By Marcus Samuelsson | December 22, 2010

My Swedish Christmas Table wouldn’t be perfect without the classic Swedish Meatballs.  Make these rich meatballs for your friends and family this Christmas.  The recipe uses some of the juice from the Quick Pickled Cucumbers, which are an ideal complement to this festive dish.

Photo: Marcus Samuelsson

Many supermarkets and meat markets sell a meat loaf mix of ground beef, pork, and veal.  However, if the mixture isn’t available or you can’t buy ground pork or ground veal separately, you can grind the meat yourself in small batches in a food processor.

Serve these with my Corn Mashed Potatoes recipe, Quick Pickled Cucumbers, Glogg, and St. Lucia Buns to create a perfect Swedish Christmas meal.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Servings: 4 - 6
Total Time: 30 min


For the Meatballs
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck or sirloin
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
For the sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp juice from Quick Pickled Cucumbers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Prepare the meatballs: Combine the bread crumbs and heavy cream in a small bowl, stirrin with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Ad the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, veal, pork, onion, honey, and egg, and mix well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bread crumb-cream mixture and mix well. With wet hands (to keep the mixture from sticking) shape the mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with water. You should have about 24 meatballs.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes, until browned on all sides and cooke through. Transfer the meatballs to a plate, and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.

5. Prepare the sauce: Return the skillet to the heat, whisk in the stock, cream, preserves, and pickle juice, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through. Serve hot with mashed potatoes, preserves, and Quick Picked Cucumbers.

More about: , , ,

You Might Also Like:

Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger