Make-Ahead Christmas Meatballs


We usually do not make huge batches of of the food we prepare for Christmas, since what we eat on Christmas Eve (that is the day we celebrate Christmas here in Sweden) is plenty enough to make you crave ordinary food again.
However, there are two things we always make a lot of so that we can go and munch on it through the entire Holidays season: ham, and meatballs!

Sure, we do eat meatballs all year round (hey, we’re Swedes!) but it is still not a proper Christmas without them. These meatballs also differ in the seasoning to “standard” meatballs, which make them…special.
These meatballs are seasoned with, to us at least, classic Christmas spices such as cloves and allspice…and if I was not afraid it would take some of the magic out of Christmas I would make them like this all year round because I really do think they are that much better than the usual meatball! (Yeah, yeah, I admit…we do cook this recipe a few more times per year as well, when we crave them that much, but not so often it will spoil the Christmas feeling they bring us when that time of year comes.)

The method of cooking them I describe in this recipe is fantastic for making huge batches ahead! When done you just store them in the freezer and whenever you feel like having some homemade meatballs you just throw some in a hot frying pan to re-heat and get some more color…super simple and ridiculously delicious!
(It goes without saying, but of course this method works for any type of meatballs. And if you have kids running around your house you know just like me that having meatballs available or not can be the difference between a good and a bad day! ;)

OK now, here is the recipe and I hope you will like it. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead Christmas Meatballs

Prep time20 minutes
Cook time25 minutes
Total time45 minutes
Compliance Paleo, Primal
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Main ingredient Beef, Pork
Miscellaneous Christmas
Region Swedish
Super simple and ridiculously delicious Christmas spiced meatballs!

What you need:

  • 2.2lb (1 kg) minced beef
  • 2.2lb (1 kg) minced pork
  • 2 onions (finely grated)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 0.5 tablespoon salt
  • butter, clarified butter, or ghee


  • 1 cup (2.5 dl) full fat cream

What to do:

1Pre-heat the oven to 350F (175C).
2Grease two baking trays with butter/clarified butter/ghee.
3Put all ingredients in a bowl and blend them well using your hands.
4Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for some 15 minutes.
5Roll into a-little-less-than golf ball sized meatballs, and line them up on the baking trays.
(Tip! Wetting your hands with cold water in between each rolled ball makes the process a lot easier!)
6Place the trays in the oven for about 20-25 minutes (shake the trays a few times to give them an even color all around).
7Let cool off, then store them in the fridge.
8Re-heat in a hot frying pan with some butter/clarified butter/ghee before serving (or just eat them cold straight from the fridge…that’s how the majority of ours disappear!)



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  1. Pingback: Make-Ahead Christmas Meatballs | Paleo Digest

  2. What happened to the meatball recipe? I didn’t get a chance to try it or print it out???

    Sent from my iPad


    • Oops, my bad! I updated the tags and somehow the post went back to draft status.
      It’s published again now so you should be able to access it.
      (Please let me know if not.)

      Thanks for letting me know Rick!!

      Hope you’ll like the meatballs, and that you’ll have a great Christmas! :)

      // Peter

  3. These look great, I will be making these. I love the sound of the Christmas spices. Thanks for the recipe. x

  4. How would you make the gravy/sauce to go with these? They sound yummy!

    • Hi Robbie!

      Good question….I usually don’t have gravy to them :)

      In Sweden we don’t eat it as one dish for Christmas. We have a buffet usually starting with cold picks (salmon, pickled herring, eggs, pâté, ham, maybe roast beef etc), then the warm ones (meatballs, small sausages, red cabbage, ribs, kale etc). Gravy on there wouldn’t be right ;)

      However, if I were to eat them as a single dish I do understand the wish for gravy.
      Personally I would probably just serve them with a nice salad, mashed cauliflower and lingonberry jam (

      However, I did look around a bit and I think this gravy would be great:

      …but I would still have some of the lingonberry jam too ;)

      Hope this helps?

      Wish you a great Christmas!


      • Peter, thank you so much for your kind and detailed response. The gravy sounds seriously delicious, and I will try it. But I am with you: lingonberry jam all the way!
        I miss eating Swedish meatballs since a switch to a gluten-free diet – even though I am of Norwegian descent ;)
        Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  5. Random. What kind of bowl is that? Very cute!

    • Great question Sarah!
      I had no idea, but had to make some research so now I know :)
      We bought it from a flea market, so all I knew before is that it was vintage.
      It say “JAJ” and “Made in England” on the bottom (and on the transparent lid that belongs to it), and apparently it’s license made English Pyrex.
      (You can read some about it here:

      I also found a pic of the exact same bowl so you can see what it looks like with the lid:

      Looks like they’ve made quite a few ones with similar graphic patterns which all are pretty cool (and a bunch of not-so-cool ones too).

      Thanks for asking, it got me some education too! ;)

      Take care and have a great Christmas!

  6. Pingback: Slow-Cooked Christmas Ham | Strictly Paleo…ish!

  7. Thanks for restoring this recipe.  Its great.  Love it.

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