Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (2024)

These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are perfect for busy weeknights or an elegant holiday dinner! Made with homemade meatballs, beef broth, cream and perfectly seasoned, the slow cooker does all the work!

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (1)

November is here and we are officially well into comfort food season (if we weren’t already a month or two ago!).

Meatballs are one of my favorite comfort foods, and I love how many ways there are to do them up! We’ve been loving theseSweet and Sour Crockpot MeatballsandSlow Cooker Cranberry Meatballsfor a long time now.

These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are one of my favorite new recipes for a few reasons:

  • The slow cooker makes weeknight dinners manageable during this crazy season! And Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners make clean up pretty much non-existent — done in 8 seconds or less!
  • They’re saucy — like my toddler, I’m all about the sauces, the dips and the garnishes. I like my meat smothered in something creamy and delicious, and this Swedish meatball sauce definitely does the trick!
  • They’ll do double duty: need an easy meal to throw in on a busy night? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs! Need a potluck offering for a holiday dinner? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs! Need something elegant to serve guests that won’t make you lose your mind? Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs!
Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (2)

So go grab your slow cooker, your Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner, and let’s get this party started 😉

How to make Swedish Meatballs:

  1. We’re making our meatballs from scratch, but they come together quickly with just a few ingredients. I like to use a combination of lean ground beef and pork (and I do this often when I make burgers as well!), but you can use all beef or even chicken or turkey if you like. When I make meatballs, I love to make a big batch, bake them off, and freeze so they’re ready to just throw in the slow cooker.
  2. Stir together the sauce — and you can do this in about 3 seconds 😉
  3. Throw both together in the slow cooker lined with a Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner, and let the magic happen — clean your house, put up your feet, or sip a glass of something bubbly before your guests arrive.
  4. Scoop and serve! There’s nothing to do before serving, which makes it easy to get your side dishes in order.

What’s in Swedish Meatball Sauce?

There are a couple of different ways to make Swedish meatball gravy, and I’m a little opinionated on the matter for one reason: I don’t like sour cream.

It’s a weird preference I have: no sour cream, no mayo, no dressings. But once I figured out how delicious Swedish meatball sauce is made with cream and no sour cream, I feel head over heels in love.

My Swedish meatball sauce is made with beef broth, cream, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and parsley. It is so easy and so flavorful!

Many people swap the cream for sour cream, and you can absolutely do that if you prefer.

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (3)

Can I use frozen meatballs for these Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs?


If you know me, you know I’m all about taking advantage of smart shortcuts when you need them.

You can swap the homemade meatballs for frozen, store bought in these Crockpot Swedish Meatballs and no one will know, which makes this recipe even more weeknight-friendly.

Can I skip the baking and just throw the meatballs right in?

I recently tested this recipe with the raw meatballs added to the slow cooker with the sauce and cooked.

It worked fine, but the meatballs will release more of the meat juices into the sauce as they cook. This can lead to the sauce looking “fatty” or being thinner than expected.

The meatballs themselves were great and the sauce was still delicious.

Can I sear the meatballs on the stove top instead of baking?

You can absolutely sear the meatballs before adding to the slow cooker rather than bake them.

I usually bake my meatballs because, with 3 kids running around, it is easier and requires less of my attention.

To sear, simply heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil.

Add the meatballs in a single layer, leaving a little room in between each. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and brown the other side.

You do not want them to cook completely, as they will finish cooking in the slow cooker. Our goal is just to keep the juices inside the meatballs.

What should I serve with easy Swedish Meatballs?

I like to keep my sides simple as a blank slate to soak up all of that gravy — these Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes are the perfect complement, but plain boiled egg noodles work just as well!

Add something green — a salad, some steamed broccoli, green beans or asparagus — and you’re good to go!

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (4)

More slow cooker meals you’ll love:

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
  • Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
  • Slow Cooker Pot Roast with the BEST gravy!
  • Crockpot Chicken and Noodles recipe

*This post has been generously sponsored by Reynolds Kitchens and I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Recipe Rebel!

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Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

written by Ashley Fehr

4.69 from 41 votes

These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs are perfect for busy weeknights or an elegant holiday dinner! Made with homemade meatballs, beef broth, cream and perfectly seasoned, the slow cooker does all the work!

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (7)




Prep Time 40 minutes mins

Cook Time 4 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

Total Time 4 hours hrs 55 minutes mins

Cuisine American

Course Main Course

Servings 8 servings

Calories 401cal



  • 2 slices soft bread (white or brown)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (or water)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ onion (grated or finely chopped)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 ¼ cups low sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg


Baked Meatballs

  • Tear bread into small pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Process until the bread is in fine crumbs and combine with milk. Stir and let sit for a few minutes (*If you don't have a food processor, you can soak the bread chunks and then mash into fine crumbs)

  • Stir together soaked bread, beef, pork, onion, eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large bowl just until combined — don't overmix.

  • Shape meat into 1-1.5" balls and place 1" apart on baking sheet. (I get about 30-35 1.5" meatballs)

  • Bake at 425 degrees Ffor 10 minutes, or sear in a hot skillet with a drizzle of oil, just until browned on the outside. This keeps the meatballs from falling apart in the slow cooker, and keeps the sauce from getting too fatty!

  • Place in a 3-4 quart slow cooker (*At this point, once cooled, you can freeze up to 3 months for a variety of uses).

Swedish Meatball Sauce

  • Stir together broth, heavy cream, corn starch, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsley, salt, thyme, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over meatballs in slow cooker.

  • Cook on low until cooked through and sauce has thickened — about 3-4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

  • Serve with sauce over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.


Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Fresh bread crumbs: you can substitute for ½ cup dried bread crumbs if need be. Increase the milk to ¼ cup.
  • Ground beef and pork: you can use lean ground meat for less fatty meatballs, or go higher fat for more flavor (keep in mind this will make your sauce more fatty as well).
  • Cream: for a lighter sauce, swap the heavy cream for evaporated milk.

Can I add the meatballs to the slow cooker without browning?

You can, but I prefer not to because the sauce becomes very fatty as the meat releases its juices, and you risk the meatballs falling apart as they cook.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 142grams | Calories: 401cal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg

Keywords crockpot swedish meatballs, slow cooker swedish meatballs

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Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs - The Recipe Rebel (2024)


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