Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs 

Published on Feb 06, 2024

  by   Kristina Stosek

2 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 6
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These Gluten Free Swedish meatballs are the best dinner any night of the week when you’re craving comfort food. These beef and pork meatballs are known for their tender texture, aromatic spices, and rich, signature creamy sauce. This Swedish dish is traditionally served with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes, and it’s equally delicious with gluten-free noodles or over rice.

sweedish meatballs with sauce on a platter

Classic Meatballs vs Swedish Meatballs (Svenska Kottbullar): 

Swedish Meatballs are typically smaller than classic meatballs. They are usually made with a 50-50 ratio of ground pork, ground beef, and sometimes ground veal.


A successful recipe begins with quality ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to create tender, flavorful, gluten free Swedish meatballs:

  1. A mix of beef and pork: Opt for lean cuts for a healthier option.
  2. Gluten free bread: Easily available in most grocery stores 
  3. Grated onion: Onion adds depth to the flavor and moisture to the meatball.
  4. Fresh parsley: A burst of freshness and herb flavor
  5. Spices: Salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg provide the traditional Swedish meatball seasoning.
  6. Milk and egg: Essential binders that ensure a moist and tender texture.overview of gluten free Swedish meatballs with sauce and garnish


Keeping meatballs tender and moist is crucial for achieving the best texture.

Use Lean Meat with Some Fat:

Choose ground meat with a balance of lean and fat. Small amounts of fat add flavor and moisture to the meatballs. A mixture of 85% lean meat and 15% fat is ideal for juicy meatballs.

Add Moisture-Binding Ingredients:

Incorporate ingredients that help bind moisture to the meat, such as gluten free bread, eggs, milk or milk alternative, and grated onions. These ingredients not only add flavor but also contribute to the moisture content of the meatballs.

Don’t Overmix the Meat:

When combining the ingredients, mix them gently until just combined. Overmixing can lead to dense and tough meatballs. Use your hands or a fork to lightly incorporate the ingredients without compacting the mixture too much.

Chill the Mixture Before Shaping:

After mixing the ingredients, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chilling helps the mixture firm up, making it easier to shape into meatballs without falling apart. It also allows the flavors to meld together.

Keep Meatballs Uniform in Size:

Shape the meat mixture into equal-sized small meatballs to ensure even cooking. This prevents smaller meatballs from overcooking while larger ones are still raw in the center.

Keep meatballs round:

Shake the meatballs in the pan as they bake, don’t flip them. This will give you a round meatball shape.

Avoid Overcooking:

Be mindful of cooking times and temperatures to prevent overcooking the meatballs. Overcooked meatballs can become dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach the recommended internal temperature (160 F or 71 C for beef and pork).

beef and pork meatballs with sauce in a bowl


Swedish meatballs are versatile and can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some variations to consider:

  • Turkey or Chicken Swedish Meatballs: To create a lighter version of Swedish meatballs, swap out the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey.
  • Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs: For a meat-free option, use a combination of cooked lentils, mushrooms, and oats as the base for your meatballs. Season with Swedish spices and bind with egg or a flaxseed egg substitute.
  • Gluten Free Bread Substitute: Instead of using gluten free bread, you can experiment with alternatives such as gluten free bread crumbs, crushed gluten free crackers, almond flour, or ground flaxseeds. These substitutes can add different textures and flavors to your meatballs.
  • Dairy-Free Sauce: If you’re lactose intolerant or following a dairy-free diet, you can make a creamy gravy using non-dairy alternatives such as coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew cream.
  • Spice Variations: Customize the seasoning of your meatballs to suit your taste preferences. Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, smoked paprika for a smoky flavor, or fresh herbs like dill or thyme for a more herby meatball.
  • Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs: For an indulgent treat, stuff your meatballs with a small cube of cheese, such as mozzarella or feta, before rolling them into balls. The melted cheese center adds a gooey surprise to each bite.


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close up of Swedish meatballs with sauce


Meatballs with gravy are versatile and can be used in various ways to create delicious and satisfying meals. Here are some ideas:

The classic: Serve the gluten free Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, gluten-free noodles, or over rice. 

Low-Carb: Serve them over cauliflower rice, quinoa, or spiralized vegetables for a low-carb option.

Sub Sandwiches: Slice the meatballs and use them as a filling for gluten-free sub sandwiches. Add your favorite veggies for a tasty sandwich.

Appetizer Skewers: Skewer meatballs with toothpicks and serve them with sauce as appetizers at parties or gatherings.

Get creative: instead of the traditional lingonberry jam, pair them with cranberry sauce, lingonberry preserves, or a tangy mustard sauce.


By following our simple gluten free Swedish meatballs recipe and cooking tips, you can recreate the magic of this Swedish dish in your own kitchen. This is a cozy meal, flavorful, and so delicious. It’s equally great for a simple family dinner as it is for entertaining. Happy cooking!

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Many thanks!

Kristina x

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