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These delicious Vegan Swedish Meatballs are reminiscent of the classic IKEA version. They are made with a plant-based ground that is perfectly textured and seasoned with warm spices. Then they are smothered in a rich and creamy gravy that is the epitome of comfort. The whole family will love it!
While most countries have their own delicious meatball version, Swedish meatballs have captured the hearts and taste buds of many! I believe IKEA had something to do with that and if you've tried their version before, you probably have an idea of what to expect flavor-wise.
The appealing taste comes from the combination of tender meatballs and creamy gravy which is lightly spiced with nutmeg and allspice. It's pure comfort in every bite!
This homemade plant-based version is just as good and will quickly become a new family favorite! I used Beyond Meat’s plant-based ground and I was over the moon on how amazing the recipe turned out with it! The ground has a meaty and juicy mouthfeel and does not fall apart. Everyone will love it — vegan or not!
However, if you are not a big fan of store-bought mock meat, you can replace the Beyond Ground with my recipe for Vegan Meatballs. All you'll have to do is switch out the Italian seasoning for the nutmeg and allspice.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
* This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
For the Meatballs:
- Plant-based ground meat - You can try any plant-based ground that you like. However, the taste and consistency may vary slightly with different brands, so this may alter the finished results. Take note that you may need more or less seasoning depending on the brand that you choose.
- Panko breadcrumbs – adding breadcrumbs aid with binding the ingredients and also helps keep the meatballs tender and juicy. I love panko, but feel free to use regular or even gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Fresh Ingredients - I used fresh onions, garlic, and parsley to add more texture and a savory flavor, but you can replace them with dried if you'd like.
- Spices - for the Swedish-style flavor, you'll need allspice, nutmeg, and ground white pepper. You can substitute the white pepper for black if you don't have it.
- Extra Flavor - I used dijon mustard and vegan Worcestershire sauce for a hint of zing and umami flavor. If you can't find vegan Worcestershire sauce, you can use low-sodium tamari. It doesn't perfectly replicate the flavor, but it's still delicious.
For the Gravy:
- Flour - I used regular all-purpose. To make this dish gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour brand 1:1.
- Broth - I used Better Than Bouillon No Beef Base. It has a deep savory flavor that really brings it home. My second choice would be their vegetable base. Whatever brand you choose, try to use a flavorful one. Homemade is wonderful too.
- Seasoning - I used a hint of allspice, nutmeg, dijon mustard, vegan Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to make the flavors pop!
- Coconut Milk - I used the full-fat canned variety for a silky and creamy finish. I can't taste the coconut flavor at all, but if you are sensitive to it, you can replace it with my Vegan Sour Cream recipe or a store-bought version. If you go that route, you may want to reduce or omit the dijon mustard so it's not overly tangy.
- Vegan Butter - I used Miyoko's Butter because it tastes so close to the dairy version and provides richness to the gravy. You can use any store-bought brand that you like.
How to Make Vegan Swedish Meatballs
- Add the breadcrumbs and coconut milk to a large bowl. Let it sit for a minute so the milk can absorb into the breadcrumbs. Now add the plant-based ground, onion, garlic, parsley, dijon, vegan Worcestershire sauce, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper. Combine well using your hands.
- Measure out a heaping tablespoon of mixture and place each scoop on a baking sheet. This should yield about 20 meatballs.
- Roll each scoop into shape with your hands and place back on the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Flip at the midway mark.
- For the gravy, heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it smells slightly nutty and lightly golden. About 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in half of the broth while constantly whisking to combine well. Let it come to a simmer before slowly adding the remaining broth while constantly whisking to prevent lumps. Add the remaining gravy ingredients and whisk to combine well.
- Simmer for 8-10 minutes to thicken into a thin-ish gravy. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and cook more if meatballs need heating.
Alternate Cooking Method
Another great way to enjoy these Vegan Swedish Meatballs is through frying. To start, just pour a few tablespoons of oil into your pan over medium heat. When fully heated and shimmering, add the meatballs and sear them undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes on all sides. Use a sturdy metal spatula to flip them over. Don't overcrowd the pan or they will not brown well.
You can enjoy this delicious dish in many different ways. Serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta and a side of your favorite veggies. If you want to go all out and experience a Swedish-style meal, you can also enjoy it with some puréed potatoes, pickled cucumbers, and lingonberry jam.
Make-ahead and storage
Make ahead: You can make and shape the meatball mixture and store them in the fridge for a few days or keep it frozen for up to 3 months. This way you can have some ready-made meatballs anytime you feel like it. All you have to do is bake ’em! You can also make the sauce a few days ahead of time and keep it refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. You may need to add a few splashes of broth on the reheat.
Storing leftovers: If you have leftovers with the meatballs in the sauce already, you can keep them in the fridge for a couple of days in an airtight container. You can reheat using a microwave or stovetop over low heat. Add a few splashes of broth if needed.
More comfort meals to enjoy
I Love To Hear From You
If you make these Vegan Swedish Meatballs, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Vegan Swedish Meatballs
- 1 pound plant-based ground meat (I used Beyond Meat)
- ½ medium onion , minced (about ¼ cup)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk , canned (*optional - see note)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg , more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper (sub black)
- Salt , to taste (*see note)
- Large Baking Pan
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl add the breadcrumbs and coconut milk. Let it sit for a minute so the milk can absorb into the breadcrumbs. Now add the plant-based ground, onion, garlic, parsley, dijon, vegan Worcestershire sauce, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper. Combine well using your hands. * note: if you aren't using milk, just add the breadcrumbs with the rest of the ingredients and combine.
- Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, measure out a heaping tablespoon of mixture (about 1.5 tablespoons). Alternatively, you can use a medium-sized cookie scoop for even measuring. Place each scoop on the baking sheet (don't roll yet). Once finished, roll each scoop into shape with your hands (it's less messy using this method).
- Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Flip at the midway mark. Remove from oven. Tip: start making the sauce when the meatballs have about 10 minutes left so they are nice and hot when the sauce is ready.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it's fully combined, smells slightly nutty, and it's lightly golden. About 1 minute. Whisk constantly to prevent burning.
- Slowly pour in half of the broth while constantly whisking to combine well. Let it come to a simmer before slowly adding the remaining broth while constantly whisking to prevent lumps (raise heat slightly if needed).
- Add the coconut milk, Worcestershire sauce, dijon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine well. Let it simmer for 7-9 minutes to thicken into a thin-ish gravy. Stir occasionally to prevent burning or lumps. Cook down longer for a thicker consistency (note: it'll thicken more when removed from heat). Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
- Add meatballs to the sauce and cook a few minutes longer if needed. Alternatively, you can serve the gravy on the side of the meatballs. See note for serving suggestions. Enjoy!