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!
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


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


  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


  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.

  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!

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