If you’re wondering what to serve with your Swedish meatballs, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 63 of the most popular side dishes for Swedish meatballs.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with Swedish meatballs are mashed potatoes, garlic butter noodles, Greek lemon rice, creamed kale, and Jansson’s temptation. Try to serve braised red cabbage, Danish cucumber salad, green bean almondine, and cauliflower-parsnip puree for healthier options.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Great flavor pairings for Swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs are made with minced pork or beef and then smothered with a rich, creamy gravy.
They’re meaty, savory, and pair well with:
- Sweet flavors – lingonberry jam is a staple condiment served with Swedish meatballs. It has a sweet-tart flavor that complements the meatballs, giving you a more balanced bite.
- Acidic flavors – fresh citrusy ingredients like lemon or tangy condiments like vinegar add an acidic bite that cuts through the richness of the meatballs and gravy.
- Spicy flavors – adding heat with spices like chili powder and cumin brings a zesty twist to jazz up the meatballs.
Starchy side dishes are a must-have when it comes to saucy dishes like Swedish meatballs.
IKEA serves them with mashed potatoes, but I love pairing them with a hearty serving of rice pilaf.
A slice of crusty bread is also a great way to soak up all the savory goodness from that gravy.
Mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs are an iconic food pairing.
Imagine scooping little meatballs and a boatload of gravy over your mashed potatoes?
Just the thought of it makes my mouth water.
I usually like my mashed potatoes to be on the chunkier side, but when I’m making it to go with Swedish meatballs, I want it to be smooth and velvety.
This creamy mashed potato recipe calls for heavy cream to make it extra rich and creamy.
And don’t forget to smear a knob of butter on top!
Pro-Tip: Complete your meal with a dollop of lingonberry jam.
Make it easy
Buttery parsley potatoes
Preheat the oven
Rosemary butter roasted potatoes
Garlic butter noodles
What’s better than mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs?
Swedish meatballs over a bed of garlicky butter noodles.
Sounds tempting, right?
You can use any variety of pasta you like, but I recommend going with egg noodles. Their wide shape allows the gravy to coat the noodles better.
This Swedish meatballs and garlic butter noodles combination is the epitome of comfort food.
It’ll leave you happily full and most likely in need of a nap.
Garlic butter noodles
An Italian classic
Spaghetti aglio e olio
Make it low-carb
Zoodles e cacio e pepe
Greek lemon rice
Try this Greek lemon rice if you want a more filling dish to go with your Swedish meatballs.
The rice is flavored with lemons and Mediterranean herbs, resulting in a fresh and zesty flavor.
The pilaf is made with chicken broth, but you can swap it with vegetable broth if you’re serving plant-based Swedish meatballs instead.
Want your Greek lemon rice to have the lovely yellow color as the picture? Add turmeric to your cooking broth to achieve this.
Greek lemon rice
Make it festive
Thanksgiving wild rice pilaf
Make a copycat
Instant pot rice-a-roni
Keep it simple by serving dinner rolls with your Swedish meatballs.
You can use your dinner rolls to soak up the gravy from your plate…
Or you can load them up with your meatballs for a fun and quick slider.
Dinner rolls are readily available in your local store or bakery, but you can also opt to bake them yourself (it’s really worth it!).
They are one of the easiest types of bread to make for beginners. All you need is to stick to a tried and tested recipe for guaranteed success.
Sweet dinner rolls
Make it artisan
Make it keto-friendly
Add a pop of bright color to your Swedish meatball meal with a serving of these stuffed peppers.
These bell peppers are stuffed with an Italian-spiced mixture of meat and rice before they go to the oven to bake.
I like to sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of each stuffed pepper too for a gooey finish.
Making a meat-free Swedish meatball dish?
Simply leave out the ground meat from this dish, and you’re good to go.
Italian stuffed peppers
Ditch the rice
Vegetarian stuffed peppers with quinoa
Skip the peppers
Herb and parmesan stuffed tomatoes
Steer clear of your typical fries and roasted potatoes and make these smashed potatoes to go with your Swedish meatballs instead.
These smashed potatoes have ultra-crispy exteriors and soft, fluffy interiors that are just so irresistible.
You can dip them in the gravy of your meatballs…
Or just smother them completely. (I’m not judging).
Take a page out of Half Baked Harvest’s book and cook your potatoes in vinegar to get that tasty, lip-puckering salt and vinegar flavor!
Salt and vinegar smashed potatoes
Make it different
Homemade potato gnocchi
Twice fried French fries
Lemon Orzo Salad
If you want a side dish for your Swedish meatballs that’s light and healthy but will still fill you up – make this lemon orzo salad.
