Gluten-Free Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes, Gluten-Free Cream Gravy & Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Who hasn’t had Ikea’s amazing Swedish Meatballs? Besides Ikea being a well-known home furnishing brand, their meatballs are just as famous. I remember shopping at Ikea in Singapore and seeing more customers eating in the restaurant than actually shopping! On weekends, entire families would gather over meatballs and all its trimmings. Sadly, Ikea has not brought out a gluten-free meatball alternative, so I thought this would be a good recipe to share with you.

I did find the gluten recipe online, generously published by Ikea themselves. They kindly shared the recipe for any of us missing their meatballs during lockdown. However, I have changed a few ingredients on the list and replaced breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs. Go ahead if you prefer to use mince beef only. I tried them both with and without pork – I hardly noticed the difference.

Ikea’s gravy packet mix also has gluten, so if you like your meatballs with gravy, I have also included a gluten-free cream gravy recipe for this below.

For the Swedish Meatballs

  • 500g mince beef
  • 250g mince pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 150g store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

Cooking oil, for frying

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Measure and chop all the ingredients before mixing.

2. Using your hands, mix the mince meats together, breaking up any clumps.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

4. Roll the meat mixture into small, smooth balls and place on a large plate or tray.

5. Cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour. This will help retain their shape while cooking.

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

7. Heat a large frying pan to medium-high.

8. Add enough oil to thinly cover the bottom of the pan.

9. Add the meatballs and brown them on all sides for 5-8 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to fry two batches (alternatively, use two frying pans).

10. Once browned, add them to an oven tray, cover and cook them for a further 30 minutes in the oven.

11. If you would like to serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes and gluten-free cream gravy, follow the recipes below.

12. Traditionally, Swedish meatballs go well with lingonberry sauce. This can be bought at Ikea or you can make my homemade substitute using fresh or frozen cranberries. Here is the link for the recipe homemade fresh cranberry sauce.

Makes 40 to 45 meatballs

For the Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 kilo potatoes, peeled
  • 350ml warm milk (full-fat or low-fat)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced in half lengthways
  • 50g-70g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or chives, finely chopped (for garnishing)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Peel the potatoes and leave them whole. Cutting them decreases their flavour.

2. Place them in a large pot with cold water.

3. Bring to the boil and cook partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

4. Add the spring onion to the milk.

5. Heat up the milk and remove the spring onion after 5 minutes. The spring onion adds flavour to the milk.

6. Drain the potatoes well and place in a food stand mixer bowl*

7. Using the whisk attachment, start the mixer on a low speed to break up the cooked potatoes.

8. While mixing, add the warm milk slowly.

9. Add the softened butter a little at a time.

10. Once the potatoes look well mixed and fluffy, add the seasonings.

11. Taste the potatoes and add more seasoning if needed.

12. If making ahead of time, keep the mashed potatoes warm in a covered casserole dish in the oven or transfer to a slow cooker selecting the warm setting.

*If you don’t have a food stand mixer, simply mash the cooked potatoes using a potato masher and mix well with a large wooden spoon. The only difference will be that the mashed potatoes may not appear as whipped and fluffy but will still taste great.

For the Gluten-Free Cream Gravy

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Add the stock to the meatball frying pan and scrape the bottom of the pan. Keep warm. Please note: Remove excess oil if there is any still in the pan. We just want to use the leftover meat juices and meat scraps in the pan.

2. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan.

3. Add the sieved flour and whisk for 2 minutes.

4. Strain the stock into a jug.

5. Slowly add the strained stock, mixing well.

6. Add the cream, Tamari, mustard and lemon juice.

7. Add the white pepper, nutmeg and salt

8. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until the sauce thickens to a pouring consistency.

9. If making ahead, the gravy can be reheated just before serving on the stove or in the microwave.

For the Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce
  • 250g fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan.

2. Add the chopped shallots and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add the cranberries and mix well.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 20 minutes until the cranberries have soften and reduced slightly.

5. Store in a sterilised glass jar.