It’s fair to say I’ve had a passion for Swedish meatballs (or Svenska köttbullar) ever since I lived in Sweden. These tasty little morsels are served with a cream sauce and traditionally accompanied by rich mashed potatoes and tart lingonberry jam. Not only are they practically Sweden’s national dish, they’re also pretty hard to miss if you’ve ever visited in Ikea. They are often served at smörgåsbord and other celebrations like midsommar. This is my version of keto Swedish meatballs.
WHAT ARE SWEDISH MEATBALLS?
I’ve always wondered exactly what makes Swedish meatballs Swedish. I haven’t found one clear answer, but I’ve found plenty of definitions. Swedish meatballs are typically small in size; smaller than Italian meatballs. They are made with ground beef, pork and/or veal, which is mixed with onions and breadcrumbs. Common seasonings include white pepper, all spice and salt and they are typically served with a creamy white or brown gravy.
KETO SWEDISH MEATBALLS
The two ingredients that need replacing for low-carb Swedish meatballs are the breadcrumbs and flour used in traditional recipes. To replace the breadcrumbs, I used my current favorite ingredient, almond flour. With the consistency of flour, almond flour is simply ground almonds in a powdered form. It worked perfectly to bind the meat mixture and made it easy to work with. Flour is typically used to create the gravy with the pan scrapings, so I used full cream instead, which thickened beautifully as it simmered.
I’m still trying to perfect the art of achieving neat round meatballs at uniform sizes. I used a tablespoon to scoop the meat mixture in even amounts before rolling them by hand. The mixture warms during this process, so I then placed them in the fridge to set their shape, before frying them in a generous amount of oil. Some still come out looking like pyramids, but they’re getting better each time I try this recipe!
I like to serve these meatballs with a cauliflower mash and homemade berry chia jam. The textures and flavors are great replacements for mashed potato and lingonberry jam; and they help to balance out the rich meatballs and gravy. I also like to sprinkle some fresh herbs on top, such as parsley or dill. The closest fresh herb I could find here was chervil, a close relation to parsley which worked a treat.
CARBS IN KETO SWEDISH MEATBALLS
The whole batch of these tasty little morsels has about 14g of net carbs in total. This equals about 22 meatballs which makes two generous servings.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion (minced)
- 200g ground beef
- 200g ground pork
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp fresh parsley (to garnish)
- Roughly chop the onion and mince in a food processor. Heat some of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and saute until soft.
- Put the onion in a mixing bowl and add the beef, pork, almond flour, eggs, allspice, salt and pepper. Mix well with your appliance of choice. I use my mini food processor, blending the mixture in batches.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop the meatball mixture in uniform sizes. Roll each scoop into a ball and place on a plate. Continue with all of the mixture and place rolled balls into the fridge for 10 mins to help set their shape.
- In the same frying pan, heat some of the olive oil at medium heat. Add half of the chilled meatballs and fry until cooked through. Turn each meatball multiple times to try and keep them evenly round.
- Once cooked, set aside, add the rest of the oil and cook the remaining meatballs.
- Once all meatballs are cooked and set aside, prepare the gravy sauce.
- Lower the heat and add the heavy cream and water to the frying pan. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan and combine well with the sauce.
- Slowly simmer until the sauce reduces to your desired consistency. I like mine thick, so simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve by either pouring the gravy over the meatballs or add the meatballs to the pan and coat generously, soaking up the gravy.
- Garnish with fresh parsley (or dill) and enjoy!
- This recipe equals about 22 meatballs which makes two generous servings.
- The whole batch has 14g net carbs total.
- Calories: 2,114kcal, Net carbs: 14g, Carbs: 21g, Fibre: 7g, Fat: 150g, Protein: 107g, Sugar: 6g