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Ikea's Famous Meatball Recipe Debunked! but, How Do We Make It?

Before pursuing his education, Nigel was a cook for two years in several restaurants specializing in Malaysian and international cuisine.

A plate of meatballs from the IKEA cafe

A plate of meatballs from the IKEA cafe

Some time in April 2020, at a time when the whole world was in the middle of a lock down, IKEA United Kingdom released the recipe for their world famous meatballs. When we go to IKEA, sometimes it isn't just to purchase furniture, IKEA is home to some really good food that most of us may enjoy. The restaurant & cafe we know today is thanks to the genius idea of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA.

Ingvar was the one who decided to add a restaurant & cafe so that the customers would have a good meal while they shop for furniture, Ingvar also insisted that the restaurant serve authentic Swedish cuisine, in an aim to introduce the Swedish cuisine to the world.

The chef behind the famous meatball recipe

Chef Severin Sjöstedt

Chef Severin Sjöstedt

However, it was in 1985 when IKEA Chef Severin Sjöstedt created the Swedish Meatball recipe loved by so many today. Chef Severin spent a year perfecting the dish so that it can go global.

Swedish meatballs is definitely an authentic dish for the Swedes, usually served with boiled potatoes, veggies and a local favorite, lingonberry jam, on top of a creamy brown gravy.

Fun Fact

There is a National Meatball day being celebrated in Sweden and around the world which falls on the 9th of March in 2021!

Swedish meatballs served with French Fries

Swedish meatballs served with French Fries

While the recipe was mostly kept out of the streets for the most part of IKEA's existence, it took a worldwide lock down for IKEA United Kingdom to debunk the recipe on social media.

In Malaysia, IKEA is considered one of the go-to places when one wants to buy furniture, just kidding, Malaysians love to eat, therefore, visiting the IKEA restaurant comes first in the list and furniture second.

IKEA restaurant in Malaysia would be packed especially during lunch-time, all for the love of Swedish Meatballs.

An almost packed Ikea Restaurant in Malaysia.

An almost packed Ikea Restaurant in Malaysia.

We love Swedish Meatballs so much, during the lock down there were messages on Social Media that IKEA United Kingdom just released the recipe for the meatballs.

Everyone started sharing it and somehow the message came to me as well and i was immediately excited to try out this recipe.

In all honesty, when i found out about the recipe, i immediately asked my family whether they want to eat Swedish Meatballs for dinner, that was how huge the "Hype" was.

Here's IKEA's video on the history of their Swedish Meatballs

Here's the recipe card that IKEA provided

The Recipe Card for IKEA's famous Swedish Meatballs

The Recipe Card for IKEA's famous Swedish Meatballs

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

1 hour

1 hour 30 min

Serves 4

Scroll to Continue

Ingredients for the dish

For the meatball:

  • 500 grams/1.1 pounds* beef mince*
  • 250 grams/0.5 pounds Pork Mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk, whole milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, season to go
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper, season to go

For the creamy brown sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 40 grams/0.08 pounds butter
  • 40 grams/0.08 pounds plain flour
  • 150 milliliters vegetable stock
  • 150 millilitres beef stock
  • 150 milliliters thick double cream
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

For the mash (bonus):

  • 4 Idaho potatoes
  • 150 millilitres milk
  • 3-4 cubes butter

For the halal version which is denoted with a (*), you can skip the pork part of the recipe and add 250 grams/0.5 pounds of beef mince, which makes it a total of 750 grams/1.65 pounds of beef mince.

Instructions for the recipe

  1. Combine the beef mince and the pork mince (beef only for the halal version) into one bowl, let them know each other while in there.
  2. Add finely chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg and mix it, add the milk and season it. (You can take one small chunk out to a pan and fry it first before forming the balls).
  3. Shape the mixture into small round balls, place it on a clean plate and cover it up and store in the fridge for 2 hours which will help them form their shape while cooking.
  4. In a frying pan, crank the heat up to medium heat, when it is hot, slowly add the meatballs one by one into the pan, let it brown on all sides and remove once done.
  5. Once it is brown, line the meatballs up in an oven-friendly tray and cover it with aluminium foil, place it in a hot oven at 180 Celsius / 360 Fahrenheit for convectional oven and 160 Celsius/320 Fahrenheit for fan oven, let it sit in there for 30 minutes.
  6. As for the sauce, melt the butter in the pan, whisk in 40g of plain flour and stir it for 2 minutes or until there isn't any raw flour smell.
  7. Add all the stocks (Vegetable & Beef stock) slowly to prevent lumps, stir until your sauce coats the back of a spoon, then add the double cream, soy sauce and mustard, bring it up to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken.
  8. For the mash, boil the Idaho potatoes for 30 minutes or until all soften (best to do this step while cooking the meatballs).
  9. Once the potatoes are done, skin the potatoes and add the milk and butter and start mashing it until smooth.
  10. Serve it like how they serve in IKEA with a side of Lingonberry sauce and an optional chopped chives garnish on top.

Here's a video on how to make a roux, this is important for the sauce.

This is my version of the meatballs

My version of the Meatballs, substituted the potatoes for pasta.

My version of the Meatballs, substituted the potatoes for pasta.

Don't be afraid to substitute.

First and foremost, IKEA released the recipe so that we can try to cook it at home, it is the best time for us to revamp the dish a little with our own creativity.

Oh, you don't like pork? no problem, beef is tasty as well, replace the pork part with additional 250 grams/0.5 pounds of beef mince.

For instance, if you don't like potato mash or anything potato, replace it with a nice and simple Agio Olio pasta (recipe coming soon!) or you could just replace it with rice.

Another one, if you don't have lingonberry jam at hand, it is okay to use Raspberry/Strawberry jam as a replacement, all of them have similar flavors.

Vegetables? put what you want, broccoli, peas, green beans and what other veggie you feel like adding into the plate.

Here's one substitute you can use as well!

© 2020 Nigel Koay


Nigel Koay (author) from Malaysia on November 24, 2020:

Hey Liza, one of my principles in life is to be inclusive of everyone, hehe, thanks for reading the article!

Liza from USA on November 24, 2020:

Yum! I often heard from my siblings in Malaysia they love eating at Ikea's restaurant. One of the reasons is because of the meatballs. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Nigel, and thanks for mentioning the halal part as well.

Nigel Koay (author) from Malaysia on November 23, 2020:

Hey Peggy, thanks so much, it was a pleasure cooking up these meatballs!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2020:

I have enjoyed eating those IKEA meatballs once or twice. They are tasty! It is generous of IKEA to give out their recipe so that we can make it at home. Thanks for helping to publicize it. I pinned this to my meats board.

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