Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce




Swedish is such a beautiful language. Not that I understand a word of it but it just sounds so wonderful.  I only know three words in Swedish,  Svenska, Köttbullar and Ikea.

The first time I ate Swedish meatballs was actually in New York. It was truely love at first bite.

A friend was having them for lunch and I just couldn’t believe how good they were. I’ve been making them for a long time now and they never bore me. That creamy sauce and the hint of Dill is just perfect. I always make the cranberry sauce with it too since I can’t eat the meatballs without it. Originally it is served with a Lingonberry jam, but we don’t have them here. The cranberry is related to the Lingonberry, known also as the mountain cranberry, so that’s good enough for me.

Either way all berries are very healthy so I’m making cranberry sauce to go with the meatballs.

Serves: 4

Ingredients Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 C. fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp.  parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp.  Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • fresh ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil + 1 tbsp. butter


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C. Beef stock, from a cube is fine
  • 1/2 C. full fat Crème fraîche mixed with 1 tsp. corn starch *see note below
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. chopped Dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Swedish meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce


First start by gently cooking the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a bowl soak the bread crumbs in the two tablespoons of milk. Add the ground beef, parsley, dill, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg yolk. Mix until combined.

Roll into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.  In a large skillet heat olive oil and one tablespoon butter. Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

For the sauce add the butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth,  bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add the crème fraîche . Bring to a very low simmer and add the meatballs back to the pan and heat thru. Sprinkle over fresh chopped Dill. I like a lot of dill but use as much as you like.

Serve over egg noodles, rice or French fries. Serve with the Cranberry sauce.

*Note: crème fraîche can curdle especially the low fat kind so you need to use full fat, this prevents the proteins from clinging to each other when heated, resulting in a curdled mess. Also the corn starch acts as an extra prevention and keeps everything together.

Cranberry Tangerine Sauce:

  • 1/2 C. fresh tangerine juice
  • 3/4 C. Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 ounces whole cranberries


In a medium saucepan, combine in the juice, the cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Ladle into glass jars. Keep in the refrigerator. Keeps for a couple of weeks or you could freeze some of it.


18 thoughts on “Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Tangerine sauce

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