Did you know that every culture has its version of meatballs? That’s right!
The Spaniards have their albondigas, the Dutch have their bitterballen, the Chinese have lion’s head, the Indians have their kofta, and many more.
This proves that meatball dishes will always be a hit, no matter what culture you’re in. However, your choice of side dishes will depend on what type of meatballs you’re having.
So what to serve with Swedish meatballs?
We’ve got some fantastic suggestions!
Read on to find out what these are:
- What is a Good Side for Swedish Meatballs?
- What Vegetables Go With Swedish Meatballs?
- What Else Can You Serve with Swedish Meatballs? (Noodle, Rice, Bread and More)
- The Bottom Line
What is a Good Side for Swedish Meatballs?
So what to serve with Swedish meatballs? Here are some of the best ideas that we’ve come across:
1. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
First on our list is the go-to side dish to serve with Swedish meatballs—creamy mashed potatoes! Of course, many of you know this as the classic Ikea pairing, and it got popular for plenty of good reasons!
Since mashed potatoes are creamy, buttery, soft, and cheesy, they pair well with ground beef meatballs served with rich, creamy gravy, mushroom sauce, lingonberry jam, or cranberry sauce.
Creamy mashed potatoes may also help cut through barbecue meatballs’ saltiness and rich flavors.
Pro Tip: If you find the usual mashed potatoes recipe a bit bland, here are some tweaks you can make: add roasted garlic to infuse that mild yet distinct garlic flavor or a dollop of sour cream to make it extra creamier.
2. Roasted Potatoes
If you prefer a crispy dish instead of a creamy one, try roasting your potatoes instead.
Roasting brings out the potato’s natural flavor and gives it a perfect golden shade. If you want potatoes to be the center of attention, avoid using too many herbs and spices, and stick to only the basics—rosemary, salt, minced garlic, olive oil, and pepper.
This potato dish provides a nice contrast against Swedish meatballs with cream sauce with its crunchy texture.
Pro Tip: The best potato variant for this recipe is red potatoes.
What Vegetables Go With Swedish Meatballs?
Here are some of the best ideas that we’ve come across:
3. Sautéed Green Beans (#1 Vegetable Go withSwedish Meatballs)
And if you’ve prepared Asian- style meatballs, here’s one side dish you would certainly not want to miss out on!
We must admit green beans in itself seems boring, but add a few ingredients like garlic and olive oil, and you can transform it into one of the best Asian dishes for Swedish meatballs.
We like this most because it lends a crunchy texture to the chewy and soft meatballs, rounding up the meal perfectly.
Pro Tip: Green beans can lose their crunchiness when overcooked. To avoid this, cook the beans over medium-high heat for only 10 minutes.
4. Roasted Broccoli
Here’s one fancy side dish that’s nutritious, delicious, and easy to make!
To transform this humble vegetable into a worthy dish, all you need to do is cook it with garlic and lemon—that’s all!
Its garlicky and tangy taste is best served with sweet-style meatball dishes like Hawaiian meatballs.
Pro Tip: Add a few other roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and it will become the best side dish for Salisbury, barbecue, or Swedish meatballs.
5. Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus is usually served with steak, but what you didn’t know is it works well with Swedish meatballs.
We love roasting asparagus as it gives the dish a caramelized exterior which will undoubtedly add depth to your meatball recipe.
Meatballs are usually seasoned with salt and pepper. But for added flavor, you can sprinkle it with Parmesan and drizzle it with olive oil.
Another option is to toss it in a mixture of butter and lemon.
Since asparagus has a crunchy and chewy taste, this is the dish to serve Swedish meatballs.
Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can cook asparagus in the microwave instead of baking or sautéing it.
6. Tossed Salad (#1 Salad Goes With Swedish Meatballs)
What salad goes with Swedish meatballs? For those who don’t have the time to roast or cook their veggies, a tossed salad will do.
The best thing about this no-cook side dish is it can provide you the fiber boost you need in the easiest, most convenient, and most delicious way possible.
Not only that, its light and refreshing taste can balance out the heaviness and richness of Swedish meatballs with rich and creamy gravy.
But wait, there’s more.
Tossed salads are highly versatile and customizable, so you can experiment with various toppings and pair them up with different types of meatballs.
Here are some of our recommendations:
- Buffalo meatballs: tossed salad with mandarin oranges and tangy citrus dressing
- Asian-inspired meatballs: Thai chopped salad or tossed salads with sesame dressing
- Italian meatballs: Mixed green salads with parmesan cheese
7. Corn on the Cob
Aren’t salads your thing?
We got you, fam! Instead of salads, get the fiber you need from a more flavorful and fun option—corn on the cob.
Just imagine chewing into soft meatballs and biting into perfectly charred corn on the cob slathered with butter and seasoned well with various warming spices. It sounds like heaven, isn’t it?
