4 Ways To Serve Swedish Meatballs

Have you tried making this meatball dish?

IMAGE Shutterstock

The first IKEA store in the Philippines is set to open by the latter half of 2021. While the date is yet to be set in stone, local home improvement enthusiasts and food fans alike cannot contain their excitement over the Swedish-founded local outpost. Yes, even people who love food. While furniture and home appliances remain to be IKEA's bread and butter, the brand has also made a name for itself by providing shoppers with a selection of sustainably sourced yet tasty Scandinavian dishes. At the center of this flavorful fanfare is perhaps the furniture superstore's most famous dish: Swedish meatballs.

Despite its name, the recipe for Swedish meatballs likely came from Turkey. It was brought over by King Charles XII in the 18th century, picking it up from the Ottoman Empire, where he was exiled after a disastrous attempt to invade Russia. These days, you neither have to be royalty nor do you need to shop at IKEA to partake of this scrumptious dish. Simply follow this Swedish meatball recipe to recreate the famed dish in your kitchen. The meatballs only take about an hour to prepare, and it's easy enough to make that you can include it in your weekly or monthly menu for the family. It's great with piping hot rice or even if it's served on its own as finger food during social events. 

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Aside from serving this dish the way it's traditionally done, you can also incorporate Swedish meatballs into other dishes. Here are a few winning combinations that you should try out:

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno
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Serve It With Pasta

Pasta immediately comes to mind when one is looking for a perfect dish to pair with meatballs. The good thing about Swedish meatballs is that it pairs well with both creamy white sauce and tangy red sauce pasta dishes. 

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If you're looking for something more savory, though, then this Swedish meatballs with pasta recipe should do the trick. The dish should be ready in 40 minutes if you're making the meatballs from scratch, but it can take less than that if you're working with a batch of premade or leftover meatballs. Ideally, the meatballs for this dish should be as big as a 1-peso coin in diameter, which is a stark difference from the conventionally golf ball-sized Swedish meatballs. The gravy sauce, on the other hand, is made using olive oil, broth, and a bit of seasoning for flavor. 

Use The Meatballs In A Sandwich

If you prefer to see Swedish meatballs paired with bread instead of pasta, then you can use the dish when you make a sub sandwich. A simple but filling sandwich should take about an hour of preparation, including making the meatballs. If you have leftover meatballs, though, you can begin the process by browning the meatballs and simmering them in a thick tomato sauce on low heat, much like how Italian meatballs are prepared. For a flavorful filling, it's important to include a bunch of spices such as oregano, fennel, pepper flakes, cheese, and parsley.

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Once the tomato-based meatball dish is done, get a sandwich roll, cut it in half, insert the filling, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Want more sandwich recipes involving meatballs? Here's another meatball sub sandwich recipe that you can easily perfect at home with the help of an oven. 

Use It As Pizza Topping

Swedish meatballs also make a great addition to pizza. If you still have a few meatballs left over, you can set them aside for when you want to prepare a quick but tasty meal for the rest of the family. Take note, though, that precooked meatballs can be safely kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Put them in an airtight container before storing them, or if you're working with larger pieces, wrap these meatballs individually before freezing. 

On pizza day, take out the meatballs and mix them with tomato sauce. Next, spread the mixture onto par-baked pizza dough and bake for 10 minutes or until fully cooked. If you prefer thin-crust pizza, replace the pizza dough with tortilla and you're good. Follow the step-by-step instruction of making this tortilla pizza recipe, add the meatball-sauce combo before baking, and you'll have savory thin-crust pizza in about half an hour.

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Add It To Salad

Swedish meatballs are also a great accompaniment to healthy dishes. If you want to be extra careful about the cholesterol levels of the dish and you have access to specialty meat stores, you can use veal or venison as a substitute for pork and beef for the Swedish meatballs. Once the meatballs are cooked to perfection, you can add them to your salad to make it more exciting. 'Crumbled' Swedish meatballs pair well with most green salads. Here's a list of salad recipes that you can try eating with a healthy heaping of crumbled Swedish meatballs. 

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While waiting for IKEA Philippines to open, satiate your craving for Scandinavian food by cooking your version of Swedish meatballs. You might just surprise yourself with how easy it is to make this famed dish in your kitchen.

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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