Now when I say ‘Swedish-Style’ Meatballs, I’m using the word ‘style’ very loosely. I guess you could say this is Swedish, or supposedly IKEA, “inspired’ meatballs. I have never eaten at IKEA, let allow tasted their famous Meatball dish, but I’ve been wanting to try it for quite sometime now. Coincidentally, when deciding how to go about replicating Swedish-Style meatballs myself, I came across the new Birds Eye Meat Free Swedish-Style Meatballs (frozen produce). I believe these were introduced into supermarkets across the UK to keep up with this year’s demand for meat-free options: Veganuary. With the convenience of a half-price introductory offer, I purchased a packet of these ‘meatless-balls’ (?) to give them a taste test & control the calorie content of the dish. This is certainly a filling Winter comfort food, made simple & with less of the calories!
Please be aware that this recipe is not authentic – I didn’t have immediate access to a few ingredients which typically go into this dish. Despite using ingredient alternatives this meal was delicious & will from now on be an ideal 20 minute prep-time meal. I haven’t included salt in this dish as the meatballs themselves and the gravy granules provide enough saltiness.
As these meatballs in particular are Vegan, you may of course adapt the recipe to make the dish entirely Vegan; however I am not following a Vegan diet and used animal derived dairy products. Of course you can use substitute ingredients to cater to your dietary preferences/requirements.
Ingredients (serves 2):
– 12 meatballs (meat or meatless is fine),
– 6 button mushrooms,
– Your preferred butter,
– 1/4 cup of single thickness cream or full fat milk (milk/cream substitutes will work well if they aren’t too watery)
– 1/4 cup of vegetable (vegetarian) gravy,
– A pinch of dried mixed herbs,
– Red & Black pepper to taste.
Serving suggestions: Creamy & cheesy mashed potatoes, crispy-skinned baked potato, boiled & seasoned new/baby potatoes, mixed in with plain pasta, in pitta bread pockets, with grilled asparagus, or steamed broccoli.
Prep: Vegan meatballs usually don’t have to be defrosted ahead of cooking time. However, some meat meatballs have to be defrosted before use if not fresh. Check the packaging instructions before you plan to cook your meal. Alternatively, you may of course hand make your meatballs if desired.
1) If you are serving with mashed or boiled potatoes, you’ll need to begin cooking them before preparing the main part of the dish. Once they have begun to boil or bake, move onto step 2.
2) Wash & cut the button mushrooms into slices or evenly sized chunks. Set to aside for later use.
3) Over a medium strength heat, melt a knob of your preferred butter & oil in a medium sized frying pan. I used olive oil, but vegetable or sunflower oil are equally suitable.
4) Once the butter & oil has been heated, add your chosen meatballs to the hot butter & oil. After around 2 minutes of initial frying, lower the heat to a gentle strength.
5) Directly after lowing the heat, add the earlier prepared mushrooms to the pan with the meatballs. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking & ensure even heat distribution. Lower the heat to as little as possible whilst you concentrate on making the gravy.
6) After the allotted time highlighted in the previous step, use a kettle to boil hot water for making the gravy. Whichever gravy you choose, only 1/4 of a cup is required. Ensure the gravy is smooth.
7) After retrieving the gravy, turn up the frying pan’s heat again (still no stronger than medium heat). Give the meatballs and mushrooms a quick but thorough stir. Then pour the 1/4 cup of gravy, 1/4 of milk, a pinch of dried mixed herbs & a sprinkle of red & black pepper into the frying pan to join the meatballs & mushrooms. Gently stir all the ingredients together until the liquids combine. The sauce should become pale/medium brown in colour depending on which gravy you used.
8) If you are serving with green vegetables, take this time as an opportunity to cook them for serving in time with the meatballs.
8) Cook the dish for a further 5~8 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm & darkened on the outside yet soft on the inside. During this stage the sauce should have thickened a little. If the sauce is too runny for your liking, add a teaspoon of flour or cornflour to the sauce as a thickening agent – in this case you must stir the flour quickly to avoid making a lumpy sauce, as well as over cooking the dish.
9) Serve alongside your chosen side dish. Enjoy!
💬 Have you every had Vegan/Vegetarian meatballs? If so, which dish were they used for?
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