Danish Meatballs (Frikadeller)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

The Danes and the Swedes were in numerous wars over hundreds of years; one reason could have been 'the meatballs'. Most people will think of Sweden and perhaps IKEA when they think of meatballs; however it is also a traditional dish in Denmark and it is a dish that varies from family to family, often being passed down through generations. My recipe goes back at least 100 years, perhaps more; but I have traced it back to my great-grandmother and can remember making the meatballs with my grandmother as a little girl. The difference between the Danish and Swedish meatballs is often that ground pork is added to Danish meatballs making them fluffier and - being Danish - I think more tasty ;)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 350 g extra lean ground beef
  • 150 g ground lean pork (as lean as you can get, ground pork in Denmark only has around 8-10% fat)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 onion, small, shredded finely on cheese grater
  • 12 cup water
  • 1 34 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (add more if you want a spicier meatball)


  1. Mix together all ingredients using hands in a big bowl. To get the right consistency it is important that all ingredients get well mixed and gets softened a bit. I would say that you should knead for around 5 minutes.
  2. Form into meatballs according to the size you prefer. In Denmark meatballs used for dinner is the size of the palm of your hand, and lunch meat balls are about half of that. (Quantity for this recipe is based on dinner meatballs).
  3. Heat a non-stick pan to medium-hot and place the meatballs in the pan. If you feel they stick too much to the pan, you can add a bit of butter to the pan (not oil). Turn the meatballs with a fork once they have started to brown. Keep turning them every 4 min or so being careful that they do not brown too much. Cook for approx 15-20 min until cooked through.
  4. Serve with a potato salad, mashed potatoes or cooked potatoes with a white milk based gravy.
Most Helpful

My great grandmother's recipe used milk instead of water and we started using crushed saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs. Gr Grandma use to make the meatballs shaped like an egg by rolling it on tablespoon and always had a thick white gravy over them. I have used cr mushroom soup or country gravy mixes.

KayDiddy January 07, 2013

I made as 4 serves though only 3 of us were going to be eating so there was enough left over for the DS for a sandwich the following day. I got 21 meatball weighing 35 grams each and baked at 180C fan forced for 30 minutes and served with a peppered gravy and Bacon and Cheddar Potato Salad on the side for delicious and filling meal, thank you Deantini, made for Went to Market tag game.

I'mPat November 28, 2012

I didn't use any water; my grated onions were very wet so it wasn't necessary. DH thought they could use more seasoning, but I like the fact that the meat is the predominant flavor, because they can be used in practically any recipe calling for meatballs (we put them in a noodle casserole). Thanks for posting!

Chocolatl October 22, 2012