Recipe Post: Swedish Meatballs (with a Twist)

When I was a kid I was a big fan of the Muppet Show (totally aging myself here); my favourite character by far was the Swedish Chef. Never mind that this puppet is probably (maybe?) hellaciously offensive to Swedes now, but he made me laugh so hard when I was 10. To this day, whenever I read a recipe or hear discussion about Swedish meatballs, or kötbullar (which is more often than you think if you go to any IKEA in the land), I still hear a faint, ghostly “Mork Mork MORK!”

As per the link above, meatballs are virtually a global recipe, in that literally dozens of countries and cultures have their own version. I’ve seen and made my own meatball recipes many different ways, with many different ingredients. To that end, this Swedish version is simply an easy to make, delicious recipe for homemade meatballs smothered in gravy, served over egg noodles. If you’re trying to lower your red meat intake, it’s equally as yummy made with ground chicken or turkey, as I did here, and it goes just as well served over mashed potatoes as noodles; if you want to reduce the calorie count even more, try serving it over riced cauliflower and a nice side salad.

Swedish Meatballs and Gravy over Noodles

YIELD: 4 servings | PREP: 10 mins | COOK: 25-30 mins

Meatballs:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 500g/1lb ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tbsp cooking onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp/0.25g dried parsley
  • 1 tsp/7g kosher salt
  • 1 tsp/2.25g paprika
  • 1 tsp/1.5g thyme
  • ½ tsp/1.7g garlic powder
  • ½ tsp/1.2g onion powder
  • ½ tsp/1g cayenne powder (optional)
  • ¾ tsp/1.7g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 cup/125g AP flour

Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp/30g salted butter
  • 2 tbsp/16g AP flour
  • 2 cups/500mL chicken stock or bouillon, hot
  • 1 cup/250mL milk (any kind), warmed
  • 1 tbsp/15mL Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp/0.25g dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil; keep on heat until ready to add noodles.
  2. Meatballs: heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat with enough vegetable oil to coat bottom of skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all remaining meatball ingredients EXCEPT flour and vegetable oil until well mixed; form into tablespoon-sized meatballs. Roll meatballs in reserved flour on a flat plate until lightly coated on all sides. Cook in pre-heated skillet until browned evenly on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from skillet onto a paper towel lined plate. Reserve skillet; do not wash.
  4. Add noodles to pot of boiling water; follow package directions for doneness.
  5. Gravy: Reduce heat under skillet to medium low; add butter and flour, and whisk until flour has turned light golden brown. whisk in broth slowly and cook until thickened. Add in milk, Worcestershire sauce and parsley, bring to heat and allow to thicken again, stirring frequently. Taste for salt and pepper. Return meatballs to pan, coating thoroughly with sauce. Taste once again for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  6. When noodles are done; drain and add to skillet to coat in the sauce, or if preferred, serve meatballs and sauce overtop of noodles. Serve hot.

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