A meatball maker can be helpful for achieving consistent size and shape.
  5. Golden Beginnings: There are two ways to brown the meatballs. If using an Instant Pot, set it to "broil" and cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally for even browning. Alternatively, heat a pan with a little oil over medium heat and brown the meatballs in batches until golden brown on all sides.
  6. The Gravy Goodness: Preheat your Instant Pot to "sauté" mode. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour until a golden roux forms. This roux is the base that thickens the gravy and adds richness. Simmer the roux for a few minutes, allowing the flour to cook out its raw flavor and develop a nutty aroma.
  7. Creamy Magic: Whisk in the sour cream slowly, ensuring it is fully incorporated into the roux. Sour cream adds a touch of tang and creaminess, taking the gravy to the next level.
  8. Building the Broth: Gradually whisk in the beef broth, ensuring no lumps form. This creates the flavorful base of the gravy.
  9. Bringing the Flavor Home: Season the gravy with salt, pepper, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The salt enhances the overall flavor profile, while the pepper adds a touch of warmth. Fresh parsley brings a delightful pop of freshness and adds a touch of green color to the dish.
  10. The Meatball Reunion: Carefully add the browned meatballs back to the Instant Pot. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir them into the gravy, ensuring they are coated evenly. This allows the meatballs to absorb the delicious flavors of the gravy.
  11. Nesting the Noodles: Pour the uncooked egg noodles directly into the Instant Pot with the meatballs and gravy. Gently stir the noodles to distribute them evenly throughout the pot.

Cooking Options:

  • Instant Pot Perfection: Close the lid of your Instant Pot, ensuring the pressure valve is set to "sealing." Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a 5-minute natural pressure release. Then, carefully release any remaining pressure manually. This pressure cooking method ensures the meatballs are cooked through quickly and efficiently.
  • Dutch Oven Delight: If using a Dutch oven, bring the gravy to a simmer after adding the meatballs and noodles. Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the noodles are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking of the noodles. The Dutch oven method offers a more traditional cooking experience, allowing the flavors to develop slowly.

The Grand Finale:

Whichever cooking method you choose, once the meatballs are cooked through and the noodles are tender, it's time to serve!

Carefully ladle the Swedish Meatballs with creamy gravy over a bed of fluffy egg noodles. Garnish with additional fresh parsley (optional) for a touch of color and enjoy this comforting and flavorful Swedish classic.

Tips for Success:

  • Bread Matters: For a lighter texture in the meatballs, use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs absorb less moisture, resulting in a lighter and airier meatball.
  • Don't Overmix: As mentioned earlier, resist the urge to overmix the meatball mixture. Overmixing can lead to tough meatballs. Mix until just combined, and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Moisturize as Needed: If the meatball mixture feels too dry, add a tablespoon of milk or broth at a time until it reaches a workable consistency. This ensures the meatballs are moist and hold their shape well.
  • Leftover Love: These Swedish Meatballs freeze beautifully. Once cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. This recipe offers double the fun! Enjoy them fresh or freeze leftovers for later. Transfer the cooled meatballs to a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Reheat them gently in a saucepan or microwave until they reach a steaming temperature. This tip allows you to enjoy this dish even on busy weeknights.

By incorporating these detailed descriptions, clear instructions, and helpful tips, you've transformed the Swedish Meatball recipe into a comprehensive guide for creating this classic dish at home. This recipe offers a delicious and comforting culinary journey to Sweden, perfect for a cozy dinner or a potluck gathering.