Swedish-American Meatballs

Name: Dorcy Erlandson
Class Year: 1962
Country of Residence: France

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

This is my US family’s favorite meal for holiday gatherings.   My Grandma, Elsa Landquist, immigrated to New York from Sweden when she was a young child and she grew up in Brooklyn.  This is the recipe passed around in the Swedish-American community in Brooklyn around 1900, using the ingredients that they could find easily.  (Swedish recipes always call for ground pork). This is why I have named the recipe “Swedish-American Meatballs.”  Thanks to the nutmeg you will find that they do have that authentic Swedish flavor!

Swedish-American Meatballs

Serves 6. Takes approx. 1.5 hours.


  • 1 lb. (approx. 500g) ground beef
  • ½  cup  (45 grams) bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp (1 soup spoon) finely chopped parsley, and more parsley for garnish
  • 1 ½ tsp. (1 soup spoon) nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp (1 soup spoon) nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp (2 soup spoons) minced onion
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp (1-2 soup spoons) cooking oil
  • 1 ½ cup (300ml) warm water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1 tbsp (1 soup spoon) sherry
  • Small spoon of flour


Set oven at 350°F (180°C)

You will need a casserole dish with a cover.

In a large bowl mix the beef, bread crumbs, parsley, nutmeg, onion, salt and pepper with a fork.  Beat the egg and add it to the mixture.

Form the mixture into small balls and sauté them in a large frying pan in cooking oil until browned.  Place the meat balls into the casserole dish.  In a separate bowl, mix the bouillon cubes with the warm water and add the sherry.   Add this liquid to the casserole dish and bake in oven, covered most of the time, for about 1 ½ hours.

Before serving, make gravy in a saucepan using some of the drippings from the frying pan, adding a small amount of flour to thicken and then adding several spoonfuls of bouillon from the casserole.  Pour this gravy over the meatballs.   Sprinkle with parsley.

Can be served either as a main dish with egg noodles, or as finger food on a buffet table (with toothpicks or small forks).

Swedish American Meatballs


My grandma’s recipe card

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