September 5, 2018

Swedish Meatball Subs

Swedish Meatball Subs-PreAssembly

These Swedish meatball subs have an easy creamy gravy you serve over meatballs on your favorite bread rolls. Diced dill pickles and berry preserves on top give a delightful punch of sour and sweet, with a bit of crunch. I also put some hot sauce and lots of ground black pepper to the gravy, which amps up the flavor.

Inspired by State Fair Fare

For those of you who love the food at the Minnesota State Fair’s “Blue Barn” location, you’ll recognize this creation. “Swedish Meatballs Smörgås” was a new food item this year, and one of my favorites. 

When the fair finished this week, I knew I didn’t want to wait a full year before experiencing that deliciousness again. I set out to make my own.

It turns out I had access to some really great frozen meatballs. More on that soon, but in short, they are Cooked Perfect Meatballs. You find them in the freezer section and they come in a variety of flavors. I’ve become a huge fan.

I used the Angus Beef Meatballs for this one, but they do have a Swedish meatball version if you have access to that flavor.

Frozen meatballs: a fantastic shortcut!

Cooked Perfect’s meatballs have so much flavor and a fantastic texture (because they are flame-broiled). They are also so very convenient! You can keep bags in the freezer and just heat the portion you want. They are the star in this Swedish Meatball Sub recipe.

I love the texture of a pretzel roll, so I decided that bread would be my base. I made my meatballs in the oven, because the timing works great, and because I love hearing the searing of the meatballs when they come out.

While the meatballs are baking, I make sure all my other prep is ready for when the meatballs are fully heated. The gravy takes some time to thicken and I like to keep that hot. Then it’s just a matter of assembling. Wedge the meatballs in the roll…And layer on the gravy, pickles, and the preserves.This ends up a knife and fork type meal. It’s no hand-held sammy. Using utensils helps create the “perfect bite” each time: bread, meatball, gravy, pickles, and preserves. This dish is comfort food at its finest.  This winning dish is super filling, Swedish-inspired, and super delicious!

I call them Swedish Meatball Subs.


Swedish Meatball Subs

20 Cooked Perfect Angus Meatballs (frozen pre-cooked dinner size)

5 pretzel rolls, or your favorite hoagie bread

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

Salt & Pepper, to taste

5 large dill pickles, diced

1/4 cup preserves (lingonberry, cranberry, or other)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake meatballs 25 minutes. Fifteen minutes in, slice each roll (not all the way through); add to lower oven rack.  Bake until toasted,  5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in flour; cook until bubbly. Whisk in milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium high. Cook until thickened, stirring often. Assemble the subs: divide the meatballs, gravy, pickles, and preserves among the 4 rolls and serve.