Thursday, March 30, 2017

IKEA-Style Swedish Meatball Meal (Recipe)


While we were driving into Memphis for a quick visit a few weeks ago, we passed an IKEA, and I told Mr. Handsome that we just had to go there for lunch. "Lunch at a furniture store?" he replied. "That's like buying fresh fish from a sewage treatment pond. No one wants that." He had clearly never had the IKEA experience.

Growing up, my brother and I loved IKEA. Whenever we were near one, we just had to stop in and order a plate of Swedish Meatballs. (We even went to an IKEA in Sweden, which was especially memorable.) We also enjoyed walking through the store and looking at all the fun gadgets....and trying to pronounce the Swedish names for everything. Some IKEA locations have cart escalators, which always added a fun twist.

Well, Mr. Handsome finally gave in to a quick stop at IKEA, and we had a blast. The Swedish meatballs with cream sauce and lingonberry jam were definitely the best part. Don't they just look amazing (see photo above)?

For those who aren't familiar with lingonberries, they are a Scandinavian wild berry. In the small grocery section at IKEA, there are dozens of lingonberry products for sale.


We ended up buying two items: a dishtowel for $0.79 (how can you pass that up?) and a package of frozen chicken meatballs.



The store also sells a pre-made package of cream sauce...


...But I decided to come up with my own recipe (see below). It was a hit! For those who don't have an IKEA nearby, any type of fully-cooked meatballs (Swedish or regular) will do. You can also make your own meatballs. For those who are vegetarian, IKEA sells meatless meatballs.

IKEA-Style Swedish Meatball Meal

IKEA Swedish Meatball Cream Sauce Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon butter
2-1/2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if vegetarian)
1 cup half and half
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Asparagus (washed with ends removed)
Olive oil and garlic salt
Baby yellow potatoes, washed
Meatballs (25-30) 
1 Tablespoon butter

Serves 4

Directions:

Place asparagus on a cookie sheet or other pan. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with desired amount of garlic salt. Cook 15-20 minutes at 350F. (I use my toaster oven, but you can use a regular oven.)


Place potatoes in a pot with a vegetable steamer (with water underneath). If you don't have a steamer, just cook them how you normally cook your potatoes. Cook over medium heat until soft.


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1-1/2 Tablespoons flour. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. 


Add broth and half and half. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.


Whisk in remaining flour (1 Tablespoon) and remaining ingredients (Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper).


If meatballs are frozen, add them to a saucepan with 1 Tablespoon melted butter, and cook (stirring every 30 seconds) over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.


Add meatballs to sauce, and cook, stirring constantly, until meatballs are covered in sauce.


Enjoy! I am kicking myself for passing up the lingonberry jam to eat with our meatballs, but we had some red currant jam on hand that worked just as well.

41 comments:

  1. I am going to try this! I ate at Ikea once and loved it!

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  2. Anonymous3/30/2017

    I love IKEA Swedish meatballs! Thank you so much for the recipe!
    I'm going to try it this week. :)

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  3. Anonymous3/30/2017

    I love IKEA Swedish meatballs! Thank you so much for the recipe!
    I'm going to try it this week. :)

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  4. Anonymous3/30/2017

    Never heard of those berries. I don't know what to make of this recipe, I'm not familiar with Swedish meatballs or the sauce. I'm not from the US .
    I also thought it was strange to eat at an IKEA
    Learned a few things from this post.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/31/2017

      Lingonberries are like if a cranberry and a cherry had a baby, with maybe blueberry or raspberry cousins? Hard to describe, but good, in a sweet-tart way. Grown in cooler climates.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous3/30/2017

    What did Mr Handsome think of this dish?
    Do you still do your favorite dishes on Monday?

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    Replies
    1. He enjoyed it, not as much as I did though. Lol. Yep, we still do Magnificent Meal Monday. It really helps with the Monday doldrums.

