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Healthier Swedish Meatballs

Healthier Swedish Meatballs

Who doesn’t love a plate of delicious Swedish meatballs? They are a comfort food staple that is both satisfying and flavorful. However, traditional Swedish meatballs are often made with a combination of fatty meats and heavy cream, making them a less-than-ideal choice for those watching their health. But fear not! In this article, we will explore some simple tweaks to make your Swedish meatballs healthier without compromising on taste.

Choosing Leaner Meats

One of the easiest ways to make your Swedish meatballs healthier is by choosing leaner cuts of meat. Instead of using a combination of ground beef and pork, opt for lean ground turkey or chicken. These poultry options are lower in saturated fat and calories, making them a smart choice for a healthier version of this classic dish.

Adding Nutritious Ingredients

Another way to boost the nutritional value of your Swedish meatballs is by adding in some nutritious ingredients. Consider incorporating grated vegetables like zucchini or carrots into the meatball mixture. Not only will this add extra vitamins and minerals, but it will also help keep the meatballs moist and tender.

Replacing Heavy Cream

The creamy sauce is an essential component of Swedish meatballs, but it doesn’t have to be loaded with heavy cream. Instead of using traditional cream, substitute it with Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream. These alternatives will still give your sauce a creamy texture while cutting back on saturated fat and calories.

Baking Instead of Frying

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are fried in butter or oil, which adds unnecessary fat and calories. To make them healthier, try baking them instead. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook them in the oven until they are golden brown and cooked through. This method reduces the amount of added fat while still achieving a delicious result.

Choosing Whole Grain Options

Swedish meatballs are often served with a side of egg noodles or mashed potatoes. To make the meal even healthier, swap out these refined grain options for whole grain alternatives. Whole wheat egg noodles or mashed sweet potatoes are excellent choices that provide more fiber and nutrients than their refined counterparts.

Portion Control

While making healthier choices is important, portion control also plays a significant role in maintaining a balanced diet. Be mindful of your serving sizes when enjoying Swedish meatballs. Pair them with a generous serving of vegetables and a small side of whole grains to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.


Q: Can I use a combination of ground beef and turkey?

A: Yes, you can certainly mix ground beef and turkey for your Swedish meatballs. Just be mindful of the ratio and opt for leaner cuts of both meats.

Q: Can I make Swedish meatballs gluten-free?

A: Absolutely! You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed rice cakes as a substitute for traditional breadcrumbs in the meatball mixture.

Q: Can I freeze Swedish meatballs?

A: Yes! Swedish meatballs freeze well. Once cooked, allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to three months.

Q: Can I use almond milk instead of heavy cream in the sauce?

A: Yes, almond milk can be a suitable substitute for heavy cream in the sauce. However, keep in mind that it may alter the taste slightly.

Q: Can I make Swedish meatballs vegetarian?

A: Absolutely! You can substitute the meat with a combination of cooked lentils, mushrooms, and breadcrumbs to create delicious vegetarian Swedish meatballs.

Q: Can I use store-bought meatballs instead of making them from scratch?

A: Yes, if you’re short on time, you can use pre-made meatballs from the store. Just look for options that are lower in fat and sodium.

Q: Can I use coconut milk instead of heavy cream in the sauce?

A: Yes, coconut milk can be a tasty alternative to heavy cream in the sauce. It will add a subtle coconut flavor to the dish.

Q: Can I make Swedish meatballs in a slow cooker?

A: Absolutely! Swedish meatballs can be made in a slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients and cook them on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.


With a few simple tweaks, you can enjoy a plate of healthier Swedish meatballs without sacrificing taste. By choosing leaner meats, adding nutritious ingredients, substituting heavy cream, baking instead of frying, opting for whole grain options, and practicing portion control, you can create a delicious and nutritious meal. So go ahead, whip up a batch of these healthier Swedish meatballs and savor the goodness guilt-free!

Healthier Swedish Meatballs compressed image1

Healthier Swedish Meatballs

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion , grated
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ¾ cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce (divided)
  • 4 ½ cups reduced-sodium beef broth (divided)
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the hot oil until it becomes transparent, which usually takes around 5 to 7 minutes. Then, remove the pan from heat and let the onion cool.
  • In a bowl, combine ground sirloin, ground pork, bread crumbs, cooked onion, egg, milk, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they are no longer pink in the centers.
  • In a large skillet, combine 4 cups of beef broth, soy sauce, rosemary, and the remaining Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk cornstarch into the remaining beef broth. Once combined, pour this mixture into the simmering sauce and stir until it thickens.
  • Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir in Greek yogurt.
  • Finally, top the dish with parsley and serve.
Keyword Beef, Collections, dinner, Dishes, Healthy, Ideas, Main, Meal, Meatball, More, Recipes, Special, Swedish
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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