This easy homemade Swedish meatballs recipe is healthy, fast, frugal, and delicious. Pressure cooker Swedish meatballs and sauce couldn’t be any easier to make and taste like the famous IKEA meatballs. Serve the meatballs over egg noodles, Instant Pot mashed potatoes, Instant Pot rice, or polenta.

Cooked Swedish meatballs in a gravy sauce in the Instant Pot.
The famous Swedish meatballs, like those served at Ikea, can be easily be made at home and cooked in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs are a Quick, Family-Friendly Dinner

Instant Pot recipes are one of the easiest and best ways to get a quick family meal on the table during the busy week. Usually something like a from-scratch chicken soup, Italian meatballs and homemade sauce, or delicious Swedish meatballs would take hours to prepare.

But not with the Instant Pot!

Keeping a few electric pressure cooker recipes in your meal rotation, like today’s easy Instant Pot recipe, is a great way to simplify family meals.


  • Easy Dinner: The Instant Pot is the easiest way to make a a delicious dinner for the whole family. Just mix the meatball mixture, brown the meatballs, add the sauce and meatballs to the Instant Pot, and cook. Comfort food in minutes.
  • One Pot: The flavorful meatballs and sauce are made all in one pot! That’s what I love about this appliance.
  • Meal Prep Option: This recipe makes about 30 classic Swedish meatballs and a delicious sauce. It’s the perfect meal to make for dinner and enjoy leftover Swedish meatballs and sauce for lunch or dinner the next day. Meal prep at its finest: “cook once, eat twice.”
  • Simple and Frugal Ingredients: The tender meatballs and sauce are made with simple pantry ingredients that you can find at any grocery store. And there’s no cream of mushroom soup either; just fresh, real ingredients!
Cooked Swedish meatballs in a gravy sauce served over polenta in a brown ceramic bowl.
Simple ingredients come together to create this flavorful meal. Serve the meatballs over polenta, egg noddles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

What are Swedish Meatballs? Traditional Swedish meatballs are made with allspice, then served in a creamy sauce (made with sour cream). The allspice gives the meatballs a distinct, unique flavor. This homemade recipe sticks to the traditional version as closely as possible, giving the meatballs and sauce that unique flavor that we all love about this classic Swedish dish!

Ingredients Needed

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef (85/15 or 90/10 fat content)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (93/7 fat content)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (or unsweetened plant-based milk)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1½ teaspoons dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (this is based on taste preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Sauce

  • 2 cups beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream

Equipment Needed

  • 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker of choice to cook the sauce and meatballs
  • 1 large bowl for combining the meatball ingredients
  • cookie scoop (optional) for forming the meatballs

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Form the Meatballs

Add all the meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) to a large bowl. Using clean hands, combine the ingredients: ground beef, turkey, panko breadcrumbs, milk, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg. Roll the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls, making them tight (approx. 24-30 meatballs).

Meatballs next to the Instant Pot after browning.
Browning the meatballs, first, brings out their incredible flavor! This is done directly in the Instant Pot, using the saute function.

Step 2: Brown the Meatballs

Set the Instant Pot to the saute function (press the saute button on the front of the Instant Pot). Once hot, add the 2 tablespoons of oil.

Brown the meatballs in a single layer for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the meatballs to a plate once brown on each side. Work in batches as not all 24-30 meatballs will fit in the Instant Pot to brown at one time. Once all the meatballs are brown, turn off the saute function on the Instant Pot.

Step 3: Add the Sauce Ingredients to the Instant Pot

Add a splash of the beef broth to the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to stir the sauce and scrape up any of the bits stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner. The bits add great flavor to the sauce! Then add the remaining broth and Worcestershire sauce and gently stir to combine.

Step 4: Return the Meatballs to the Instant Pot

Add all the meatballs to the sauce in the Instant Pot.

Step 5: Cook the Meatballs and Sauce for 8 Minutes

Close the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the valve, located on top of the lid, to Sealed. Turn on the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook (high pressure) for 8 minutes.

Step 6: Naturally Release Pressure, Then Perform a Quick Release

When the cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (let the Instant Pot sit undisturbed during this time).

Then, after 10 minutes, move the valve on top on the lid from Sealed to Venting. This will release all the remaining pressure/steam from the Instant Pot. Once all the steam has been released, open the lid.

Step 7: Finish Making the Sauce

  • Remove the cooked meatballs from the Instant Pot to a clean plate.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute.
  • Add the cornstarch (or arrowroot starch) and water to a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients to create a slurry, then add to the sauce in the Instant Pot. Allow the sauce to thicken with the heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.
  • Now it’s time to add the sour cream. If you add the sour cream directly to the hot liquid it will curdle. Instead, temper the sour cream by adding the sour cream to a small bowl, then add a small amount of the hot sauce from the Instant Pot (about 2 tablespoons of the hot liquid). Whisk the mixture, then slowly pour it into sauce, stirring to combine.
  • Finally, return the meatballs to the thickened sauce in the Instant Pot.

Now the meatballs and sauce are ready to enjoy!

Cooked Swedish meatballs in a gravy sauce in the Instant Pot after cooking.
The meatballs are ready to enjoy after 8 minutes of pressure cooking and a 10-minute natural release.

