VBT Recipe: Pernilla’s Swedish Meatballs - VBT Bicycling Vacations Skip to Main Content
VBT Recipe: Pernilla's Swedish Meatballs 5
Header Item 1


VBT Recipe: Pernilla's Swedish Meatballs

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Story by: Pernilla, VBT Trip Leader | Travel Writer

Tags: |

Check out VBT trip leader Pernilla’s recipe for Swedish meatballs below, and join her on our Scandinavia: Denmark & Sweden tour to sample other local favorites!

I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. My Grandma is from the south part of Sweden, Småland, where the famous author Astrid Lingren’s characters Emil and Ida are from. I remember traveling hours to visit my grandmother as a child. She would always greet us with a smorgasbord, the best part of which was her meatballs!

If you ask any Swedish child what their favorite food is, they will almost definitely say “meatballs!” Swedes love tradition, and meatballs are tied to many childhood memories of family dinners. They are on the table in every household for special occasions and holidays.

VBT Recipe: Pernilla's Swedish Meatballs 2
VBT Recipe: Pernilla's Swedish Meatballs
VBT Recipe: Pernilla's Swedish Meatballs 1

Swedish Meatballs

Allspice is the secret ingredient that makes these meatballs so delicious and perfect for either an appetizer or main dish. The meatballs and gravy are traditionally served with plain or mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. A more modern style is over plain or stewed macaroni.


Makes: 6-8 servings / 24 small or 16 large meatballs

Active Time: 1½ hours

Total Time: 1½ hours




½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup milk

1 egg

1 clove minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon allspice

½ onion, grated

1 pound ground beef

½ pound ground pork

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Gravy Sauce (Optional):

¼ cup butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup beef broth

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper



  1. To prepare the meatballs: Mix the breadcrumbs, milk, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and allspice. Allow the milk to soak into the breadcrumbs until milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, beef, pork and parsley and mix well with your hands to combine. Roll mixture into 24 small balls (about 2 tablespoons each) or 16 larger balls (about ¼ cup each).
  2. Heat ½ tablespoon butter and ½ tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry half the meatballs, turning frequently until browned and cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil. Repeat with remaining half of the meatballs.
  3. To make the gravy sauce: Add butter to the juices remaining in the skillet and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in the flour. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring with a whisk until it thickens and slightly darkens, at least 3 minutes. Whisk in the broths and cream a little at a time and whisk until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes more. Whisk in soy sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  4. Serve meatballs and gravy with plain or mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam or over macaroni.


Beverage Pairing: Beer

Category: Appetizer or Main Dish (Meat)

Region and/or Country of Origin: Sweden


0 of 4
Tours Selected