Home » mains » Swedish Meatballs (A Family Recipe!) 🇸🇪 gluten free & keto

Swedish Meatballs (A Family Recipe!) 🇸🇪 gluten free & keto

These gluten free and keto Swedish meatballs are a terrific spinoff of a family recipe. Think juicy and incredibly flavorful meatballs, bathed in a creamy and luscious gravy!

Traditional gluten free & keto Swedish meatballs in a cast iron pan
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs

Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs

A Family Recipe!

This is a keto spinoff of a traditional family recipe for Swedish meatballs (not my family, we’re Dutch/Mexican!… but a friend’s grandmothers recipe). And let me tell you that it’s as legit as they come.

Always a plus is that they’re easy-peasy to whip up and they make epic leftovers.  Oh, and our (actually good!) mashed cauliflower comes highly suggested for these guys!

And yup, these are essentially ‘IKEA meatballs‘! But, perhaps unsurprisingly, they’re much (much!) better when homemade.

Gluten free & keto Swedish meatballs with almond flour
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs

‘The Breadcrumbs’

As you know, meatballs traditionally employ breadcrumbs for best texture… so to keto-fy these Swedish meatballs you’ve got a few options:

  • actual keto breadcrumbs via our soft ‘n fluffy sandwich bread. Works great… though obviously not too practical, and you may not want to transform your hard work into crumbs…!
  • crushed pork rinds! these work surprisingly well in lie of bread crumbs… as in very little discernible difference (i.e. no after taste and they’re my top choice!!)! A lot of you ask me for brands, and I’ve loved the new baked variety from Epic (which have 40% less calories btw!). Because they’re not fried in lard, they’re drier and resemble panko crumbs so very much.
  • or simply throw in some almond flour if keeping things kosher! I’ve done it plenty and it works the charm. I found the almond flour to add a lovely depth of flavor, but they were quite a bit more fragile than with pork rinds (but tbh I didn’t find it to be a biggie at all!).

Keto Swedish meatballs over a bed of mashed cauliflower
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs
Keto Swedish meatballs in a skillet
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs
Keto Swedish meatballs with cranberry relish
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs (A Family Recipe!)

p.s. Don’t forget to serve them up with our (actually good!) cauliflower mash and cranberry relish (a terrific sub for the traditional lingonberry jam). 

Traditional keto Swedish meatballs

Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs

Course: Main
Cuisine: European
Keyword: gluten free swedish meatballs, keto swedish meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 399 kcal

These gluten free and keto Swedish meatballs are a terrific spinoff of a traditional family recipe.  Think juicy and incredibly flavorful meatballs, bathed in a creamy and luscious gravy!  

Print

Ingredients

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and sauté until it just begins to caramelize (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

  2. Add the ground meat, almond flour (or pork rind 'panko'), salt, spices, cooked onion, egg and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to a large bowl. Mix everything thoroughly together using your hands and form into rounds (either 20 small-is ones or 14 large). 

  3. Heat up a touch of olive oil in your skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs until brown all over and cooked through. You'll want to turn them around a few times so they cook evenly. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil while you make the sauce. 

  4. Add the remaining butter to the skillet and cook until it begins to brown (don't clean the meatball remnants as they add the flavor to the sauce!). Add in the broth, remaining heavy cream and mustard to deglaze the pan. Allow to simmer for a couple minutes and make a slurry out of your thickener of choice (i.e. mix it with a couple tablespoons of cold water prior to adding it to avoid clumping). Continue to simmer until the sauce just begins to thicken and taste for seasoning. 

  5. Add the meatballs back into the skillet, simmer for a couple more minutes and serve right away (think over a bed of mashed cauliflower!). 

Recipe Notes

* Or feel free to do half ground chuck half ground pork (my absolute favorite!)! 

**A few of you have had issues with reducing the sauce (i.e. cooking it down so it doesn't end up too thin). So start with 1 cup and add to taste! 

'The Breadcrumbs'

As you know, meatballs traditionally employ breadcrumbs for best texture... so to keto-fy these Swedish meatballs you've got a few options:

  • actual keto breadcrumbs via our soft 'n fluffy sandwich bread. Works great... though obviously not too practical, and you may not want to transform your hard work into crumbs...!
  • crushed pork rinds! these work surprisingly well in lie of bread crumbs... as in very little discernible difference (i.e. no after taste and they're my top choice!!)! A lot of you ask me for brands, and I’ve loved the new baked variety from Epic (which have 40% less calories btw!). Because they’re not fried in lard, they’re drier and resemble panko crumbs so very much.
  • or simply throw in some almond flour if keeping things kosher! I've done it plenty and it works the charm. I found the almond flour to add a lovely depth of flavor, but they were quite a bit more fragile than with pork rinds (but tbh I didn't find it to be a biggie at all!).
Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free & Keto Swedish Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 399 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 133mg44%
Sodium 642mg27%
Potassium 319mg9%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 0.25g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 565IU11%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

99 comments

  1. Mello Lev says:

    I am happy I did not read any of the comments before making this recipe because it was perfect! I use almond flour and arrowroot. In Canada we have a French dish call ragoût de boulettes that we make mostly at Xmas. This recipe reminded me of that dish. Next time we will double it! We are happy to have found a keto version of one of our favorite dishes.

