Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

Hallå and Hej Hej (that’s “hello” in Swedish)! If you’ve been to a certain, well-known giant blue and yellow Swedish furniture store to get items you can’t quite pronounce, chances are you made a stop at the cafeteria for their famous Swedish meatballs. (Confession: I’ve gone there strictly to eat a plate or two of them). Well now you’re going to make it at home where they’re way easier to make than putting together furniture and, dare I say it, taste way better! Serve over a bed of egg noodles for maximum comfort.

Swedish Meatballs

Making The Meatballs

Mixing bowl of meat with small bowls of various other ingredients surrounding it. Clock-wise L to R: minced garlic, beaten egg, milk, breadcrumbs, dried parsley flakes, ans garlic powder, seasoned salt, white pepper, black pepper and allspice.
Start with a large mixing bowl full of ground meat along with some key ingredients to make them into meatballs.
All ingredients added to meat in bowl
With clean hands…
Hands mixing everything in bowl
…get in there and mix it all together really well (this is super therapeutic – just pretend it’s your boss’s head).
Giant meatball formed in bowl
After a few minutes of mixing, you’ll form one giant meatball!
Hand pinching off meat from large meatball
But because these are Swedish meatBALLS, we want to make mini ones from the giant one. Pinch of some meat from the loaf…
Rolling into a mini meatball the size of a ping-pong ball
…and use the palm of your hands to roll into the size of a Ping-Pong ball or Pinball (or something in between).
Rolled mini meatballs
Depending on the size you rolled them, you’ll get about 24-36 when all’s said and done.

Pressure Cooking

Adding beef both to Instant Pot
Add some broth to the Instant Pot.
Next, either lay in the trivet…
Adding meatballs to basket
One by one, place the raw and delicate meatballs in the basket (or trivet) and pressure cook.

Boiling Egg Noodles

Egg noodles boiling in water in a pot on the stove
While the balls are cooking, boil some egg noodles (I like wide ribbon) according to the package’s instruction on the stove.

Making The Gravy

Cooked meatballs being lifted in basket out of Instant Pot
After the balls have cooked nice and tenderly, remove them from the pot and set aside.
Bubbling liquid from broth and meat drippings
Now to turn that pot of broth and meatball drippings into a lush gravy! Bring the pot to a bubble.
Adding butter and cream to pot
Add some cream and butter…
Adding beef gravy mix and Dijon mustard to pot
…along with a packet of beef gravy mix and some Dijon mustard.
Stirring pot until all is blended
Stir until the butter’s melted and all is combined.
Stirring cornstarch slurry in pot to form a gravy
To give the gravy the right thickness, stir in a cornstarch slurry.
Adding meatballs to the gravy
Return the meatballs to the pot…
Stirring meatballs into the gravy until coated
…and stir them into that amazing gravy!

Serving the Swedish Meatballs

Bowl of cooked wide ribbon egg noodles
Now to serve: take some of the egg noodles and place in a bowl…
Swedish meatballs and gravy on top of egg noodles in bowl
…and top with some meatballs and gravy! If you want to add a dollop of lingonberry jam, go for it!

The Taste Test

Man showing bowl of Swedish meatballs
Now show off that beautiful bowl of saucy balls!
Man eating food
Give them a try…
Man giving thumbs-up.
…and Wow! These Swedish meatballs are the real deal and way better than putting together some confusing furniture! You can also give my classic, traditional Meatballs a shot!
Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

If you've been to a certain, well-known giant blue and yellow Swedish furniture store to get items you can't quite pronounce, chances are you made a stop at the cafeteria for their famous Swedish meatballs. (Confession: I've gone there strictly to eat a plate or two of them). Well now you're going to make it at home where they're way easier to make than putting together furniture and, dare I say it, taste way better! Serve over a bed of egg noodles for maximum comfort.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

The Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat of your choice (I use a meatloaf mixture of beef, veal and pork, but any ground meat you prefer will work - see Jeff's Tips)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (secret ingredient!)
  • 2 cups beef broth

The Gravy

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet beef gravy or au jus mix
  • 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional - add up to 1 tablespoon if you want more of that flavor in it)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

The Bed (all cooked separately according to package instructions)