How to Serve

Serve this Instant Pot Swedish meatballs recipe over cooked egg noodles, mashed potatoes (I love to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes), rice (the Instant Pot is the best way to cook rice), or polenta. You may want to add a side as well; however, you don’t need one.


Our Favorite

Side Dish Recipes

Swedish meatballs served over a bowl of polenta.
Serve the meatballs and sauce over polenta, rice, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes. Make your side in advance and reheat it before serving for a quick meal.

Pro Tips

  • Avoid the Burn Warning: After using the saute function to brown the meatballs in the Instant Pot, add a small amount of broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner. Removing the bits from the bottom of the liner will ensure you don’t get a burn notice during the pressure cooking step.
  • Make Juicy Meatballs: The higher the fat content in the ground beef, the juicer the meatballs will be. Using 85/15 or 90/10 ground beef will result in the juiciest meatballs. Also, don’t over mix the meatball mixture when combining the ingredients. The milk and breadcrumbs also help to create tender meatballs, so don’t skip these ingredients.
  • Check the Sealing Ring: Check the silicone ring that lines the interior of the Instant Pot lid before closing the lid and cooking the sauce and meatballs. It’s easy for this lid to loosen after cooking or in storage. If the ring isn’t on top, the Instant Pot won’t ever come to pressure and cook the food.

Variations & Substituions

There are a few tweaks that can be made to the delicious meatballs and sauce.

  • Gluten-Free Meatballs: This is an easy swap. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs act as a binder so the meatballs don’t fall apart.
  • Use Ground Pork and Ground Beef: Many Swedish meatball recipes are made a combination of ground beef and ground pork. You can easily sub out the ground turkey in my recipe for ground pork.
  • Dairy-Free Option: The whole milk in the meatballs can be swapped for a plant-based milk, like unsweetened plain almond milk. For the sauce, swap out the sour cream for a plant-based sour cream or canned coconut milk. Coconut milk would add a unique flavor to the sauce, almost like a tropical twist.
Cooked Swedish meatballs in a gravy sauce in the Instant Pot.
5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs (Easy & Quick)

The famous Swedish meatballs, like those served at Ikea, can be easily be made at home and cooked in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot). This homemade version is fast, healthy, and delicious!
Kristin Marr
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Natural Pressure Release10 mins
Total Time48 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 8 servings (30 meatballs, 3.5 meatballs & 1/4 cup sauce each serving)
Calories 309 kcal
Cost: $18

Equipment

  • 1 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker of choice
  • 1 large bowl for combining the meatball ingredients
  • 1 cookie scoop (optional) for forming the meatballs

Ingredients

Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef (85/15 or 90/10 fat content)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (93/7 fat content) or ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk or unsweetened plant-based milk (for dairy-free)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (this is based on taste preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sauce

  • 2 cups beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or arrowroot starch (a grain-free option)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream or plant-based sour cream or canned coconut milk (for dairy-free)

Instructions

  • Add all the meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) to a large bowl.
  • Using clean hands, combine the ingredients: ground beef, turkey, panko breadcrumbs, milk, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg.
  • Roll the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls, making them tight (approx. 24-30 meatballs). I use a cookie scooper to form the meatballs and then roll each one in my hand to create a tight, compact ball.
    Forming meatballs in hands and a few meatballs on a plate.
  • Set the Instant Pot to the saute function. Once hot, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Brown the meatballs in a single layer for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the meatballs to a plate once brown on each side. Work in batches as not all 24-30 meatballs will fit in the Instant Pot to brown at one time. Once all the meatballs are brown, turn off the saute function.
    Meatballs next to the Instant Pot after browning.
  • Add a splash of the beef broth to the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to stir the sauce and scrape up any of the bits stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner. Then add the remaining broth and Worcestershire sauce and gently stir to combine.
  • Add all the meatballs to the sauce in the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the valve, located on top of the lid, to Sealed. Turn on the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook (high pressure) for 8 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (let the Instant Pot sit undisturbed during this time).
  • After 10 minutes, move the valve on top on the lid from Sealed to Venting. This will release all the remaining pressure/steam from the Instant Pot. Once all the steam has been released, open the lid.
  • Remove the cooked meatballs from the Instant Pot to a clean plate. Set the Instant Pot to Saute.
  • Add the cornstarch (or arrowroot starch) and cold water to a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients to create a slurry, then add to the sauce in the Instant Pot. Allow the sauce to thicken with the heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.
  • Temper the sour cream by adding the sour cream to a small bowl, then add a small amount of the sauce from the Instant Pot (about 2 tablespoons of the hot liquid). Whisk the mixture in the bowl, then slowly pour it into sauce, stirring to combine.
  • Finally, return the meatballs to the thickened sauce in the Instant Pot.
    Cooked Swedish meatballs in a gravy sauce in the Instant Pot after cooking.
  • Serve warm over mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, polenta, or your favorite pasta.

Notes

  • Storage: Store leftover meatballs and sauce in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, or in the microwave.
  • Meal Prep: This recipe is a fantastic meal prep option. Portion the recipe into meal prep containers and add Instant Pot rice or Instant Pot mashed potatoes on the side. 

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 26gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 542mgPotassium: 508mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 281IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Let me know what you think of this recipe! The meatballs are on my monthly meal rotation. Sometimes I serve them with rice, other times mashed potatoes or egg noodles. I love to make the rice or mashed potatoes in advance, then reheat in the microwave for a fast meal.

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