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These keto Swedish meatballs capture all the creamy, comforting flavor of a classic recipe into a grain-free main dish that only takes 15 minutes of hands-on time. Similar to my ground beef stroganoff and ground chicken meatballs, this recipe combines ground beef and spices with a mouthwatering cream sauce. It’s a little bit inspired by my visits to IKEA with my kids, who love the Swedish meatballs there.
This recipe is just one of 100 comforting dishes in my second cookbook: The Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook! The book version includes instructions for this dish with spaghetti squash, but here you’ll find just the basic meatballs and choose what to serve them with. Inside the cookbook, you’ll find keto-friendly versions of all the high-carb foods you might miss on this lifestyle… including pasta, breads, desserts, and so much more.
Are Swedish Meatballs Keto?
Most Swedish meatballs are not keto, since they often contain breadcrumbs or soaked bread in addition to a flour-thickened gravy. This keto Swedish meatballs recipe makes a few simple swaps to these ingredients to create the same delectable textures without the added carbs.
Why You’ll Love This Keto Swedish Meatball Recipe
- Meaty, savory flavors with classic taste
- Rich, creamy sauce
- Uses simple ingredients
- 15 minutes of hands-on prep time
- 2.2 grams net carbs per serving
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for keto Swedish meatballs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
For The Meatballs:
- Crushed Pork Rinds – A delicious low carb and gluten-free alternative to breadcrumbs. Get an unflavored variety, or learn how to make pork rinds yourself. You can also use almond flour instead.
- Spices – Sea salt, black pepper, allspice, and nutmeg (optional). I didn’t add garlic powder (one of the few savory recipes I have without it, ha!), but that would also be a nice addition.
- Heavy Cream – Keeps the meatballs moist! You can also use a different keto milk substitute, but the flavor may be different and the meatballs may be more dry.
- Egg – Use a whole, large egg. A flax egg is fine to substitute.
- Onion – Optional, but adds traditional flavor. Grate it so it incorporates seamlessly with the ground meat.
- Ground Beef – I prefer mine grass-fed, but use any variety of ground beef you like. You can also use ground pork, ground turkey, or a combination of any of these.
- Olive Oil – For browning the meatballs. You can also use avocado oil, or any other neutral oil.
For The Keto Swedish Meatball Sauce:
- Butter – I use grass-fed butter, but any unsalted variety works.
- Beef Bone Broth – Adds a beefy flavor to the sauce. Store bought bone broth is fine, but I do have a shortcut for homemade bone broth which is even better. Regular beef broth is okay to use, but may take longer to reduce and will be less flavorful.
- Heavy Cream – Makes the sauce creamy. Full-fat coconut milk is fine to substitute. I wouldn’t recommend thinner milk options, such as almond milk, unless you add additional cream cheese or thicken with something else, such as sour cream.
- Cream Cheese – Thickens the sauce naturally, without a flour roux, and makes it more creamy at the same time. This is one of my favorite cornstarch substitutes for cream sauces like this one.
How To Make Keto Swedish Meatballs
This section shows how to make low carb Swedish meatballs, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make meatball base. In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients for meatballs, then whisk in heavy cream, egg, and onion (if using).
- Add beef. Gently mix in the ground beef.
TIP: Don’t overwork the meatball mixture.
Meatballs will be tough if you handle them too much; this is why we add the meat last. Blend the ingredients until just incorporated.
- Form. Form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and set aside on a baking sheet.
- Cook. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry meatballs until browned and fully cooked. Set cooked meatballs aside and work in batches until all meatballs are browned.
- Make sauce. Wipe the pan and melt butter over medium heat. Add beef broth and heavy cream, and simmer until volume reduces by half.
- Make it creamy. Reduce heat and stir in cream cheese until melted.
TIP: Thin out the sauce if needed.
If the sauce is thicker than you like, you can thin out with more cream, broth, or both to get the consistency you like.
- Combine. Return meatballs to the pan and coat in the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Store leftover keto Swedish meatballs in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also make raw meatballs up to 2 days ahead of time, then prepare the rest of the recipe as directed.
Can Swedish Meatballs Be Frozen?
Swedish meatballs can store safely in the freezer without the sauce. Avoid freezing the sauce, as the dairy in it can split after thawing and create an unpleasant texture.
Reheat leftovers with sauce in the oven or on the stovetop for gentle heating if possible, but the microwave will also work. For frozen meatballs, thaw overnight, make the sauce fresh on the stove, and add meatballs to the sauce to reheat.
What To Serve With Keto Swedish Meatballs
- Pasta Swaps – Plate your meatballs with keto egg noodles, zucchini noodles, or baked spaghetti squash (shown in the pictures!).
- Rice Swaps – Try these meatballs with cauliflower rice, shirataki rice, or mushroom cauliflower risotto.
- Potato Swaps – Serve fried radishes or roasted rutabaga with this dish instead of potatoes.
More Keto Meatball Recipes
Love meatballs? There are so many ways to enjoy them and stay keto!
Tools To Make Low Carb Swedish Meatballs
Healthy Keto Swedish Meatballs
This reader favorite recipe is included in The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook! Inside this beautiful hard cover keto recipe book, you’ll find 100 delectable, EASY keto recipes to replace all your favorite carbs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, desserts, and more… each with 10 ingredients or less! Plus, a photo, macros, & tips for every recipe.
Keto Swedish Meatballs (Easy & Creamy!)
A flavorful, creamy sauce and warm spices make these keto Swedish meatballs taste like authentic ones, all with no flour, quick prep, and just 2g net carbs.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, stir together the pork rinds, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg, if using.
Whisk in the 1/4 cup (59 mL) heavy cream, egg, and grated onion, if using.
Mix in the ground beef just until incorporated. Do not overmix, or else meatballs may come out tough.
Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place onto a baking sheet.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry meatballs for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until browned and cooked through. Remove the meatballs to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Wipe out the sauté pan with a paper towel. Add the butter and melt over medium heat.
Add the beef bone broth and 1/2 cup (118 mL) heavy cream. Increase heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until volume is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to low, so that the sauce is no longer simmering. Stir in the cream cheese, until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, thin out with more cream and/or broth as needed.
Return the meatballs to the pan and coat in sauce.
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Serving size: 6 small meatballs with sauce
Recipe from the Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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