Marcus Samuelsson's Helga’s Swedish Meatballs


SERVES 4 to 6


For the Meatballs: (Makes approximately 24 meatballs)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ pound ground chuck or sirloin
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Gravy

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup lingonberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp pickle juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Meatballs:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When it simmers, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Combine the bread crumbs and heavy cream in a large bowl, stirring with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened.
  3. Add sauteed onion, beef, pork, honey, egg, salt, and pepper to the bread crumbs and mix well. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into meatballs the size of golf balls placing them on a plate, lightly moistened with water.
  4. Heat a D3 Everyday Skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches, if necessary, until browned all over and cooked through about 9 minutes.

For the Gravy:

  1. Bring the broth, cream, preserves, and pickle juice to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add meatballs to the gravy, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the gravy thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson is the renowned chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster in Harlem (NYC) and Overtown (Miami); Hav & Mar in Chelsea (NYC); Metropolis at PAC-NYC; Marcus Bar & Grille in Atlanta and its Live! flagship at American Dream (NJ); and several MARCUS locations including the Bahamas, Montreal and most recently Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and recently won a 2023 Emmy Award for the Short Form Program “My Mark.” He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He has won eight James Beard Foundation awards as chef, author and TV personality. Additionally, Samuelsson has won numerous competition shows including Top Chef Masters and Chopped All-Stars and appears regularly on those franchises as a Judge. He also appeared as an Iron Chef on Netflix’s Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.

A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson is co-chair of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) which focuses on underserved youth. Samuelsson also co-produces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp! started in 2016 and later expanded into an award-winning TV series EatUp!: NYC aired annually since 2021. He is the recipient of the 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prize in Culinary Arts, awarded to immigrants who have made lasting contributions to American Society. In addition to The Rise, he is the author of multiple books including The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef and The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. ​