This is a vibrant and refreshing dish featuring orzo, arugula, asparagus, and feta cheese.
Then it’s all tied together with a zesty lemon dressing.
To make this orzo salad even tastier, allow it to sit in your fridge and let the flavors mingle and develop for at least 30 minutes.
Lemon orzo salad
Make it Italian-inspired
Caprese pasta salad
Make it herby
Pistachio pesto pasta salad
Lingonberry jam is the classic condiment for Swedish meatballs, but it’s not the only option.
Anything sweet-but-tart at the same time will work.
Danish cucumber salad
This Danish cucumber salad is a fresh side dish you can whip up at a moment’s notice.
The pickled cucumbers provide you with a crisp and refreshing bite to undercut the richness of your gravy-coated Swedish meatballs.
It also has a sweet and tart flavor combination that will tickle your tastebuds.
Pro-Tip: Use a mandolin to get thin, delicate cucumber slices.
Danish cucumber salad
Make it creamy
Cucumber tomato salad
Make it unique
Cucumber slaw with margarita dressing
Spice up your Swedish meatballs with a serving of fresh kimchi.
Unlike traditional kimchi, fresh kimchi doesn’t have a funky smell that puts some people off.
Instead, you get a light, crisp, and refreshing salad with a kick of heat to complement your Swedish meatballs.
Fresh kimchi doesn’t involve any cooking – you just need to chop your vegetables and prepare the kimchi sauce.
Make it fusion
Korean spicy slaw
Kimchi salad with noodles
Swedish meatballs are pure morsels of protein, so you definitely need a veggie side to bring up the nutritional value.
Steamed veggies are an easy addition, or you can make a low-carb version of mashed potato with cauliflower.
But for a fresh, crisp bite, go with a classic lemony arugula salad.
Braised red cabbage
Are you serving Swedish meatballs in the wintertime?
This braised red cabbage dish is the perfect side for your Swedish meatballs when the weather is cold.
It features shredded red cabbage, apple, and onions simmered in an apple cider and vinegar mixture.
You can cook this dish down to your preferred texture. I like to let the cabbage go completely soft, but if you still want a bit of crunch, reduce the cooking time.
Braised red cabbage
Make it quick
Fire up the oven
Roasted cabbage wedges
Green bean almondine
Green bean almondine is a quick and delicious dish you can prepare to go with your Swedish meatballs.
Even the most ardent green bean haters might have to think twice about their feelings when they taste this dish.
The greens are crisp and buttery, with a hint of lemon in every bite. And then they’re topped with brown-butter toasted almonds.
This recipe from Foodie Crush will get your green bean almondine to your table in under 10 minutes. And you’ll want to serve it immediately so you can enjoy all the crunchy textures.
Green beans almondine
Make it decadent
Homemade green bean casserole
Keep it simple
Garlic parmesan roasted green beans
Spicy bourbon-glazed carrots
These spicy bourbon-glazed carrots are not your usual glazed carrots.
The addition of bourbon and cayenne pepper gives this dish a flavor boost guaranteed to be a hit with your Swedish meatballs.
Worried about the alcohol? Don’t!
You won’t be able to taste the bourbon because it gets cooked out, leaving behind a deep, smokey flavor note.
Spicy bourbon glazed carrots
Keep it simple
Creamed peas and carrots
Keep it raw
Shredded carrot salad
Mashed potatoes are always amazing with Swedish meatballs.
But if you’re watching your calories and still want a rich and creamy accompaniment to your Swedish meatballs, try this cauliflower-parsnip puree instead.
It has all the goodness of creamy mashed potatoes without the added calories.
And it’s also dairy-free!
The secret? Boiling the cauliflower and parsnips in chicken broth.
This infuses the vegetables with tons of rich flavors.
Curious? Give this cauliflower-parsnip puree a shot and see for yourself.
Cauliflower parsnip puree
Skip the parsnips
Roasted mashed cauliflower
Minted mushy peas
Cream of mushroom soup
Nothing screams comfort more than a piping hot bowl of cream of mushroom soup.
This mushroom soup has everything you’d want – earthy, tender mushrooms and a thick, velvety broth.
And the best part?
You won’t need to wait several hours for this soup to cook.
All the prep work and cooking gets done in just 40 minutes.
This cream of mushroom soup recipe will have you swearing off canned mushroom soups for life.
Cream of mushroom soup
Potato leek soup
Make a classic
Tomato cheddar soup
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that work well with any dish – Swedish meatballs included.
But, you do have to admit asparagus can get a little boring.
So why not switch it up by wrapping them in oh-so-delicious prosciutto?
These prosciutto-wrapped asparagus are so good that you may finish a whole plate by yourself.
