Mom’s Swedish Meatballs and Rice is a family and budget friendly dinner that feeds 6 with one pound of hamburger meat… and it’s delicious!Mom's Swedish Meatballs and Rice is a family and budget friendly dinner that feeds 6 with one pound of hamburger meat... and it's delicious!
When I was growing up, my mother sure knew how to stretch a dollar! Mom’s Swedish Meatballs and Rice was one of the meals she fed our family of 5. She did this using only 1 pound of hamburger meat, a few other ingredients and served these delicious meatballs and gravy with rice! We LOVED this meal!

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Fast forward over 40 years later, and I still make this scrumptious meal! Now… my Mom is about as far from being Swedish as one could imagine (she’s a Texas gal), yet this was the name given it when I copied down the recipe from her over 40 years ago! Trust me, Swedish meatballs, with gravy and rice is a fantastic tasting dinner (the leftovers are awesome, as well).

Swedish meatballs are super simple to make, the gravy is even easier, and it’s fairly impossible to mess up a pan of rice, right?  Trust me when I say this is simple meal to prepare; it’s a great way to feed several people a filling meal without breaking the bank! if you like meatballs, be sure and check out some of my other meatball recipes, including Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti, Meatballs Stroganoff, Hawaiian Meatballs, and Hoisin Asian Meatballs.

How To Make Swedish Meatballs

Here’s what you do:  Place the meatball ingredients in large bowl and mix well, to combine (ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, onion, salt, pepper & nutmeg).

Hamburger meat, onions and spices ready to make Swedish meatballs.

Mixing ingredients for Swedish meatballs in large mixing bowl.

Scoop out a small portion of meat, and roll it between your clean hands to form 1 inch sized meatballs. A full pound of ground beef “should” yield about 24-25 small meatballs. I was using slightly less than a full pound and ended up with 22 Swedish meatballs. Set meatballs on waxed paper or foil until all have been formed.

Meatballs are formed out of hamburger meat and spices, etc.
Brown The Swedish Meatballs

Heat shortening in large skillet (may substitute oil, if necessary). When skillet is hot, add meatballs in single layer. Let brown on one side, then carefully turn to brown all sides (I use tongs). If necessary, add additional shortening or oil to prevent sticking.  When meatballs are browned on all sides, remove them to a large plate to rest.  Keep meatballs warm.

Swedish meatballs are browned in skillet.

The Swedish meatballs are browned on all sides.

Make The Gravy

Now it’s time to make the gravy!  Using the same pan (without cleaning it out), add hot water to meat drippings in skillet. Stir to mix and heat on low, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. This will help “de-glaze” the pan, and will incorporate all those yummy browned bits off the bottom of the skillet into your gravy.

Hot water is added to Swedish meatball drippings in skillet to begin making gravy.

The browned bits in skillet from cooking Swedish meatballs go into the gravy.

Now add the water/flour mixture to the hot water mixture in skillet. Whisk well as you pour, to fully combine ingredients. Bring the gravy to a boil. The gravy will begin to thicken as you heat and stir it. Once thickened, taste test, and season gravy with salt/pepper, if desired.

Water, flour, and seasonings poured into Swedish meatballs gravy.

Whisking ingredients for Swedish meatballs gravy in skillet.

Add Swedish Meatballs Back Into The Skillet

Once gravy has thickened, add the browned meatballs back into the skillet. Turn to coat each meatball with gravy. Put a lid on the skillet, and cook on low for 30 minutes. Check occasionally.

If necessary, add a bit more water to skillet and mix it in, to ensure you have enough gravy. You just gotta have enough gravy for Swedish meatballs, right?

Mom's Swedish meatballs are added back into gravy in skillet.

While meatballs are cooking, cook rice using your “normal” method (I use a rice cooker).  When meatballs and rice are done, the meal is ready. Make sure to coat the Swedish meatballs in gravy before placing on serving platter.

Mom's Swedish Meatballs finish cooking in the gravy.