This sweet, buttery, and smoky side dish is perfect for barbecue meatballs and is undoubtedly a must-have for barbecue parties during the hot summer months.
Pro Tip: Level up your barbecue game by trying out different toppings for your corn on the cob. Some of our best recommendations are shredded cheese, finely chopped garlic, cilantro, paprika, and other spices.
Want to serve your Swedish meatballs with something fancy?
Well, no side dish can be fancier than ratatouille.
This dish features different types of stewed vegetables like yellow squash, bell pepper, eggplant, and zucchini.
It also usually comes with mascarpone cheese.
While its name seems like a mouthful, this dish is relatively easy to make. Plus, it’s saucy, tangy, and comes with a wide range of textures that will undoubtedly tickle your taste bud.
This rich side dish pairs well with a slice of baguette and Italian meatballs.
Fun Fact: This dish became famous worldwide when Disney named a movie after it.
What Else Can You Serve with Swedish Meatballs? (Noodle, Rice, Bread and More)
Here are some of the best ideas that we’ve come across:
If you wish to play it safe, stick with the classic, and you can never go wrong. With that said, we highly recommend serving Swedish meatballs with spaghetti.
This is often served with meatballs and marinara sauce, but plenty of ways to serve it.
For one, you can season it with red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic.
Another option is to skip the marinara sauce and go for Alfredo sauce instead. Finally, add in a few mushrooms and parmesan bread crumbs, and you’re good to go.
10. Buttered Egg Noodles
We won’t deny it.
Spaghetti and Swedish meatballs are a foolproof combination.
But here’s some good news: you can still take it to the next level by swapping the spaghetti noodles with buttered egg noodles.
Aside from the size difference, cooked egg noodles have a richer flavor and chewier texture than spaghetti, which can elevate your meal.
Same with spaghetti, this is a great side dish for meatballs with egg noodles served with either rich and creamy gravy or marinara sauce.
Pro Tip: Make the dish more flavorful by adding cheese. Our best suggestions are Monterey Jack or Gouda.
Here’s an unpopular opinion: Swedish meatball goes well with udon.
Do you find it to be a bit weird? Well, it wouldn’t work with all types of meatballs—just with Asian-style meatballs.
If you’re feeling a bit creative, here are some of our pairing suggestions:
- Udon and meatballs with soy sauce and tzatziki sauce
- Meatballs and udon tossed in peanut butter sauce
- Udon and meatballs with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and topped with scallions, sesame seeds, and carrots
Meatball sub, anyone? This dish proves that bread and meatballs go oh so well together.
Just imagine biting into the crunchy yet chewy French bread with juicy and saucy meatballs inside.
Oh, and don’t forget to top it off with melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese for the ultimate meatball sub experience.
For a carb-heavy dinner, you can always choose to serve meatballs with rice.
Its simple taste can pair well with just about any type of meatball dish, but most especially with rich and creamy sauce versions.
The best part?
You can try out different types of rice, seasonings, sauces, and toppings for your rice and meatball combo.
Here are some fantastic examples:
- Rice Types: Jasmine rice, Basmati rice, long-grain, short-grain, brown and sticky.
- Sauce Ideas: Garlic herb, soy sauce, salsa, and marinara sauce.
- Toppings: Veggies, herbs, and cheeses.
14. Cauliflower Rice
For people who wish to cut down on carbs but want to enjoy the versatility of rice, here’s one hack you need to try: cauliflower rice.
Even though it’s not the real thing, its texture and mild flavor are similar to rice, so you can enjoy the same toppings and sauces that we’ve shared.
Fun Fact: What makes Swedish meatballs different?
Swedish meatballs are generally small in shape compared with Italian meatballs and usually have a 50-50 mixture between sliced meat and ground beef. Swedish meatballs sometimes use other spices to flavor it, while the meatballs used in Italy tend to use parmesan and garlic flavors. (*)
Now that we’ve delved into the best side dishes to serve with Swedish meatballs, do you have any other questions? We answer them below!
1. What Sauce to Serve With Swedish Meatballs?
This sauce is our favorite for Swedish meatballs, but there are many variations.
You could also serve them with cranberry sauce, brown gravy, or white sauce.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook until softened.
- Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with Swedish meatballs.
2. What Dessert Goes With Swedish Meatballs?
There are many delicious desserts that can be enjoyed with Swedish meatballs, including traditional Swedish desserts such as Berry Pudding or Rice Cream. Other popular options include vanilla or strawberry ice cream, chocolate sauce, or even a simple fruit salad. No matter what you choose, your guests are sure to enjoy this tasty treat!
The Bottom Line
What to serve with Swedish meatballs?
Meatball dishes are probably some of the most versatile dishes that you can prepare, and this is why it’s a great dish to include in your dinner menus.
That’s not all.
These dishes are versatile enough that you can pair them with a wide range of side dishes, and you can find the best ones in this list.