      Ellie

      Delete
  6. Anonymous3/30/2017

    Yummy, that is a favorite stop for me mostly, I think, but the kids and husband all have fun eating meatballs and shopping around looking at all sort of interesting items. A tip for your next trip: Ikea brand hazelnut milk chocolate bars!

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, that sounds tasty! Thanks for the tip!

      Ellie

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  7. You've been to an IKEA in Sweden?! That is so cool. I LOVE their lingonberry juice. I may have bought several packages of juice boxes of the stuff for myself the last time I was at IKEA like I was a kid back in elementary school... 🙈

    I also own way too many IKEA dishtowels because they are seriously the best.

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    Replies
    1. That's hilarious, but it's so tasty that I can totally understand! I have a hard time finding kitchen towels specifically for drying dishes. Most stores just seem to carry the fuzzy kind. Glad to find them at IKEA!

      Ellie

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  8. Anonymous3/30/2017

    How did you end up in Sweden as a kid? Stolen away by gnomes??

    My family had Saabs when I was growing up and Scandinavian Modern furniture, but that as close as I ever got to Sweden or IKEA. Saab actually said in the owner's manual that it was "Made by trolls in Trollhatten." That's where the Saab assembly plant was. There were t-shirts you could buy back then with that slogan on them, and a picture of a troll.

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    1. Haha! We went to Europe to sight-see and visit family. We also had some friends who were living in Sweden temporarily for work. I have heard that Saabs are great cars. Did your family find them to be better than other brands?

      Ellie

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    2. Hahha, that´s the most stupid thing I´ve read! I live and I was born in Sweden and Trollhättan is a town in southern Sweden, so that´s probably why they "play" with the name of that with the troll-thing :P

      Delete
  9. Anonymous3/31/2017

    Hi Ellie I got the idea to look for more blogs from you. One thing I noticed is that they have a store button to click on in their menu choices. If you were to sell some stuff what would you sell?

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    Replies
    1. That's a good question! I'm not sure. Any ideas?

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous3/31/2017

    IKEA also sells frozen yogurt cones for like $1 CAD. They are delish!

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  11. Anonymous3/31/2017

    Wonder if this would work with fat-free half & half? When I see cream or full-fat milk in recipes (unless necessary for baking), I get a little nervous and start thinking of lower fat substitutes.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/31/2017

      I use skim milk in my recipes and it turns out good.

      Delete
    2. Skimmed milk is bad for you, I used to use that kind of milk, then I started using full fat milk, REALLY I LOST lots of weight, and I never did anything different!!! I used to have a funny feeling in my stomach, and now I never get that feeling. Your body will be able to get the full nutrients from the milk, because you need to have fat to do this!!!!!

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    3. One more thing, what kind of pot are you using, looks very interesting!!!!!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous4/02/2017

      Skim milk is not "bad for you." You sound like you had other health issues going on, and something resolved them, not necessarily the milk change. Your body can utilize the "nutrients" in milk without having the fat from the milk itself. Anything else you eat that is "fatty" (oils, nuts, avocado, butter, cheese, etc.) will provide enough "fat" for the fat soluble vitamins in milk to be absorbed by the body. So bottoms up, skim milk lovers.

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    5. Really do the research, you need fat, so the calcium will absorb by the bones, and I don't have any health issues!!! Skim milk is bad for you, because they add sugar to give a richer taste, because the sugar makes the lactose stronger, and that is why my stomach felt funny!!!! LOOK INTO IT!!!!!!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous4/03/2017

      What can be added to skim milk are dry milk solids, not "sugar" as in sucrose or cane sugar. Lactose is the naturally occurring milk sugar, straight from the cow herself. Skim milk does not have sucrose (cane sugar) added to its lactose (milk sugar) to make the lactose "stronger." Nor does it contain any significant amount of extra lactose vs. whole milk. The amount of lactose in skim milk vs. whole milk is nearly identical.

