Swedish Meatballs in Caper Sauce Recipe

No need to go to Ikea for this lemony twist on a classic.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


for the meatballs:
1 pound|460 grams ground beef
1 pound|460 grams ground pork
2 cups|110 grams fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup|120 ml whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons capers rinsed, drained, and chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for greasing

for the sauce:
2 tablespoons|25 ml olive oil
2 tablespoons|40 grams unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
¼ cup|40 grams all-purpose flour
⅓ cup|80 ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups|500 ml chicken stock
1 cup|370 grams sour cream
3 tablespoons capers rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
egg noodles or cooked spatezle, to serve
finely chopped chives, to garnish


  1. Make the meatballs: Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a sheet tray with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Combine the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, onion, lemon zest and juice, the chopped capers, salt, and pepper. Roll them into 32 balls, about 2 tablespoons big, and transfer to prepared sheet tray with a bit of space in between each meatball. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute, then whisk in the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the mustard, then slowly pour in the chicken stock. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick, 5 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream, capers, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Serve over egg noodles or spaetzle and garnish with the chopped chives.

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