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Swedish Meatballs

In my culinary journey, I have made a few different recipes for Swedish meatballs. This particular one interested me because in previous recipes, I had not added mashed potatoes to the meatball mixture. Adding this ingredient made this traditional recipe lighter, and it acted as a binder to hold the meat together. Garnished with lemon zest, these meatballs with gravy are a delicious addition to any smorgasbord, or served as a main course with butter noodles.

Swedish Meatballs


  • 1 lb. ground beef

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • Salt and pepper

  • Lemon zest to garnish


  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Yields: serving for 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


  1. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter.

  2. Add the shallots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

  3. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well to combine.

  4. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  5. In a bowl, mix the meat with the egg, water and breadcrumbs.

  6. Add the mashed potato mixture and season to taste.

  7. Mix until you have a smooth mass.

  8. Form the meat into small balls.

  9. In a saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

  10. Working in batches, add the meatballs and fry evenly on all sides.

  11. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until all the meatballs are cooked through.

  12. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a plate.

  13. In the same saucepan, make the gravy by adding the butter.

  14. Stir in the flour and cook until you have a golden paste.

  15. Gradually add the water and whisk the mixture in order to eliminate any lumps.

  16. Add the sugar.

  17. The sauce should be smooth and thick. If you prefer it thinner, add more water.

  18. Return the meatballs back to the saucepan with the gravy, and simmer for 1 hour and low heat.

  19. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with lemon zest.

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