These easy creamy Swedish meatballs with noodles are one of our personal favorite recipes to make for dinner during the week.
No trip to Ikea required.
Although, there are plenty of other very valid reasons to go to Ikea… 🙂
How to make an authentic Swedish meatball gravy
This recipe does not use any cans of cream-of sauces. Those cream sauces are super easy to make yourself at home! You’ll end up consuming a lot less sodium and you’ll cut out a lot of junk ingredients if you make your own cream sauce. That’s why I pretty much always make my own. I also oddly enjoy making a roux-based sauce. There’s something about it that’s relaxing. Ha! That sounds weird but it’s true. Once you get the butter+flour+liquid combo down pat, it’s really easy to do and you’ll find it’s the base for most creamy sauces so it’s a good cooking skill to go ahead and learn when you get the time.
Can you use frozen meatballs?
Yes! I cheat and use store-bought frozen meatballs. I’m honestly not a huge fan of store-bought frozen meatballs but don’t always have time to make them from scratch. If you do, go for it! If you don’t have that kind of time, then you might feel better to know that store-bought meatballs don’t usually have a lot of extra junk ingredients. So it’s a shortcut that won’t be forcing you to sacrifice your health.
What kind of meatballs should you use?
Ideally you’ll want to use unseasoned, original meatballs. Avoid using Italian-style meatballs if you can. It’s not a deal breaker, but this Swedish sauce will taste better on plain meatballs vs. seasoned ones. You can even use vegetarian “meatballs” or meatballs made with ground turkey if you’re looking for a lighter option. I find that the medium to higher priced meatballs do have better flavor but in this case, the Swedish sauce will overpower the flavor of the meatballs themselves more so than meatballs with red sauce. So you don’t have to worry too much about the quality of the meatballs other than checking the ingredient list and nutrition facts.
How to make this picky-eater friendly
If you’re like me and have picky kids or grown picky eaters, you can easily make this picky-eater friendly by serving the noodles with butter and cooking some meatballs without the gravy. No need to make two separate meals. Not that I ever do that… 😬
What kind of noodles go best with Swedish meatballs?
I like to use no-yolk egg noodles. They’re a little lower in fat and cholesterol than regular eggs noodles and I can’t tell a difference in the taste since I like my noodles smothered in sauce anyway!
Can I add mushrooms?
I though you’d never ask. I also love mushrooms. I feel bad for people who haven’t discovered their love for them but sadly, it’s true. There are people who don’t enjoy them so you can leave them out completely if you must. The sauce still has a lot of flavor without them. If you think you can get away with it though, try chopping them up really tiny and adding them in. Most people that don’t like mushrooms, are weirded out by the texture. So if they’re tiny, sometimes you can slip them in. I won’t say anything if you don’t. 🤐
What are some variations of this recipe to try?
If you’ve made this recipe before and want to try some different flavor variations, try using a different type of wine. Sherry would be good or a dry white wine. You could also try half and half instead of sour cream for a less tangy flavor. If you’re trying to skim calories, try skim milk. It wont be as creamy of course, but it’ll still be tasty! You can also try different colored onions. I made this with red onions but you could also use white or yellow. Experiment and see what you like best or just go with whatever you have on hand!
Want more easy weeknight dinner ideas?
Browse all my easy dinner recipes.