Delicious Swedish Meatballs made in the Instant Pot will have you counting down the seconds until dinnertime! Served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, everyone loves Swedish Meatballs.
Love easy Instant Pot recipes? Our Instant Pot Salisbury Steak is a reader favorite. Flavorful and easy.
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What are Swedish Meatballs?
If you’ve never had Swedish Meatballs before, let me clarify one thing right away: these are NOT just Italian meatballs served with a different sauce.
Aside from the fact that they are both made from ground beef or pork and held together with eggs, they’re pretty diffferent from one another as far as flavor is concerned.
Traditional Swedish Meatballs are flavored with all-spice which gives them a distinct aroma and sweet-and-spicy flavor.
And then, there’s the sauce.
The creamy, savory sauce made with beef broth, heavy cream and butter with a sprinkle of parsley for freshness. In Sweden, I ate these served with a side of pureed potatoes and cucumber dill salad, along with lingonberry preserves.
When I make them at home I often swap the mashed potatoes for egg noodles. They’re a hit with the family however I serve them!
Since my love affair with Instant Pot cooking has grown, and in the height of summer, I had a serious craving for Swedish Meatballs. But I also had zero desire to stand over a hot skillet to make them.
Enter: the Instant Pot! I tested a few different ways of making these meatballs in the pressure cooker and the recipe I’m sharing with you today is the result, baked off my original recipe!
Tender, flavorful meatballs in a creamy sauce, all without turning on the stove!
Meat. For authentic swedish meatballs, you need reindeer, haha. But today, we’re using a combination of ground beef and ground pork!
Breadcrumbs– plain is best, homemade works great too. Avoid Italian and panko crumbs
Allspice– it’s the combination of warm flavors that make up this unique spice blend, and give your meatballs that authentic taste.
Onion– you’ll want to MINCE the onion by rubbing it on a zester or grater for best results. No big chunks here!
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1. Form the meatballs
For homemade meatballs, combine ground beef, ground pork, minced onion, breadcrumbs, seasonings, eggs, and heavy cream in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine ingredients completely until thoroughly mixed.
Roll mixture into 1-inch sized meatballs, packing tightly. You’ll have about 75 meatballs.
STEP 2. Cook meatballs
First, partially cook the meatballs in batches. Melt butter on the bottom of your instant pot using the saute function. Add one layer of meatballs, cooking about 3 minutes on each side.
Remove cooked meatballs and repeat with another layer of meatballs.
When all the meatballs are partially cooked, drain the excess grease and add the beef broth to the pot to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to make sure you scrape off any pieces of meat or spice stuck to the pan. Turn off the pot.
Return the meatballs to the pot. Sprinkle in some of the allspice and salt, then cook covered on high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.
STEP 3. Make the sauce
While the meatballs are cooking, whisk flour and water together to form a smooth paste.
After releasing any remaining pressure, add the flour mixture to the pot over the meatballs, along with the whipping cream and remaining ingredients.
SAUTE until thick and bubbly.
Serve hot and enjoy!
How to Serve
My two favorite ways to enjoy Swedish meatballs are over egg noodles or with mashed potatoes. The creamy sauce mixes with the starch makes for a satisfying comfort food experience!
To complete the meal, I find Swedish Meatballs need a little freshness. A cucumber tomato salad and some sweetness from a lingonberry sauce are my picks!
You could also serve this with broccoli, red cabbage, green beans or any favorite vegetable.
Can the meatballs be made ahead of time?
YES! The most time consuming part of this recipe is mixing and forming the homemade meatballs. There are two ways I use to make dinner time quicker when making Swedish meatballs:
The first method is to make the homemade meatballs in advance .
Whenever you have a spare few minutes, you can assemble the meatballs and set them aside until you’re ready to make dinner. Place on a baking sheet and cover tightly, then store in the fridge for up to a day. You can also make the meatballs further in advance and freeze them!
The second way to make this recipe quicker and easier? Use frozen meatballs!
Tips for Frozen Meatballs
Sometimes you just don’t have time to make your own meatballs. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy tasty homemade Swedish Meatballs.
If using frozen meatballs, skip the first saute step in the recipe. Just add the frozen meatballs right to the pot with the beef broth and seasoning–no need to thaw. The cook time will be the same.
Can you freeze Swedish Meatballs
As I mentioned above, you can definitely make the meatballs in advance, then transfer the raw meatballs to the freezer until ready to use. To do this, I recommend, freezing them on a baking sheet first until solid, then transferring to a freezer bag or container.
I know some of you will also be wondering if you can freeze the finished meal. This makes a LOT of meatballs, so if you have a smaller family, chances are you’ll have leftovers. I don’t recommend freezing the meatballs and sauce together.
You CAN however store leftovers in the fridge. Keep the Swedish Meatballs and sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Swedish meatballs are cooked in a roux-based cream gravy with a hint of allspice. Italian meatballs are cooked in a red sauce.
Most store bought meatballs are flavored for Italian dishes. However, you can make the swedish meatballs above and freeze the meatballs until ready to use.
For best flavor I recommend a combination of beef and pork.
Most likely, there was a little bit of food stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Make sure to deglaze the pot with the broth and wooden spoon COMPLETELY before pressure cooking.
More Classic Dinner Ideas
- Meatloaf Recipe
- Beef Stroganoff – in the Instant Pot!
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Alfredo
- Baked Ziti
Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs
For the meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- ½ cup white onion minced
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
For the sauce
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon allspice divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, minced onion, breadcrumbs, seasonings, eggs, and heavy cream. Using your hands, combine ingredients completely until thoroughly mixed.
- Roll mixture into 1-inch sized meatballs, packing tightly. Set aside until all the mixture is used. You should be able to make about 75 meatballs.
- Add butter to bottom of Instant Pot. Turn on saute. When butter is melted, add one layer of meatballs, cooking about 3 minutes on each side. (They may not be all the way cooked inside, that’s okay). Remove cooked meatballs onto a plate and repeat with another layer of meatballs.
- When all the meatballs are partially cooked, add the beef broth to the pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits and pieces that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This technique is called "deglazing" and it reduces the burn notice tendencies.
- Turn off Instant Pot. Return the meatballs to the pot into the beef broth. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp allspice, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.
- Secure the lid and make sure the valve is set to "SEALING."
- Select HIGH PRESSURE and a cook time of 5 minutes. When cook time ends, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, in a small bowl whisk together flour and water until smooth. Set aside.
- After the ten minute natural release of pressure, turn the valve to "VENTING" and allow the remaining pressure to release. Open the lid.
- Turn the Instant Pot on saute, and add in the heavy whipping cream, flour mixture, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir until thickened. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off and add fresh parsley.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles!
- This recipe was tested in a 6 quart Instapot. Results will not be the same in other size pots or pressure cookers.
- I used a combination of beef and pork here. If you prefer, you can swap it for all pork or all beef.
- Make sure not to skip the deglazing step! Any bits of meat or spice left on the pot before pressure cooking are likely to cause a burn notice.
Traditional Swedish Meatballs with creamy sauce are the answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?” Made in the Instant Pot, this recipe will become a staple in your kitchen!