Meatless Swedish Meatballs

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

  • Yield:

    4 Servings


For the meatballs:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (15-ounce) can lower sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs

For the sauce: 
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cup unsalted vegetable broth (preferably mushroom based)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt


For the meatballs: 

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid in the pan from the mushrooms has been absorbed, about 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until they are finely chopped (but not pureed). Add them to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir in the Dijon mustard, allspice, nutmeg, pepper, egg, and breadcrumbs until well combined. Dampen your hands and, using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each, form it into 32 balls.
  3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of in the skillet and place over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reserve. 

For the sauce:

  1. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water and set aside. Wipe out the skillet, add the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the broth is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and heavy cream and cook 1 minute. Stir the cornstarch slurry, add it and the salt to the pan and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, 1 minute until thickened.  Reduce the heat to medium return the meatballs to the skillet; cook until the meatballs are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley just before serving.