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.
Copycat Swedish Meatballs for Two
Copycat Swedish Meatballs for Two: a small batch recipe for meatballs that serves just two. Creamy sour cream sauce on top ftw.
For the meatballs:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- ½ small white onion, diced
- ½ pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Vital Proteins gelatin powder
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- ⅓ 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.
The gelatin is optional, but it really makes for incredibly tender meatballs.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 590mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 26g
I love Vital Proteins too! But I'm fairly boring with my incorporation of them (the usual suspects...smoothies, coffee). Also, I cannot wait for a homemade gummy recipe to appear.
CM Reith says
Made these tonite and they were so good. Did leave out the gelatin powder and just mixed by hand. It made lots of sauce, which we like. Will definitely make again.
Christina Lane says
So glad you liked them, thanks for making them!
This article is almost CLICKBAIT. Why are these called “Swedish” if there is nothing Swedish about them? They should be called Nutmeg Gelatine Meatballs.
Nutmeg? Allspice? Gelatin? Food processor? How is that even remotely Swedish? Just because they are meatballs and they are round, doesn’t mean you are entitled to call them Swedish to get better click-rates for your article. There is nothing Swedish about these meatballs, OR THE SAUCE.
Also for the brown sauce you don’t specifically need parsley, the point is that you keep stirring the butter-flour mixture until it gets nicely brown and you add the beef broth (in cube form if you don’t have a full-on restaurant at your disposal to access fresh beef broth at any given moment during the day). The point is the unique texture and taste everyone makes differently!
Honestly, COPYCAT MEATBALLS would have been fine but no. I don’t know why I got so angry, probably because I saw the entirely outlandish ingredients and felt like this is a cheap ripoff or a traditional, well-known food that is precious and memorable to many. The culture of meatballs is not simply your random IKEA experience, it’s part of a nation’s cuisine whether you accept it or not. Cultural appreciation goes about clothing, religion, behaviour patterns and sometimes cuisine too especially when it’s something so essential to a nation’s culture.
AAAAA ILL STOP NOW OKAY IM DONE IM STOPPING IM SORRY I JUST GOT ANGRY
Christina Lane says
Thanks for your comment?
Wow, Mindy. I don't know why you got so angry either. There are actual problems going on in the world. These are meatballs.
Christina Lane says
BEST.RESPONSE.EVER. Thanks, Nancy. I'm headed back to the circus that is my life: running a business, feeding my family, and taking care of my family, and trying to leave the world a better place than how I found it LOLLLLLLL <3
Traditional Swedish meatball recipes do call for allspice and nutmeg. I studied abroad in Stockholm and my host mother would make meatballs regularly, always using these spices. Also, people in Sweden have food processors, but you can clearly mix these by hand like the Swedes of yore. Also, at no point does Christine mention having to make the beef broth by hand. Ha en bra dag!
GIVE ME THE DOLLHOUSE MEATBALLS they are cute and look/sound so tasty <3
best meatballs ever!
you had me with the photos, since I already love meatballs, better still a new and innovative ingredient (at least to me!), so thank you for this and for the truly informative Vital Proteins info since I'd never heard of it but had read about gelatin supplements someplace (I share your issue with too many issues, or articles, even books, to remember where!), so thank you indeed!
Melissa Shultz says
The Vital Proteins supplement intrigues me, so I just ordered some through the link.
But let's talk about these yummy looking meatballs. These Swedish Meatballs sound amazing. Your post didn't make me angry at all. It must be my culture. I'm not Swedish ;) I think I may give these a try this weekend. I'm not an egg noodle fan, but mashed potatoes would definitely be amazing with them and would satisfy my comfort food cravings. Thank you for all of the time that you put into providing such amazing recipes and sharing your favorite products and humor. It is very much appreciated. Hugs!
Christina Lane says
I hope you love VP, Melissa! I have been using the collagen peptides for months, and the joints in my hand have stopped aching. Plus, my nails and hair are growing so fast!
You are so sweet, thank you for your comment! <3 I hope you enjoy the meatballs with mashed potatoes! <3
Thanks for the recipe, it looks yummy. I use my stand mixer to mix meatballs and meatloaf. You can set it on "stir" and it's easier to see the incorporation of ingredients that pulsing in the food processor.
Christina Lane says
What a great tip! Have you ever used it to shred chicken?! It blows my mind!
What does the gelatin do for the meatballs? Does it add texture or ??? This recipe sounds wonderful. I'll be making it but I curious about why adding the gelatin. TIA
Christina Lane says
According to the chef in the magazine, it adds moisture and helps the meat retain moisture while cooking. It contributes to a more tender texture.
These meatballs look amazing. So well I'm making these tonight minus the gelatin since I don't have this . Thank you for the health tip on this as it made me go order some so as soon as I get the gelatin in I'll be trying them again with the gelatin....Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes it's great when you live alone raising my grandson. Just enough without having leftovers for days on end!!!