Slim Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Spaetzle

>> Friday, March 1, 2013

After Joe and I made traditional Norwegian meatballs (kjottkaker) and German Spaetzle with Swiss cheese a few weeks ago, we decided to make some Swedish meatballs with spaetzle. Swedish Meatballs are heavenly, but they're usually pretty heavy food. When we cooked one sublime version, we literally poured the fat off the finished sauce before serving. And yet, they're such crave-able little bites, we can't swear off on them forever. We came up with this lighter version of an authentic Scandinavian recipe. Check out more traditional Swedish foods here.

To make this a slimmer dish, we exchanged half the meat for lowfat turkey, used fat-free milk and sour cream, and used egg whites instead of a whole egg. These substitutions work wonders to lighten up delicious recipes without sacrificing flavor. May they make you slimmer, too!

Köttbullar (SHUT-boo-lahr) are traditionally served with egg noodles, lingonberries, and sliced pickled cucumbers. Unfortunately, we didn't find any lingonberries in time for dinner.


For the meatballs

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup bread crumbs (try to find low-fat bread crumbs, or make your own with light bread)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup egg whites or egg substitute
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp beef bouillon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp oil

For the sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 2/3 cups boiling water
2 tbsp beef bouillon
1 cup fat-free sour cream


In a large bowl, stir together all the meatball ingredients. Dig in with your hands and mix until well combined. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan. Put a rack in the bottom, if you like, so that any oil from the meatballs will drain below the meat and you can pour it off.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. You may have to cook these in several batches so they're not crowded in the pan. Place in the baking pan, cover, and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Heat to a low boil, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the oven and drain off any fat. Remove the rack if you used one. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Try serving this over egg noodles or whole-wheat pasta, too.

Slim Swedish Meatballs

Makes 4-6 servings for dinner, or more for appetizers.


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