Ultimate Swedish Meatballs (Sorry Ikea)

I will admit that it may seem a little odd to emulate a recipe from a low cost furniture store.

But hey, I am a little odd. I also like Ikea and I liked their meatballs!

I haven’t had them in years, in-fact I think they may have stopped selling them for a while after a little snag with nags, a horsey hiccup, a stable scandal, if you catch my drift…

Anyway, I thought I’d try and recreate the delicious little morsels of Swedish heaven swimming in their rich, creamy bath of gravy. This time though; no freezers, no ponies, no nasties just good quality ingredients.

It’s taken 4 or 5 tries and some very full tasters, but I think I’ve finally cracked it.

I’m rather excited to share my Ultimate Swedish Meatball recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy them.

Apologies in advance to any Swedes if this isn’t how your mamma makes ’em. This is my London/Stockholm hybrid!

The number of servings depends on what you’re serving it with. If you’re going to spoon them over a lovely bowl of pasta then this recipe serves 4. If *ahem* you’re going to sit cross legged and eat them right out of the pan with a spoon and then drink the gravy like soup… it serves 2.

You’ll need:

Around 500g free-range pork meatballs (I like these)

Knob of butter

1tbsp plain flour

300ml chicken stock

1tbsp mustard

1-2tbsp Worcester sauce

1tsp honey

300ml double cream

Salt n pepper

Big pinch of dried parsley

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Drop a knob of butter in, you want enough so that when it melts it covers the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle salt & pepper over your meatballs and when the butter’s melted add them to the pan. Fry and keep moving them around until they’re brown almost all over. Not beige, properly browned. While they’re cooking preheat your oven to about 100C/200F. When your meatballs look done, transfer them to an oven-proof dish and pop them into the oven to keep warm.

You should have a little fat and butter left in the pan. Tilt the pan to one side so it makes a pool. Add your flour and stir it in until you have a pretty smooth paste. Now add your stock, turn the heat up a little and bring it to the boil while stirring and scraping all the flour from the bottom of the pan.

Let it bubble away for a couple of minutes and thicken. While it’s working its magic, add your mustard, honey and Worcester sauce. Turn the heat down to medium again, remove your balls from the oven and pour your cream into your sauce. Stir it all together and add your balls to the gravy.

Let it all bubble away for a few minutes. Taste the sauce and see if it needs anything. The balance of flavours here is totally up to you.

When you think it’s perfect, sprinkle your parsley over the top and serve!

You might want to give your guest(s)/yourself a spoon for all that delicious gravy!

Smaklig måltid!

(Bon appetit!)

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Have you seen these?

  • Nom Nom Nom. I love the fact a visit to your site means one less thing for me to think about (dinner tonight!). Thank you. This looks amazeballs…

    • Rosie

      Any time! Hope they go down as well in your house as they did in mine!

  • Lauren

    That’s my dinner sorted tonight, thanks Rosie!

  • Holly Pockett

    Swedish meatballs are a staple in the Pockett household. My 18 month old daughter devours them. Ours are served with mash potato, veg and lashings of gravy but we’ll definitely be trying them a la Rose at the weekend! x

  • Londonswedes

    Don’t forget the lingonberry!

    • Hannah Vogeler

      Oh yes, you have to eat them with lingonberries- but that aside I think your recipe is perfect. Those look like little balls of heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rosie

      Mmm I do love lingonberry!

  • Josie

    Hi Rosie! Could I ask what camera you used for these photos? A Lumix or Nikon DSLR? Thank youuu! x

  • The Broke Boy

    This shouldn’t be allowed at lunch time! this should be posted at 9pm so you can hurry to the shop the following morning and get the stuff to make it! Not just in time for a boring cheese sandwich! illegal i tell you!

    p.s there is nothing wrong with loving Ikea meatballs! I often travel to Bristol and pop in there for a mouthful and then make my way over to Wai Yee Hong to get ingredients for chinese creations!

  • Amber

    Oh my god – definitely going to be cooking that bad boy!


  • Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt

    It’s not the way mum used to make them – I think yours is better :o). Xx


    • Rosie

      Oh no! Don’t tell mum, Charlotte! x

  • Yummy! I really should drop my habit of reading your blog at lunch if it contains a recipe post. This makes my (already eaten) chicken salad look rather pathetic now…

    Katie <3

  • Londoner


  • Natalie

    Hey Rose – just wondering if this is freezable? (I live by myself and although it looks delicious, I might not manage it in one go!) Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rosie

      Het Natalie, sure I don’t see why not!
      Wait until it’s cooled properly, add to a freezable container and make sure it’s sealed properly. Can stay in there for a good couple of months!
      Use the microwave to bring them back to life, and obviously don’t re-heat meat twice.
      Alternatively just half the recipe and make it for one.
      R x

      • Is the cream not liable to split if reheated?

        I have a soup recipe with cream in and if I want to freeze it then I siphon off the amount I need for the meal, add cream and keep cooking, I freeze the rest and then when I want to use the frozen soup I defrost it and add the cream in the cooking process.

        As the cream is added late on in your recipe I’d suggest that the same process may work.

  • I never thought the IKEA meatball gravy looked appetizing, but this looks delicious Rosie!


    • Rosie

      I used to have them with chips… SO BAD but so good!

  • Yum, Yum, Yum! I have been trying to think of something tasty to make for a cold weekend here in the northeast and this might be it! Can’t wait to try it out – thanks, Rosie!

    Meghan xo

  • Lex Barnhart

    These look beautiful! Perfect for a chilly winter evening.

  • Mari Rognerud

    Dette ser ut som et meget smakelig mรฅltid (as we say in norwegian)!
    Thanks for sharing, love ur blog!
    Love from Norway

    • Rosie

      Thanks Mari, love from London! x

  • julia k

    yuuuuuuuuum, meatballs are one of my favourite things ever! Definitely going to try this out at the weekend…

  • I’m not a fan of meatballs but I’m loving the look of this gravy/sauce you’ve made, which might work well with other things – yummy!

    Happy Thursday Rosie xoxo


  • Anna

    Hi Rose! Another dumb cooking question here… We don’t eat pork (except for piles of crispy bacon every once in a while… and anytime at all, really…) – think I could make this with beef? (I don’t know if this has an obvious answer!) Thanks for the cooking inspiration!

    • anniemmiina

      I have always made them with beef, and they are delicisious as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Anna

        Thanks! Will definitely try them!

    • Nathalie

      YES! You can make them with beef! I live in Sweden and I mix things up a bit, sometimes I make my meatballs from pork, sometimes beef, sometimes BOTH!

      • Anna

        Ooh, thanks! WILL TRY!! xo

  • Wow these sound amazing so yummy I never eat meatballs in less they are homemade so might just make some xx


    • Rosie

      Go for it Krystel!

  • Nomi Glaser

    These look amazing! Can’t wait to try your recipe out!

    • Rosie

      Let me know how you get on Nomi! x

  • Michelle

    These look amazing! Will have to try these out!


  • IKEA used to be our “special treat” hahaha for the Swedish meatballs and cool furniture (I threw many a fit over not being able to buy the circle-shaped bed)!
    Perpetually Caroline

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • Sepideh

    HOW AWESOME!!!! How do you come up with these recipes Rosie?!!! I totally want to try making these…maybe I’ll make them for my Swedish brother-in-law when they come visit in January!


  • I’ve always thought that IKEA meat balls looked a bit, well gross! These look absolutely delicious, especially the gravy.


    Water Painted Dreams xxx

  • Mmmmh that looks so delicious!!
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  • If I hadn’t skipped all of December’s Advent chocolates, and just eaten them all at once, and if all the shops in Germany weren’t already shut, I would be on this like a dog! Looks yum!!

    • Rosie

      ha! “On this like a dog” is hilarious Ailish, I haven’t heard that before.

  • I’ve actually never tried the Ikea meatballs, but I’ve heard their amazing (sans horse meat, of course).
    This look delicious and soul warming, perfect for a cold night in!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  • Cathy Brown

    Mmm, honey?? Would never have though of adding that!! Definitely one I want to try!

    Cathy x


  • Amie Hubbard

    I’ve got swedish meatballs in the fridge so I’m definitely going to throw this sauce together this week with ’em!

