Easy Peasy Sauce For Meatballs

Did you know that making your own sauce for meatballs is insanely easy? You can have a delicious homemade sauce to top your meatballs in just 20 minutes. Plus, it’s affordable and much healthier than store-bought sauces. So why not give it a try?

swedish meatballs recipe uk

The best meatball sauce

Forget everything you know about meatballs. The best meatball sauce is made with a simple, yet delicious tomato sauce. This sauce is perfect for meatballs and any pasta dish or even served on its own with some crusty bread. Best of all, it’s easy to make and can be tailored to your own taste.

Meatball Sauce Ingredients

  • 30 g Butter
  • 30 g Plain Flour
  • 450 ml Vegetable Stock or chicken stock
  • 400 g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Clove of Garlic Crushed
  • 1 Bay Leaf

How to make swedish tomato sauce for meatballs

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, sprinkle with flour and cook and stir for 1 minute. Use a metal whisk. Blend in the stock, then add the tomatoes, puree, garlic and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil until thickened. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

swedish meatballs ikea style

Red Sauce For Meatballs Recipe Tips

PLAN AHEAD – Make double or triple batch of the lovely sauce and freeze it to make life easier for the days you don’t feel like cooking.

MEATBALLS – Brown you meatballs first if they are not already cooked. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 25 minutes until cooked through.


What is meatball sauce made of?

Meatball sauce is typically made with a combination of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, butter, bay leaf, flour and veggie or chicken stock. The ingredients are simmered together until thickened to create the perfect accompaniment to juicy meatballs. Meatball sauce can be served over a wide variety of dishes, such as pasta or polenta and is even used as a dip for breadsticks or vegetables. It’s an incredibly versatile and tasty condiment that adds an extra layer of flavour to your favourite meals!

When do I add the meatballs to the sauce?

The best time to add the meatballs to the sauce is after the sauce has simmered for about 20 minutes. Add the meatballs and simmer for a further 25 minutes to have a chance to absorb some of the flavours from the sauce. If you add them too early, they may cook too quickly and become dry or overcooked so adding them at just the right time will help create a perfect balance of flavour.

What other ingredients can I add to my meatball sauce?

You can incorporate many different ingredients into your meatball sauce to give it an extra kick of flavour. Some popular additions include red pepper flakes, white wine, fresh herbs such as oregano or basil, Worcestershire sauce, capers and even a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding anchovies or olives for an even bolder taste. There are no limits when it comes to creating your own signature meatball sauce!
Adding just a few extra ingredients can transform any dish into something special, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your unique flavour combinations.

Can I freeze meatball sauce?

Yes, meatball sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before freezing, cool the sauce completely and store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. When you’re ready to use it again, simply thaw in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stovetop before serving.

Can meatball sauce be done in the slow cooker?

Yes, meatball sauce can be cooked in a slow cooker! Simply add all of the ingredients to the pot and cook on low heat for about 4-6 hours. The ingredients will break down and release their natural flavours into the dish, creating a thick and delicious sauce that’s perfect for serving over pasta or polenta. If you want to speed up the process, you can pre-cook your meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker. This way, they’ll already be partially cooked when they go in so they won’t take as long to finish cooking in the sauce.

swedish meatballs ikea style

The Best Sauce For Meatballs

Tasty meatballs in a creamy tomato sauce. You'll want to go back for more!
No ratings yet – be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 4
Calories 106 kcal


Tomato Sauce For Meatballs

  • 30 g Butter
  • 30 g Plain Flour
  • 450 ml Vegetable Stock (or chicken stock)
  • 400 g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (Crushed)
  • 1 Bay Leaf


  • For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, sprinkle with flour and cook and stir for 1 minute. Use a metal whisk. Blend in the stock, then add the tomatoes, puree, garlic and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil until thickened. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter and add the oil in a deep-sided frying pan. Cook the meatballs in batches for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Lift out and drain on paper towels and pour out the fat from the pan.
  • Return the meatballs to the pan and add the sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes.
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Calories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 217mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 564IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pork mince meatballs, tomato sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was! or tag @rachelsrecipepantry on Instagram and hashtag #rachelsrecipepantry Thank you!!

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