      Why your stomach felt bad on one type of milk and not another? A question for your gastro doctor. But there is no "added sugar" in skim milk.

      As far as fat, most diets have enough from other sources to make up for what's missing in the skim milk. Fat is not what you look for when it comes to aiding calcium absorption. Vitamin D is what's needed most, and/or Vitamins C, E, and K, plus magnesium and boron.

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    7. This will be the last time I'll write!!!! Really they hide it, my good friend worked in the Dairy Farm, for 4 years, till he could not morally stand it anymore, so I know what I'm talking about, and this Dairy is highly thought of!!! So please take my word!!!! Have a great day, and take care!!!!!!

      Delete
    8. Anonymous4/04/2017

      Justine you must be lactose. You do not need fat. The fat is not good for you in milk.
      You need fat free milk.
      Whole milk and full fat milk is not good for you. I check with a dietation and she said Skim milk is better for you.

      I drink skim milk and lost 100 pounds.

      Delete
    9. To the original commenter: The sauce would be much runnier without the fat, but you could definitely give it a try. Maybe try adding a little extra flour.

      Ellie

      Delete
  12. Anonymous3/31/2017

    I assume any meat ball you use must be fully cooked first. Did I miss where you said that?

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  13. Anonymous3/31/2017

    Looks good, beats frozen chicken cutlets and frozen fries reheated in the oven. You are such a nice wife, Mr Handsome must be very happy!

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    Replies
    1. Well thank you! You're very kind.

      Ellie

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  14. Anonymous4/01/2017

    Being from Finland, we have this sort of little brother (us) - big brother (Swedes) -relationship :) We used to be part of their kingdom, but then Russia conquered us 200 years ago, after the revolution of 1917 we got independence, but our culture is very similar to Sweden's. One of my favourite hobbies at the end of the summer is picking wild berries (mainly blueberries and lingon berries). I love love love lingonberry fudge cake, sour berries with something extremely sweet is a match made in heaven. Would you Ellie consider doing a post where you would ask reader's favourite recepies and people could write them in the comment section. It would be nice to see what type of recepies people from around the globe would have.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Neat that you can pick wild lingonberries. A favorite recipes post is a great idea. I did something similar, but I'll have to do another one.

      Ellie

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  15. Oh my days, I LOVE IKEA meatballs! Over here in Europe they are served with fries and not mash but the sauces are the same. I always thought it was cranberry sauce, so you've taught me something there! I have to admit I habe brought home ikea meatballs plus all of the sauces and cooked them at home..so indulgent!! Do you have Daim aswell over there? I always stock up on Daim when we go to IKEA, mmm!

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    1. Hi Katy,

      I haven't heard of Daim. What is it? Thanks for reading all the way from Europe! What country do you live in?

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous4/05/2017

      Daim is a type of chocolate bar, it has a sort of crispy, hard caramel inside and chocolate layer covering it.

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    3. And Dumle-klubbor!!! (Dumlekola is a kind of toffee and klubbor is lollipops)

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    4. Both sounds tasty! I'll have to remember that if we travel to Sweden someday. :)

      Ellie

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  16. My family has been in-love with Ikea since the early 80's, I still have my old bookshelves, one of the BEST things about Ikea, the furniture, lasts, and the cafeteria food is REALLY good!!! I know you might not like this, but my wonderful Mother,( my Mother is English), loved that they severed beer too, LOL!!!!!!! The store has some class to it!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Anonymous4/05/2017

    You should cut the sprouts off your potatoes before you cook them.

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  18. Hi there! :)
    I´m from Sweden (and live in Sthlm) and I´m so glad to read this post and glad you enjoy IKEA and the typical Swedish food! We call typical Swedish food "husmanskost" (if you want to learn another Swedish word, haha) ;)
    And yes, it´s completely impossible to go to IKEA without buying at least ONE small little thing! Have a great day, thanks for sharing!

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