Swedish Meatballs in White serving bowl
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5 from 3 votes

Swedish Meatballs

These easy to make, lean turkey meatballs are lighter than traditional Swedish Meatballs, but are still packed with flavor and served in a delicious creamy sauce. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Swedish
Servings: 4
Calories: 436kcal
Author: Kristen Chidsey


Swedish Meatballs

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Swedish Meatball Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock or turkey stock
  • 1 cup half and half or milk/cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


Swedish Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Soak 2 slices of bread (whole wheat, white, or gluten-free) in 1/4 cup milk.
  • While bread is soaking, heat skillet over medium heat, and melt butter.
  • Saute onions and herbs until softened in melted butter. Remove from heat.
  • In large mixing bowl, mix together onions, bread, milk, seasonings and egg until well combined.
  • Add ground turkey to mixture and mix meatball mixture with your hands, as to not overwork your meatballs.
  • Scoop the meatball mixture with a medium cookie scoop unto rimmed sheet pan.
  • Pour 1 cup chicken or turkey stock around meatballs. This trick allows meatballs to stay moist and tender and lower in fat.
  • Bake meatballs for 25 minutes.

Swedish Meatball Sauce

  • Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour, until a thick paste forms.
  • Cook off raw flour for 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add in chicken or turkey stock, whisking to incorporate.
  • Season with salt, pepper, freshly grated nutmeg and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme.
  • Bring gravy to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Add in half and half and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is thick, whisking often.
  • Remove thyme sprigs and add in Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Serve Sauce over Baked Meatballs.


  • You can use pork or beef (or combination of the two) in place of the ground turkey for a more traditional Swedish Meatball.
  • Be sure all your Swedish Meatballs are the same size before baking. This ensures even bake time.
  • Feel free to omit fresh thyme, this is not traditional, I just find it adds tons of flavor. 
  • Freshly grated nutmeg is so much better than ground nutmeg. 
  • To keep this meatball recipe even lighter, use milk in place of half and half in Swedish Meatball Sauce.


Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1125mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2.5mg