Take it up a notch and drizzle on some gravy from your Swedish meatballs to make them even more flavorful.
Make it quick
Fire up the grill
Lemon and feta grilled asparagus
Creamed Kale, also known as långkål, is a staple Christmas dish in Sweden.
It’s usually served in the hot course portion of the meal, together with Swedish meatballs.
As the name suggests, this dish features blanched kale cooked in heavy cream.
It’s a simple, decadent dish and an enjoyable way to add kale to your meal.
Follow Spoonful of Flavor’s lead and grate some parmesan on top of your creamed kale for a tangy flavor boost.
Keep it fresh
Lemon parmesan kale salad
Make it autumnal
Butternut squash and kale
Want to feel healthy?
Serve this cauliflower steak with your Swedish meatballs.
This cauliflower steak is made with thick slices of cauliflower that are heavily seasoned and then roasted.
A tender cauliflower “steak” with a lightly crisp, golden-brown crust.
For seasonings, I go with the simple route of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. But you use whatever you want.
You can also follow Jessica Gavin’s lead and prepare a separate sauce like chimichurri for these cauliflower steaks.
Roasted cauliflower steak
Make it cheesy
Skip the oven
Balsamic roasted veggies
Serve a plate of these balsamic roasted vegetables alongside your Swedish meatballs for a balanced and healthy meal.
They’re easy to prepare and cook, and bring color and nutrients to the plate.
They’re also great to make ahead, so you always have a batch of roasted veggies to go with any meal.
You can use any vegetables you like. I usually roast broccoli, sweet potatoes, and peppers.
Balsamic roasted vegetables
Make it fancy
Provencal vegetable tian
Fire up the stovetop
Smorgasbord is a Swedish buffet-style meal held during celebratory days featuring an array of dishes, including Swedish meatballs.
Basically a free-for-all!
Pair them with a skillet of Jansson temptation and potato sausage for the ultimate feast.
This dish, also known as Jansson’s frestelse, is served alongside Swedish meatballs during Christmas dinner.
It’s a casserole made with julienned potatoes, onions, sprats, and cream. Indulgent but delicious.
If you’re not a fan of brined fish, take a cue from Nigella and swap it for a sprinkle of parmesan.
It’s not 100% authentic, but at least you’ll get to enjoy the dish!
Keep it simple
Ditch the oven
Swedish dill potatoes
Smoked sausage skillet
Smoked sausages are another dish that’s usually served on Christmas day.
They’re served together with Swedish meatballs in the hot course portion of the meal.
Aside from sausages, this recipe also adds potatoes and bell peppers to make it more of a completel meal.
Psst… this mouthwatering smoked sausage and potato skillet comes together in just one pot – less mess and more time for you to eat!
Smoked sausage and potato skillet
Skip the spuds
Sausage and peppers
A Swedish classic
Swedish potato sausage
Honey glazed ribs
Honey glazed ribs are also traditionally served with Swedish meatballs during Christmas and New Year.
They’re a must-have dish for Swedes during the holidays.
But you don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy them.
You can whip up these honey-glazed pork ribs anytime without any special equipment. All you need is your oven to get tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a sweet, sticky glaze.
Make a center-piece
Swedish Christmas ham
Make it effortless
Baked pork tenderloin with mustard crust
The best side dishes for Swedish meatballs
- Mashed potatoes
- Garlic butter noodles
- Greek lemon rice
- Dinner rolls
- Stuffed peppers
- Smashed potatoes
- Lemon orzo salad
- Danish cucumber salad
- Braised red cabbage
- Green bean almondine
- Spicy bourbon-glazed carrots
- Cauliflower parsnip puree
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Fresh kimchi
- Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
- Creamed kale
- Cauliflower steak
- Balsamic roasted veggies
- Jansson’s temptation
- Smoked sausage skillet
- Honey-glazed ribs
What To Serve With Swedish Meatballs (63 Ideas)
- 1 portion mashed potatoess
- 1 portion balsamic roasted veggies
- 1 portion Jansson's temptation
- 1 portion garlic butter noodles
- 1 portion braised red cabbage
- 1 portion green bean almondine … and more
- Prepare your Swedish meatballs according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: mashed potatoes, garlic butter noodles, greek lemon rice, danish cucumber salad, braised red cabbage, Jansson’s temptation, green bean almondine, smoked sausage skillet, spicy bourbon-glazed carrots, dinner rolls, cauliflower-parsnip puree, Italian stuffed peppers, cream of mushroom soup, fresh kimchi, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, creamed kale, cauliflower steak, honey glazed ribs, smashed potatoes, lemon orzo salad, and balsamic roasted veggies.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!