• How to make meatballs just like from IKEA but from the comfort of your own home, in your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

Are you familiar with the concept of hygge? Pronounced hoo-ga, it’s all over (social) media right now but it’s long been a way of living in Denmark and for anyone who feels glum in the winter months or is struggling with something personal, it is a cheering concept of cosiness and wellbeing with a heavy emphasis on gratitude for we have right now which helps you find the light when the skies are grey. Don’t torture yourself with what if’s and maybe’s, instead focus on what you have right now. Light some candles, pull a cosy blanky up over you and get cuddled up on the couch with the one or ones you love. Share good food and drink that glass of wine and most of all, live in the moment. Talking of good food worth sharing, we may need to hop over to Sweden from Denmark for this recipe but nevertheless, the concept exists within other Scandinavian countries and it is even making it’s way around the UK right now, these Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs are just the thing you need for a hyggelig night in. Go pull on your favourite slipper socks and pour a glass of wine and I’ll tell you how to make them. 

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It might take a while to prepare but if you shape the meatballs and leave them in the fridge overnight, these meatballs are a relaxingly hygge affair to make as well as eat. Even if you aren’t one of the growing number to have two Instant Pots and have to keep your nutmeg seasoned mashed potato warm in a low oven whilst you cook the meatballs, it’s still considerably easier than driving out of your city to the nearest IKEA to pick up with the wherewithal from they freezer or just eat them in their café! Hungry Hubby despises IKEA with a passion (he’d rather stay home and do all the chores than go with me!) but like so many, the meatballs can make up for a trip to hell and back lol. Thing is, I find the idea of those Swedish meatballs so much better than the actual eating of them – such is the way with clever marketing that includes a store design which traps you in until you are weak with hunger then lures you in with giant posters of huge big meatballs with ladles of glossy gravy and that little crimson splodge of lingonberry jam… 

For my recipe, I blend pork and beef together and use a tip an Italian friend taught me years ago to always use fresh bread crumbs and to add water to the mixture as you massage and shape the meat. It makes the world of a difference to the texture, put your breadcrumbs away! I like to flavour mine with a little allspice and some caraway seeds which always make me think of Scandinavian rye breads. The gravy is reassuringly simple made with a little beef stock and double cream for a simple but flavourful sauce. You can season with a little Worcestershire sauce if you like and note the depth of colour will be dictated by the stock you use but it will still be tasty even if it is pale. I finish the dish with the delicate aniseed perfumed herb dill and I think it ties all the flavours together wonderfully. I do draw the line and buy a jar of lingonberry jam rather than attempt to source the berries myself mind you. All in all, I can’t think of a better way than to invoke a feeling of warm cosiness than with a bowlful of my Swedish Meatballs. 

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Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs
Not the fastest meal you will cook in your Instant Pot but believe me, these Swedish meatballs are so worth the effort. You'll not need to make a 70 mile round trip to IKEA just for these ever again 😉 This recipe makes enough meatballs to feed 4-6 people but I only give the quantities of mash enough to serve two as I freeze the excess meatballs and make the mash fresh when needed. Simply multiply up the quantities accordingly to serve more people - the pot will easily hold enough for 6 and you don't need to change the cooking time.
Servings: 6
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
For enough mash to serve two
  • 4 large floury potatoes peeled and cut into 1.5" sized cubes
  • 125 ml milk
  • A good grating of fresh nutmeg 20 scratchings on a plane or fine grater should do it
  • Salt and pepper to season
For the meatballs
  • 500 g steak mince*
  • 500 g pork mince *
  • 2 thick slices of bread**
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 60 ml water
For the sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 250 ml beef stock***
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 125 ml single cream
To finish
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  • Lingonberry jam to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to low (about 100-120˚C) so you can keep the mash warm as you finish the sausages.
  2. Start with the the mash. Place the potatoes and 250ml water into your Instant Pot. Put the lid on, set the vent to "sealing" and give it 4 minutes on Manual.
  3. When the alarm goes off do a Quick Pressure Release and allow the potatoes to steam briefly in a colander.
  4. Mix the milk, nutmeg and seasoning into a bowl then rice or mash the potatoes with a masher into the milk. Scrape into a buttered oven proof dish and top with a little knob of butter extra then covered tightly with foil and transfer to the oven to keep warm.
  5. To make the meatballs, mix together all of the ingredients apart from the water, which you should add gradually, massaging the meat with your hands as you go to mix and combine it. The water should be fully absorbed into the mixture. Roll into meatballs approximately 1 inch in diameter (you'll get about 45 from this amount).
  6. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the oil. Brown the meatballs in 3 batches - I am lazy and just get one side well browned before removing them to a bowl whilst I complete the rest. Top Tip - I add a tbsp of water when the meatballs are ready to come out and it helps release them (they can stick to the stainless steel a little but this is a great trick).
  7. When all of the meatballs are browned, turn off the Sauté mode and return all of them to the pot. Add the stock and put the lid on, set it to Sealing and program in 14 minutes on Manual.
  8. Quick Pressure Release when timer up.
  9. Remove the meatballs to a warmed plate/bowl and turn Sauté on one last time - take a spoonful of the stock out and mix with the cornflour before whisking it all into the hot, bubbling stock. Whisk continuously and add the cream. Cook for a few minutes until thickened to your liking and then serve the meatballs over the mash garnished with the dill. Serve the lingonberry jam on the side.
Recipe Notes
*= I use 10% fat steak and pork mince - if you are using lean meat then add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the meatball mix itself.
**= I use fresh bread that I shred in the food processor to a fine crumb. You can do it by hand but you'd need a very sharp knife to chop it fine enough.
***= you can use fresh stock or a stock cube reconstituted for this. I use half a Low Salt Beef Stock Cube by Kallo for this amount of meatballs. Just be mindful of how salty your stock is and adjust seasoning of the meatballs themselves accordingly.

