Ikea Swedish Meatball Recipe

Posted April 29, 2012 by Stephanie

Sometimes Mike and I will go to Ikea just for the meatballs. The furniture shopping is pretty much secondary. I also have a thing for Ikea’s mac and cheese (it’s sacrilege, I know) but that’s a story for another time. Ikea meatballs appeal to me not because they’re the tastiest meatballs I’ve ever eaten (they’re not) but because they bring me back to a time when food made everything alright.

It was right after I graduated from university. I was feeling pretty confused about life and where I was heading. I was living in my pajamas and not really eating or getting out of the house much. One day my brother asked me to tag along on an Ikea run. He and my sister-in-law were in the middle of moving houses and he needed to pick up some random organizational stuff.

I didn’t really want to get dressed and go, but Kevin insisted. “We’ll have meatballs,” he said. “You haven’t eaten yet, right?” It was true, I hadn’t eaten yet and I wasn’t really planning to. Food didn’t have the same allure for me as it did when I was happy. Nonetheless, I got dressed and we drove to Ikea, mostly in silence. My fault really – it’s hard to hold a conversation with someone when they only grunt or reply with one word answers.

I wasn’t hungry, but I got a kid’s size plate of meatballs and the mac and cheese too (love that stuff!). Before we started eating, Kev said, “don’t worry, everything has a way of working itself out in the end.” He gave me a big hug and of course I teared up. I concentrated on eating while he concentrated on trying to ignore the fact that I was about to have a breakdown.

The combination of trying not to cry and eating at the same time really made me taste the flavours of the meatballs. And for the first time in the past few days, food actually tasted good. The meatballs were delicious! With some food in my tummy and my brother at my side, I felt just a bit better about life.

From that day forward Ikea meatballs have been one my many guilty pleasures. They just make me feel good when I eat them! I admit, even today I have a bag of frozen Ikea meatballs in the freezer. So, when I saw a recipe for meatballs on the Ikea website, I decided to make them.

It’s a pretty standard meatball recipe: ground meat, breadcrumbs and seasoning. For me, the surprise ingredients were the potatoes and ground pork. I had no idea that the meatballs weren’t all-beef. Also, the recipe calls for the balls to be pan-fried in butter. I always thought they were baked, but frying  gives them that great texture contrast between the crispy outsides and the soft potato-y insides.

We did a little taste test and the homemade meatballs ended up tasting quite similar to Ikea’s, but the Ikea version was a touch more dry, perhaps due to the fact that they’re cooked, frozen and re-heated. This homemade version would be easy to whip up, bake-off and freeze. Maybe I won’t be buying bags of meatballs anymore after all!

i am swedish, i am balled meat: i am swedish meatball!

Ikea Swedish Meatball Recipe slightly adapted from ikea-friends.com
yield: 16 large meatballs

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice

Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Place in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender and drain well. You can mash the potatoes at this point, or if you have a potato ricer, use the potato ricer for fluffy potato grains. Set aside until completely cool.

In a frying pan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat and brown the onions. Remove and set aside.

Mix all the ingredients until homogenous and flavour generously with salt, white pepper and the all spice. Shape the meat into balls.

In a large, non-stick frying pan, heat up the remaining butter over medium heat. Fry the meatballs slowly,  turning when needed, until a golden-brown crust forms and the meatball is cooked throughout.


  1. DJM says:

    I’m curious to know if you make any gravy or sauce with your meatballs. (And I can’t eat them at Ikea without the lingonberries!)

    1. steph says:

      I made a quick gravy to go with them. The recipe I used was on the Ikea site too.

  2. Miriam says:

    I followed your link but couldn’t find a recipe section. I was hoping they had a recipe for the vegetabel medallions, which I could eat by the dozen!!
    Great photos btw!

  3. Sara says:

    These look delicious! I too, LOVE, IKEA food! The vegetable minestrone soup, with chicken tenders and mashed potatoes with gravy is hands down my favorite guilty pleasure! Mmm – delicious!

  4. ondine says:

    Oh my god, Ikea meatballs = best life! Thank you! x Ondine http://www.outofavalon.com

  5. Thao says:

    I always have Danish meat balls in the freezer, ready to be heated up. They are very similar to Swedish ones.They are easy to cook ( only use pork, egg, onion, salt, peper, milk and flour) but sooooo yummy that you can’t live without.
    I love your blog. thank you for sharing.

  6. Steph says:

    Just found your blog a couple days ago looking for the best pulled pork recipe and I’ve got to say, wow, I’m totally inspired by you and your recipes! This post particularly got to me because I just graduated from university and am feeling a little lost. May I ask what you studied and what you are doing now? Thanks again for all the fab recipes! (Made the pulled pork this weekend – WAY better with a non-BBQ-sauced pork as opposed to Red Wagon’s).

