Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

The lingonberries in this recipe were purchased at Nordic Delicacies, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn but can be found at German and Polish markets anywhere. Whole-berry cranberry sauce may be substituted.


  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or bread torn into small pieces (I used a hot-dog bun)
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • Generous pinch ginger
  • Pinch cloves
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • Low-salt chicken stock or water, if needed
  • 1/3 cup lingonberries


  1. 1.

    Combine bread and half-and-half. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Sautée onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Let cool briefly.

  3. 3.

    Add bread and half-and-half mixture to medium bowl. Smush with fingers to make sure it is well-combined. Add onions, meats, and spices. Mix well. Form meat mixture into small-to-medium meatballs. (I wound up with twenty or so).

  4. 4.

    Wipe out pan in which you fried the onions. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add meatballs, making sure they do not touch. Brown thoroughly on all sides (assuming a ball can have a side), about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Pour off all but a tablespoon or so of fat.

  5. 5.

    Over low heat, add flour, stirring until well-distributed in fat. Add remaining cup half-and-half, increase heat to medium, stirring constantly (a whisk is useful here) until smooth. Stir in lingonberries.

  6. 6.

    Add meatballs and any accumulated juices to pan. Return to a gentle simmer, and stir occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, 10-12 minutes, thinning sauce with water or stock if needed.

  7. 7.

    Serve with additional lingonberries, if desired. Other good accompaniments include mashed potatoes or lightly buttered egg noodles.