Swedish Meatballs

I have made a lot of different types of meatballs and while most were not objectionable, they were also not too noteworthy. However, one day I came across the tip to use hydrated gelatin in the meatball mix. That resulted in a nice, spongy texture to the meatballs that I found enjoyable and noteworthy. Even if you are making a different type of meatball, I encourage you to try using gelatin. I like this recipe in particular because there is a nice contrast between the heavy, creamy and savory sauce, and the fresh thyme. What, if anything, you use as a base for the meatballs is up to you and not covered in this recipe. Therefore if you are also making pasta, mashed potatoes, or something else, consider the cooking time needed for that so both components finish roughly at the same time. I usually use dry pasta as the base and the recipe has a note on when I would start cooking the pasta.


Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes


  • Enough neutral, high smoke point oil to cover the bottom of your skillet by about 1/4in.


  • 1/4C milk
  • 1 1/4oz package (about 1T) gelatin
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1/2t kosher salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • 1t fresh thyme (or 1/4t dry)
  • 1 egg
  • 1t soy sauce
  • 1/2t worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2C bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minces


  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 (about 1 1/2C) large onion, diced
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/4t pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2T butter
  • 2C chicken stock
  • 1/2C heavy cream
  • 1T soy sauce
  • 1/2t worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large sprig of thyme (or 1/4t dry)
  • 1/4t nutmeg


  1. Stir the milk and gelatin, and set aside for about 10 minutes while you continue to prepare the ingredients for the sauce.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix well.
  3. With wet hands, form the meat into balls a size of your choosing, making them all roughly the same size. I like something a little smaller than a golf ball.
  4. Cover the bottom of your skillet with about 1/4in of oil and heat to about 400°F / 204°C.
  5. Carefully add the meatballs to the pan using tongs, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is browned and the sides start starting to lose their pink color to about 1/4 of the way up the side. The cooking time will depend on the size of the meatballs.
  6. Flip the meatballs and cook for another 5 minutes or cooked through. If the meatballs need more time you may want to flip on the sides as well to not burn the bottom.
  7. Remove the meatballs and drain the oil leaving about 1T in the pan.
  8. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the onions, salt, and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften, stirring occasionally. If you are making dry pasta, now would be a good time to start cooking that.
  10. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  11. Add the butter. When it has just melted, add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute.
  12. Add the chicken stock, cream, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, sprig of thyme, and nutmeg, and bring to a simmer.
  13. Keep at a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is about as thick as you want. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and remove the thyme sprig.
  14. Add the meatballs back to the pan, spoon over the sauce, and cook for 2 minutes or until the meatballs are warmed.


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