  • Wide ribbon egg noodles
  • Rice
  • Steamed Vegetables

Instructions

  1. With clean hands, mix all of the meatball ingredients (except for the broth) in a large mixing bowl until a giant meatball is formed. Pinch some meat off and roll into balls around the size of Ping-Pong balls or Pinballs. Depending on the size rolled, you'll get about 24-36 meatballs.
  2. Pour the broth in the Instant Pot. Then, add the trivet or a steamer basket to the pot. One by one, place the delicate meatballs on the trivet or in the basket. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, and hit Manual or Pressure Cook for 10 minutes. When done, allow a 5-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
  3. Meanwhile, as the meatballs are cooking, prepare any of The Bed options according to their package instructions, if desired. Also, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together the cornstarch and water. Set aside.
  4. Remove the cooked meatballs from the pot and hit Cancel followed by Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Add The Gravy ingredients except for the cornstarch slurry. Once the butter's melted and all is combined into the sauce (you can whisk or stir), stir in the slurry where the gravy will thicken immediately. Hit Cancel to turn the pot off.
  5. Return the meatballs to the pot and stir into the sauce. Add The Bed options to a bowl and serve with meatballs and gravy over it. Perhaps add a dollop of lingonberry jam, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

For vegetarian meatballs, use Impossible or Beyond Meat for the ground meat!

You can make them keto and gluten-free by using breadcrumbs compliant to those lifestyles.

You can make these meatballs dairy-free by replacing the milk and cream with an unsweetened nondairy milk. Use a plant-based butter in place of the regular butter for the sauce.

You can make it paleo by following the keto and dairy-free suggestions above.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Linda Wiley

    Sounds so good, but sadly, as in so many of Jeff’s great recipes, I have not found a replacement for heavy cream for us WW Life Members!

    • Jennifer

      I made this with skim milk instead of the whole milk and heavy cream (I didn’t have them on hand) and the recipe turned out great! I think it’s the gravy mix that helped thicken the sauce. I also used 4 tablespoons of butter instead of 5. I think you might be able to tweak it to make it more points friendly

    • Diane Cuthbertson

      Also Anna van Dyken has Swedish meatballs on the app, she uses 70ml light cream, I’ve cooked this one and it’s beautiful.

    • Theresa

      My 95-year-old father cannot have dairy products. I have used oat milk in place of dairy milk. He was a dairy farmer (Wisconsin folks) and to go from dairy to no dairy has been quite a challenge. There is dairy in so many tasty recipes.

      Try using oatmilk as many meatloaf recipes ask for “oat flakes” so I think you would have great success using an oat milk in place of the dairy milk.

    • Vicki T

      I use nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt all the time as a replacement for heavy cream and it tastes wonderful!

    • Danielle

      Linda, we used Country Crock non dairy creamer and it was delicious. I prefer this to other non dairy options because it has a taste and consistency that is similar to heavy cream. I buy it at Walmart in the creamer section. White box with red lettering.

    • Adrienne

      Linda, you can create cream by using milk and adding a Tbs of butter- can be almond butter or margarine. Also can use the plant based milk and fat free cream – I’ve seen at the supermarkets

  2. Robin Hadley

    I’m new with the instant pot and your presentation is helping me “get to it.” Thank you so much for squelching my fear of my marvelous IP!

  3. Allison

    Saw this recipe and immediately had to make it. I can’t believe how easy it was in the instant pot. The gravy was a bit to salty for me but could be because I used au jus. Really great recipe will be making again.

  4. Betsy Parker

    Could I make and freeze these and take out a few at a time and make a small amount of gravy? Just two of us here!

    • Michelle

      You can freeze just about anything. I buy butter and cheese on sale in bulk and freeze them. So you should be fine. We are also a family of just two. I’m planning on making the recipe completely and freezing them in portions. Then we can just take out what we want from the freezer. I’ve done this with several of his recipes, with no problems.

  5. Liz Barron

    This turned out great!!! I melted the butter in the microwave first (didn’t read the directions completely) but it didn’t affect it at all. My husband absolutely loved it.

  6. HollyHolly Brynjulfson

    I’m enjoying using my instant pot for so many recipes. These are next! My grandmother used evaporated and condensed milk for her Swedish meatballs if anyone is interested in that.

  7. Svetlana

    I made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t change a thing. This is another great recipe I will put in my mix (most of the recipes I use are yours). The meatballs smelled great before cooking, I could’ve eaten them raw (just kidding). Very yummy!

  8. Suz IP Queen

    Made this tonight and it was excellent. I had half and half instead of whole milk and it worked out great. Another one for the rotation…!!! Thanks, Jeffrey!

  9. Teresa Branham

    I’ve made this recipe several times now and every time I make it its a huge hit with my family!! I absolutely love it and it’s so easy to make!!

  10. Dianna

    Jeffery can I use a silicone basket instead of the mesh basket. Excited to try this recipe. The IKEA meatballs are not what they used to be (flavor wise) and the price has gone way up. I am sure your version will be much better!

  11. Joanna Beach

    If I have frozen Swedish meatballs, can I sub them for the fresh ones? I’d like to cook the meatballs in the pot with the gravy just like the recipe, but use the frozen ones

  12. Shannon

    If I want to double this recipe should i just double the ingredients and keep the same cookong time? And will they stay oknon warm mode?

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