27 Ultimate Side-Dish Guide for Swedish Meatballs

When it comes to delicious and flavorful dinners, Swedish meatballs are a popular and hearty choice.

Swedish meatballs, a delightful Nordic delight, have taken the culinary world by storm. Known for their rich and creamy sauce, these savory meatballs never fail to please any palate.

However, as a home cook, you might wonder what dishes to serve them. Worry no more!

This blog post will help you discover the perfect pairings for your delicious Swedish meatball recipe.

Prepare to impress your family and friends with the delightful combinations we’ve put together. Get your chef’s hat on, and let’s explore the magic of these mouth-watering duos!

A Quick solution for What do you serve with Swedish meatballs

Crisp Green Beans with Almonds, Root Vegetable Gratin, Braised Red Cabbage, Swedish-Style Cucumber Salad, Creamy Mushroom Risotto, Swedish-Style Cucumber Salad, Couscous, Noodles, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Pickled Cucumbers, Lingonberry Sauce, Steamed Vegetables, Boiled Potatoes, Cauliflower Puree, Green Beans, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Roasted Squash, Corn Pudding, Grilled Vegetables, Baked Apples, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, Potato Gratin, Steamed Vegetables.

What kind of food are Swedish Meatballs? What do Swedish meatballs taste like?

Swedish Meatballs are typically made with a mixture of minced beef, pork and onions. They can also contain breadcrumbs, nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper and sometimes cream.

Swedish meatballs have a distinctive flavor profile that is savory, slightly sweet and mildly spicy. The texture is usually soft and tender on the inside, with a slight crispiness on the outside.

Swedish meatballs are often served with mashed potatoes or potatoes boiled in dill water and covered in creamy gravy as well as lingonberry jam to give them an additional sweetness.

Other accompaniments may include pickles or cucumber salad for a tart contrast to the richness of the meatballs.

Overall, Swedish meatballs are hearty, delicious comfort food that is beloved around the world.

What is Swedish meatball sauce made of?

Swedish meatball sauce is usually made of a mixture of cream or sour cream, beef or chicken broth, and some type of acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar.

Herbs and spices like parsley, oregano, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper are often added to the sauce for flavor. Other ingredients may also be included depending on personal preference or regional variations.

The sauce is typically simmered until it thickens into a creamy consistency before serving it with Swedish meatballs.

The acidity in the sauce helps to balance out the richness of the cream and helps to add a subtle flavor that complements the meatballs. 

The herbs and spices give it an added depth of flavor, as well as help create a more complex aroma.

A variety of other ingredients can be used to customize the flavor profile, such as Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or even honey.

Whether served over noodles or mashed potatoes, this classic Swedish dish is sure to please any crowd!

For those who prefer a slightly lighter version of the sauce, non-dairy substitutes like coconut milk can also be used in place of cream or sour cream. 

Additionally, there are many different variations of traditional Swedish meatball sauce that can be experimented with, such as adding a tomato-based sauce or using a combination of different herbs and spices.

No matter what ingredients are used to make the sauce, it is sure to add an inviting flavor and aroma to any meal.

What makes Swedish meatballs different from regular meatballs?

Swedish meatballs are made from a combination of ground beef and pork, which sets them apart from regular meatballs, which are usually made with just one type of meat.

Additionally, Swedish meatballs have a unique flavor due to the addition of allspice and nutmeg, as well as other spices like cardamom. 

The mixture is then formed into small rounded balls before being cooked in either a cream or gravy sauce.

This gives them an even more distinctive flavor than regular meatballs.

Finally, Swedish meatballs tended to be smaller than traditional ones and served alongside boiled potatoes, pickled cucumber salad, and lingonberry jam for added sweetness.

All in all, these distinct features make Swedish meatballs stand out from their regular cousins.

More: Amazing Sides to serve with Teriyaki Meatballs – Quick & Easy

Best sides to serve with Swedish meatballs

1. Crisp Green Beans with Almonds

A bright and fresh side dish that pairs perfectly with Swedish meatballs is green beans with almonds.

The beans add beautiful color to the plate, while the almonds bring an extra layer of crunch and texture. 

You just simply blanch the green beans for a few minutes until they turn bright green and slightly tender, then sauté in butter with sliced almonds and a touch of salt.

