A Scandanavian dish for cozy nights
Swedish Meatballs are a traditional Scandanavian dish comprised of lightly peppery + sweet spiced meatballs bathed in a sherry cream sauce. This gluten-free and low-carb dish is perfect for cold fall and winter nights when windows get frosty, houses get cozy with crackling fires, and comfort food is deemed essential.
Can I serve these as an appetizer or are they strictly a dinner dish?
Though I love serving these Swedish Meatballs for dinner as a main course, they also work really nicely as a hearty appetizer for holiday parties. Simply cook as directed, then transfer both meatballs and sauce to a slow-cooker and set to it’s lowest warm setting.
What should I serve these Swedish Meatballs with?
I prefer to serve these on top of or alongside a neutral base so I can take advantage of all the creamy sauce and let the flavor of the meatballs take center stage. If your diet allows for a little sugar, I also love to serve them with a spoonful of lingonberry preserves. These are some of my favorite pairing options:
Low-carb / keto:
- Mashed cauliflower
- Roasted asparagus or broccoli
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- Spiralized zucchini (zoodles)
- Mashed potatoes (both traditional white potatoes and sweet potatoes are lovely)
- Roasted smashed potatoes
- Roasted carrots, asparagus, or broccoli
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- Spiralized vegetables such as sweet potatoes or zoodles
- Gluten-free egg noodles or pasta
- Gluten-free rolls
Meet Your New Favorite Binder
In addition to eggs, these Swedish Meatballs use low-carb ground pork rinds to bind the meat together so that it stays in a secure ball form.
You may be familiar with pork rinds as a popular gas station snack, but these days there are much better options available. I personally like these Epic Oven Baked Pork Rinds with Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt that I’ve found on Amazon and at Whole Foods. We originally bought them as a low-carb snack to substitute for chips when making Keto dips and spreads, but I quickly realized that they would make an awesome swap for panko bread crumbs when crumbled. Let’s just say that my low-carb meatballs, meatloaf, and “breadings” have been getting a serious structural upgrade ever since.
My preferred way to prepare the pork rinds is to just blitz them in my food processor for a few seconds and keep the granules in an airtight container to use just like you would traditional bread crumbs. *If carbs aren’t an issue for you, you can, of course, swap the pork rinds in this recipe for Panko (which also comes in a gluten-free version if needed).
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chefs knife
- A large mixing bowl
- A large prep bowl (for reserving cooked meatballs)
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- 2 wooden spoons or spatulas
- A whisk
- A large cast-iron pan or oven-safe saute pan
- A meat thermometer
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Storage and Freezing
When stored properly in airtight containers in the refrigerator, these Swedish Meatballs should keep for up to 4 days.
This recipe also freezes well for up to three months in airtight freezer-safe containers. To reheat, simply allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in a pan on the stove or in a microwave-safe container in the microwave.
A note for special diets
This recipe for Swedish Meatballs is grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb, and friendly for Keto diets.
Swedish Meatballs are a traditional Scandanavian dish comprised of lightly peppery + sweet spiced meatballs bathed in a sherry cream sauce. This recipe is gluten-free and low-carb.
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup pork rinds (I like Epic Oven Baked Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt), crushed or blended until fine and granular (may sub gluten-free panko)
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped finely
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
For the sauce:
- 6 tbsp sherry
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
*For optional serving options, see the section titled “What Should I Serve these Swedish Meatballs With?” above.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Place your cast-iron pan in the oven while it preheats to warm it. A cast iron pan that has been pre-heated will yield more even cooking.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs with a wooden spoon or spatula, until evenly combined.
- Remove the cast iron pan from the oven carefully and place on a heat-safe surface. Roll the meat mixture into meatballs and place each one in the cast iron pan in one even layer. I prefer to make mine a bit smaller than a golf ball, and usually end up with around 36 meatballs. You can make yours larger if you’d like, but this will affect the cooking time.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C) when tested with a meat thermometer.
- Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven and transfer it to your stovetop. Transfer each meatball from the pan to a clean prep bowl or dish with a spoon. The meatballs should have rendered some residual fat in the pan and around each meatball. I like to quickly scrape the remaining fat from the pan and discard it, but I don’t worry about scraping it off each meatball; The little bit of rendered fat will melt into the sauce making it rich and flavorful.
- Set the empty pan to heat on the stovetop over medium. Add the sherry and allow the alcohol to come to a simmer. When reduced by about half, add the heavy cream, sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg and whisk together. Allow the sauce to maintain a low simmer for around 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add the reserved meatballs back to the pan, turning to coat each one.
- These Swedish Meatballs are delicious served on their own, but I prefer to serve them on top of or alongside a neutral base like mashed potatoes or low-carb mashed cauliflower so I can take advantage of all the creamy sauce. If your diet allows for a little sugar, I love to serve them with a spoonful of lingonberry preserves as well. For more serving options, see the section titled “What Should I Serve these Swedish Meatballs With?” above.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 6 meatballs with sauce
- Calories: 659
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 1233 mg
- Fat: 53 g
- Saturated Fat: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 6
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 33
- Cholesterol: 265 mg