A Swedish Affair (with Swedish Meatballs)


A book written by a Swedish author was the inspiration for this Book Club menu. Of course there had to be Swedish meatballs! This smorgasbord also included a Salmon Pate appetizer, my own version of a beet salad, and for dessert – a traditional Almond Cake served with Lingonberry Sauce & Whipped Cream. Scandinavian food never tasted so good!

Not only was the Swedish meal a hit, we equally loved A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. I highly recommend this tale of redemption, of a hilariously grumpy man. Any further description wouldn’t do the book justice. Mainly, because it’s a bit of a crazy plot. The writing however is so witty, funny and touching. Just follow the link above and read some of the many positive reviews for yourself.

Swedish Meatballs – family dinner

These Swedish Meatballs can be made a day ahead, which makes them a great entertaining option. But don’t save this recipe just for special occasions. These meatballs are also a great family dinner option. Tender baked meatballs served in a rich cream sauce with a touch of nutmeg and allspice. A family favorite at our house!

Salmon Pate

Usually I serve my Salmon Pate with french bread, like I did for this previous gathering. For our Swedish-themed meal, I selected dark pumpernickel bread. This combination was inspired by the traditional Swedish open-faced sandwiches, which are served as an appetizer or snack.

Salad & Dessert Recipes

I decided to adapt the traditional Swedish beet salad, which uses mayo and sour cream, into a green salad instead. The result was a healthier option, which helped balance out the rich meatballs and dessert. Stay tuned for a future post with the Beet, Orange & Spiced Pecan Salad.

The Almond Cake may look like a really basic cake, but I assure you it’s quite heavenly. The almond paste makes it rich and moist, which is counterbalanced perfectly by the lingonberry sauce. And of course, a dollop of whipped cream, for good measure, as well! Stay tuned for this delicious recipe in a future post as well.

A Preview Slide Show

In the meanwhile, enjoy our Swedish smorgasbord, with the slide show below:

Swedish Meatballs

Serving Size: Serves 6


  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus additional butter to grease baking sheets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef (no leaner) You can also use a combination of beef, pork and/or veal
    Cream Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • snipped parsley (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9 x 13 inch baking sheets with aluminum foil and generously grease with butter. Don't use cooking spray! The meat drippings create the roux for the sauce, so this butter factors into the sauce.
  • Saute onion on medium-low in 2 tablespoons butter, until tender (not browned), about 10 minutes. In bowl, combine egg, milk, crumbs and seasonings. Add meat and sauteed onions and mix well until well blended. Shape into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place on butter baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer meatballs to ovenproof serving dish or casserole.
    Cream Sauce
  • Scrape drippings from baking sheets into a saucepan. If you don't have a good quantity of drippings, you can add a tablespoon of butter. Stir in flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt (I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it works) and pepper, to taste. Gradually whisk in water and half & half. Stir over low heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. If making recipe a day in advance, refrigerate meatballs and sauce separately. Then gently rewarm sauce in microwave just until easily stirred.
  • Pour gravy over meatballs. Bake, uncovered in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. If meatballs were made in advance and refrigerated, add 15-20 minutes extra baking time. Note - if you leave the meatballs in the oven any longer, because you're not yet ready to serve them, cover with foil and turn over down to 200 degrees to keep them warm.
  • Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve.


Adapted from The Best of Byerly's - A Recipe Collection


6 thoughts on “A Swedish Affair (with Swedish Meatballs)

    • So great to hear you are getting some mileage from my recipes. Keep cooking and providing your feedback. It tickles me pink!

  1. I was one of the fortunate book club members to rejoice at this beautiful table with scrumptious food and avid readers. What a pleasure! Cathy’s food is ALWAYS so delicious.

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