Ricotta takes the place of breadcrumbs in these gluten-free Swedish meatballs and they’re just as delicious as the more traditional kind!
I was in Sweden for a long weekend and I returned last night. I love everything about that place, but most of all – the people and the culture. I have an extremely soft spot in my heart for Sweden and Swedes and if I could live anywhere I wanted, I’d live in a small Swedish village in a cute red house overlooking a lake. But alas – there are high taxes to pay, jobs to be had, etc. But I have hope for the future. :)
I love Sweden so much that I chose to be an exchange student there in both high school and college. The first time, I was 16 and lived with a crazy family who happened to be vegetarian. It wasn’t a happy situation food-wise. When I knew they’d be gone, I’d go and buy a bag of frozen meatballs, prepare them really quickly and run away to my room and just devour them. It was great fun.
Then the second time I was in Sweden (which is where I met Mr. T, by the way) I decided I didn’t like Swedish meatballs and didn’t eat any of them. I’m weird like that. At least with food. Only recently was my passion for Swedish meatballs reignited and luckily, I no longer have to hide my meat eating.
These are super easy to make and relatively quick, too. Just mix everything together, bake the meatballs in the oven, and then pan fry a little so that they’re nice and crunchy. If you want, you can just bake them, but they won’t have that crust which I think is totally necessary for Swedish meatballs. Or you can just fry them in the pan without baking them first, but this will take a long time and you’ll need to stand over the meatballs to turn them every so often. The meatballs are spiced with both allspice and nutmeg so that they actually taste like something, which is something I’ve missed in other recipes.
This recipe was born out of a need to get rid of some ricotta. And it worked! The ricotta took the place of breadcrumbs and they unintentionally became gluten-free.
Another bonus with these meatballs – they’re not made from horsemeat! Yeah! :D
I know that Swedish meatball recipes usually have gravy recipes included, but I have never seen sauce served with meatballs in Sweden. It could just be who I’m hanging around with or have lived with, but I’ve always been served meatballs alongside mashed potatoes or buttered macaroni. And not only that, but I don’t like sauce and therefore can’t judge what’s good. ;) So here you are – just the meatballs!
Gluten-free Swedish Meatballs
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup (1.2dl) onion, minced
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free!)
- 1 pound (455 grams) ground pork and beef mix (mine was about 60% pork and 40% beef)
- 2/3 cup (160 grams) Ricotta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Get out a 9" x 13" baking dish or another pan large enough for the meatballs.
- In a large bowl, mix together the first seven ingredients (onion through Worcestershire sauce). Then add in the meat and mix together, just until combined. Add in the Ricotta. You can add more or less if you like.
- Form into tablespoon sized balls, place in the baking dish, and bake for 10 minutes.
- The last two minutes of baking, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Then fry the meatballs in the butter until nicely browned, about 5 - 10 minutes, and serve.