Swedish Meatballs vs Beef Stroganoff – Which Is Better?

Swedish Meatballs vs Beef Stroganoff
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Swedish Meatballs vs Beef Stroganoff

If you had the choice between Swedish meatballs and beef stroganoff for lunch, which would it be? Whether for a roast, steak, or ground or minced, good beef is firm and bright red in color, with bits of fat distributed throughout the lean.

Topside is cheaper than sirloin and has no bone, so it can be cut up for beef stroganoff or minced to be part of delicious Swedish meatballs. Before we opt for one of these on the menu, let’s look at Swedish meatballs vs beef stroganoff, and see which nutrient-packed meal you’ll opt for.

What are Swedish meatballs?

This tasty meat dish is known as köttbullar in Sweden. Instead of just minced beef, Swedish meatballs have a mix of beef, pork, and veal. Some people like to try chicken or turkey as well. However, it could be any type of meat you want.

The meatballs are combined with a filler such as flour and breadcrumbs or mashed potatoes, which helps bind the ball. Herbs and spices are also added before the meatballs are fried and then immersed in a sauce.

Swedish style meatball
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The sauce can be what takes your fancy—a brown onion gravy-like sauce or maybe a white cream and cheese sauce. The meatballs and sauce are then traditionally poured over delicious buttery noodles.

What is beef stroganoff?

When comparing Swedish meatballs vs beef stroganoff, which one is the more wholesome and delicious?

With its tender pieces of beef marinaded in white wine and with a creamy sauce and mushrooms, this mouthwatering dish of sautéed, succulent beef pieces will have you having to make a difficult decision between the meatballs and the stroganoff.

To avoid tough pieces of beef, choose the best beef. This can be Scotch fillet, sirloin, eye fillet or flank steak. There are different variations of beef stroganoff and while most people prefer making it with sour cream, others leave the sour cream out.

Beef Stroganoff in frying pan
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There are others that prefer to use brandy instead of wine. However you prefer it, the meaty dish is then traditionally served over fluffy rice.

We take a look at the differences and similarities between the two nourishing meals –

Swedish Meatballs vs Beef Stroganoff

Swedish MeatballsBeef Stroganoff
Quick to make: You can make delicious Swedish meatballs in 30 minutes. Some more involved recipes can take longer.Quick to make: You can also get away with a super beef stroganoff dish made in 30 minutes. Some recipes will take longer.
Variety of meats: Meatballs are made from different minced meats - beef, pork, chicken etc.Beef: Beef Stroganoff is a traditional Russian dish made from cubes or strips of beef.
Recipe origins: Swedish meatballs are based on a recipe brought back from Turkey by King Charles XII of Sweden.Recipe origins: The dish originated in Russia and was named after Count Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff.
Traditionally served on noodles: Swedish meatballs are traditionally served on noodles. In Sweden, the meatballs are often served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.Traditionally served on rice: Beef stroganoff is traditionally served over rice. It can also be served with buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes. It’s what one prefers.
Meatball side dish: The ideal side dish to compliment your meatballs can also be rice, a Greek salad or roasted vegetables.Stroganoff side dish: There’s nothing like some roast potatoes and a lovely fresh Greek salad or roast vegetables to compliment your beef stroganoff.
Ingredients: Swedish meatballs include different meats, bread, onions, egg, spices such as nutmeg, and beef stock and cream, flour to thicken the gravy.Ingredients: Beef stroganoff consists of steak, onions, mushrooms, and a sauce made of brandy and sour cream.
Sauce ingredients: butter, beef stock, flour and cream. Included in the sauce can be the pan drippings after frying the meatballs.Sauce Ingredients: butter, garlic, onion, beef stock, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, flour and sour cream.
Refrigeration: Any leftover meatballs can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3 days. They can also be frozen for a later date.Refrigeration: You can also safely refrigerate beef stroganoff for up to 3 to 4 days. The meat dish can also be frozen till a later date. Remember to date your frozen foods.

Do vegetarians have to miss out on these savory meat dishes?

Vegetarians will be thrilled to broaden their meat-free ideas with these two delicious ‘meat’ dishes. They’re so delicious that meat lovers may well want to try them too.

For anyone who is gluten intolerant, there is gluten free flour for the sauces and which is a good substitute for the breadcrumbs in the Swedish meatballs recipe.

For those who can’t bear to miss out on the taste of Swedish meatballs, bulgar, chickpeas, and cremini mushrooms take on the texture of ground meat. This is then the vegetarian version of the Swedish meatball dish.

Well seasoned with nutmeg, these meatballs are wonderful served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

  • Meatless Stroganoff

Also, for those who love the flavor of your regular beef stroganoff but aren’t eating meat, there is still a way to enjoy this wonderfully tasty dish while still sticking to your meatless diet.

Just like with vegetarian Swedish meatballs, this vegetarian-type beef stroganoff includes vegetarian beef, which is browned the usual way with onions and mushrooms. The mixture is then prepared with mushrooms and sour cream.


The enjoyment of good food is a delight for many. A good tip is to keep your meals simple but delicious.

Swedish meatballs and beef stroganoff
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When it comes to Swedish meatballs vs beef stroganoff, they are both easy and fairly quick to make and packed full of tasty surprises. Both dishes are so tasty you can prepare them as the ideal party fare because they both look and taste delicious.

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