These homemade Swedish Meatballs with a creamy mustard sauce can be made in the crockpot or baked and trust me, they are worth the extra effort of making them from scratch!! These meatballs from scratch can be prepped ahead of time and then frozen, making a great dinner choice for hectic days when you don’t have much time to meal prep! These meatballs are similar to the Ikea meatballs but the sauce is made with Worcestershire and sour cream instead of soy sauce and heavy whipping cream.
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Swedish meatballs with a creamy mustard sauce (from scratch)
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound lean ground beef *see note
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg optional
- 1/3 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder optional
For the Creamy Mustard sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter salted
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour heaping
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth *see note below
- 1 1/4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- dash paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 375 (for baked method).
- Place ground beef in a medium sized bowl. Add milk, egg, rolled oats and diced onion, then add spices. Mix by hand until the meat feels smooth and the ingredients are well combined. Avoid over mixing.
- Shape the meat mixture into 12 meatballs, then place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps the meatballs to hold together while frying).
- While the meatballs are chilling in the refrigerator, melt butter in a sauce pan, then stir in flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and broth, then bring to a light boil while whisking rapidly until all the lumps are dissolved. Reduce heat and add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and salt. Whisk to combine, then remove the sauce from heat and add sour cream if baking (wait to add sour cream until later for slow cooker method).
- Pour roughly 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Heat over medium heat, then add the chilled meatballs to the hot oil and fry for a minute or two on each side or until the meatballs have browned. *See Notes below.
Slow cooker meatballs:
- Mix 1/2 cup of the sauce with 1/4 cup water and pour over the bottom of a 3-4 quart crockpot. Place meatballs on top of sauce then pour the remaining sauce over top. Cook on low for 2.5-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165. If you wish to skip frying the meatballs the time will be 4-6 hours on low. After the meatballs are cooked through, remove them from the crockpot and stir sour cream into the sauce. Return the meatballs to the sauce and stir to combine then allow the sauce to warm back up before serving.
- Bake the Swedish meatballs without sauce in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish at 375 for around 30 minutes. Pour the sauce over the meatballs at the last ten minutes of baking. See notes and photos below.
If the meatballs are still falling apart while frying after being refrigerated, you can roll them in flour to keep the meatball intact.
Fried meatballs on top of the mustard sauce (slow cooker).
You can use 1 1/2 cups water and two beef bouillon cubes instead of beef broth; dissolve bouillon cubes in the 1 1/2 cups hot water before adding to the sauce.
Although I personally have not had a problem with the sauce curdling when the sour cream was added before slow cooking, I do advise adding it after the meatballs are cooked in the remainder of the sauce to avoid the sour cream curdling.
With creamy mustard sauce. I generally don’t like mustard but I literally eat this sauce with a spoon!
The sauce may need to be stirred after the slow cooking process. If you really want to avoid grease you can skip adding sauce to the meatballs before cooking and add 3/4 cup beef broth to the bottom of the slow cooker instead, then place meatballs on top. After the meat balls have cooked for an hour and a half or two, drain the excess grease and broth, then pour the sauce over the meatballs. Return the crock pot to low and cook until the sauce is heated through and smooth, and the meatballs are fully cooked.
These meatballs can be baked without the sauce and then frozen. simply place the frozen meatballs in the crockpot and pour fresh sauce over top. Cook the meatballs and sauce in the crockpot on low for 3-5 hours, or until heated through.