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Easy Swedish Meatballs cook in the slow cooker and are simple to make with frozen meatballs, gravy packet, beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, and evaporated milk which makes the creamy gravy sauce so smooth and creamy.

Easy Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs


Swedish meatballs are meatballs that cook in a creamy gravy sauce. I wanted to create an easy Swedish meatball recipe that cooks in the slow cooker, uses frozen meatballs, and easy pantry ingredients. 

These easy Swedish meatballs use frozen meatballs, beef broth, water, condensed mushroom soup, garlic powder, a packet of brown gravy mix, and a can of evaporated milk for a super smooth creamy finish. So easy to make and these meatballs are always a family favorite for dinner.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe


Frozen Meatballs – Yes you could of course make your own but that kind of defeats the whole purpose of this recipe being easy. I have to put a shoutout to the best frozen meatballs ever here and those are the Costco ones. They sell a giant bag of Italian style meatballs that are so delicious. The membership alone is worth it just for those meatballs. Or just pick up a bag from the grocery store. Any kind of frozen meatball works here; Italian style, homestyle, etc. 

Beef Broth – I have tested the recipe with full salt beef broth and it was too much salt when combined with the condensed soup and gravy packet. Use the 50% reduced sodium beef broth. But of course, as always, use regular beef broth if that’s what you prefer. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup – I don’t even like mushrooms but I love this ingredient in these meatballs. The whole point of Swedish meatballs is that creamy gravy sauce and the cream of mushroom soup adds creaminess and rich flavor with the mushrooms. 

Brown Gravy Packet – Adds tons of flavor with just one packet. 


Garlic Powder

Evaporated Milk – I wanted to add some type of creamy element. Sour cream is the usual ingredient in a Swedish meatballs recipe but I find that it makes the sauce chunky with bits of sour cream instead of smooth. The evaporated makes the sauce so smooth and creamy. 

How to make swedish meatballs with step-by-step photo instructions.


  • This is not one of those slow cooker recipes that can be cooking all day long and kept on the warm setting for a couple of hours. I have found that once you add the evaporated milk be ready to eat it soon after. The longer the meatballs sit in the slow cooker, the thicker the sauce gets, and you won’t have the super smooth silky gravy sauce like you did before. 
  • I think it’s best to use evaporated milk because it makes the sauce so smooth! I tried using sour cream, which is the normal ingredient in Swedish meatballs, but I found that it takes forever for it to mix into the sauce and when it does you end up with these small white chunks of sour cream in your sauce. I prefer a smooth gravy sauce which is why I think it’s best to use evaporated milk. 
  • Can I make my own meatballs?

    • You sure can! I don’t have a good homemade meatball recipe that I can recommend but a simple search on Pinterest would yield lots of homemade meatball recipes to choose from. 
  • How do I serve Swedish meatballs?

    • My family prefers to eat these over egg noodles. You could also eat them as is, make meatball sandwiches with them, or serve them over rice. 
  • Can I substitute the cream of mushroom soup?

    • I know not everyone loves this ingredient and I will be honest and say that this is the only recipe on my site that uses this ingredient. With that said, I don’t even like mushrooms but I love this ingredient in this meatball recipe. You could try making homemade cream of mushroom soup or try using a different creamed soup like cream of celery or cream of onion. It will probably change the flavor slightly so I can’t say for sure what the results would be if you used a different creamed soup. 

Swedish Meatballs


Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs – Frozen meatballs cook in a spaghetti based pasta sauce all day. Serve over pasta noodles and with parmesan cheese. Shortcut recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. 

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs – These are amazing! My kids request these all the time. Frozen meatballs cook in an easy homemade sweet & sour sauce all day. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions. 

Easy Meatball Sliders – Frozen meatballs makes these sliders so simple to make!

Easy Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs
Together As Family Logo

Easy Swedish Meatballs

Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 people
Easy Swedish Meatballs cook in the slow cooker and are simple to make with frozen meatballs, gravy packet, beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, and evaporated milk which makes the creamy gravy sauce so smooth and creamy. Serve over egg noodles for a delicious dinner that even the kids will eat!


  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen Italian style or homestyle meatballs equal to 60 frozen meatballs
  • 1 can (14.75 oz) 50% reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet (.87 oz) brown gravy mix
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk


  • Spray the insert of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Dump the meatballs into the slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl add the beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, gravy packet contents, garlic powder, and water. Stir with a wire whisk until combined. Pour over the meatballs.
  • Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 4-5 hours.
    * Mine are usually done right at 4 hours 30 minutes. The meatballs can be in there the entire 5 hour cook time, but just know that once you add the evaporated milk it's best to eat the meatballs soon after so you can maintain that smooth creamy gravy sauce.
  • Add the can of evaporated milk and stir together. Put the lid back on and let it cook for 15-30 minutes. Serve immediately over some cooked egg noodles or rice.



Serving Note : Each serving includes, and nutrition information, is for 7 meatballs. Well 7.5 meatballs to be exact. Nutrition Information is just for 7 meatballs and some sauce. It does not include the egg noodles or rice that it is served over. 
Frozen Meatballs : I always use a giant bag of frozen meatballs from Costco so I always just count out 60 meatballs. A 32 oz bag of frozen meatballs is equal to 60-62 meatballs. Use Italian style meatballs or homestyle meatballs. 
Tip : If you want a really thick sauce then stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into the evaporated milk before adding it into the meatballs. I tried this once and thought it was too thick (too much like gravy) so I don't do this. 


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Very easy and tasty! Served with egg noodles. My only complaint is that the sauce was too runny. But I will make it again!