  • Yuuuum, might try these for a dinner date ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

  • Oh YUM! They look delicious! My Swedish friend makes meatballs too and they are so good ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mikaela

    I think everyone has their version of this dish, so any sort is fine! I’m from Sweden and I got a really Swedish recipe of meatballs here – http://lelasfood.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/meatballs-kotbullar/ if you like to try it out !

  • Jen

    try the ‘prawn cocktail years’ (lindsey bareham and simon hopkinson) recipe. Tis yummo!

  • Deliciousโ€ฆI will have to give those a try!โ€ฆxv

  • Cate Elise

    I just thought I’d let you know that I pulled this together last night and my boyfriend said ‘ooh, is this a Nigella recipe?’ so err, I think that’s a good thing! Haha xxx

    The perks of being a
    hipster – Christmas Giveaway! Essie,
    Bumble&Bumble, Sleek and more!

  • Super I love it. My girlfiriends mommy is swedish and we love this dinner:-)

  • Hubs LOVES swedish meatballs.Thanks for sharing your recipe. It’s a must-try!

  • Honey What’s Cooking

    THat first picture is gorgeous. Looks fantastic.

  • I made this the other day and they were a hit with the mister! Delicious recipe!


  • Oh yummy! Like you, I LOVE Ikea meatballs. These look delicious – definitely going to be making these next week! x

  • Ashley Kopp

    Does anyone in the US have a suitable sub for the double cream? I’ve seen a product on amazon called “English Double Devon Cream”…anyone tried it?

    • Emma Palmer

      Double cream is heavy cream. Also single cream (UK) is light cream.

  • Johanna Filipson

    As a swede, I totally approve! This looks delicious and will have to try it, can I admit that I never make gravy from scratch? haha, great post Rosie! /Johanna


  • Shhhoooooo saucy! Trying this weekend, or at some point in the next 2 weeks, hopefully they are amazeballzzz (cheesy, i know)

  • Greekpeach69

    These look fantastic! We will be noshing on these bad boys very soon, I promise.

  • Kristin

    I made these last night and they were DELICIOUS!! the recipe super simple and I served them as you suggested with rotini pasta- mega hit and will definitely be made again. Thank you for sharing the recipe Rose ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fiorela

    Made this for my boyfriend last night and he’s still texting me about how delicious the dish was!

  • Bella

    As a non-Swedish alternative (more Swiss actually!) we at home like venison meatballs in wild mushroom sauce. The recipe works similarly to yours. The key steps are: brown off meatballs made from coarse venison mince and small amount of sausage meat (pork or venison), add wild mushrooms, crushed garlic clove and sautรฉ for 2-3mins or until everything is a lovely golden-brown, add 1tbsp of mustard, 1-2 crushed juniper berries, a sprig (or two) of thyme and generous amount of single cream, simmer until the sauce turns to light creamy brown and is piping hot. Lashings of creamy mash and lots of black pepper are a must!

  • Louise

    Im Swedish and you’re “not suppose” so serve the meatballs in the sauce haha!! It looks so funny haha, its suppose to be a little sauce on the side ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Just made this tonight and it was delicious! My husband told me it was the best thing I’ve made since we moved to England three months ago!

  • Phoebs

    made this last night, pretty good!! ๐Ÿ˜€ but i think 300ml of double cream would make this like a dessert :/ i used 3 spoonfuls and was really creamy, id say that is all you would need ๐Ÿ™‚

  • KFunk

    Thanks so much for the recipe Rose! Made these last night and they were amazing – I did add some mushrooms, onion, and a bit of nutmeg, which were super yummy as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am just finished making this for dinner. I made the Joy of Cooking recipe for Swedish meatballs (which are fab) and followed your recipe precisely for the sauce. Outstanding! The mustard flavor is a bit pronounced for my taste (although not unpleasant at all) and I’ll probably dial that back to 1 tsp next time. Truly a lovely recipe. Cheers!

  • Shari

    Oh my best said with Amazeballs! this was so yummy a must try!

