Köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs)

1/2 lb very lean ground beef
1/2 lb gound pork
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350. In a small pan, saute the onions until just browned. Set aside.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a medium bowl. Allow to soak 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Form into very small (walnut-sized) meatballs. Heat some oil in a oven safe pan (I used a cast-iron skillet). Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:

In Sweden, meatballs aren’t always served with creamy gravy, a trait I quite enjoy. While I like a good gravy topped meatball (see my lightened up version here) and will even indulge in them at the local Ikea, I don’t always feel like making a sauce after spending my time making a bunch of tiny meatballs. I honestly don’t miss it. I serve the meatballs with Swedish beet salad* (that can be made a day ahead), lingonberry jam and boiled potatoes. Simple but so satisfying!

If you want to be extra Swedish, you can turn leftover meatballs and beet salad into a sandwich (köttbullssmörgås) the next day for lunch.


  1. No, it's köttbullssmörgås 🙂 And really, white pepper and allspice? How 60's of you, these days many Swedes use ground black pepper and perhaps an addition of allspice, to give them the old fashioned taste but not white pepper.

  2. How interesting! I find white pepper gives a better flavor to the meatballs, personally. Black pepper is a little harsh.

  3. These look delicious, white or black pepper aside. I need to make meatballs immediately!