    1. Together As Family says:

      If it’s too runny just take the lid off the slow cooker for a few minutes before serving. It will thicken up slightly as it sits there. Happy to hear you loved this recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

      1. Does this need to be cooked on low for 4-5 hours or can you shorten the time and cook on high for 2-3 hours?

        1. Together as Family says:

          It should work to cook on high for 2-3 hours. Let me know how it turns out and what you think!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this and it was great. I mixed the egg noodles with the meatballs so the ratio was even and kept us fed for several days (only 2 of us). Thanks!

  3. If you don’t want your sour cream to leave those little bits then don’t pour it cold into your dish! I usually put the amount I need into a separate container and add few spoons of my broth or whatever I’m cooking and mix together. That will increase the temperature of your cream. Then pour the whole mixture into your broth.

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      Thank you for sharing that tip!

  4. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe! I plan to make it for a party tomorrow.. if I double it in my crockpot, will the cook time stay the same?

    1. Together As Family says:

      My family loves this one too!! As long as you are using a large enough crock pot, the cook time should stay the same. If the crockpot is really full then yes you’re probably going to want to add at least 1 hour on the cook time (maybe less, I would just check them).

  5. Liz Skoglund says:

    Do you have recommendations to make this in an Instant Pot instead of Crock Pot?

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’ve never tried this recipe in the instant pot but I would suggest combining all the ingredients like you would in a crockpot and then set the instant pot to manual for 10 minutes. Make sure to temp the meatballs to ensure they’re cooked through. After releasing the pressure, stir in the evaporated milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes to combine with the sauce.

      1. I’m going to try this tonight in the instant pot, would you suggest a manual release or quick?

        1. Together as Family says:

          Sorry I’m late replying but I would do a quick release for this recipe!

        2. instant pot has a slow cooker setting. I wouldn’t recommend regular instant pit settings!

      2. What if I accidentally added milk in with all the other ingredients cooking? How do I fix it add cornstarch?

        1. Together As Family says:

          I think it will be just fine. When it’s done cooking, if you take the lid off of the crockpot for about 10 minutes before serving, the liquid and gravy will thicken up on it’s own.

  6. Accidentally put the evaporated milk in with rest of the stuff is it gonna be ok?

    1. Together as Family says:

      It should turn out fine. The texture of the gravy could be a little bit different but no harm done by adding the evaporated milk early.

  7. NOT Swedish meatballs! a necessary ingredient for true Swedish meatballs is nutmeg! many people also add a bit of allspice. The Swedish woman who taught me, added some brown sugar in both the meatballs and the gravy, a well.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thanks for sharing the tip Marsha!

  8. These were easy and delicious!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you Lydia!

  9. 2 stars
    I followed everything to a T on this recipe and it was awful. Too sweet (even with unsweetened condensed milk) and nothing near Swedish meatballs.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Sorry you thought it was awful.

    2. SomeoneLikeYou says:

      That’s because it was supposed to be evaporated milk. Not condensed milk.

  10. We LOVE this. I am currently on low carb/high protein diet and put a couple cans of mushrooms in when I put in the milk, and when making noodles for the fam I made myself broccoli to put the meat and sauce over for myself. It was great and they still loved their meatballs and noodles. A new family favorite added to our rotation.

    1. Together as Family says:

      That is a wonderful idea to use broccoli to make it a lower carb meal. It makes me so happy to hear it is jointing your rotation, the greatest compliment! Thank you for your comment!

  11. I could not find 50%reduce beef broth,can I use regular?

    1. Together as Family says:

      I think the recipe will turn out fine. I’m a little more sensitive to sodium content so that’s why I cook it with the reduced sodium broth.

  12. Deb Waldrep says:

    5 stars
    I made this in my instapot, 20 minutes, rapid release and it was perfect. I only used a soup can (10 ounces) of broth. I hope this helps who are in a hurry and decide too late to make it in the crockpot.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for sharing what worked for you with the instant pot! People often ask how to convert recipes so it’s helpful when people share what worked for them.

  13. Do you put the meatballs in frozen or unthaw them?

    1. Together as Family says:

      You put the meatballs in frozen.

  14. Sounds so easy and delicious! Question though, can I make the meatballs in crockpot and then add the evaporated milk later after a couple of hours?

    1. Together as Family says:

      You cook the meatballs for 4-5 hours and then add the evaporated milk. Or are you asking if you can add the evaporated milk a couple hours after the 4-5 hour cook time? If so, just keep the meatballs in the crockpot on a ‘warm’ setting and add the milk when you’re ready (after switching the crockpot back to ‘low’)

  15. So of course I didn’t read the directions right and added the evaporated milk to the mixture of gravy and water and can of cream of mushroom! Is it still okay to cook like that?

    1. Together as Family says:

      Sorry I’m just seeing this! The gravy will thicken up a bit so it won’t be as smooth so it’s really just a matter of texture preference but it is still totally edible!

  16. can I use heavy cream to make a thicker sauce? I’m making this away from home and don’t have cornstarch to thicken evaporated milk

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes of course! I think heavy cream would be fine and really delish.

  17. Hi Jessica! I’ve made this several times and all but one of the times, my sauce has been thin. I am following it to a tee, I think! I am wondering if maybe I am cooking it a bit too long? This last time I even added corn starch/water when I did the evaporated milk and it was still thin.

  18. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly as written but made half a recipe. I didn’t have corn starch but used 2 tsps of flour to thicken the sauce just the right amount. Will definitely be making this again.