2. Root Vegetable Gratin

A warm and comforting root vegetable gratin will elevate your Swedish meatball dinner to new heights.

A mix of thinly sliced potatoes, carrots, and parsnips with cream, garlic, and a touch of thyme, results in a rich, creamy, and fragrant side dish.

You can also top it off with a layer of Gruyere cheese and bake until golden brown and bubbling. The creamy gratin effortlessly complements the tender meatballs and savory brown sauce.

3. Braised Red Cabbage

Add some color and tenderness to your Swedish meatball meal by making a side of braised red cabbage.

add tenderness to your swedish meatball meal by making a side of braised red cabbage
Braised Red Cabbage

Slowly cooked with apple, onion, and a hint of vinegar, it’s a sweet and tangy addition to an already flavorful dish.

The contrast of flavors between the sweet cabbage and the savory meatballs creates a delectable balance that is sure to excite your taste buds.

4. Swedish-Style Cucumber Salad

A simple, refreshing, and tangy Swedish-style cucumber salad makes a great side dish to serve with Swedish meatballs.

Thinly sliced cucumbers and onions are marinated in a vinegar-sugar solution and garnished with fresh dill.

The sharp tartness of the cucumber salad cuts through the richness of the meatballs, creating a refreshing palate cleanser between bites. So, you must try to satisfy your taste bud.

5. Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Risotto might not be a traditional Swedish side dish, but you know that a creamy mushroom risotto pairs wonderfully with Swedish meatballs. 

Arborio rice is cooked slowly in chicken or vegetable broth while buttery sautéed mushrooms are folded in, creating a luscious, creamy side dish that is both comforting and flavorful.

The earthy mushrooms harmonize with the savory meatballs, adding a satisfying depth to your meal.

6. Couscous

If you’re looking for something different, try making couscous as a side dish for your Swedish meatballs.

This quick-cooking grain is incredibly versatile and can be seasoned with any type of herbs or spices you like to complement the flavor of the meatballs.

you can use couscous as a side dish for your swedish meatballs.

Looking to add an exotic twist to your Swedish meatball dinner? Consider serving them with saffron-infused couscous. 

The slightly nutty, spongy texture of the couscous complements the meatballs, while the hint of saffron adds an interesting and tantalizing layer of flavor.

You can add some golden raisins and pine nuts for extra texture, and you have a quick, simple, and delicious side dish.

7. Noodles

Another staple side to serve alongside Swedish meatballs is noodles. Whether it’s egg noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti—the options are endless and can easily be seasoned to bring out the delicious flavors of the meatballs.

The tender buttered egg noodles, combined with the velvety sauce, create a dish that will leave all your guests wanting more.

The key here is to cook the egg noodles until they are just tender, then toss them with a generous helping of butter, salt, and pepper.

When serving Swedish meatballs over buttered noodles is a classic combination that balances the richness of the meatballs with the delicate texture of the pasta.

8. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

A tried and true staple in many Scandinavian households, creamy mashed potatoes make for an excellent side dish due to their heavenly fluffy texture, and this is also my personal favorite.

To make this site, simply boil potatoes until tender, then mash them with a combination of butter, milk, and seasoning according to your taste preference.

 you can use creamy mashed potato as a side dish for your swedish meatballs
Creamy Mashed Potato

The comforting nature of the creamy mashed potatoes meshes perfectly with the scrumptious sauce of Swedish meatballs, making every spoonful phenomenal.

9. Pickled Cucumbers

The tangy flavor of pickled cucumbers can be an excellent match to the rich sauce of Swedish meatballs.

The acidity in the cucumbers helps to cut through the richness, creating a balanced and satisfying meal.

To make your own pickled cucumbers, slice up some fresh cucumbers and mix them with sugar, vinegar, water, and dill.

Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld. When serving, you can either plate them separately or create a small cucumber salad.

10. Lingonberry Sauce

There’s a reason why lingonberry sauce is commonly served with Swedish meatballs – it just works!

The sweet-tartness of the lingonberries perfectly complements the flavorful sauce of the meatballs. 

You can either purchase ready-made lingonberry sauce in specialty stores or make your own.

Simply cook lingonberries with sugar and water until it reaches your desired consistency; you can even add a splash of orange or lemon juice for added zing.

