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Swedish Style Meatballs In White Sauce

Krista S

Delightfully Hearty Swedish-Style Meatballs with Creamy White Sauce: Your New Go-to Recipe!

Have you ever craved a dish that combines the satisfying richness of hearty meatballs with a smooth, creamy sauce? Look no further than our Swedish-style meatballs with white sauce. This dish is an elevated spin on a classic recipe, bringing you the comfort of home-cooked meals, with a dash of international flavor.

Originating from Sweden, these meatballs (known as “köttbullar”) have garnered worldwide acclaim, inspiring adaptations in many cuisines. The marriage of savory meatballs and a luscious white sauce not only enhances the flavor profile, making them irresistibly tasty, but also introduces a fantastic textural contrast.

Meatball and White Sauce Nutritional Value

One reason this dish stands out is due to its nutritional value. The main component, meatballs, are packed with high-quality proteins essential for your muscle health and energy. The white sauce, on the other hand, provides a good dose of calcium from the cream and butter, which is essential for bone health. However, moderation is key due to the high fat content.

If you prefer a healthier twist or have dietary restrictions, consider using ground turkey or chicken as an alternative to the traditional beef or pork in your meatballs. For a dairy-free version, you can replace the cream in the white sauce with coconut cream or a plant-based milk and a thickening agent such as cornstarch.

Cooking Tips

Now, here’s a tip from the pros: For meatballs that are flavorful and juicy, consider a blend of meats, such as beef and pork. The pork adds fat that keeps the meatballs moist, while the beef imparts a robust flavor. To elevate the texture of your meatballs, use fresh breadcrumbs soaked in milk, a technique known as a panade. This addition keeps your meatballs tender and prevents them from becoming too dense.

Is it Better to Cook The Meatballs Before Putting Them in the Sauce?

Great question! The answer can depend on your personal preference and the specifics of the recipe you’re following, but generally, both methods are used and each has its own benefits.

1. Cooking the meatballs before adding them to the sauce: This method usually involves browning the meatballs in a pan or baking them in the oven before they’re added to the sauce. The advantage here is that the browning process (also known as the Maillard reaction) can add a depth of flavor to the meatballs, making them more savory and delicious. Additionally, this method can help the meatballs hold their shape better when they’re added to the sauce.

2. Cooking the meatballs directly in the sauce: This method involves forming the meatballs and then cooking them in simmering sauce. This allows the meatballs to absorb some of the flavors from the sauce as they cook, and it can also make the sauce more flavorful as juices from the meatballs infuse into the sauce. This method may result in softer, more tender meatballs.

So, whether to cook the meatballs before adding them to the sauce or to cook them directly in the sauce can depend on whether you prefer a more robustly flavored and structurally sound meatball, or a more tender meatball that has absorbed the flavors of the sauce.

In the context of the Swedish meatballs recipe, you might prefer to brown the meatballs first, because the creamy white sauce is typically added at the end, rather than being used as a cooking medium for the meatballs. This will add a wonderful depth of flavor to the meatballs, and will help them hold their shape when the sauce is added.

Get To It!

I absolutely adore this recipe, particularly during the holiday season, for its adaptability and convenience. It’s a perfect make-ahead meal – you can prepare the meatballs in advance, freeze them, and simply thaw and cook whenever you need them. This is a time saver when you’re hosting a large gathering, allowing you to focus more on entertaining your guests.

Enjoy this soul-warming dish of Swedish-style meatballs with creamy white sauce, a delightful culinary experience that will transport you straight to the heart of Sweden. Happy cooking!

This is a simple and two-step recipe. Preparation of the meatballs and sauce. Why I love this recipe, especially during the holidays, is that you can prepare meatballs ahead of time.

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Meatballs In White Sauce

  • Author: Cher
  • Total Time: 1 hr.
  • Yield: 4 1x


A perfect blend of beef and pork in a meatball along with white sauce is the most satisfying dish you can make. The tasteful meatballs and the creamy and heart filling sauce is a perfect treat for holidays and family gatherings. Add simple seasonings along with breadcrumbs as an essential ingredient that binds the meatballs together. The gravy gives the dish the creaminess and deliciousness it requires.


Units Scale

For meatballs:

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 whole egg

1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tsp white pepper powder

1 tsp salt

For Gravy:

2 cups beef stock

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sour cream


  1. In a bowl, add milk and breadcrumbs. Let them soak for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, pork, onion powder, white pepper, salt, and egg.
  3. Mix well using your hands until everything is well combined.
  4. Shape the mixture into small balls.
  5. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place a mesh on top. Place the balls on the mesh.
  6. Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 350-degree F for 45 minutes.
  7. Once the meatballs are done, remove them and set them aside.
  8. Pour the drippings from the meatballs into a large pan.
  9. Place the pan over medium heat and add all-purpose flour.
  10. Stir continuously until you get a smooth texture.
  11. Pour beef stock into the pan and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed.
  12. Let the broth simmer until the sauce gets thick.
  13. Pour the mixture over meatballs.

For Serving:

Before serving, garnish the dish with sour cream and parsley. You can serve this dish with boiled rice or mashed potatoes or a piece of bread. 


Make sure you prepare the gravy just before serving the dish. If you make the gravy ahead, it won’t stay fresh, and its taste and texture will be compromised.

You can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and refrigerate them in an airtight container. Freeze them either baked or unbaked for as long as three months.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins

So, if you are running late or have unexpected guests over, pop these meatballs out of the fridge, prepare the gravy, and you are good to go.

Indulge yourself in the deliciousness, creaminess, and comfort of this meatball recipe. And impress everyone with your culinary skills.

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