Topped with a creamy sauce and filled with a ton of flavor, these Turkey Swedish Meatballs are sure to be loved by the whole family! One of my favorite comfort foods for the winter months, the full meal comes together in an hour so it can even be enjoyed on busy weeknights!
I, like many others I'm sure, was first introduced to the delicious world of Swedish meatballs thanks to IKEA. And while I love a trip to IKEA to browse (can anyone else get lost in that store for hours??), and to get some meatballs, I wanted to be able to enjoy them more often.
Cue this healthier Swedish meatballs recipe.
Made gluten free and with the option for dairy free as well, this delicious recipe comes together easily and contains fewer calories than the classic version.
But the best thing is that you can't notice the swaps!
Although the meatballs are plenty delicious all on their own, the addition of the homemade Swedish meatball sauce, mashed potatoes and Cranberry Sauce turns it into one of the most satisfying and comforting meals!
There are a few steps to this recipe but fear not, I walk you through each of them and it is easier to make than it looks.
I hope you give this recipe a try, it is most definitely a favorite in our household!
- Ground Turkey- This recipe will also work with ground chicken or lean ground beef.
- Oats- Large flake or quick oats work. If you don't need the recipe to be gluten free, you can also use bread crumbs.
- Dried Minced Onion Flakes-2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh white onion also works.
- Garlic Powder- You can use 2 freshly minced cloves instead.
- Fine Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Potatoes- Use whatever type you prefer for mashed potatoes- Russets, yellow or red will all work.
- Whole Milk- For a dairy free version, use cashew milk.
- Coconut Aminos- Soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce can be substituted.
- Dijon Mustard
1. Mix and form meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with the egg, oats and seasonings (just ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper). Using a spoon or cookie scoop, divide the turkey mixture into 1 and ½ tablespoon portions and roll into balls. This recipe makes 25-30 meatballs. Place into a large nonstick skillet.
2. Make the Potatoes. Peel (if preferred) and cut the potatoes and place into a large pot. Fill the pot with water so that the potatoes are covered by 1 inch (2cm). Turn on to medium-high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are boiling, reduce the heat to medium and tip the lid off partially. Keep a close eye so that they don't boil over. After 15 minutes, start to check intermittently with a fork. When they are tender, reserve 1 cup of potato water for the gravy and then drain, cover and set aside.
3. Cook the Meatballs. Once the potatoes have started to boil, place the skillet on medium heat. Cook the meatballs for 10-15 minutes, rotating every 5 or so minutes until cooked through. Remove the meatballs to a plate.
4. Make the Sauce. Add the reserved 1 cup of potato water to the skillet, stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper, coconut aminos and Dijon.
5. Thicken the Sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the skillet, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Allow to return to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes more until thickened. Turn heat to low, add the meatballs back to the sauce and stir to coat.
6. Mash the Potatoes. Add the remaining ¼ cup of milk to the potatoes and mash to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Since we are adding such a rich and flavorful sauce to the potatoes, we tend to make them with just milk so that most of the flavor comes from the sauce.
7. Serve. Scoop potatoes onto a plate and top with meatballs and gravy.
Make Ahead: The uncooked meatballs can be mixed, shaped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet and freeze for 3-6 hours until solid. Move to a container or freezer bag. When ready to cook, place the meatballs in the refrigerator for 1 day in order to thaw.
To Store: Store leftover meatballs, potatoes and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Freezing may slightly impact the texture of the mashed potatoes.
To Reheat: Rewarm in the microwave until heated through.
Make it Your Own
If you would like to skip the mashed potatoes and serve your meatballs and gravy with something else (I have lots of suggestions below!), you can use water, chicken broth or beef broth in place of the potato water for the sauce.
We love serving these Swedish turkey meatballs with just the mashed potatoes, creamy gravy and a side of Cranberry Sauce.
But here are some other tasty ideas:
- Crispy Baked Fries
- Egg Noodles
- Cauliflower Mash
- Honey Oat Bread
- Mixed Berry Spinach Salad
- And check out this list of 35 Perfect Ideas to Serve with Swedish Meatballs for even more inspiration!
If you have dietary restrictions, check the packaging of specific ingredients that you use to ensure they are compliant. This recipe is:
- Dairy Free - If you use cashew milk in place of whole milk.
- Gluten Free
And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like:
- Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
- Quick Chicken Potato Skillet
- Bruschetta Chicken Sheet Pan
- Tikka Masala Stew
Turkey Swedish Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon oats
- 2 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 2 lbs potatoes (about 8 medium potatoes) peeled and diced into large chunks
- 1 and ¼ cup whole milk divided
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce for serving
Prepare the Meatballs
- Prepare a large non-stick skillet with a lid.
- In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, onion, garlic, egg, ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, nutmeg, allspice and the oats. Using a spoon or scoop, form meatballs (about 1 and ½ tablespoon of meat each) and place in the prepared skillet. I typically get 25-30 per batch.
Make the Potatoes
- Prepare the potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with water, so that the water level is above the potatoes by about 1 inch. Cover and turn on to medium high heat to bring the potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, tip the lid partially off and reduce the heat to medium so that they don't boil over. Check intermittently with a fork. When potatoes are tender, drain (reserving 1 cup of potato water for sauce), cover and set aside.
Cook the Meatballs
- Meanwhile, place the skillet on medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, rotating 1-2 times to ensure even browning, until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. If there is a lot of grease in the pan, drain most of it and return the pan to the heat. Don't clean out the bits of meat that may be leftover- this will add flavor to the sauce.
Make the Sauce
- Add the reserved potato water (1 cup) to the skillet. If the potatoes are still cooking, carefully use a ladle to scoop the amount of water that you need out of the potato pot. Bring to a boil and whisk in the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper, coconut aminos and Dijon.
- In a bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour the milk mixture into the skillet, and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes. Allow to come back to a boil and let cook for 1-2 minutes more until thickened. Turn heat to low, add the meatballs back to the sauce and stir to coat.
Mash the Potatoes
- Mash the potatoes with the remaining ¼ cup milk as well as salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve potatoes covered with sauce, meatballs and cranberry sauce as desired.
We have this every year on Christmas Eve with my extended family. One of my favorite traditions!
Thank you for your kind review, Jess!
Love Swedish meatballs. Love that you made them with turkey. They sound marvelous. Can't wait to make them and try them with cranberry sauce. Yum!
I hope you love them, Andrea!
These meatballs were so cozy and delicious - we absolutely loved the cream sauce! Definitely making again.
I'm glad you liked this recipe, Cara!
This recipe is perfect for my gluten free (and dairy free if using cashew milk) lifestyle. The whole family is sure to gobble this dish up!
Thank you for your kind comment!
Easy, comforting, and budget-friendly. This one's going into the rotation of favorites. Thanks for sharing!
I'm glad you liked this recipe, Traci!