  • Andrea

    Interesting with mustard in the sauce for meatballs. Will have to try it sometimes though. I make meatballs with beef normally but sometimes a mix of beef and pork, just how my mom made them. My son do not like them but like the IKEA ones but since we don’t live that near I found I can get away with getting the Great Value home style ones from Walmart and he eats them just as much. With some boiled potatoes or mashed with gravy and lingonberry and I feel like home ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jazmin montero

    hi rosie i dont think I can get double cream here in the states…do you know what i can i use as a substitution? would heavy cream work?

  • Terri Brunk Snowbarger

    What exactly is a “knob” of butter? Is it like a tablespoon?

  • Linda

    Where’s the allspice????

  • Francey Pants

    I am so hungry now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • eaasmama

    I have these on my menu for today only to realize I am unsure what sort of mustard I should use. Could you clarify please? Thank you kindly!

  • Emily

    Cooked these for my family tonight and they LOVED them! Luckily I made extra for lunch tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ the perfect meal for our Australian winter…absolutely love reading your blog.

  • That looks AMAZING! Cooking them tonight!

  • Samantha Matook

    I made these for a Football (American) party and everyone was raving about them! I can wait to try them for a dinner over pasta!

  • Jen

    Thank you for this recipe Rosie! Saw you repost the picture recently and even though I’m the worst cook in the world I decided to give it a whirl, and it turned out great. So yummy, and so quick, my favourite type of meal!!

  • Nicole Junkin

    Looks wonderful! Going to make it this week. What would you suggest to put with these?

  • Kate ‘Kasia’ Tyminska

    Fab! I’ve been looking for a recipe without tomato or dairy as I have children with allergies. I’ll be trying this ASAP. Thanks :))

  • Samantha Maude Theisen

    Do you have a good meatball recipe opposed to buying premade meatballs? We had a pig butchered and I have a ton of ground pork and would like to made my own meatballs to go with this(by I have never made pork meatballs). The gravy looks delicious!

  • Lisa Otto

    This is a little late perhaps but I’ve just made them and they went down a treat. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Kristina Eden

    Hey! Sounds super yummi, but when does the double cream go in?

  • Tried this and it was absolutely amazing – thank you!

  • Renee

    I am not sure what Swedish meatballs are supposed to look like but these were soup. I am thinking perhaps the measurements are off for american.

  • Madeleine Nash

    Wow, made these tonight. I must admit that when reading that you would drink the gravy i thought it was a bit far fetched… But I am also happy to admit that I did the same. Huge hit in our home, Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aysha

    Can I just confirm 1-2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce? Is that right?

  • Nikki

    i made these for my two boys, made alongside boiled baby potatoes and some broccoli, it went down a treat! Thank you for sharing!

  • Alan

    I certainly enjoyed your balls AND your gravy. Many thanks!

  • Nelya

    Just made these. They turned out amazing and I cant wait to make them again.

  • Bisous, Runa

    Hi Rosie!
    I was just scrolling through all those recipies of yours and I found this.
    I was born in Stockholm and I grew up eating IKEA’s meatballs (except for when grandma made meatballs). I am sure going to try out this recipe since it looks DELICIOUS! Maybe it does taste like grandma’s meatballs?
    x Runa

  • Ria

    This is SO good! I’m making it for the 2nd time tonight:) Nummies!

  • Andy

    My 8 year old ( with a little help ) cooked it up for her sisters and daddy . Had it with egg noodles… Lots of happy faces while eating.. A perfect lunch, thank you.

  • David

    Hi Rosie
    Great recipe. My wife is vegetarian and has cholesterol problems so I substituted Quorn swedish meatballs for the real thing and exchanged cream and flour for semi-skimmed milk and cornflour. It was excellent. Thanks.

  • Cooked these for dinner this evening and they were DELICIOUS. Mr Maggie May absolutely loved them. Thank you for another brilliant recipe, Rosie!

    Maggie xx

  • Crazy Christmas

    I’ve made these delish meatballs many times before, but I’m about to make them to serve 30 people for christmas… wish me luck! Any advice??

    • Rosie

      Buy a paella pan?! Good luck! xx

  • William Henry Whitby

    Wow these are absolutely amazing

  • Jennifer Pedraza Varela

    oh, Im so trying this! is the mustard just regular yellow mustard or powdered?