You’d be hardpressed to find friends that don’t get pumped over a meatball hors d’oeuvre at parties, especially those served under a famous ladle of the one and only Swedish Meatball Sauce! It’s creamy, it’s savory, and once it hits a meatball, the sauce is really all that matters.
Whether you’re making homemade meatballs or enlisting time-saving help in the form of frozen meatballs, once you smother them with this Swedish Meatball Sauce — velvety smooth, speckled with warm spices and bearing just a hint of tang — your guests will never know the difference.
The sauce comes together quick and easy on the stovetop in just 15 minutes. It begins with a simple butter and flour roux for thickening and ends with a simmer and a sprinkle spices.
This is a classic party appetizer you can’t go wrong with, but you can also serve it as a family-friendly dinner! It’s a dish that will have your guests (and your kids) coming back for more.
WHAT IS A SWEDISH MEATBALL?
Swedish Meatballs are typically made from a 50/50 ground pork/beef combo and contain a signature spice combo of nutmeg and allspice. That being said, there is really nothing more signature about a Swedish Meatball than the Swedish Meatball Sauce itself.
The sauce is a creamy, white sauce similar to the consistency of White Gravy, but with a little more tang and spice thanks to a hefty addition of Worcestershire sauce, as well as a sprinkle of nutmeg and allspice.
Swedish Meatballs are usually smaller in size than those you would find in an Italian-American rendition of Spaghetti and Meatballs, making Swedish Meatballs perfectly bite-sized and an ideal party appetizer!
- Unsalted Butter
- All-Purpose Flour
- Unsalted or Low-Sodium Beef Broth
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Spices – Kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, garlic powder, and onion powder.
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH MEATBALL SAUCE
- Make a Roux – Swedish Meatball Sauce begins with a roux, but don’t let that scare you off. The roux is just a combination of melted butter and flour, combined over heat on the stovetop. You’ll add the butter to a large pan and allow it to melt. Watch the butter, and take care not to let it burn! As soon as the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the Broth – Add the beef broth in multiple additions, one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. This ensures a perfectly smooth and creamy Swedish Meatball Sauce. Once all of the broth has been incorporated, allow it to simmer for a few minutes, just until slightly thickened.
- Add Half-and-Half and Spices – Lastly, you’ll add the half-and-half along with the Worcestershire sauce and spices, and allow the mixture to come back to a simmer. Once the simmer resumes, let it cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. The sauce is now ready to serve!
WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH SWEDISH MEATBALLS?
What you serve with Swedish Meatballs depends on what you are serving them for.
If you are serving Swedish Meatballs as a dinnertime entree, serve them over egg noodles or on top of mashed potatoes and top with your creamy Swedish Meatball Sauce. If you’re serving Swedish Meatballs as a party appetizer, serve them alongside other classic finger foods like Deviled Eggs or Pigs In a Blanket.
HOW TO STORE SWEDISH MEATBALLS
You can store Swedish Meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. The meatballs themselves will freeze beautifully, but as for the sauce — not so much.
Because of the fat content in Swedish Meatball Sauce, the sauce would likely separate if frozen and later reheated. It’s best to make the sauce just before serving. The good news is, it only takes 15 minutes to make, start-to-finish.
3 MORE MEATBALL RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
A Swedish Meatball Sauce Recipe for a velvety smooth, savory sauce speckled with warm spices and a hint of tang! It comes together quick and easy on the stovetop in just 15 minutes, and it’s perfect for homemade meatballs or frozen meatballs!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsalted beef broth (low-sodium beef broth works as well)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Add the butter to a large sauté pan over medium heat and allow it to melt. As soon as the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.
Add the beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once the mixture resembles the texture of pudding, you can go ahead and add all the remaining broth and whisk to combine. All the mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes, just until slightly thickened.
Add the remaining ingredients, whisk, and all the mixture to come back to a simmer. Then, allow to simmer 5 minutes more.
TO SERVE AS AN APPETIZER:
To serve as an hors d'oeuvres, add meatballs (homemade or frozen) to a crock pot, pour over the sauce, stir, and keep on the warm setting.
TO SERVE FOR DINNER:
To serve as a dinnertime entree, spoon the sauce over meatballs with a side of pasta or mashed potatoes.