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How to Make Swedish Meatballs

How to Make Swedish Meatballs

Last Updated on 3rd February 2023 by Pauline Loughlin

While Swedish meatballs are typically made from beef, there are healthier meats you can be making yours from. Turkey, particularly lean turkey, is much healthier. It has less fat and can have less sodium as well when compared to beef.

That means it is better for your heart, circulation, and other areas of your body. With the right sauce and high quality ingredients, no one should complain that you are making turkey Swedish meatballs rather than beef ones. Feel free to substitute the turkey for beef the next time you are making Swedish meatballs.

If you are hoping to live healthier and extend your life, you want to be looking for better foods to substitute some of the less healthy ones in your life. If anyone finds a healthy substitute for ice cream, please let me know, but as far as making Swedish meatballs better for you, lean turkey is one of the best options you’ll find. Plus, the consistency and texture are about the same as with beef meatballs, even if the flavour will be a bit different.

One thing you might do to make the flavour closer to a Swedish meatball that you are used to is to use beef seasoning when you make your meatballs. If you are buying them prepared from the grocery, you can always season the meatballs with some beef flavouring and give them more of the traditional taste. That may be high in sodium, but it won’t have the fat content and artery-clogging qualities of the red meat.

If you want to control the flavour and the healthiness of the meatballs, I suggest buying your own fresh or frozen ground turkey. If you buy turkey meatballs, you may be getting some added ingredients, like preservatives, extra salt, flavourings, and other stuff that isn’t very healthy for you. It’s always better to make them yourself, if you have the time, the patience, and the ingredients available. It takes longer, but I definitely think it is worth it for the sense of accomplishment and the greater control over ingredients

What is the cooking time for meatballs in the oven?  If you are preparing the meatballs from fresh and want to know the answer to questions like how long does it take to cook meatballs at 375F then we have a quick glance cooking guide table for that.

Turkey Swedish Meatballs Recipe

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Turkey Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 150kcal
Cost: 5


  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey meat
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion flakes
  • 3 cups homemade roux (white sauce)
  • egg noodles


  • Make your Swedish turkey meatballs by combining all of the following: turkey, breadcrumbs, paprika, egg, milk, salt, onion flakes, nutmeg, parsley, and lemon pepper.
  • Form them into 1 ½-inch meatballs.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a non-stick Dutch oven to brown the meatballs. Every few minutes you should turn the meatballs gently to brown on every side. Ensure that the meatballs retain their proper shape as you turn them.
  • Add broth to the meatballs and allow to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Cook noodles in hot water until tender- about 15 minutes.
  • Add in white sauce. Stir together and heat.
  • Serve over the cooked eggs noodles while they are still hot.


Calories: 150kcal

How to Make White Sauce for Swedish Meatballs Turkey-Style

There are a few ways you can make the white sauce for this Swedish turkey meatballs recipe. It’s a common sauce known as a roux, and it doesn’t have a lot of flavour to it, so it will adopt the flavour of whatever is put into it. It’s a great base sauce that needs some sprucing up to be made into a cheese sauce or something else.

You need only a few ingredients- flour, milk, and butter.

Start by melting your butter. You should have about three times as much butter as flour. Once the butter is melted, whisk it together with your flour. They should form a paste when mixed thoroughly. Now, in a skillet, mix together the flour and butter paste with milk.

Simmer your mixture on a low heat as you mix. You should only add in a little milk at a time and whisk while you add. Keep stirring it constantly to get out the lumps and to make it smooth and creamy. Keep adding milk little by little on a low heat, until your paste becomes creamy sauce.

You can add salt to this or cheese as needed, depending on what you are trying to make. For the ground turkey Swedish meatballs sauce, though, you only need the butter, milk, and flour.

You can substitute this homemade sauce and make it another way if you like. Save yourself some trouble by using two cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup (making it with milk rather than water for extra creaminess).

Cream of chicken soup may work as well, but that will have more sodium, if that concerns you. Treat the soup the same way as you would the sauce, heating it up and adding it to your Swedish meatballs with ground turkey and egg noodles.

Making Turkey Swedish Meatballs in the Crockpot

If you want to cook your meatballs in a crock pot, you can throw them in there frozen and get them to come out nice and juicy. It’s going to take a while, though.

To make turkey Swedish meatballs crockpot style, you need to mix them with your sauce. They need some liquid in there to cook with, so the white sauce is perfect. The mushroom or chicken cream soups work well too.

On a high setting, the Swedish turkey meatballs crockpot method takes 3-5 hours. On a low setting, they should cook for 6-8 hours. This assumes you are using frozen meatballs. If they are thawed or you make them yourself from fresh ground turkey, then they won’t need to cook as long- about two hours.

You want your meatballs to be very soft and succulent for Swedish meatballs. So, make sure they cook long enough and that they cook in some juices to give them a soft, moist texture. If you cook them too long without enough liquid, they will dry out and become hard and crusty, and you don’t want that.

What Makes Swedish Meatballs Swedish?

You might be wondering how Swedish meatballs get their name. Do they use special Swedish sauces and spices? It is the spices that make them different from other kinds of meatballs, as well as the size.

Swedish meatballs tend to be a bit smaller than Italian meatballs– not by a lot, but they are definitely smaller.

They are also made using some slightly different spices. They may share some of the same spices, like onion powder and parsley, but they differ in a couple of key spices.

Swedish meatballs usually have nutmeg and allspice to give them a distinctive flavour. Compare that to the garlic and parmesan of Italian meatballs and you can see the difference. You can taste the difference as well, so if you have been wondering what makes them Italian or Swedish meatballs, now you know.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here

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