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Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs) Recipe

Contributors: Martha Marino, MA, RD, CD

Published: January 24, 2014

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs) Recipe
Rebecca Clyde, MS, RDN, CD

Both the Swedes and the Danes in my family have their own traditional versions of meatballs, or frikadeller. Here in my Seattle home, I adapted my Grandmother Jorgensen's Danish recipe by substituting lean ground pork for pork sausage, substituting nonfat milk for whole milk and using the leanest ground beef available. The mixture is flavorful with traditional spices: nutmeg, allspice and cloves.


1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup nonfat (skim) milk
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ cup white flour
1½ pounds extra-lean ground beef
½ pound lean ground pork
1 tablespoon butter


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine bread crumbs and milk. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and flour. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add beef and pork; beat on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Shape the mixture into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter, using about 3 tablespoons of mixture for each meatball. A small ice-cream scoop may be used for consistent portions.
  4. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the skillet and flatten slightly — frikadeller aren't perfect orbs. Cook 8 to 10 minutes until the meatballs are browned on both sides and are no longer pink in the middle. Depending on the size of the skillet, the meatballs likely will need to be prepared in batches. Place cooked meatballs on a platter and keep them warm.

Leftover frikadeller can be placed in a zip-top food storage bag and frozen for a future meal.

Serving Suggestion

Serve frikadeller with red cabbage, boiled new potatoes or mashed potatoes and lingonberries. Although we generally don't use gravy with our meatballs, packaged beef gravy could be served on the side.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 3 to 4 meatballs
Serves 6

Calories: 330; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 110mg; Sodium: 660mg; Total Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: <1; Protein: 27g.

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