This delightful fruity addition will surely brighten up your meal.

11. Steamed Vegetables

Offering a healthy and refreshing touch to your plate, steamed vegetables couple superbly with the creamy dish.

Opt for choices such as green beans, broccoli, or carrots and steam them till tender yet crisp. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a touch of butter for a simple yet delicious side dish.

Not only does this option provide you with a nutrient boost, but it also adds a vibrant pop of color that is visually appealing on any plate.

12. Boiled Potatoes

Boiled potatoes are also a great way to add more substance to your meal. Simply boil some potatoes in salted water, then season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like for an easy side dish that goes perfectly with Swedish meatballs.

More: Best and Delicious Accompaniment to Fried Potatoes

13. Cauliflower Puree

For a healthier option, try making cauliflower puree as a side for your Swedish meatballs. The creamy texture and subtle vegetable flavor make it an excellent addition to any meal.

14. Green Beans

Green beans are another simple side dish that is the perfect partner for Swedish meatballs. Boil or steam some green beans, then season them with butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for a simple yet flavorful side dish.

15. Rice Pilaf

For an easy twist on plain white rice, you can try making a pilaf by sautéing onions in butter until golden brown before adding in some cooked rice.

 you can use rice pilaf as a side for your swedish meatballs
Rice Pilaf

Then, season it with herbs and spices for a flavorful side that goes great with Swedish meatballs.

16. Roasted Carrots

Roasting carrots adds a unique sweetness that matches perfectly with Swedish meatballs.

Simply cut up some carrots into thin pieces, toss them in olive oil and seasonings of your choice, then roast them in the oven until they are tender and golden brown.

17. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Another great vegetable side dish to go with Swedish meatballs is roasted brussels sprouts. You just simply cut them into wedges, toss in olive oil and seasonings, then roast them until they are tender and slightly charred on the outside.

18. Asparagus

Asparagus is a classic springtime side dish and one of the best partners for Swedish meatballs. You can roast or steam some asparagus spears, then season them with butter, lemon juice, garlic and herbs for a flavorful addition to your meal.

asparagus is a classic springtime side dish and one of the best partners for swedish meatballs

19. Roasted Squash

Roasting squash is an easy way to add color and flavor to your meal. Simply cut up some butternut, acorn, or kabocha squash into cubes and toss in olive oil and herbs before roasting until tender and golden brown.

20. Corn Pudding

For something unique yet familiar, try making corn pudding as a side for your Swedish meatballs. This creamy dish is made by combining cooked corn kernels with eggs, butter, cream, and seasonings of your choice for a delicious accompaniment to any meal.

21. Grilled Vegetables

If you’re looking for lighter food to serve with your Swedish meatballs, try grilling some vegetables.

Simply cut up some bell peppers, onions, or zucchini into strips and toss in olive oil with herbs and spices before grilling until they are lightly charred.

22. Baked Apples

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try baking apples as an interesting side dish for your Swedish meatballs.

Simply core out an apple, stuff it with butter and brown sugar, then bake until tender and golden brown for a unique sweet-savory side dish.

23. Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are a great way to add color and flavor to your meal. Simply slice a few sweet potatoes into cubes, toss in olive oil and seasonings of your choice, then bake until they are tender and lightly browned on the outside.

24. Macaroni Salad

For a classic picnic side dish that pairs nicely with Swedish meatballs, try making macaroni salad.

Boil some elbow macaroni according to package instructions, then combine with mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed and other seasonings for a flavorful side dish.

25. Potato Salad

Another summer favorite is potato salad which is an excellent accompaniment to Swedish meatballs.

 potato salad is an excellent accompaniment to swedish meatballs
Potato Salad

Boil some potatoes until tender, then mix in mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings of your choice for a creamy side dish that everyone will love.

26. Potato Gratin

I always prefer Potato gratin as it is an easy yet impressive way to serve potatoes as a side with Swedish meatballs.

Simply layer thinly sliced potatoes in a baking dish with cream, butter, and cheese before baking until golden brown on top.

you can serve potatoes as a side with Swedish meatballs.
Potato Gratin

27. Steamed Vegetables

For something light and healthy to serve alongside your Swedish meatballs, try steaming some vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or green beans for a quick and nutritious side dish.

