Swedish Meatballs, Keto Friendly, Gluten Free

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There are many meatball recipes here at Spinach Tiger, and I’m happy to add one more. Classic Swedish meatballs with a cream-based gravy has been on our menu twice in the last week!

Swedish Meatballs

As an Italian, I never understood meatballs in brown gravy, but my mind was changed when I saw Jamie Oliver demonstrating Swedish Meatballs in a unique and fast way to and I was eager to make a similar Keto friendly version.

Swedish Meatballs Over Cauliflower Rice

This recipe is a sugar free, keto friendly and a take on “his” version. Where he uses cranberry jam, I used my own sugar free strawberry sauce, but I kept the vodka, the dill, the caraway seeds, and the heavy cream. A sugar free cranberry sauce would be ideal, but this is not the time of year for that. Instead of strawberries, you could use any fruity jam. NOTE: In one version, I used a syrupy balsamic sauce, adding after the heavy cream.

They were moist, flavorful and addicting.

What are Swedish Meatballs?

Swedish meatballs are ground meat (usually pork and beef) meatballs spiced in various ways, topped with a savory gravy. This version has a bit of sweet from the sugar free jam, depth from vodka, and seasoning from dill and caraway. In one version, I replaced dill with basil, as I had quite a bit that needed to be used. That works too. The meatballs are tender, made from pork and beef and there is no need for any bread. These were tender.


I made two versions, one on cauliflower mash and one on cauliflower rice. We liked the cauliflower rice best because it soaked up all that gravy and added texture. It’s also easier.

My Favorite Mini Appliance in My Kitchen

You can bake your meatballs in a this Breville Convection smart under counter oven if you’re doing a small batch. We bought this last Christmas and there’s probably not a day that goes by that we don’t use it. It bakes, toasts, roasts, broils, warms and has a decent air fryer. I’ve even made a reverse sear ribeye steak in this and it was amazing. Right now, it has a special reduced price.

Meatballs for Swedish Meatballs

These are simple and so easy to make.

  • Use both pork and beef in equal amounts.
  • Make them small.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F. instead of frying to keep them moist.
  • Use caraway seeds toasted in the frying pan for a surprising layer of flavor.

No eggs, no bread, just lots of fresh dill. Use fresh if at all possible, because I’m calling fresh dill a main ingredient in this recipe.

I really encourage you to use BOTH beef and ground pork. The ground pork adds a lot of moisture, making bread unnecessary. I did add some milk onto the meat, a trick my mom always used for ground meat recipes. Instead of diced onion, I prefer onion powder, because the meatballs are small and I don’t like the texture of uncooked onions. I also added in some allspice, garlic powder, nutmeg, and Umami (a mushroom powder from Trader Joe’s).

Keto Friendly Gluten Free Gravy for Swedish Meatballs

These are not the heavy flour-based gravy laden Swedish meatballs you may be used to. The jam and heavy cream are really enough to make a great gravy, full of flavor, capturing notes from the caraway seed, vodka, and fresh dill.

What to Serve under the Swedish Meatballs

You can serve with rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash. We love the cauliflower rice and it pulls in flavor from the gravy. You can also add in some chopped greens (spinach, chard, etc.) for added texture and color.

You can opt to top this with a dose of yogurt (I didn’t, but may next time) and sprinkled with a lot more dill.

Serve something light, green and crisp along side if you don’t add greens to the rice. Here are a few salad ideas that are bright and acidic, balancing out the meatballs.

More Meatball Recipes from Spinach Tiger

If you’re looking for something different next time, try the Greek Meatballs. Of course you know the Italian and Veal Meatballs are awesome.

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Swedish Meatballs
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Swedish Meatballs

Keto Friendly, Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs made with pork and beef, a creamy low-carb gravy.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: keto bagels, Swedish Meatballs
Servings: 6 Servings



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon umami seasoning optional
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Swedish Meatballs Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup sugar free jam or jelly See notes for sub
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup unflavored yogurt option


Swedish Meatballs

  • Combine all ingredients for meatballs together.
  • Roll into meatballs about 1.5 inches to 2 inches.
  • Bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Place oil into pan. Once hot, place caraway seeds into frying pan for about 10 seconds stirring.
  • Add in meatballs.
  • Keep a lid in hand, pour in vodka, place lid on and cook on low for about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol.
  • Add jelly or strawberry jam, and pour over the meatballs.
  • Add heavy cream stirring. Cream will thicken to a gravy. Turn off heat.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with fresh dill.
  • Serve over rice or cauliflower rice or mashed.
  • As an option you can dollop some unflavored yogurt on top and finish off wiht more dill. I skipped this.


Sugar Free Jam or Jelly brings sweetness. A sugar free cranberry sauce would be perfect, but not always in season. One substitute I  tried was balsamic vinegar (the syrupy one) and added AFTER the heavy cream, because it can burn in the pan.

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If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

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