Swedish Meatballs with Gravy: #96 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Inspired by a fun DisneyWorld vacation this past summer, we wanted to re-create a meal we ate at the Norway pavilion of Epcot Center: swedish meatballs, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and lingonberry sauce (or cranberry works too). This dinner is very comforting and delicious for all ages!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($11 total)

1 cup breadcrumbs – I used leftover bread from the freezer, ground up in the blender
1/2 cup milk – $0.19
1/2 cup whipping cream – $0.75
1 egg – $0.29
1/2 tsp each garlic powder and salt – $0.28
1/4 tsp each onion powder, paprika, ginger, cumin, black pepper, and oregano – $0.42
1 lb ground beef – $5.99
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
5 tbsp butter – $0.78
3 tbsp flour – $0.03
2 cups chicken stock – I used leftover chicken stock from the freezer
1 cup whipping cream – $1.50
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.20
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a medium bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, milk and 1/2 cup cream, and let it sit for 10 minutes to softten. Add the egg and spices, then mix thoroughly. Finally, add the ground beef. Stir it all together well.

Use freshly washed hands to roll out about 20 smallish meatballs. Cover and put in the fridge if you’re making these ahead of time, otherwise proceed to step 2. 

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning continuously until they’re cooked inside and each side is browned. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Once all the meatballs are cooked, make the gravy: add 4 tbsp butter and the flour to the pan with all the meatball juices, then whisk until it comes together and turns brown. Slowly stir in the chicken stock and 1 cup cream, followed by the Worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard. Simmer until the gravy starts to thicken, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer for another 2-3 minutes to reheat them. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper as needed. 

3. Serve over mashed potatoes with a side of green beans and cranberry sauce. They would be good served over pasta too.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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