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.
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH MEATBALLS WITH FROZEN MEATBALLS
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.
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.
TIPS AND HELPFUL HINTS FOR MAKING SWEDISH MEATBALLS
- 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.
TRY THESE OTHER DINNER RECIPES THAT USE FROZEN 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 Swedish Meatballs
- 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.