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Swedish Meatballs {IKEA Style}

Either Braising or Baking the Meatballs

by Shirley
Published: Updated:
Swedish Meatballs Recipe {Ikea Style}

These Swedish meatballs are seriously delicious and healthy. Perfect to pair with the homemade mashed potatoes. It is for those who love IKEA meatballs. I am one of you, LOL. I used to go to IKEA just to eat their meatballs or bring back home a bag of frozen meatballs.

The good news is now you can make these super tasty Swedish meatballs at home easily. The better news? They are exceptionally healthy too.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe {Ikea Style}

Two ways of cooking meatballs – baking or braising

Method 1 is to bake the meatballs

It is straightforward to bake these meatballs. It takes about 30 minutes at 350 F. Line the baking pan with unbleached parchment paper if you can. It not only helps save the juice coming out of the meatballs but also makes cleaning the pan easier.

baked meatballs Swedish Style

Method 2 is to use the blanching plus braising cooking technique

Besides baking the meatballs, I sometimes also use a combination of blanching plus braising methods to cook the meatballs. It is the same method I cook Huai Yang classic Red Braised Lion’s Head (pork meatballs).

blanching meatballs
braising meatballs

Sweet Brown Rice is a healthy alternative to substitute bread crumbs when making meatballs

Also known as sticky brown rice, it is a secret ingredient added to the meatball. Sweet Brown Rice has a subtly sweet, nutty, and chewy taste. They are nutritious and gluten-free. Such a wonderful bread crumbs substitute to make the meatballs juicy and spongy.

brown sweet rice

For easier cooking, make sure you grind the sweet brown rice into coarse particles using a spice grinder and then soak them in cold water overnight in advance.

If you already have sweet brown rice flour handy, then you can also use the sweet brown rice flour directly.

How to make Swedish Meatballs {IKEA Style}?

Tip No.1 is to use a combination of ground beef and pork

For every pound of ground beef, use half a pound of ground pork. Home ground pork is ideal because of its meaty juiciness.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe Ingredients

Tip No.2 is to chop parsley green leaves into a smooth mixture and add to the meat

If you are using home-grown parsley, you can use the entire parsley. Homegrown parsley typically has tender stems. However, the stems of store-bought parsley are usually tough and fibery. I therefore use only the green leaves part of the parsley.

Snip the green leaves off the stems and then chop the green leaves into a paste mixture using a compact food processor. It is a handy tool to chop and/or mince spices.

chopped parsley leaves
chopped red onions

Tip No.3 is to Saute red onion first before adding it to meatballs

Sauteed onions are softer with fragrant, it makes the meatball taste better with a smoother texture too.

sauteed red onions

Tip No.4 Dijon Mustard is one of the key secret ingredients

Dijon Mustard

It is behind the signature flavor. It also gives the meatballs and gravy a yellowish-looking hue.

Last but not least – Soy Sauce plays an instrument role

Soy sauce truly makes everything tastes better. Plus, the regular soy sauce helps darken the color of the gravy with just the right amount of brown-looking.

Homemade Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take to make Swedish Meatballs?

If you choose to bake the meatballs, then it is about 45 minutes. Approximately 15 minutes for the prep, and then 30 minutes for baking the meatballs. Gravy takes about 5 minutes to make, but you can make the gravy while waiting on the meatballs.

Braising the meatballs method takes extra 15 minutes or so.

How Many meatballs does this recipe produce?

This recipe makes 14 average-sized meatballs.

How do you serve Swedish Meatballs?

A great satisfying way to enjoy these meatballs is over a bed of home freshly made creamy mashed potatoes. The gravy complements mashed potatoes exceptionally well. Read here for a detailed recipe and step-by-step tutorial.

swedish meatballs {IKEA Style} recipe

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. It is precisely what I do every time now. Simply double everything listed in the recipe.

Can I make this in advance and freeze it?

Sure thing. Make fresh gravy on the day when you serve the meatballs. Remember to remove frozen meatballs from the freezer overnight to let them de-thaw thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Another thought, you can double the meatball recipe, store half of the cooked Swedish meatballs in the freezer, and serve half today.

Like ground beef? Make sure you check out this deliciously juicy burger patty recipe!

Swedish Meatballs Recipe {Ikea Style}

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These Swedish meatballs are seriously delicious, healthy, and easy to make.


For Marinating the Meat:

  • 1/2 cup sweet brown rice, chopped and soaked over-night in advance, or use 1/3 cup sweet brown rice flour or brown rice flour as a substitute
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork, preferably home ground pork, see notes
  • 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, cage-free or organic
  • 3/4 tsp salt, such as Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • a bunch of parsley, green leaves only, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped and sauteed
  • 1/4 tsp cooking oil, such as avocado oil, for sauteing red onion

For Braising the Meatballs, optional

  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • water, to barely cover the meatballs

For Gravy:

  • 2 1/4 cups of beef broth or water
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 stems of parsley, green leaves only


Prepping and Marinating the Meat:

