Red Lentil Meatballs with Homemade Ikea Cream Sauce

super easy


Have you ever had meatballs in IKEA? Then you know how delicious they are, but also how amazing their sauces are. Unfortunately we live really far away from the nearest IKEA – about 2,5 hours – so I was delighted when IKEA shared the recipe for their sauce during the pandemic. You can get Swedish meatballs in some supermarkets as well, but as we try to eat vegetarian/vegan at least twice a week, I decided to try and make a vegetarian version. I have made chickpea burgers before, but using lentils as a meat substitute was a first for me.

Both the meatballs and the sauce are easy to make and don’t require much time or effort. You can serve these with chips, mash, or even couscous or tagliatelle.

Although I really love the IKEA recipe, one important thing I have noticed is that the sauce is really salty if you don’t use some low-salt ingredients. For example you have beef stock cubes which are really salt + soy sauce which is also really salty. I now use low-salt options for both and much prefer it that way. It is important to note that I rarely use salt in anything anyway as I have high blood pressure, so maybe it just tastes saltier to me than it would to someone who uses salt daily.

I usually always cook my meatballs in the oven as I find them much tastier that way, but the lentil meatballs were a bit dry when cooked in the oven. The second batch I made I cooked in a frying pan and it was much nicer.

Red Lentil Meatballs with Homemade Ikea Cream Sauce



Adjust Servings
200g red lentils (dried, not in a tin)
1 large egg
3tbsp dried parsley
80g panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
40g butter
40g plain flour
300ml water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 beef stock cube (low salt)
150ml double cream
2tsp soy sauce (low salt)
1tsp Dijon mustard


Cook the lentils according to instructions
Drain and let it cool down a bit
Add the egg, parsley, bit of salt (optional) and pepper and the breadcrumbs. Mix really well like you would with normal meatballs.
Mark as complete
Shape the lentils into meatballs
Heat up olive oil in a frying pan and cook them on all sides until they have a lovely crispy brown outer layer.
Mark as complete
While the meatballs are frying, make the sauce
Melt the butter at low heat in a sauce pot.
Whisk in the flour and whisk until you get a dough.
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Slowly add the water while stirring
Add both stock cubes
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Slowly add the double cream
Whisk well
Add the soy sauce and mustard
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Simmer until the sauce has thickened enough
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Serve with some lingonberry jam if you're having it with chips
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