  7. Joe D. says:

    I loved your story. Thank goodness for brothers! And of course for Ikea swedish meatballs.

  8. Mims says:

    I always keep a bag of Ikea meatballs in the freezer for a rainy day/craving!

  9. Brogren says:

    As a swede I have to say: LOVE THE IKEA MEATBALLS! (and I’m not just saying that to live up to the stereotype here) I took my Scottish boyfriend there ones to try it and he loved it (that’s how you know it’s meant to be) they are simply amazing. However I personally think they should definitely be served with the classic swedish “trimmings” : mashed potato, gravy and lingonberry jam. It’s the best combo of: savoury and sweet, creamy and chunky.

    Love your blog, lots of inspiration and lots of love for food.

  10. Daniela says:

    OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD! I love these! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Hi, I’m Sonia, italian foodblogger sorry for my bad english, I want tell you that I have included the link of this recipe (which I liked very much) in the section on my blog dedicated to “10 ways to make” (“10 Modi di fare”) meatballs. I hope not to bother you, have a nice day

  12. Lisa says:

    There are absolutely no recipes on the Ikea website. Wondering where you are looking?

  13. Lexi says:

    Such a lovely – if bittersweet – story. I have similar attachments to certain foods. Those memories are so important, and potent! I also have a big soft spot for ikea meatballs. So comforting!

  14. Lyds says:

    Steph. You are awesome. Your blog is fantastic. As a recent college grad, I love your story too! I hope you are happy and eating well!

  15. Tracey says:

    Just heard the horsemeat scandal has now affected Ikea meatballs. So thought I’d drop a line in to say DONT PANIC!!!!
    Either make your own from the recipe above, or eat the frozen ones from Ikea, as I am still doing. Horsemeat is actually better for cholesterole than pork or beef, so if we have a small content, then look at it as healthy eating. Having read a medical item on bute, it seems we would need to eat 5-600 250gram 100% horsemeat burgers containing traces of bute to be affected!
    My point is, dont be scared, eat your meatballs and enjoy ;-)

  16. Sven says:

    Do you add horsemeat to get the traditional IKEA taste?

  17. MrSpader says:

    this may be a stupi question, but are the potatoes served on the side? or are they actually included in the meatballs?

  18. Enid says:

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Thank you!
    Where are your contact details though?

  19. Angelica says:

    This website certainly has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  20. Zoe says:

    I absolutley LOVE Ikea meatballs and have bought their frozen ones before but now that I have run out I can still eat them without going to the city! This blog is one of the most helpful food blogs I have ever used mainly because of the photo instructions. Being a visual learner this really helped me.

  21. Julie says:

    I love these meatballs! I have never had the Ikea version, but this recipe is very similar to my grandmothers. They are definitely comfort food. We make a version with sweet potato and sage that tastes just like thanksgiving =)

    Gorgeous photos!

  22. Christina says:

    The meatballs that all my Swedish friends taught me to make many decades ago are half beef and half pork. You add whatever seasoning you wish, make the ball, dip in plain flour and fry in butter. When they are cooked remove the meatballs from the pan. Add a little more butter and saute some finely chopped onion and garlic until soft – sometimes they would add sliced mushrooms. Add enough cream to make a sauce and then soy sauce – enough to make the sauce light brown. Do not add salt to the sauce. Heat until hot, you need enough sauce to cover the meatballs on each plate. Serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with fresh dill and a few teaspoons of lingonberry jam next to the meatballs. If you cannot get lingonberry jam from Sweden cranberry sauce with whole cranberries in is a very good substitute.

  23. Denise says:

    My mouth is salivating…off to IKEA first thing tomorrow morning; first the huge $1.00 breakfast, then over to the food section to pick up a few bags of frozen meatballs.
    Having a crowd over tomorrow & due to time constraints, cannot make my own at this time (but I sure will)!

  24. foodlover101 says:

    i love food

  25. Corinna says:

    Nearly every time I am at IKEA I eat those meatballs because they taste so delicious. We also have the frozen meatballs at home, but it is much better that IKEA published the original receipt because fresh-made food is always better :) Thank you for posting this receipt, as soon as I have time I will try it out!

  26. Anya says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m going to make this for my mom when I go to Florida.^w^

  27. meatballs says:

    I work at ikea food. Never eat at ikea food.

  28. Having just posted my Swedish meatball recipe yesterday, I couldn’t resist looking up a few other recipes today. I’ve never had IKEA meatballs, well actually, I’ve never been to an IKEA store. I think there’s one about 50 miles from here, so maybe I’ll have to run over and try them sometime.

  29. Valerie says:

    Where is the sour cream sauce on the meatballs? An essential part of the recipe is missing.

  30. sheena says:

    Thanks for sharing i can’t wait to try them (loved your stockholm post btw). Also, i absolutely love their vegetable medallions!

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