Swedish Meatballs (Kottbullar)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins

A genuine, and one of the most quoted Swedish recipes for meatballs. With a few variations, it is found in almost every Swedish cookbook. This variety of meatballs is always served hot, with cream sauce and mashed potatoes, in contrary to the small ones served cold that one finds on the Smorgasbord. At Christmas, some Swedes like a little "Christmas touch" and add a little allspice and ginger. If you're really ambitious, you'll buy whole meat and grind it yourself. It makes a great difference!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fry the onion light yellow in a little butter.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the liquid.
  3. Mix everything well and add spices to taste.
  4. Make 1- to 1 1/2-inch meatballs with the help of two wet spoons.
  5. Put them on a plate coated with a little flour and fry them slowly on all sides in lots of butter (putting the meatballs in the freezer for a while before frying makes them firmer).
  6. Place the meatballs on a hot plate, fry the flour in the remaining fat and pour in the stock and the cream.
  7. Boil for a few minutes.
  8. Add soy, salt and pepper to taste and pour the hot sauce over the meatballs.
  9. Serve hot with mashed potates, pickled cucumber and preserved lingonberry or cranberry.


Most Helpful

These are indeed great Swedish Meatballs! I have never seen The touch of Soy sauce used but it is very good. I think one secret of good Swedish meat balls is to have the ground meat very finely ground - I had my butcher do it especially for me. I did cut back on the heavy cream and only used milk (I know that means it is not authentic but I do have to watch that fat). Next time I will double the meat ball recipe and frezze them then just make the sauce when I want to serve them. As you said also great appetizers (made small) Thanks Andre

Bergy July 18, 2002

Without stating that msBerglund is wrong, I've never encountered dill in meatballs. Dill is something we in Sweden use for fish and sometimes in stews. Dill may be delicious, but for honest, I've never seen it in any Swedish recipe. As for the soy sauce, there's a history to it: In Sweden, until abt. 1940, we had no gastronomy whatsoever. Then the "guru" of Swedish gastronomy, dr Tore Wretman, started to influence the Swedish recipes with foreign influences and hence the soy sauce, which is actually just a substitute for a properly made beef stock.

André Grisell January 26, 2003

These were very funny tasting. Granted, I have been eating Swedish meatballs my whole life and I have a very particular idea of how they should taste. I really did not like the soy sauce. If Goddess had meant for soy sauce to be in this recipe she would have called them Chinese meatballs. I think that this recipe would have been vastly improved by substituting crushed dill for soy sauce. I am pretty sure that dill is supposed to be in all authentic Swedish meatball recipes. Dill is an absolute must-have for my family's meatball recipe, and they brought it over on the boat with them. Soy sauce, on the other hand, is not a Swedish cooking staple so far as I know. I do like Asian cuisine, but not in my ancestral dishes! Swedish meatballs without dill are just meatballs, and meatballs with soy sauce in them are just odd-tasting. The omission of dill and inclusion of a stir-fry ingredient casts serious doubt on this recipe's claim of genuine Swedish-ness, in my opinion. I will continue making my old family recipe.

abcdefg December 16, 2002

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