Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Who doesn’t love Swedish meatballs? This recipe is simple, delicious, gluten and dairy free, Paleo, and AIP compliant. Perfect for dinner or lunch and to make ahead.

Skillet with meatballs in a cream sauce

Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Who doesn’t love Swedish Meatballs? I grew up making them with my mom quite frequently (my mom is Swedish, which makes me half Swedish…surprise). Funny story, now that I live in the US… a lot of people keep confusing Sweden with Switzerland…but the one thing everyone knows about Sweden is Ikea and Swedish meatballs. 🙂 So here we go.

Traditionally these are made with breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, and cream sauce so it took a bit of experimenting to get the right texture and taste.

This is such a delicious dish, super easy to make ahead of and to warm up. I love to eat them with baked sweet potato wedges and a salad. They also taste very delicious cold and make for a great snack, so the options are endless.

Ingredients in Swedish Meatballs

  • Ground beef and ground pork: The ground pork gives these their distinct flavor and juiciness since ground pork is fattier. If you don’t eat pork you could only use beef. Opt for a less lean version of ground beef otherwise, they will turn out dry.
  • Minced onions and mushrooms: I added finely minced onion and mushrooms to the mix to enhance flavor and to make them less compact. Make sure you actually mince them..aka cut them into very very fine pieces.
  • Coconut cream: When it comes to the sauce make sure to use coconut cream, not coconut milk. Coconut cream is the solid part that rises to the top of the coconut milk can. Especially in the summer, you will most likely have to place a can in the fridge overnight to achieve this. Save the rest of the coconut milk in a glass jar in the fridge to add to soups or smoothies. The type of coconut milk/brand plays a huge part here as well. Always buy canned full-fat coconut milk. Preferably without any additives, the fewer the better. The best option is just coconut and water as the ingredients. Also, opt for a BPA free can. The cream will rise to the top, especially if you put it in the fridge overnight. I like this brand.
close up of Swedish meatballs in  a cream sauce with parsley

How to Make the Best Cream Sauce

Another important aspect to consider when it comes to the sauce is to cook the meatballs for a couple of minutes in the coconut cream and to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This is where all the delicious flavor from frying the meatballs is concentrated. Don’t skip this step, otherwise, your sauce will taste very “coconutty”. Adding extra spices will also help cover up any remaining coconut flavor, so make sure to add just the right amount of salt, pepper (if you tolerate), extra garlic, and or onion powder.

More Swedish Dishes

For questions and feedback please use the comment section below and if you make these Swedish meatballs please tag me on Instagram. It always makes me very happy to see when you guys make my recipes.

Happy cooking

~Annika

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Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)
Who doesn't love Swedish meatballs? This recipe is simple, delicious, gluten and dairy free, paleo and AIP compliant. Perfect for dinner or lunch.
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, minced mushrooms and onions, salt and garlic powder and mix well.
  2. Form into small meatballs and make sure they stick together tightly. Place them on a plate.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the meatballs and fry for about 15 minutes. Because of the pork, you don't need to add cooking fat. If you use ground beef only you may need to add some cooking fat. If they don't all fit do this in batches and make sure to leave some space for even browning. Move the pan consistently to keep the rounded shape of the meatballs or move them with a wooden spoon. To check if they are done cut one in half.
  4. To make the sauce first remove excess fat if necessary. (You can save it for later cooking). Scoop out the coconut cream of 1 coconut milk can and add it to the skillet. Cook the meatballs for a couple of minutes in the coconut cream to give it more flavor and use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan. If the pan gets too hot, decrease the temperature to medium/low. The longer you cook the meatballs in the sauce the less the sauce will taste like coconut. Add salt and pepper to your liking. You can also add some more garlic and or onion powder to the mix. If you would like the sauce to be thinner you can add a bit more coconut milk.
  5. Chop up a hand full of parsley and sprinkle on top as garnish. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • Save the remaining coconut milk in a glass jar in the fridge and use it for a soup or smoothie.
  • The type of coconut milk/brand plays a huge part here as well. Always buy canned full-fat coconut milk. Preferably without any additives, the fewer the better. The best option is just coconut and water as the ingredients. Also, opt for a BPA free can. The cream will rise to the top, especially if you put it in the fridge overnight. I like this brand.

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