Serve The Swedish Meatballs And Rice

To serve, arrange the cooked hot rice in a ring shape on a serving platter.  Place sprigs of fresh parsley around the rice. Carefully place the Swedish meatballs into the center of the ring. Pour remaining gravy over the meatballs.  Serve HOT, and enjoy this delicious meal!

Mom's Swedish Meatballs with gravy are served on top of a bed of rice.

I love recipes that don’t cost an arm and a leg to prepare for my family. This simple Swedish meatballs meal fits the bill perfectly, and tastes fantastic, too!  Hope you will consider making this “comfort food” dish for those you love. It really does taste wonderful! 

Blessings to you on this day. Thanks for stopping by, and please come back again soon. Also be sure to check out ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page.

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Recipe Source: My MOM (over 40 years ago)

0 from 0 votes
Mom's Swedish Meatballs and Rice
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Mom's Swedish Meatballs and Rice is a family and budget friendly dinner that feeds 6 with one pound of hamburger meat... and it's delicious!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: Swedish meatballs
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 454 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
For meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg , well beaten
  • 1 small brown onion (or 1/2 large), finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Shortening , approx. 2 Tablespoons (to cook meatballs in-may substitute oil)
For gravy:
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 6 Tablespoons cold water
  • Salt and pepper (to season)
For accompaniment:
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice (I used 2 cups dry rice to start, for quantity shown)
  • Butter (for rice, if desired)
  • Fresh parsley sprigs , for garnish (optional)
  1. Place ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl. Mix well, to combine. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs; set formed meatballs onto wax paper or foil.
  2. Heat shortening (or oil) in large skillet on medium heat. Add meatballs to hot oil in single layer. Brown on all sides (a minute or two per side). If necessary, add additional shortening (or oil) if necessary, to prevent sticking. When meatballs are fully browned, remove them to a plate, and keep warm.
  3. Add hot water back into skillet (DO NOT CLEAN OUT SKILLET). Stir while cooking on low, to deglaze the skillet and scrape up the flavorful browned bits off bottom of skillet. In a separate small bowl, combine cold water and flour. Mix really well, to remove lumps. Add this mixture to hot liquid in skillet, whisking well while adding. Continue to whisk gravy to remove any lumps. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often until mixture thickens. Taste gravy... add salt and pepper to season, if desired.
  4. Add meatballs back into skillet. Turn to coat with gravy. Put a lid on the skillet; cook meatballs and gravy for 30 minutes, adding additional water to gravy, if necessary, to ensure there will be enough gravy (as gravy will cook down a bit).
  5. While meatballs are cooking, prepare rice (using the method you normally use to cook rice).
  6. When meatballs and rice are done, place cooked rice in a ring shape around outside of serving platter. Garnish rice with sprigs of fresh parsley. Carefully spoon the meatballs into center of ring, and pour gravy over the top of meatballs. Serve hot, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Mom's Swedish Meatballs and Rice
Amount Per Serving (4 meatballs + rice)
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 978mg43%
Potassium 342mg10%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mom\'s Swedish Meatballs and Rice

10 Comments on Mom’s Swedish Meatballs and Rice

  1. Something told me not to use water when deglazing the pan, so I used beef broth instead and I added Dijon mustard and a little Worcestershire sauce to the gravy to add flavor. My guys loved it!

  2. I have a Rice a Roni pilaf mix. I usually use a bed of bow tie pasta but am trying rice instead. Question, are the spherical balls just a matter of aesthetics? Because I find turning a meatball eight times is difficult. Are mini patties ok too? I just donโ€™t need balls in my life. Too complicated. I just made the moderator laugh. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

  3. Good Quarantine Recipe- I have frozen meatballs so I can still do the gravy and rice! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Awesome, Jennifer! So glad you hand some frozen meatballs on hand. Way to be resourceful! Take care, and thanks for writing.

    • Good morning, Shannon! Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I appreciate you letting me know your experience with this recipe. I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed the Swedish meatballs and rice. We enjoy them too, and I make them quite often. Hope you have a fantastic rest of your weekend.

    • I bet it would taste just as good. The rice would take a bit longer to cook, and would taste a bit “nuttier”, but don’t think that would impact the dish in the least!Thanks for taking time to write! Have a great day.

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