Soft, fluffy keto Swedish meatballs are a cosy dinner the whole family will enjoy. These gluten free meatballs are cooked in a creamy, flavourful gravy. Only 3.3g net carbs per serving and ready in 25 minutes! Enjoy over mashed cauliflower, with cauliflower rice or with steamed low carb veggies.
When my kids were small, I would regularly drive to IKEA with a Swedish girlfriend of mine. Our toddlers would let off some steam in the soft play area, we'd buy a few things that suddenly seemed indispensable (vanilla scented tealights, apple slicer, storage boxes) and at the end we'd all eat Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam.
And of course, I'd take a couple of bags of frozen IKEA meatballs home for quick dinners. They never lasted long!
I still have a soft spot for Swedish meatballs - but these days, I prefer to stick to a low carb diet and make my own keto friendly version.
The ingredients in a traditional Swedish meatballs recipe are actually ALMOST entirely low carb, except for one - the breadcrumbs (aka wheat!). So, what's my substitution?
My "breadcrumb" substitution
Coconut flour! It's a great stand-in for breadcrumbs. I'm happy to announce that my keto meatballs taste just as fluffy and soft as the real deal!
And even though I'm not even remotely Swedish (I'm German all the way) and this is not a recipe handed down through generations, I can tell you that my entire family LOVES this dish. My kids regularly ask me to make it, summer or winter. And when I go to IKEA these days, I just stick to the scented tealights 🙂
Ingredients for low carb meatballs
The ground meat: I like to use a mix of lean ground beef and ground pork. The pork makes the meatballs softer.
Onion and garlic: It's a bit of a faff, but fresh onion and garlic taste so much better than garlic and onion powder. To save time, you could use frozen chopped instead.
Spices: This recipe is all about the spices! Don't miss out on the warming goodness of nutmeg and allspice. They put the Swedishness into your low carb meatballs!
Xanthan gum: In lieu of cornstarch or wheat flour, I like to use a teaspoon of xanthan gum to thicken sauces. If you don't like gums, you could use ground chia seeds instead.
Coconut aminos: This is a delicious umami flavouring sauce made from coconut. It lends a subtle salty sweetness that complements the creaminess of the sauce.
How to make keto Swedish meatballs
In a mixing bowl, add the beef, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, coconut flour, salt and spices. Mix to combine using clean hands.
Roll into meatballs.
In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and fry the meatballs on a medium heat until browned on all sides.
Note: It’s best to do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan and so the meatballs cook evenly. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place to one side.
Depending on the fat percentage of your meat you may need to discard any excess fat.
When all the meatballs are cooked, add the butter. Once you see bubbles, add the xanthan gum or ground chia and whisk using a hand whisk to combine.
Add the stock and the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk again. Now whisk through the ½ cup heavy cream. (You could use ¼ cup cream and ½ cup cream cheese as well. Or replace the heavy cream with coconut cream for a dairy free version).
Cook for about two minutes, then add the meatballs back into the pan. Cook for a further 6 - 8 minutes until the sauce has thickened up and the meatballs are cooked through.
How to serve keto meatballs
I like to top this dish with freshly chopped parsley and serve it over cauliflower mash, cauliflower rice or steamed low carb vegetables like green beans and broccoli.
Sometimes we even add a dollop of sugar free cranberry sauce as a nod to the traditional lingonberry jam.
If coconut flour is not your thing, consider substituting it with almond flour or even pork rinds.
Note that you would have to use 3 times as much of either - 3 tbsp. Both almond flour and pork rinds are less absorbent than coconut flour, that's why you need more.
Keto Swedish meatballs is a great dish to make ahead. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
More keto recipes with ground beef
Best Italian Keto Meatballs - The Italian version has a rich tomato sauce! Great with zoodles.
Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup Recipe - Filling, hearty comfort food for hungry bellies.
Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl – Crack Slaw - Such a quick and delicious keto recipe. We make it all the time.
Easy Keto Taco Casserole Recipe - Perfect when you're in the mood for Mexican flavours.
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Keto Swedish Meatballsfrom sugarfreelondoner.com
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- In a mixing bowl, add the beef, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, coconut flour, salt and spices. Mix to combine using clean hands.
- Roll into meatballs.
- In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and fry the meatballs on a medium heat until browned on all sides. About 5 - 6 minutes. Note: It’s best to do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan and so the meatballs cook evenly. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place to one side.
- Depending on the fat percentage of your meat you may need to discard any excess fat.
- When all the meatballs are cooked, add the butter. Once you see bubbles, add the xanthan gum or ground chia and whisk using a hand whisk to combine. Add the stock and the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk again. Last, whisk through the cream.
- Cook for about two minutes, then add the meatballs back into the pan and cook for a further 6 - 8 minutes until the sauce has thickened up and the meatballs are cooked through.
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