February 9, 2013

IKEA Swedish Meatballs with Gravy

Ok, let's admit we all love IKEA! It's the Swedish mega store for affordable everything and I am so thankful they have IKEA's in both Florida and Texas so I can shop there a couple times a year!
Not only do I get as giddy as a schoolgirl about IKEA's bookshelves and massive shelves piled high with kitchen tools, baskets, and picture frames I am addicted, yes addicted, to their Swedish Meatballs and Gravy. So after shopping at the Ikea's in Dallas, Tampa, and Houston in the past year (and noshing on the meatballs during all my excursions there), I decided it was time to recreate their meatball recipe so I could have it at home anytime I craved it!  
This recipe was my #3 most popular recipe in 2013! View the Top 10 here
Check out my recipe below and feel free to leave a comment!
 See that smile on my face! I get absolutely giddy about IKEA!
 Back in the day, IKEA used to serve a Meatball cup for $1 in their cafe. 
Unfortunately, they took it off the menu. Boo IKEA! Luckily you can still get the Meatball Platter in the restaurant. Whew, thank goodness!

Sign up for IKEA Family in store or online. 
You get free coffee or tea during your visit, free frozen yogurt, 
and all sorts of "family only" deals. I was also impressed with the free daycare, nursing area and bottle warming station they offered. 
Much appreciated IKEA!


    Makes approx 50 meatballs!
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  •  1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 4 slices bread, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 lb ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • grated fresh nutmeg (about 4 swipes) or 1/8 teaspoon
  • white pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • dried parsley as garnish, optional 

Gravy Ingredients: 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • salt/cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Saute onion in the butter over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. 
  3. Turn heat down to medium low and whisk in milk, Worcestershire, allspice, nutmeg, salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
  4. Place bread cubes in a bowl and pour onion mixture over top. Mix well and let cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Mix cooled bread-onion mix into beaten egg, ground pork, and ground beef.
  7. Shape into 1 inch meatballs and place on two greased baking sheets, 5 across and 6 rows total. 
  8.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  9. Serve topped with gravy, garnished with parsley and with a side of Lingonberry preserves (found at Ikea) and mashed potatoes.

Gravy Directions:

  1.  In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. 
  2. Whisk in the flour slowly and cook until smooth and slightly darkened. 
  3. Add the beef broth, allspice, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. 
  4.  Reduce the heat to medium low and stir until gravy thickens.
  5.  Stir in sour cream, mix well, and serve warm on top of meatballs.

Saute onions until softened and translucent then add garlic.
I love to use freshly grated nutmeg.
I bought the nutmeg and the microplane spice grinder at Williams Sonoma.
Just remember a little goes a long way!
Bring the onion-milk mixture to a simmer and until it is thick like a paste.
Mix the fragrant onion mix with the soft cubed bread and let cool and absorb.
Add the meat and eggs and shape into mini 1 inch meatballs.
Using the skillet that you sauteed the onions in,
melt butter and whisk in flour, making a roux. This is the base of the gravy.

Once the gravy is thickened, you can either eat the meatballs alone topped with the gravy or serve meatballs on top of mashed potatoes, smothered in gravy, served with a side of Lingonberry preserves.

During my last trip to IKEA I picked up a jar of Lingonberry preserves to go with my meatballs.
If you do not have these try Cranberry preserves or sauce.

These meatballs are addictive-- just like IKEA!

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  1. I absolutely love the Swedish Meatballs at IKEA and am so thankful I found this blog and recipe. I am just getting into blogging and finding it fun. You can take a look at usinggodsgifts.blogspot.com
    Thank you for sharing this. I can't wait to try it out.

  2. This looks delicious; however, you need to edit the captions under the pictures. I believe you have left out steps that you included in the numbered steps. I'm looking forward to making these meatballs! Thanks!

    1. Hi. Not sure what pics you are referring too but I usually don't have a seperate pic of each step, just a few. That is why I post the full directions up top. Please come back and tell me how.your recipe turned out.

  3. Hey,

    I first of all want to say that I'm not commenting to criticize your cooking, I'm sure these are very tasty. Being born and raised in Sweden, I must admit I am very confused why I find so many foreign recipes containing nutmeg and all spice? I have never seen my parents, relatives or friends using it. I actually spent a good 30 min looking at a lot of Swedish cooking sites just to see if I could find any containing nutmeg and all spice. I think I found one having a pinch of all spice but in general classic Swedish meatballs just have salt and pepper. We are using a lot of white pepper in Sweden though which I know is not common in the States. It took me a while to find some when I first came here and my mom kept sending it. I know I often see "Swedish" meatballs in the store with white gravy and that is also something I have never eaten (just as a side note). But like I said I'm sure these are tasty too and I am starting to think I need to try a recipe with nutmeg just to see what they taste like since so many "US" recipes contain it. :)

  4. thank you so much, these were a big hit on a great evening with the most wonderful woman in the world, your love balls rock!!!

  5. Do you fry the meatballs in skillet or oven roast?

    1. I baked my meatballs however you could brown in a skillet and finish in the oven if you would like.

  6. We were skeptical at first trying this recipe as it varied from the tried and true family recipe of my childhood. However we were all amazed at how delicious these meatballs were even my mom loved them. I would make again for sure.

  7. Ikea's meatballs & most authentic Swedish/Danish meatballs contain nutmeg, NO onion & often cardomen. They are very similiar to beef stroganoff (Russian) but made with gr beef (or veal) & gr pork.They have more flavour when made with WW flour & WW bread crumbs. Bleached white flour is more of an American invention.

  8. These were the best meatballs I've ever had! So flavorful! Thanks sharing the recipe!

  9. Thank you for the recipe for the gravy , I have ikea meatballs but no gravy left so I googled and came across your blog :) off to make my gravy now . from Maxine Birmingham UK

  10. Hi Nicole,

    I made a small batch of these meatballs last week and liked them SO MUCH, I made a triple recipe for my Christmas Eve/Christmas Day Celebrations (2015). However, I do have a question: I know I can freeze the meatballs until my Holiday Celebrations, but ... can I also make the gravy ahead and freeze that?

  11. I'm going to make these tonight but now I have a request...can you re-create Ikea's apple pie thingy? I haven't found a recipe anywhere for that!

  12. Just wanted to let you know i just made these exactly per your instructions and wowza. .. they are amazing. Thank you for the recipe


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