These gluten free Swedish meatballs are a copycat version of the traditional IKEA meatballs and lets not forget the rich savoury gravy! My version is also dairy and egg free too!
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My favourite part of going to IKEA as a kid was the treat of meatballs in the cafe after what felt like 6 hours trekking round and round and my Mum just coming out with 6 glasses (We have all done it right!)
For nostalgia I wanted to take my kids but after looking at the allergy menu I realised the IKEA meatballs contained gluten, milk and eggs, so Mammas kitchen got to work again!
My version of IKEA’s traditional Swedish meatballs are gluten free, egg free and dairy free. I can promise that you and your kids will love them!
They are juicy, packed full of flavour and the creamy, savoury gravy is delicious spooned over some piping hot mashed potato. Why not serve with some Lingonberry Jam with them to get the authentic IKEA experience.
If this has got your taste buds tingling why not check out some of my other gluten free dinner ideas like my Chinese Style Baked Salt & Pepper Wings or Sticky Sausage Tray Bake With Potatoes & Peppers.
- Pork & Beef Mince - I have used a 50/50 ratio of pork and beef mince as this is what they use in the original IKEA recipe. I would advise not to use the low fat mince as the fat really helps the juiciness in the meatballs and stops them drying out.
- Onion - Grate or chop this extremely finely, you want it to be as small as possible.
- All Spice - I have added this and the nutmeg as I feel it lifts the flavour of the meatballs.
- Parsley - Again this adds to the flavour of the meatballs, I would advise using fresh parsley.
- Coconut Cream - I have used coconut cream instead of standard thick double cream. (Feel free to use double cream if you do not require the recipe to be dairy free). You can buy coconut cream in a can on its own, or you can spoon the coconut cream (the thick bit) out of a can of unshaken coconut milk. Just be sure to use the cream and not coconut milk, otherwise the sauce will be too runny.
- Tamari - Tamari is a sauce made by fermenting soya beans and is a great alternative to soy sauce (which contains wheat) I love this one by Kikkoman.
- Dijon Mustard - Gives a tangy, sharpness to the sauce.
- Vegetable Stock - I have used Knorr vegetable stock pot for this recipe as it is gluten free. (Please double check packaging for allergens as ingredients can change)
- Cornflour - Helps to thicken the gravy. Despite its name cornflour is gluten free.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Parsley - Chopped parsley is sprinkled through the sauce to add some vibrant colour and a light herby flavour.
Scroll to recipe card for quantities.
How To Make Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs (IKEA Copycat)
Start by making the meatballs. Put the pork and beef mince into a large mixing bowl. Grate or finely chop the onion, if you chop it, ensure the pieces are chopped really small. You can use a food chopper to save time. Add the grated onion to the mince along with minced garlic, all spice, nutmeg and a small handful of finely chopped parsley.
Now for the messy bit! Bring the meat mixture together by mixing with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
Roll into small balls. This recipe will make approximately 30-40 meatballs dependent on your size preference.
Put the rolled balls on a plate and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Due to the fact you are not using breadcrumbs or egg to bind the mixture together, chilling them helps the balls to firm up and they will not fall apart when cooking.
Once chilled, heat some oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the balls until they have browned all over. This will take approximately 3-4 minutes each side. You will need to do this in 2 or 3 batches dependant on the size of your frying pan.
When the meatballs have browned, let them rest on some kitchen towel on a plate.
Time for the gravy! This swedish meatballs sauce is made without cream as we use coconut cream instead!
Drain any remaining oil from the frying pan, then add the coconut cream, tamari, vegetable stock, Dijon mustard, onion powder and garlic powder to the hot pan. Stir until combined.
Mix together the cornflour with a dash of cold water in a separate bowl and add to the gravy. Stir well then add the meatballs back to the frying pan and let them simmer for 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs have cooked through.
Hint: Use a meat thermometer to check when the meatballs are cooked. Ground meat should be cooked to at least 160˚F.
- Tamari - If you do not need the recipe to be gluten free, you can use regular soy sauce. If you need to avoid soya also, you can use coconut aminos which gives a similar flavour to soy sauce and is soya and gluten free!
- Meat - To make the meal a little lighter, swap the pork mince for chicken or turkey mince or use Quorn mince to make a vegetarian option. (Quorn contains eggs)
You can store any leftover Swedish meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the meatballs and gravy in a large saucepan and heat on a medium heat on the stove until the meatballs are piping hot and have reached 160˚F, this should take around 8-10 minutes.
They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze in individual portions, dividing up the balls and gravy into freezer bags, you can then easily defrost them in the fridge overnight and re-heat as above
If you want a truly authentic IKEA experience, serve with some creamy mash potato and lingonberry jam.
I also love to serve these with rice and tender stem broccoli or over some pasta. (The kid’s favourite!) They make a great midweek family dinner!
The meatballs can be stored uncooked in the fridge for 24 hours, so you can make them the day before and then cook them and make up the sauce when you are ready to serve.
Make sure you chill them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking as this helps them to firm up. I have found that as long as you are gentle with them whilst cooking and turning them, they stay together really nicely and a binder isn’t necessary.
You sure can!
Bake in a preheated oven at 190˚C(fan)/375˚F until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160˚F, this should take around 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the meatball.
If you love the recipe I'd love you to rate 5 stars and leave a review below! x
Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs (IKEA Copycat)
- 500 g pork mince
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 medium onion grated or very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 small handful fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Put the pork and beef mince into a large mixing bowl. Grate or finely chop the onion. Add the grated onion to the mince along with minced garlic, all spice, nutmeg and a small handful of finely chopped parsley.
- Bring the meat mixture together by mixing with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Roll into small balls. This recipe will make approximately 30-40 meatballs dependent on your size preference.
- Put the rolled balls on a plate and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the balls until they have browned all over. This will take approximately 3-4 minutes each side. You will need to do this in 2 or 3 batches dependant on the size of your frying pan.
- When the meatballs have browned, let them rest on some kitchen towel on a plate.
- Drain any remaining oil from the frying pan, then add the coconut cream, tamari, vegetable stock, Dijon mustard, onion powder and garlic powder to the hot pan. Stir until combined.
- Mix together the cornflour with a dash of cold water in a separate bowl, add to the gravy & stir well.
- Add the meatballs back to the frying pan and let them simmer for 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs have cooked through.