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23 Comments

  1. We always get some of these when we go to Ikea, so I am going to have to try making them myself!

    • Just Jo 22/10/2016 at 14:37 - Reply

      They are brilliant to stick in the freezer for when you just gotta have some comfort food Dannii 😀

  2. Alyssa 22/10/2016 at 12:12 - Reply

    I bet this could be done with ground chicken or turkey too for those of us who aren’t red meat eaters!

    • Just Jo 22/10/2016 at 14:36 - Reply

      Absolutely – but I would use chicken thighs to give enough fat though or you may be disappointed with dry meatballs x

  3. Midge 22/10/2016 at 14:31 - Reply

    Oooh yummy Definitely going to give these a try!! I LOVE Ikea, mind you its only down the road so we just nip down in the evening when its empty!

    • Just Jo 22/10/2016 at 14:33 - Reply

      Oh you are lucky Midge – I’ve never had one closer than 30 miles drive away!

  4. Sarah 22/10/2016 at 14:35 - Reply

    Ahhhh!! So excited for another Insta Pot recipe to try! This one sounds absolutely delicious…worth every ounce of effort and every minute of time 🙂

    • Just Jo 22/10/2016 at 14:36 - Reply

      Aw how lovely you are Sarah 😀 I”m delighted you’re so happy at the look of the recipe. Do let me know if you try them 😀

  5. Platter Talk 22/10/2016 at 17:48 - Reply

    I thought that I was going to make a beef stew for dinner but after reading this recipe, I’m thinking Swedish Meatballs. They have packaged, pre-made mashed potatoes in the grocery store that are pretty good. Think those will be my instant. Thanks.

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:37 - Reply

      I hope you enjoyed them Dan! Great shortcut on the potatoes there 😀

  6. Very interesting combination of flavors you have here! I particularly am intrigued by the lingonberry jam to serve with the allspice and caraway flavors! Very nice!

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:38 - Reply

      It’s the way they are served (with the jam) in Sweden, and the flavours are certainly Scandinavian in origin too. They may be different from an Italian meatball but oh my are they delicious!

  7. Tiffany 22/10/2016 at 18:39 - Reply

    These look delicious! I love swedish meatballs but I don’t get to have good ones very often (my husband likes the IKEA ones haha) but I should just make my own!!

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:39 - Reply

      You definitely should TIffany! Although your husband may be wanting you to make them all the time if you do lol 😉

  8. Ikea meatballs are so delicious but yours must be the best recipe I’ve seen!

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:40 - Reply

      Aw thank you so much Bintu! That’s a lovely thing to say 😀

  9. J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all 23/10/2016 at 15:26 - Reply

    I would devour this entire bowl in one sitting It looks absolutely delicious. Warm and savory for the win!

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:42 - Reply

      Lol yep, it’s a moreish dish for sure – soul warming deliciousness 😀

  10. Cricket Plunkett 23/10/2016 at 15:46 - Reply

    One of my favorite memories growing up is making Swedish meatballs with my mom for a school project. I haven’t made them since, I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • Just Jo 23/10/2016 at 17:44 - Reply

      Aw that’s a lovely memory – I hope you enjoy making these ones 😀

  11. Helen 03/12/2016 at 18:01 - Reply

    Silly question- would I cook them all and then freeze? And would I make them sauce as directed and divide that into portions and freeze that too? Or can the sauce only be made fresh?
    Thanks

    • Just Jo 04/12/2016 at 12:25 - Reply

      Hi Helen!
      You absolutely can make and freeze this whole recipe – what I do is share the cooked meatballs between freezer bags then ladle over the sauce and freeze like that. You may want a splash of water or two when reheating which I do on the stove. 😀

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