An IKEA-Inspired Dinner: Swedish Meatballs, Garlic Roasted Potatoes, Red Cabbage with Apples, Lingonberry Jam


About a year ago, I visited IKEA after a multi-year absence to pick up a few things. Of course, as often happens in this large warehouse-style shopping center, all of a sudden my stomach reminded me it was time for lunch, and I wasn’t quite ready to call it a day yet. So, like countless other IKEA shoppers, I made my way to the cafeteria and indulged in a plate of IKEA classics- swedish meatballs, gravy, potatoes, and the quintessential lingonberry jam. Surprisingly, it tasted just as good as I remembered. On my way out, I picked up a jar of that lingonberry jam in the hopes that one day, I would set aside the time to try and re-create that meal.


For nearly a year, that jam lingered in the back of my pantry. But, as I sorted and organized my cupboards in that post-holiday cleaning frenzy I rediscovered this little jar. And when an enormous head of cabbage appeared in my most recent CSA box, I knew it was time.

For this meal, the cabbage and apples are from my CSA box, and the beef is from Cal Poly. The recipes below make 5-6 servings, so I recommend either having a group of friends over for dinner or enjoying this comforting meal all week long. If you make all three dishes at the same time, I suggest setting aside a solid portion of a weekend afternoon. Then, plate the meatballs, potatoes, and cabbage, top with a few generous spoonfuls of lingonberry jam, and enjoy!

Swedish Meatballs (adapted from the Food Network recipe here)


1 lb ground beef

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 onion

2 large cloves garlic

1/4 tsp ground allspice

salt, pepper

2 eggs

2 tbsp butter


Dice onion and garlic. Melt butter in a medium skillet, then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and allspice.


Sauté over medium-low heat until onions are lightly browned and garlic is fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside until onions have cooled enough to handle.

Grease a large cookie sheet. Combine breadcrumbs, beef, eggs and onions in a medium mixing bowl, then shape into meatballs. Place on cookie sheet, taking care to leave at least 1/4 inch between each meatball. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 



Preheat oven to 400. Remove saran wrap, then cook meatballs approximately 20 minutes or until fully cooked.


Garlic-Roasted Potatoes (see the recipe from The Kitchn here)

Red Cabbage with Apples


1 large head of red cabbage

3 medium apples

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

up to 2 cups water or vegetable broth


Slice red cabbage into ribbons, dice apples. Add to a large pot or dutch oven. Add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth. Steam (with lid on) for 20-30 minutes, or until cabbage and apples are fully cooked. Be sure to stir every 5 minutes, adding more liquid as needed.



Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Quinoa and Red Cabbage Salad | Chile, Quinoa, and Kale Oh My! - April 21, 2014

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