Ate any Swedish meatballs lately?

Let’s talk about meatballs. Swedish meatballs, that is.

I used to think the Swedish meatballs at IKEA Malaysia were well, nice. Then I went to Sweden. And Oh. My. Tummy.

I mean, just take a look at the picture below and you won’t need to try very hard to spot the difference. The texture, the colors. And the taste, yes, it’s Swede tenderness and juicy goodness over in Köttbullar land.

IKEA Swedish Meatballs Malaysia vs Sweden

Needless to say, I almost never order the balls now at my local IKEA. Not the Swedish meatballs nor the veggie balls. (Don’t get me started on the veggie balls. That’s a whole different story)

How do the Swedish meatballs at your local IKEA look and taste like?

Is it any good? Send me a photo.

In the meantime, I’ll get my meatball fix in other ways and try out other variations. This recipe from their book, Food’s Ready! looks interesting. Tuesday’s lunch it is.

Spicy Swedish Meatballs Recipe from IKEA Food's Ready book

Swedish Meatballs in spicy tomato sauce


  • 32 meatballs (Köttbullar)
  • Oil for frying


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 g)
  • 1/2 g saffron
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken)
  • approx. 1 tsp sugar
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and black pepper


  • 4 portions couscous
  • 2 green cardamom pads
  • Salt


  • 100 ml natural yoghurt, approx. 10% fat
  • Fresh mint

1. Chop the onion and fry over a medium heat in a saucepan until golden. Mix in the finely chopped garlic and chilli, and the cumin and paprika. Fry for a few minutes.

2. In another pan, fry the frozen meatballs in oil for about 5 minutes until nicely browned.

3. To the onion saucepan add the tomatoes, saffron, water and stock cube. Then add the warm meatballs.

4. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes or so. Season with sugar, salt and pepper.

5. Cook the couscous as per the instructions on the packets, along with the cardamom and salt.

6. Serve the meatballs and tomato sauce with couscous, a dollop of yoghurt and a little fresh mint.

Or if you prefer, here’s a traditional IKEA Meatballs recipe.


Jules Yap