Swedish Cardamom Meatballs

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
Recipe by San Marcos Sunshine

From a Food Network "Calling All Cooks" segment several years ago as made by Inglill Mutti with my alterations. These are about as Swedish as they get and my once a year MUST make recipe each Christmas season. This joins my Top Ten favorite recipes! Two tips: Cardamom can be expensive & hard to find. I finally found it at "Wild Oats" where bulk spices are sold by the ounce. I also use Tyler Florence's recipe for the accompanying Lingonberry Sauce, another hard to find item. I found 2 brands at Cost Plus World Market, and I also hear it's sold at Ikea if there's one near you.

Top Review by rosslare

Totally awesome meatballs which are more Swedish than any I've had even in Sweden, with lots of cardamom and other spices regularly used in Scandinavian cooking. I think the secret is that the spices have been used more generously than traditionally, which is great. <br/>Only changes I made is I used only half the butter, light cream and used flour for thickening instead of corn starch. I did not have gravy mix so didn't bother with that. Oh, and I left the lingonberry jam as it is, serving it on the side, as traditionally. Cranberry sauce would do just as well, as cranberries are like lingonberries, just bigger.<br/>The best Swedish meatballs and gravy ever! Must be served with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak bread crumbs in milk or buttermilk in large mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Add meat, eggs, salt & pepper, cardamom and 1 cup chopped onion. Mix well and roll into 1-1/2" meatballs. It helps to wet your hands as you roll.
  2. Saute meatballs in 1/4 cup butter approximately 20 minutes. Remove browned meatballs and set aside.
  3. In same skillet, saute 1/2 cup chopped onion with 1/4 cup butter, sugar and pepper unti caramelized, about 10 minumtes.
  4. Add beef broth to onion & sugar mixture, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Briefly cook over high heat.
  5. Add cream, gravy maker and all other spices and bring to a simmer.
  6. Make a slurry of the cornstarch & water and whisk the slurry into the mixture to thicken.
  7. If you're going to serve the meatballs right away, add them to the sauce and simmer another 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, cool and refrigerate sauce & meatballs, either together or separately. (I do this separately, as I often freeze the meatballs without the sauce.).
  8. Combine all ingredients for the lingonberry sauce and mix well.
  9. Serve meatballs in a chafing dish with sauce and lingonberry sauce on the side as a dip.

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