Scandinavian Meatballs

First off, I’d like to apologize if you follow both me and Russ of The Domestic Man – I had no idea that we would both be publishing a version of Swedish Meatballs this week.  In fact, I was going to post this yesterday, but decided against it when I saw it was his recipe for the day.  In fact I almost held it back for the Ever Elusive Cookbook, but decided that one can never have too many gluten-free Swedish meatball recipes, and that there are enough differences in both to justify posting mine, as well, with a slightly different name.  If nothing else, this is nut and grain-free, and can be made dairy-free (and Whole30) too.

Second, I’ve not been tagging my recipes “dairy free” if they have ghee in them (since it started life as butter), but have since changed my mind; I figured if ghee is allowed on Whole30, which is a dairy free regimen, then it wouldn’t hurt to tag recipes including ghee, but no other form of dairy, as dairy free.  You can always opt for another form of fat if you need or prefer.

Anyhoo, this is the meatball dish that The G Man would not eat, but I don’t think it was because of the meatballs themselves – he was just being contrary and wouldn’t eat anything on his plate that evening if it wasn’t peanut butter and jelly and chocolate milk.  The rest of us loved them, especially Beloved, who is a Swedish meatball fiend.  The leftovers reheated very well the next day, too.

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients – it’s just a meatball recipe and as such, is pretty easy.  I served this over gluten-free pasta for the kids, and Beloved and I had it over a lovely roasted parsnip pureé.   It would also be nice with a cauliflower mash or the more traditional boiled potatoes if you eat them.

Note:  I’ve given options for coconut flour or potato flour in the recipe, simply because some people do not care for coconut, as well as the option to use coconut milk or half and half in the gravy.  If you opt for the coconut flour and milk, this will be Whole30 compliant.

Scandinavian Meatballs
Scandinavian Meatballs
Scandinavian Meatballs

Serves: 8
  • Meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons ghee [b]OR[/b] butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour [b]OR[/b] potato flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Frying
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour [b]OR[/b] potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons tallow or other fat suitable for frying
  • Gravy
  • 2 cups beef stock, preferably homemade, divided
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk [b]OR[/b] half and half
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Melt the ghee or butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently but thoroughly combine the ground beef and onion with the remaining meatball ingredients. Roll into 2-ounce meatballs and set aside.
  3. Using a pie plate or other wide, shallow dish, roll the meatballs in the coconut or potato flour until coated. Heat the tallow in a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and fry the meatballs, in batches and adding more tallow if necessary, until they are browned on the outside. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Without cleaning the skillet, reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low; add 1 1/2 cups of the beef stock and the nutmeg. Return the meatballs and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Cover and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk the tapioca flour into the remaining half cup of beef stock and slowly stir it into the meatballs in the pan. Stir in the coconut milk or half and half and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 453 calories, 19.2g total fat, 92.9mg cholesterol, 681.7mg sodium, 559.9mg potassium, 41.9g carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 2.4g sugar, 28.6g protein


12 thoughts on “Scandinavian Meatballs”

  1. I have a meatball-loving man. However, we eat wheat etc. Can I generally assume that I can sub in wheat for your other flours? At least in non-baking recipes?

  2. whoo hoo! I have some grass fed ground beef that wants to be a sweedish meatball at home! Thanks Jan- By the way- nearing the end (but not neccessarily going off) the whole 30 and am down 8 pounds. YAY It is funny I thought giving up alcohol was going to be harder than it was.

  3. This recipe is so amazing. It was the confidence booster I needed to get back on paleo cooking (have had too many untastey meals lately). Thank you

  4. Husband and I are doing our first Whole30. Made this for dinner tonight. Absolutely delicious! I’ve never tried tapioca starch as a thickener before, but it worked beautifully. Thanks!

  5. So, as a time saver I made this as you would a sausage gravy. That way there is no rolling and frying meatballs. Delish over cauliflower mash or a sweet potato.

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