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I guess I should start by saying that several meatballs were harmed/consumed in the production of this recipe. Half way through writing this blurb, my internet went out and I lost the entire thing. So here I am typing it out again with several fists filled with leftover meatballs. Sorry meal prep, you were so close to being complete!
Anyhow, a decent amount of research went into this post, and by research I mean a trip to Ikea and an hour or so of research, because let’s face it- what even are Swedish meatballs and are they really that different from a regular meatball? So turns out, both meatballs include onion, breadcrumbs and a ground protein of choice (typically beef, pork or turkey) however Swedish meatballs typically include spices and flavors such as nutmeg and all spice whereas traditional or “Italian” meatballs include oregano, black pepper, chili and parsley. Another difference is the sauce in which it is served. Italian meatballs are usually served with a tomato type marinara sauce whereas Swedish meatballs are served with a savory white gravy.
So with Ikea’s Swedish meatballs having such hype around them (at least here in Columbus after Ikea opened it’s doors here in 2017) I decided to put my cooking game to the test and try out this healthier alternative. Meatballs can get a bad name at times due to the “meat makeup”. Anyone remember back in 2013 when Ikea pulled their meatballs from all stores after allegedly being composed of horse meat? If I can make it myself, I’m going to do that over buying anything because I can control what is in it!
After choosing to make this recipe last night, I came to discover that I was entertaining my in-laws for dinner. I always freak out making a new recipe for guests, I don’t like the stress of having everything perfect without a little “dress rehearsal”. But… this was so simple! Honestly, it made for a great “bulk” meal as I could prep the gravy and meatballs ahead of time so when they arrived I just needed to boil the pasta, and do a one-pot wonder on the gravy and onion mix. Plus, everyone loved it! I have to admit, there wasn’t enough gravy for Grandma’s liking so I adjusted this recipe for you so that it would provide more.
This would also be a great recipe for a “cook once/eat twice” as it would easily keep in the fridge overnight and heated for lunch. So give this a try and then let me know in the comments below: Are you Team Sweden or Team Italy?