These are some of the best meatballs I’ve ever made, and no wonder Scandinavian people love their meatballs so much. Recipes vary depending on the countries they come from.
I’ve been inspired to make these by looking at various recipes from Scandinavian countries and my own experience of Danish cuisine. My favorite way to serve these meatballs is with curry sauce, braised red cabbage, and steamed broccoli.
Inspired by authentic Nordic cuisine
One of my favorite cookbooks is The Nordic Cookbook by internationally acclaimed chef Magnus Nilsson, who collected more than 700 authentic and classic recipes while traveling throughout the Nordic countries: Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – and put them together in this book, along with Nordic culinary history and techniques.
Also, my husband is Danish, and I’ve experienced Nordic cuisine firsthand. And since I know he loves his food so much, I’m trying to turn his favorite dishes into plant paradox approved dishes.
The Nordic Cookbook has several recipes for Scandinavian meatballs from different countries, including the author’s grandmother’s Swedish recipe.
One common thing I noticed across most of the recipes is the use of milk and cream, which I was really curious about, wondering if that won’t make them too soft and hard to roll. Of course, like many meatball recipes around the world, they are made with breadcrumbs, and some of them include potatoes. Also, the meat used can be a mix of pork and beef or even moose.
Oven-baked Scandinavian meatballs or boller i karry (healthier, less mess)
Most classic recipes of meatballs are cooked by pan-frying or even boiling (Danish people do that). I took the shortcut and baked them in the oven (less mess but also healthier). Even with all the changes I made, they are still outstanding.
My husband’s favorite way to have the meatballs is with a curry sauce. Usually, a Danish curry sauce can have apples, but I added some green mango for that fruity flavor. Of course, milk and cream were replaced with coconut milk, which in my option, is even better.
My husband calls this dish “Boller i Karry“, which means meatballs in curry (duh!). Traditionally, they are served with rice, and if you reintroduced rice into your diet, you can pressure cook Indian basmati rice, let it cool in the refrigerator and rewarm it.
But this dish goes incredibly well with steamed broccoli or other steamed green vegetables. This is the only approved rice on the Plant Paradox, but only in phase 3 and in small quantities.
And, if you want to go the extra mile, I recommend another classic Danish dish, Sweet and sour braised red cabbage (rødkål).
Recipes for both lectin-free Scandinavian meatballs and curry sauce are below in the recipe card.
Healthy lectin-free meatballs recipe
To give you an overview of the changes I made to the meatballs, I replaced milk and cream with coconut milk but used much less than is usually required; I used a Japanese sweet potato (the one with purple skin and white flesh) instead of a normal potato. Breadcrumbs were replaced with almond flour, and I followed my gut instinct regarding quantities and proportions.
If you like this ‘boller i karry recipe’/healthy meatballs recipe, you should also check out my:
- Za’atar Chicken Meatballs with Hemp Seeds (Gluten-Free)
- Veggie Loaded Kimchi Sriracha Meatballs
- Almost Italian Meatballs with Baked Vegetables and Rhubarb.
And have you ever tried boiled meatballs? This is an easy method that also produces tender, juicy and wholesome meatballs. Check out this recipe Boiled Meatballs.
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Lectin-Free Scandinavian Meatballs
Easy to make, lectin-free meatballs inspired by Scandinavian cuisine, served with a Danish curry sauce.
- FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 pound 100% grass-fed ground beef
- 1 pastured egg
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 cup grated Japanese sweet potato
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 big bunch of parsley, washed and dried
- 8 tablespoons blanched almond flour (another flour can be used if you avoid nuts)
- 2 teaspoon allspice (powder)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fine iodized sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- avocado oil
- FOR THE CURRY:
- 1 big yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped green mango
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (400ml)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- avocado oil (+ghee, optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS:
Heat the oven to 375F and line a large oven sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor add the parsley and chunks of onion and process until minced. Add to the food processor: the coconut milk, the egg, the potato, and the allspice, and process again until well mixed. Add the almond flour and pulse a couple of times until all mixed.
Add the meat and the food processor mixture to a mixing bowl, add salt and pepper and mix everything with your hands until all comes together.
Scoop one heaping spoon at a time and loosely shape them with your hands and place them on the sheet pan. When all done, drizzle with avocado oil.
Bake for 25 minutes at 375F and then broil for about 5 minutes at 425F for a little bit of color on top (not necessary, you can totally just do 30 minutes at 375F). You can also fry them in a pan if that comes easier for you.
TO MAKE THE CURRY SAUCE:
Heat avocado oil in a pan, on medium heat, and add chopped onions and curry powder. Sauté for about 10 -15 minutes until the onion is translucent. Don't let the spices stick to the pan, add a little water regularly to make sure the curry powder doesn't burn. Add the chopped green mango and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the arrowroot powder and mix well. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Serve the curry over the Scandinavian meatballs, with Indian basmati rice or steamed vegetables.
You can have the meatballs and the curry sauce separately. Also, since the curry sauce is plant-based, but the meatballs obviously are not, you can use the curry sauce for a vegetarian dish (for example steamed cauliflower and steamed broccoli). I love my curry sauce chunky, but if you want it all smooth you can blend it.