Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy is exactly that – a delicious, hearty dish that brings the flavors of Sweden right into your kitchen.

Swedish Meatballs

Perfect for family dinners or a cozy night in, this recipe offers a delightful blend of savory meatballs, creamy mashed potatoes, and rich gravy.

Skill Level: Intermediate

This recipe is perfect for home cooks with a bit of experience. The meatballs require a gentle hand to mix and shape, while the gravy and mashed potatoes need attention to achieve the perfect consistency.

Health Aspects:

  • Lean ground meat: A good source of protein.
  • Olive oil: Contains healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Potatoes: A good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (especially with the skin on).

Time & Servings:

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4-6

Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes Recipe



  • 1/2 pound (225g) ground beef
  • 1/2 pound (225g) ground pork
  • 1/4 cup (30g) breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil for frying

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds (900g) potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
  • Salt, to taste


  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (480ml) beef broth
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Meatballs:
    • Soak breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes.
    • Mix ground beef, pork, onion, egg, soaked breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
    • Shape into small, round meatballs.
    • In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook meatballs until browned and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Mashed Potatoes:
    • Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.
    • Drain and mash with butter and milk. Season with salt.
  3. Gravy:
    • In the same skillet, melt butter. Stir in flour to create a roux.
    • Gradually add beef broth, stirring continuously.
    • Add heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Cook until thickened.
    • Return meatballs to skillet and coat with gravy.

Tips for Perfection:

  • Don’t overmix the meatball mixture to keep them tender.
  • For the gravy, add broth gradually to avoid lumps.
  • Keep the mashed potatoes warm while preparing other components.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Add a pinch of nutmeg or allspice to the meatballs for an authentic Swedish flavor.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley for a fresh touch.

Vegetarian Suggestions:

  • Substitute meatballs with plant-based meat or lentil balls.
  • Use vegetable broth in the gravy.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with lingonberry jam and a green salad.
  • A glass of red wine complements the meal well.

Nutritional Information (approximate per serving):

  • Calories: 600-700
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fat: 35g

Storing Leftovers:

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop until warm.


Swedish Meatballs, known as “köttbullar,” date back to the 18th century and were influenced by Turkish cuisine. They became a staple in Swedish households and are now popular worldwide, thanks in part to IKEA’s global reach.

Overall, this Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy recipe offers a delightful mix of traditional flavors and comforting textures.

Side Note About Ikea and Swedish Meatballs…

The global popularity of Swedish meatballs, particularly outside of Sweden, is partly attributed to IKEA, the Swedish-founded multinational furniture retailer. IKEA is not just famous for its flat-pack furniture but also for its in-store restaurants and food markets.

One of their most famous food offerings is Swedish meatballs, known as “köttbullar” in Swedish.

Here’s how IKEA played a significant role in popularizing this dish:

  1. Wide Reach and Accessibility: With IKEA stores in dozens of countries around the world, a vast audience has been exposed to Swedish cuisine through these meatballs. Many people who may have never visited Sweden or tried Swedish cuisine have been introduced to this iconic dish simply by dining at IKEA.
  2. Affordable and Family-Friendly: The meatballs at IKEA are marketed as an affordable, family-friendly meal option. This approach makes the dish accessible to a wide range of customers, encouraging them to try it.
  3. Cultural Ambassador: IKEA uses its food offerings as a way to promote Swedish culture. By serving traditional Swedish food like meatballs, lingonberry jam, and mashed potatoes, IKEA acts as a cultural ambassador, spreading awareness and appreciation of Swedish culinary traditions.
  4. Marketing and Brand Identity: The meatballs have become a part of IKEA’s brand identity. They feature in advertising and have become synonymous with a visit to IKEA, making them a memorable and integral part of the shopping experience.

This phenomenon is a great example of how a food item can gain international fame and become a cultural icon through global business and marketing.

As a result, Swedish meatballs have transcended their national roots to become a beloved dish in many countries around the world.

It’s a wonderful dish to share with loved ones, while bringing a taste of Sweden to your table.

Enjoy cooking and eating this delicious meal!

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