Friday, April 19, 2013

Recipe for Low-Carb Baked Swedish Meatballs

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Swedish Meatballs, and they're baked instead of fried.

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Baked Swedish Meatballs found on

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and these Low-Carb Baked Swedish Meatballs that I first made in 2007 are delicious and easy to make.  This recipe could certainly use a photo update, so I think I need to make them again soon.)

Way back in my recipe archives I have a recipe for Swedish Meatballs in Paprika Gravy. (I kind of cringe when I see some of those very earliest recipes now, although they did taste pretty good.) Then in January 2007 I spotted the Oven-Baked Swedish Meatballs from Anne's Food. When I saw Anne's recipe, I realized I'd never tasted authentic Swedish Meatballs with seasonings like ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Since Anne is blogging from Sweden, I trust her on this recipe. I decided I had to try them, and despite the fact that they weren't terribly photogenic, what a great flavor with all those lovely spices. I loved this recipe, and the fact that they're baked instead of fried was a nice bonus.

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Baked Swedish Meatballs found on
Be sure the onion is very finely minced so it can be well-distributed through the meat. I used a food processor to chop the onion, which worked well.

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Baked Swedish Meatballs found on
Because I used a mixture of low-fat pork sausage and beef, I baked the meatballs on this rack which allowed the fat to drip out. I misted it with olive oil so the meatballs wouldn't stick.

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Baked Swedish Meatballs found on KalynsKitchen.comLow-Carb Baked Swedish Meatballs
(Makes 36 meatballs, recipe originally from Anne's Food, slightly adapted by Kalyn.)

1 lb. very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 pkg. (12 oz.) low-fat pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean 50% less fat sausage)
1 onion, diced very small
1 T garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
1/2 tsp. Veg-Sal or 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
(Anne's recipe had cinnamon which I was out of)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Use food processor to finely chop onion. Put meat in mixing bowl and allow to come to room temperature, then mix in onions, garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Mix with your hands until spices are well distributed and pork and beef are well combined.

Mist pan or grilling rack with olive oil. Use a tablespoon to measure out meat, forming small meatballs by rolling with your hands and placing them on the rack as you go. Bake until meatballs are slightly browned and cooked through, 20-30 minutes. (It took longer than I thought it would to get them cooked through. Maybe I made mine a little too big.)  Serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
With low-fat ground beef and low-fat sausage, this is a good dish for all phases of the South Beach Diet. It would taste great with Many Peppers Greek Salad or Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette for phase one. For phase two or three, add something like Barley with Dried and Fresh Mushrooms.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Baked Swedish Meatballs found on

More Blog-worthy Meatballs You Might Like
Dagmar's Spicy Meatballs from Nami-Nami
Greek Meatballs from Kalyn's Kitchen 
Aubergine Meatballs from Lucullian Delights
Beef and Sausage Meatballs with Tomato Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen 
How to Make Mini Meatballs from Coconut and Lime

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. The spices make all the difference, don't they? I never used to cook meat with cinnamon and cardamom when I was younger, but the warm spices combined with meat are just lovely.

  2. First, a confession: It's been a while since I dropped by your blog. Having said that, WOW you have been doing some fabulous work! Your blog is interesting, very informative, and easy to navigate. Well done! Now I am off to add you to my blog roll, which is seriously out of date.

    Baking the meatballs and misting them with the oil looks like it retains the flavor without too much grease--I like that a lot.

  3. Wow, all those spices really appeals. Wouldn't these work as a finger food!

  4. Lydia, the flavor of this with all those spices was really something special.

    Andrea, thanks. I have been working hard on it. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll.

    Tanna, these might be a little big to eat with your fingers, and I'm not sure they're that much of a heart healthy recipe, although not too bad I guess with the lower fat meats. I think I'd cut mine in half when I ate them.

  5. These look - which is what I'm saving them to!

  6. See, the thing I love about this site is that it's full of recipes that are not only delicious but good for you *and* able to be made by real people with real lives. I had a pound of ground turkey that I was intending to make lasagna out of, but that turned out to be way too ambitious for tonight. I also had a package of turkey sausage I had bought because it was on sale, but I had no plans for it yet. And voila, Kalyn produces the perfect recipe for me to make tonight. These came out great, even with the turkey products and my lack of cardamom (I added back in a little cinnamon). I got 34 meatballs and they took 25 minutes to cook. I ate them with a little bit of reduced fat sour cream.

  7. Quite an interesting mix of ingredients in those meatballs, but they sound delicious.

  8. Cardamom, I have to try this recipe asop! I can confirm what ZOE's been pointing out, meatballs with ground turkey taste very good (I usually spice them with lots of parsley, a little sauted onion, salt and pepper, adding a couple of spoonfulls of milk soaked breadcrumbs to lighten the texture). I put them on parchment paper, no oiling needed.
    Thanks for all work you put into your blog to provide us with such great recipes (I found you via Lucullian Delights, for which I shall be forever grateful to Ilva!).

  9. Christine, I must add you to my network. I'll try to find you.

    Zoe, thanks for letting me know you liked them. The idea of turkey sounds good.

    Cate, thanks.

    Merisi, you're welcome, and one more thing for me to thank Ilva for. (She's the greatest!)

  10. Not like the Swedish Meatballs at the annual Lutyfisk dinner I remember, either!
    These look very good. I have an old recipe for meatballs with ginger - now I'm going to add the other spices....and skip the heavy cream.

  11. My grandmother was famous for her Swedish Meatballs. My mom made them this week and it did not live up to grandmas... This recipe however sounds tasty. Sounds like a great blend of spices!

  12. Can't wait to try this tomorrow. I had copied Anne's recipe but was going to have to research her measurements and oven temp as it was C instead of F. lol

  13. These are delicious! I planned to have meatballs with spaghetti sauce, but I ended up using cinnamon, ginger, and allspice instead of normal Italian spices when I decided to use this recipe. So, it was browned diced mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and fresh tomato (just because I didn't have canned) with a small can of tomato sauce, with those spices. It was actually REALLY good. Have the second half of the meatballs in the freezer and can't wait to eat them!

    Have you ever thought about hosting a South Beach friendly weekly or monthly meal plan like on orgjunkie?

    I HAVE to make menu plans or I might as well not be on the diet, but it would be cool to see some from other South Beachers.

  14. Amber, so glad you liked the recipe. No I haven't ever thought about doing that (I don't think I've ever made a weekly menu in my life, so I'd be terrible at it!) Might be a fun idea for someone, but I don't think I can take on anything else!

  15. Finally a recipe for Swedish meatballs that does not involve gravy etc. It sounds very good and I can't wait to try to make them! Thank you very much for the recipe!

  16. Looks so good...Where did you get that pan?

  17. The picture looks not so good. :-) But the recipe sounds amazing!!

  18. Fuzzy Halo, the pan was from a thrift store. Not sure what the original purpose was for it, but it worked well for this.

    Becca, agreed about the photo, but the meatballs are good!

  19. I can't wait to make these! Since you we're out of cinnamon, did you substitute allspice? I want to use cinnamon when I make them so please let me know how much to use and if I would also use the allspice. Thank you!!

  20. The original recipe had both cinnamon and allspice. It said a "pinch" of the seasonings, which I changed to a more specific amount so I'd probably use the amount of cinnamon if I used it.

  21. I love that these meatballs are naturally gluten free, Kalyn! They look so good! :-)


  22. Thanks Shirley. And I love that there is no bread as well.

  23. The meatballs are in the oven right now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  24. Ummm I'm making these asap! I think I can skip my diet just this once.


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