Grama Elva’s Swedish meatballs


                  Great grandparents                                                 Grampa Adolph

Grampa Adolph worked in the brickyard in the small town of Troy, Idaho. He was a quiet man who barely spoke and when he did he had a broken accent. His parents had emigrated from Sweden and while his older siblings were born there, he was born in America.

He married Elva Sodestrom and they had three girls who were raised in a loving but strict household. My mother was the eldest of these girls and has always treasured her Swedish heritage. Elva was a feisty little lady who made the best cinnamon rolls, maple bars and sweets. She left an indelible impression that has never faded.

My mother never forgot her Swedish roots and continued with the tradition of making these special meatballs. She would make large batches for family reunions and when she came to Saudi she enlisted the kids help in rolling and frying them.

As you will see these meatballs are not low-fat! I am sure you can alter this recipe to make it less fatty which I have tried a few times. I am posting the original recipe not a low fat version!


2 pounds ground beef

1 cup finely chopped onions

2 eggs slightly beaten

1  cup milk

1 cup fine bread crumbs

1 1/2  tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. nutmeg


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

4 beef bouillon cubes

3 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups light cream or half and half

Butter for frying meatballs


Soften breadcrumbs in milk

Mix ground beef, breadcrumbs and all other meatball ingredients until well combined

Roll ground beef mixture into 1 inch balls

Place a small amount of butter in a large saute pan and brown meatballs on all sides. Fry until thoroughly cooked. You will have to work in batches with this larger recipe. When cooked, remove to a baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix water and bouillon cubes on medium heat until dissolved, set aside. Melt 1/2 cup butter and add flour, mix until smooth and bubbly. Add milk, cream and bouillon to flour mixture and stir until smooth and thickened. Pour sauce over meatballs and bake in oven an additional 30 minutes.

My mother’s original directions are listed below. I changed them a bit to suit my needs.


67 thoughts on “Grama Elva’s Swedish meatballs

  1. This looks yummy! I think I had something similar in Sweden years ago. Wanted to ask for seconds but was too shy – afterwards I saw the leftovers in the dog’s bowl! awww
    I’ve been making a lot of meatballs lately. I haven’t settled yet on any one recipe over another, but they are great when expecting a crowd around. Pork and veal mince also makes a great, although lighter meatball. I’ve only been coating mine lightly in sauce so they can be eaten with a toothpick. I’ve also found them very useful for my brother who has trouble digesting anything as he has stomach and oesophagus cancer. Do they freeze once they’ve had the sauce added?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynz, this is like looking at my grandmother or mother cooking meatballs! I had to laugh at how this is not low in calories…this seems to so true for many Swedish recipes from my grandmother’s time. My mother now drastically reduces the sugar etc in baking recipes! Lovely to learn about Adolph and Elva! They’ve already made quite an impression on me from your descriptions (quite the writer!). 😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lynne, I had to share this blog and recipe with Don. He really remembers your grandparents and great grandmother when she lived with Aunt Ruth. The first time I went to a Swedish “potluck” with your relatives, I was overwhelmed with all the tasty food and never got over it. I adored your grandmother Elva and do remember Adolph was very quiet. Such fond memories. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww, my great Grandparents came from Sweden. They chose New England (Rockport Massachusetts) since the rocky ocean view reminded them of fjords and Swedish boating and shipping port towns. 💕 My Grandpa didn’t know any recipes so mainly I was raised with my German Grandma who mainly made delicious desserts and breakfast kuchen and strudels. Yummy!
    I may try this Swedish meatballs recipe someday! Thanks, Lynn! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello. How are you doing? Happy St Patrick’s Day. Enjoyed reading this post and the history. I wish I had my grandparents recipe’s although Mark has his Grandma Helen’s recipe’s that I have been copying and hope to you in our blogs. You are a very lucky to have those. Look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.