  2. Mick T says:

    Just out of interest I think you will find most gravy granules sold in the uk have potato starch as their thickening agent. while the amount probably won’t unduly affect your macros over the whole dish, it might be an issue if you are trying to avoid nightshades.

  3. anni says:

    I use gelatine to bind meatballs/ burgers in lieu of breadcrumbs etc – keeps very moist and holds together well. 1:3 for powdered gelatine to warm water, leave for 5-10mins to make a ” sponge” and mix in. Works every time

    • Laura says:

      Ooh, this is very interesting to me! I always have gelatin on hand—how much do you use per pound of ground meat? Thank you so much, anni!

  4. Tori says:

    Omg! This recipe is amazing!! I served it over roasted cauliflower instead of the mash and it was so good! I wish I had doubled the recipe so I had leftovers. This recipe was the perfect amount for 2 people as a main course (over roasted cauli). Can’t wait to make this again!

  5. Amanda Garland says:

    sorry if this is a silly question. This recipe is for 6 servings, how many meatballs per serving? Trying to calculate so I can meal prep.

    • Gail says:

      If six servings is what you want, just divide the meat mix into six sections, then make meatballs any size you like. Or make patties/mini loaves, for easier browning

  6. Christine Zuleger says:

    I’m new here , I have two grands that are Celiac so I was looking for a Swedish Meatball recipe. I’m from Swedish decent 🇺🇦. Wondering about thickening, what to use . Cornstarch ???

  7. Brenda Viloria says:

    Made these for dinner last night together w/the brown butter calif mash. I used pre-made meatballs that I discovered that were lower carb and actually taste good! Because I used pre-made meatballs I diced onion and cooked in bacon fat as a starter for the sauce. I also didn’t have arrow root so used xanthan gum as my thickener… 1/2 t to 2 T water… was fine putting it in a bit at a time. Anyway… I found the sauce to be super bland. Added more mustard, garlic & onion powder, parsley and a few drops of frank’s hot sauce. My hubby thought it was good. I felt there were too many add-ons to build flavor.

  8. Carol says:

    Paola, you definitely have terrific recipes. I made these using your absolutely amazing sandwich bread as I have always used breadcrumbs before. Brought them to holiday party and everyone raved!

  9. Ethne Fergusson says:

    Just made the Swedish Meatballs…so delicious with Keto cauliflower mash, cranberry sauce, and some Keto red cabbage.”.and some for the freezer!
    Thank you Paola for your wonderful inspiring recipes!

  10. Athina says:

    This recipe needed some serious tweaking regarding seasoning. I always cook a test patty with meatballs so that I can adjust the seasoning as necessary. This recipe needs about twice as much salt, nutmeg and allspice than what it calls for. Also, the gravy must reduce for a considerable amount of time. Not only will that concentrate the flavor of the gravy, but it was also thicken it. The meatballs also required twice the amount of binding- (pork rind panko) otherwise the mixture was way too loose to form any kind of ball.

  11. Janet B. says:

    I just made these because I needed to do something with the ground beef in my freezer. I’ve never made meatballs before because I always thought they were too dry. These were AMAZING !!! It took some time to reduce the sauce just right but it was worth it. I put it over cauliflower mash and I was so full after 1 serving. I highly recommend it!!!

  12. Louise A says:

    Oh my Gosh, Paola – just made a batch of these and they are fan-flipping-tastic! Thank you.
    For others (particularly UK keto-ers) I made these with half beef, half pork, and some Porky Scratchings…… every other thing was the same as recipe…. other than I thickened with 2 teaspoons of chicken gravy granules…. yes, possibly not 100% Keto, or particularly healthy……. but divided amongst the dish as a whole, it’s really very little…….. and super tasty.
    Thank you again, Paola – this is a keeper! x

    • Jane Robinson says:

      Thanks Paola – this looks like a great recipe and I’ll definitely try it!
      Thanks also for the top tip Louise! The chicken gravy granules is a great idea for a thickener (from a fellow UK-Keto’er)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.