Season them with herbs and spices or lemon juice for added flavor and color.

What are the best flavors to go with Swedish meatballs?

Traditional Swedish flavors such as dill, nutmeg, and allspice are classic choices for seasoning Swedish meatballs.

Other great options include adding a pinch of garlic powder, ground ginger, or white pepper for added depth and flavor.

You can also add some sweetness with brown sugar or honey. 

For an extra kick, you can try adding a few drops of hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce to the mixture before cooking.

Finally, don’t forget to top your meatballs off with fresh herbs like parsley or chives when they’re done cooking! Enjoy!

How do you jazz up Swedish meatballs?

The most traditional way to jazz up Swedish meatballs is to serve them with a creamy and flavorful gravy.

You can make the gravy from scratch or use a store-bought variety for a quick and easy meal. 

Another twist on classic Swedish meatball recipes is to substitute ingredients like ground turkey, chicken, or pork in place of the beef typically called for in the dish.

To add even more flavor and texture, you can try adding grated onion or garlic to the meat mixture before forming it into balls.

Or top each cooked meatball with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, thyme, oregano or basil.

Other creative ideas include topping them with pickled red onions, serving them with a tangy cranberry sauce or drizzling the meatballs with a reduced balsamic glaze.

Regardless of how you serve them, Swedish meatballs are sure to be a hit! Enjoy!

How should Swedish meatballs be served?

Swedish meatballs should be served hot with a side dish of creamy mashed potatoes or noodles. They can also be enjoyed with lingonberry jam, pickled cucumbers, and other condiments.

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are also served as part of a smörgåsbord (or Scandinavian buffet) along with dishes like herring, various salads and cheeses, rye bread or crackers, and boiled eggs.

If presented this way, the Swedish meatballs will often be accompanied by a savory gravy for dipping. 

With all these options available, it’s easy to see why Swedish meatballs have become such a popular meal around the world! Enjoy!

What is the best way to eat Swedish meatballs?

The best way to eat Swedish meatballs is to serve them with a creamy sauce such as gravy, sour cream sauce, or mushroom sauce.

It can also be served with mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, and lingonberry jam. 

For an extra special treat, consider adding some dill or parsley to the dish. For even more flavor, consider adding grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.

The most essential thing when it comes to Swedish meatballs is not to overcook them – they should remain juicy and tender. Enjoy!

FAQs on What do you serve with Swedish meatballs

Q1. What to serve after the Swedish meatballs? 

Serving a light, refreshing dessert is the perfect way to complete your Swedish meatball dinner. Try a simple apple-cinnamon crumble or a creamy custard with fresh berries for a classic finish.

Or, add a twist on tradition with an airy meringue pie or a creamy pannacotta.

Serve up some rich chocolate truffles or spiced cookies alongside coffee and tea for an elegant ending to your meal. No matter what you choose, your guests are sure to be impressed!

Q2. What gravy goes with Swedish meatballs? 

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are served with creamy brown gravy. This gravy is typically made using beef stock and cream and may also include the addition of Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and other seasonings to taste.

Alternatively, you could make a mushroom sauce or onion gravy to accompany your Swedish meatballs. These sauces can easily be adjusted to fit your tastes. For example, if you prefer a richer flavor, you could add some butter or sour cream; if you like your sauces on the lighter side, use broth instead of cream.

Finally, don’t forget to serve it all up with some mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam for an authentic Swedish meal experience! Enjoy!

Q3. What bread goes with Swedish meatballs? 

Swedish meatballs are usually served with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam, but they can also be enjoyed with a slice of crispy Swedish rye bread. The nutty flavor of rye pairs nicely with the rich creaminess of the meatballs, making it a perfect accompaniment to this dish.

You could even opt for some homemade potato pancakes or a side of roasted vegetables to round out your meal. No matter what you choose, Swedish meatballs are sure to be a hit when served with any type of bread. Enjoy!

Q4. How many meatballs do you get in IKEA meal?

The IKEA meatball dinner typically comes with eight meatballs. However, some locations may offer more or less depending on the size of the serving. The meal also usually includes mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam. It is a traditional Swedish dish that has been served in IKEA restaurants around the world for over fifty years. Enjoy!

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