Copycat Swedish Meatballs for Two: this post is sponsored by Vital Proteins, a product I’ve used for over a year and love, and am so happy to finally partner with them!
I finally feel vindicated for the insanely high number of food magazines to which I subscribe. I read an article last month about a chef who makes the best meatballs. I wish I could tell you which chef, but if you saw my magazine collection from this month alone, you would understand. Anyway, this chef accredited his incredibly tender and perfect meatballs to powdered gelatin. Since I always have some gelatin in my pantry for my next small batch homemade marshmallows fix, I was immediately interested.
I was also convinced by Emily that making meatballs in the food processor was another key to making them amazingly tender. With these two bits of information, I set out to make copycat Swedish meatballs for two.
Since I cook for two, I knew we would be scaling this down. The only problem is, I couldn’t decide how many meatballs serve two people. Lately, we’ve been having days where we work through lunch and show up to the dinner table absolutely starving. So, 5-6 meatballs on a hungry day, maybe 3-4 meatballs with leftovers for lunch on a regular day. As you can see in my skillet, this recipe makes 13 small meatballs.
So, yes, these meatballs, with the addition of powdered gelatin and a quick stint in the food processor are incredible. Just when I thought meatballs couldn’t get any better, we bring the sour cream sauce to the party. It’s a skillet dinner for two that I just can’t stop thinking about.
Can we talk a little more about Vital Proteins (the brand of powdered gelatin I used today)? Last year, I scored a sample of Vital Proteins collagen peptides in a swag bag at a conference, took it home, and whirred it into a cup of coffee (like all my cool blogging friends taught me to do), and I was instantly hooked. It’s totally tasteless–if anything, it adds a bit of froth and foam to your coffee.
I kept up my habit of adding collagen to my coffee and tea because I loved getting a hit of protein first thing in the morning. I have a noticeable boost of energy if I put a scoop into my morning beverage. Then, over the past few months (since life is crazy), I ran out of collagen and never replaced my jar. I don’t really think it’s a coincidence that the joints in my hand starting aching again (see my post about A Week in the Life of a Food Blogger for the background story). I started using the collagen again about 3 weeks ago, and my hand feels much better.
I’ve never really been someone to take supplements, but I am someone that is willing to jump on any bandwagon in the name of health, happiness, or more energy. I’ve always been happy to add the latest superfood to my diet, whether it’s a green smoothie, chia seeds, vegan recipes, coconut oil, turmeric, or anything else. However, I usually fall off of the bandwagon rather quickly. But, collagen is one habit that I will continue probably for the rest of my life. I’m currently on a mission to get my mom to try it, too.
When Vital Proteins reached out to me, I was insanely excited to find out they had expanded their product line to include bone broth powders, grass-fed gelatin powders, and even marine collagen. (As you know, I’m a big fan of grass-fed products for my family). I used a scoop of the collagen peptides in my Omega 3 Energy Bites for Kids last week (which Camille loved), and Camille definitely loved these meatballs with the grass-fed gelatin. If she knew that homemade fruit snacks with grass-fed gelatin existed in this world, she would beg me to make them. (For the record, she’s never had a fruit snack and I’m trying to hold off as.long.as.possible. But when she discovers them, you can bet I’ll be hocking a homemade version on this site).
Ok, that was a lot of words about meatballs, cooking for two, dietary supplements, and cooking for kids. I’m going to leave you with my recipe for Copycat Swedish Meatballs for Two now, I promise.
Yields 1 dozen small meatballs
Copycat Swedish Meatballs for Two: a small batch recipe for meatballs that serves just two. Creamy sour cream sauce on top ftw.
20 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1/2 small white onion, diced
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Vital Proteins gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- salt & pepper, to taste
- chopped fresh parsley, optional
- freshly cooked egg noodles with butter, for serving
- First, make the meatballs: in a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the diced onion, and cook while stirring occasionally until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the ground beef, gelatin, Panko, egg yolk, spices, salt and pepper. Add the caramelized onion. Pulse the food processor a few times to combine the mixture.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and scoop out and roll 12-13 meatballs.
- In the same pan you cooked the onions, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, but do not worry about cooking them through.
- When the meatballs are brown on all sides, remove them from the skillet onto a plate. Return the skillet to the heat, and make the sauce now.
- Add the butter to the pan, and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk to form a paste. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the beef broth into the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the sour cream and stir very well.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes to cook through.
- Serve with fresh parsley over buttered egg noodles.