With a simple list of wholesome ingredients, you will be able elevate your meatballs with this homemade sauce that takes just minutes to make. Not only is it delicious with the meatballs themselves, but it is also an amazing compliment to mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions for making this easy homemade Swedish Meatball Sauce at home!
Why This Recipe Works
- This delicious sauce has a short list of ingredients and comes together in a matter of minutes.
- It is creamy, savory and comforting and perfectly compliments the meatballs.
- The sauce has a velevety consistency without being overly thick and gloppy.
- Butter ands richness and a bit of flour thickens the sauce nicely.
- The base of this recipe is simply store-bought broth. The type of broth is up to you! Feel free to use beef broth, a combination of beef and chicken broth or even vegetable broth if you are making vegetarian meatballs.
- Heavy whipping cream provides rich flavor and a velvety texture. See the FAQ section below for tips on making a vegan version of this sauce.
- Soy sauce adds dark color and a bit of savory-ness (without the sauce tasting like soy sauce).
- A pinch or two of nutmeg mimics the spices in Swedish meatballs and helps the sauce and meatballs compliment one another.
- A sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives over the dish prior to serving isn't necessary but it brightens things up and gives it a homemade touch!
How to Make This Recipe
- Begin by preparing your meatballs according to the package instructions or the recipe you are using. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once it is bubbling, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the broth and soy sauce, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cream and nutmeg and return to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked meatballs and simmer them in the sauce until they are warmed through. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles, fresh pickled cucumbers and lingonberry jam.
- Be sure to cook the flour in the butter for one minute. Raw flour in your sauce can lead to off flavors in the final result.
- SLOWLY add the broth into the butter and flour mixture as you constantly whisk or stir with a wooden spoon. This will help prevent lumps from forming. If you are using a nonstick skillet, be sure to have a silicone whisk on hand for this job. It will save the nonstick surface on your skillet from nicks and scratches.
- Remember to salt and pepper to taste! It will probably need a little additional salt but the amount will vary depending on the type and brand of broth you use. The best way to make sure it is perfect is to taste, season and taste again. Repeat as necessary.
Many food cultures have their own variation of the meatball. So what sets Swedish meatballs apart from the rest?
-Most recipes for Swedish meatballs contain equal amounts of both ground pork and ground beef (usually ground chuck, about 85% lean). Sometimes they will include ground veal as well.
-The meatballs are seasoned with a blend of warm spices, usually allspice and nutmeg (and sometimes ground ginger). This is what gives Swedish meatballs their unmistakeable flavor.
-Swedish meatballs are rolled quite small, at most about an inch in diameter.
-They are usually served in a creamy sauce or gravy (like this one!) with lingonberry jam or Lingonberry Sauce and Fresh Pickled Cucumbers alongside. This trio of savory, sweet and tangy is an unforgettable combination that hits all the right flavor notes.
-Swedish meatballs are usually served on top of mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles. Both are delicious!
If you haven't already, check out my easy, streamlined recipe for fabulous homemade Swedish meatballs here!
Yes! Absolutely. Just be sure to use vegetable broth in the recipe as opposed to chicken and/or beef broth. This sauce is wonderful with my homemade vegetarian Swedish meatballs or use a frozen version if you like. To make this recipe vegan, simply use a vegan butter substitute or olive oil for the unsalted butter, and substitute an unsweetened vegan half-and-half (Such as the Califia Farms Unsweetened Better Half Coffee Creamer) for the cream.
Yes! Simply prepare the sauce as directed and let it cool to room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat in a skillet over medium low heat and add your cooked meatballs to heat through.
I don't usually recommend freezing cream-based sauces or soups because of the risk of the sauce or soup separating when reheated. Should you want to try freezing it anyway, make sure the sauce is completely cool and stored in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw the sauce completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.
Check out this post here for a comprehensive list of delicious side dishes to go with Swedish meatballs.
Looking for more recipes to go with your Swedish Meatballs and Easy Swedish Meatball Sauce? Give these a try:
Easy Swedish Meatball Sauce (Perfect for Frozen Meatballs!)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups broth beef, a combination of beef and chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 pinches of ground nutmeg more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley or chives optional
- Prepare the meatballs according to the package instructions or the recipe you are using. Set aside.
- Add meatballs to sauce and simmer briefly to reheat. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives if desired. Serve.
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