Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)
Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

I’m 1/8 Swedish (via my paternal grandmother’s mother) so I figured as somewhat of en svensk kvinna I should have some Köttbullar represented – plus they’re just YUMMY!

Fun Fact: Swedish Meatballs are actually based on a recipe brought back from Turkey in the early 18th century by King Charles XII of Sweden!

You can choose any size meatball you want from this recipe – from 1″ and up. True Swedish Meatballs are 1″ meatballs and this recipe will make about 3.5 dozen. I like larger ones so I make mine about 2.5″ and that makes about 14.

Köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs) with Roasted Broccoli

The smallest I go are these (maybe 1.5″) and it makes about 27 meatballs…

Köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs) Recipe

  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 + 2/3 cups evaporated milk (divided: 2/3 cup in meatballs + 1 cup in sauce)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup water (divided: 1 cup boiled [still hot] + 1/2 cup cold)
  • 2/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp beef bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large bowl, blend together 2/3 cup milk, 2/3 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp allspice, and a dash of black pepper.
  2. Add 1 lb beef and gently combine. I use a large wooden spoon to gently fold in until meat is well-coated by milk mixture.
  3. Refrigerate beef mixture until chilled.
  4. Using wet hands, shape beef mixture into meatballs.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp butter over medium heat on stovetop.
  6. In batches that will fit in your skillet, brown meatballs for about 2 mins on top, then flip and brown for 2 mins on bottom. Once you get a good browning on top and bottom, gently roll to one side for another 2 mins, then to the other side for about 1 min. You don’t want these completely cooked through, but neither should you see more than a little pink in any of the meatballs. Set meatballs aside (I like to put them on a plate in the microwave to keep warm).
  7. While your last batch of meatballs is being browned, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  8. Dissolve 2 tsp bouillon in 1 cup boiled water (while still hot).
  9. Return meatballs to skillet.
  10. Pour bouillon mixture over meatballs, and bring to a boil.
  11. Once boiling, turn down heat, cover, and simmer 15 mins.
  12. While meatballs are simmering, make a slurry in a small bowl by stirring together 1/2 cup cold water and 2 Tbsp flour until well blended. I just use a teaspoon (the eating kind) for this.
  13. Remove meatballs from skillet (again, perhaps set aside on a plate in the microwave).
  14. Skim fat from the skillet, reserving the juices.
  15. Add slurry and remaining 1 cup milk to juices in skillet
  16. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until sauce thickens.
  17. Return meatballs to juice mixture in skillet.
  18. Stir in 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23.6g30%
Saturated Fat 11.4g57%
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 503mg22%
Total Carbohydrate 20.5g7%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g3%
Total Sugars 11.9g 
Protein 38.3g 
Vitamin D 1mcg7%
Calcium 311mg24%
Iron 4mg21%
Potassium 751mg16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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