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
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
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
- ½ cup pork rinds, crushed or blended until fine and granular (may sub gluten-free panko)
- ½ cup green onions, chopped finely
- ¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped finely
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground allspice
For the sauce:
- 6 tbsp sherry
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
Optional: I love to serve these with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower*
- 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.
*See "What should I serve these Swedish Meatballs with?" section in the above post for more serving ideas
- 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
Keywords: meatballs, swedish