Gluten-Free Swedish Meatballs

Sunday, December 29th, 2013 | click here to comment

Could the Swedish people just stop being so perfect all the time? 

No? It's ok. I'll just continue to indulge myself with their insanely delicious Swedish meatballs until I feel better about myself (or not because I've gained 10 lbs). 

I had never given much thought to Swedish meatballs beyond knowing that you can get a whole bunch of them for practically pennies at Ikea. I actually don't think I've ever tried the Ikea meatballs, but people seem pretty into them from what I've seen. 

A Swedish friend was chatting about meatballs a while back and got me thinking about trying my hand at making them. I started scouring the internet for the perfect recipe and came across many contenders, but no single recipe seemed to really capture the idea of what I considered to be the "right" ingredients. All this coming from a Puerto Rican who has never had a Swedish meatball – go figure. 

I have concocted my own recipe and I think it's pretty damn good if you ask me, plus it's gluten free. The gravy really sets it off, as do the lingonberries, which are crucial IMO. You can usually find lingonberries in the jelly section of a high end grocery store or Whole Foods. A good substitute would be tart cherry preserves or a fresh made cranberry sauce. 

Have a suggestion/improvement to my recipe? Let me know in the comments. Happy for any thoughts! 

Gluten-Free Swedish Meatballs 

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I use Aleia's Plain Breadcrumbs)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small onion, fine dice
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tblsp honey 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1-2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper)
  • Parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. 

Sweat onion in oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Add cooled, cooked onions/garlic to the meat mixture and combine. Form small meatballs (about the size of a ping pong ball) and arrange on a cookie sheet in rows. Make sure meatballs have a little bit of space between each other. 

Bake meatballs for 15-20 minutes or until tops are browning and meatball is cooked all the way through. 

Serve with gravy and lingonberry preserves. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Swedish Meatball Gravy

  • 2-3 tblsp of butter
  • 1/8 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 cup of beef broth 
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

Melt butter in a small pan, add flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add milk, whisking the entire time. Add beef broth, salt, pepper, cinnamon, oregano and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Cook gravy on medium high heat until it thickens. Adjust spices to your taste. 

Serve immediately over meatballs. 

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