Enhance Your Swedish Meatball Experience with These 5 Delectable Side Dishes

5 Best Sides for Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you’re making them for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, pairing them with the right sides can take your meal to the next level. In this article, we will explore the 5 best sides for Swedish meatballs that will complement their flavors and enhance your dining experience.

1. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic and timeless side dish that pairs perfectly with Swedish meatballs. To make mashed potatoes, boil unpeeled potatoes in a pot of boiling water until just tender. Test for doneness by inserting a fork into the potatoes – if it goes in easily and reaches the center, the potatoes are done. Once cooked, run the potatoes under cold water and peel. In a separate bowl, mash the potatoes to a smooth paste, making sure there are no lumps. Add butter, salt, pepper and milk to achieve the desired consistency and flavor. Warm the mixture over low heat if the mashed potatoes are too cold. Serve a generous portion of creamy mashed potatoes with the meatballs for a comforting and satisfying combination.

2. Traditional Gravy

Another fantastic accompaniment to Swedish meatballs is a traditional sauce. This versatile sauce can also be poured over the meatballs and mashed potatoes to enhance the overall flavor. To make the sauce, combine the stock (traditionally veal stock), heavy cream, and cranberry jam (traditionally cranberry jam) in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until fully incorporated and reduced to a thick sauce consistency. Serve the sauce in a small bowl or drizzle over the meatballs and mashed potatoes for an extra boost of flavor.

3. Spiced Rice

Spiced rice is a delicious side dish that pairs well with Swedish meatballs, especially when served with the traditional sauce. To prepare the rice, soak raw rice in water for about 30 minutes. Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear, indicating that the rice starch has been reduced. Add salt and cook until the rice is soft but still firm. Let the rice cool for a few minutes. In a saucepan, heat vegetable oil and add cumin. When fragrant, add the cauliflower cubes and rice to the pan. Mix well and sprinkle with chili flakes, chicken powder and white pepper. Use the heat to incorporate the flavors without further cooking. Serve the spiced rice in a small bowl by tapping it gently on the plate to create a dome shape. Pour the traditional sauce over the rice for a delicious combination with the meatballs.

4. Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

For a vegetable side that complements the flavors of Swedish meatballs, try roasted broccoli with parmesan. Simply roast the broccoli until it is tender but still slightly crunchy. Season with salt and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. For an even tastier exterior, lightly roast the broccoli. This side dish adds a satisfying crunch and texture that balances the richness of the meatballs.

5. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment to Swedish meatballs, providing a tangy, sweet and flavorful contrast to the complex flavor of the meatballs. To make the sauce, combine white sugar, light brown sugar, water, orange juice, and well-rinsed cranberries in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the cranberries are soft. Be careful as the cranberries may burst and splatter during cooking. Reduce the sauce to a slightly runny consistency that will thicken as it cools. Allow the sauce to cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. The cranberry sauce adds a burst of vibrant flavor to the meatballs and other sides on your plate.
In conclusion, the 5 best sides for Swedish meatballs are mashed potatoes, traditional gravy, seasoned rice, roasted broccoli with parmesan, and cranberry sauce. These sides enhance the flavors of the meatballs and create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or enjoying a cozy family dinner, these side dishes will enhance your Swedish meatball experience. Experiment with these options and discover your favorite combinations to delight your taste buds.


What are the traditional ingredients for Swedish meatballs?

The basic ingredients for classic Swedish meatballs are breadcrumbs, cream, egg, meat (typically a combination of beef and pork), finely diced onion, and optional spices.

Can I use store-bought gravy instead of making a traditional sauce?

Yes, you can use store-bought gravy as a time-saving alternative to making a traditional sauce. Look for a sauce with a rich and savory flavor that complements the meatballs.

Are there vegetarian options for the sides?

Yes, vegetarian options are available. Mashed potatoes can be made with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and spiced rice can be made with vegetable broth or seasoning instead of chicken powder.

Can I make these side dishes ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the mashed potatoes and spiced rice ahead of time and heat them up before serving. The traditional gravy can also be made ahead and reheated. However, roasted broccoli with parmesan and cranberry sauce is best enjoyed fresh.

Can I substitute cranberry sauce for cranberry jam?

Yes, if you can’t find cranberry jam, cranberry sauce is a great substitute. It provides a similar tart and sweet flavor that goes well with Swedish meatballs.

Can I customize the sides to fit my dietary needs?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the seasoning, add or omit ingredients, or explore additional side dish options to suit your dietary preferences. The goal is to create a meal that you’ll enjoy and that complements the flavors of Swedish meatballs.