  1. Use a spice grinder to chop the brown sweet rice and then soak it in plenty of water overnight. Rinse and change the water a couple of times.
    soaking chopped sweet brown rice in plenty of water in a bowl
  2. Wash and rinse parsley. Snip the green leaf part off the parsley, save a couple for garnishing and chop the rest into bite sizes. Add them into a mini food processor and turn them into a smooth mixture.
    chopped parsley in the food processor
  3. Peel garlic, add them into a mini food processor and turn into a finely minced mixture.
    Minced Garlic Using a Compact Food Processor
  4. Drain the brown sweet rice and set it aside
  5. Peel off the outer layer of red onion, and chop it into small pieces. If you red onion to blend better, then use a food processor and chop it into smaller pieces.
    chopped red onion in compact food processor
  6. Turn the heat to high, and heat a Wok or a 12-inch hard-anodized fry pan for 1 minute. Add the 1/4 tsp avocado oil along with the chopped red onion. Sautee for 1 minute or until they are fragrant and become translucent. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
    sauteed onion
  7. Rinse ground beef and ground pork under the cold water, drain the water and add to a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add egg, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, black pepper powder, fennel seeds powder, Himalayan pink salt, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and drained sweet brown rice pieces.
    Marinating ground beef and pork for Swedish Meatballs
  9. Use a bamboo spatula to press and break down the beef and fold them into the seasoning in the mixing bowl. Continue to fold until everything is fully blended and then add the sauteed red onion.
    add sauteed red onion to the marinated ground beef and ground pork
  10. While planting the bamboo spatula inside the meat mixture, swiftly turn the bamboo spatula in one direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, for 30 seconds at one setting to bond the meat together. Do it a few times until the meat is fully bonded.
    marinated ground beef and pork for Swedish meatballs

Method 1 - Baking the Meatballs:

  1. Line the baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Use an ice cream scoop to get a full scoop of the marinated meat.
    Use a ice cream scoop to scoop out marinated meat for making meatballs
  3. Pack firmly and then release the meat from the ice cream scoop and use both hands to toss and roll it into a ball and place on the baking pan.
    form a meatball using both hands
  4. Repeat until you've done with all the meatballs.
    ready for baking meatballs on the unbleached parchment paper on the baking pan
  5. Set the oven to "Bake", temperature 350 F and bake for 30 minutes and then remove it from the oven.
    freshly baked meatballs

Method 2 Step A - Blanching the Meatballs

  1. Fill a 4 Qt. stockpot with about 75% water (about 3 Qt. or 0.75 Gallons), turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil
  2. Once it reaches boiling, turn the heat to low, scoop out a little less than 1/4 cup of marinated meat, and place it into the left hand. Use two hands to gently press to form a meatball shape. Toss between palms to make the ball smoother.
    form a meatballs in the hand
  3. Gently add the meatballs into the water in the stockpot. Since the water is hot in temperature, the meatball shall solidify into a ball. Use a spider skimmer to gently fetch the meatball from the bottom to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
    blanching meatballs in large stockpot
  4. Repeat and continue to add more meatballs into the pot. When there are about 5 meatballs, start to remove the meatballs from the pot and place them into the Wok. Try to remove in a first-in-first-out order.
    blanching meatballs
  5. Repeat until you are done with all the meat mixture and have solidified all meatballs. Now move on to the next step of braising the meatballs.

Method 2 Step B - Braising the Meatballs:

  1. Add 4 1/4 cups of the broth from the stockpot, or until it barely covers all the meatballs in the Wok. Add 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and 2 tsp regular soy sauce. Gently mix well using a basting spoon.
    braise meatballs in the Wok
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, cover the wok with a lid and cook until it reaches a boil, turn to low and cook for 18 minutes.
  3. Finally, turn the heat back to medium-high, remove the lid, and use a slotted turner to turn and fold the meatballs with the remaining juice in the wok, and cook for about 3 minutes.
    Braise meatballs in the wok
  4. Remove the cooked meatballs from the Wok and place them in a big bowl or plate. Save any remaining juice in the wok for making the gravy.

Making the Gravy:

  1. Add 2 1/4 cups of beef broth or water to the wok, along with 1 cup of organic heavy cream, 2 tsp regular soy sauce, 2 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, as well as 1/4 tsp of freshly ground coriander seeds and white pepper. Sift in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour using a flour sifter and mix everything together using a whisk.
    making swedish meatballs gravy
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a boil while stirring using a bamboo spatula. About 2-3 minutes
  3. Turn the heat to medium, and cook another 5 minutes while mixing & stirring. Use a silicone spatula to remove the gravy stuck to the walls of the wok and add it to the Wok and mix well.
    Swedish meatballs gravy in the wok
  4. All done, go ahead and serve the unbelievably delicious Swedish meatballs!
    swedish meatballs {IKEA Style} recipe


  • This recipe makes about 14 meatballs.
  • I recommend using home-ground pork for the best results. See here for an easy way to ground the perfect pork at home.
  • See here on homemade mashed potatoes recipe in an easy, yummy, and healthy way.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1019Total Fat 68gSaturated Fat 30gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 31gCholesterol 310mgSodium 1564mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 9gSugar 9gProtein 68g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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