This Swedish Meatball Pasta Bake is deliciously cozy comfort food. A family dinner that’s always a winner!
Who’s still in the mood for some EPIC winter comfort food?
With temps continuing to linger in the 30’s and 40’s most days, comfort food seems most appropriate.
I posted my Swedish Meatball Recipe way, way, back when I first started the blog in 2014.
I bet most of us weren’t acquainted back then, so I decided to bring them back, but as this Swedish Meatball Pasta Bake, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
I made this a few weeks ago and Tom went just about nuts over it!
It ticks all his favorite boxes.
Savory meatballs, smothered in a creamy sauce, with pasta. Check, check, check!
First, I brown the meatballs in my cast iron skillet to give them a nice crispy outside.
I make the gravy in the same skillet, scraping up the little brown bits at the bottom of the pan for extra flavor.
Then I just boil up small pasta and add everything to my baking dish, toss gently and bake.
If you’ve never tried Swedish meatballs, I think you’ll really enjoy the distinct flavor that the allspice and nutmeg give to the tender, juicy meatballs.
And that gravy…YUM!
This is one comfort dish you really need to try folks. I guarantee it’ll be a hit. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Swedish Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe:
I used mini shells for my pasta, but you could use elbows, or any small pasta shape.
After browning the meatballs, drain excess grease from the skillet, but don’t scrape out the bits at the bottom of the pan. They will give the gravy a nice, rich flavor.
This dish feeds 6-8 people.
This dish makes lots of meatballs because that’s what my family enjoys. I have also included directions for half the serving of meatballs just below the gravy ingredients. The full meatball recipe will give you roughly 30 meatballs, so the recipe halved will give you 15. Make what you prefer.
This Swedish Meatball Pasta Bake is deliciously cozy comfort food. A family dinner that's always a winner!
- 2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups plain panko bread crumbs
- 1 lb. ground beef, I use 80/20
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 7 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. plain panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 lb. ground beef, I use 80/20
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain. Add pasta to a 9x13 baking dish (or similar size) sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat butter in saute pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the milk. Bring to a simmer.
Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Take the onion mixture off the heat and pour over the breadcrumbs. Stir until combined. Mixture will resemble a thick paste. Let mixture cool.
Place beef, pork and eggs in a large bowl. Add the bread crumb mixture and mix until evenly combined. Do not overmix or your meatballs will be tough. Form into 1-inch balls. I made about 30 meatballs. The half serving of meatballs will give you 15 meatballs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently add the meatballs in batches (I added 10 meatballs at a time to skillet) and brown on all sides. Transfer meatballs to the 9x13 baking dish with the pasta. Drain extra grease from skillet.
In the same skillet you used to cook the meatballs melt the 6 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the beef broth and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer. Add the fresh parsley and the heavy cream. Reduce the heat and continue whisking until the gravy thickens (about 10-15 minutes). Season with the kosher salt and pepper. Pour the gravy over the meatballs and pasta and toss lightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbly. Serve immediately.