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Norwegian Meatballs with Lefse

Meryl Downing
Norwegian Meatballs with Lefse are my grandmother's incredibly delicious recipe!  Meatballs with brown gravy, rolled up in traditional lefse, are tender and amazing, kid-friendly and loved by all.  Double the recipe to stock your freezer, this basic meatball recipe without the gravy is versatile and can be used in any meatball sauce!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Norwegian
Servings 6 to 8


For the Meatballs

  • 1 small onion small dice (olive oil, salt, pepper)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (panko or a finely chopped and crumbled frozen burger bun work great!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 grinds fresh black pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated

For the Gravy

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart beef stock (or less, enough to reach desired thickness)
  • lefse for serving


  • In a large pot over low heat, caramelize onion until golden brown in a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix all other meatball ingredients in a large bowl, including onions when they are done. Form into meatballs and set on a sheet pan. They should be about ping pong to golf ball size, use a small portion scoop or ice cream scoop to make them equal in size. About 30 to 36 meatballs depending on the size.  (At this point you can freeze or refrigerate meatballs, some or all, for later use, or try doubling the meatball recipe to really stock the freezer!)
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Over medium high heat, reheat the pan from the onions or use a clean large pan, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Brown the meatballs on one side, then flip and do the other side (about 2 minutes per side). Cook about 8 to 12 at a time in batches so you do not crowd the pan. When done browning the outside, return them to the sheet pan (don’t worry that it had the raw meatballs on them, you will be baking the whole thing).
  • Bake in the oven at 400° for about 10-20 minutes to finish cooking the meatballs through, cut one open to check.
  • Meanwhile over medium low heat, melt 3T butter in the same pot you browned the meatballs.  Make a roux by mixing in the flour and letting it cook for about a minute while whisking, scraping up the browned bits from searing the meatballs.
  • Slowly whisk in beef stock, use enough stock to for a gravy-like consistency, you may not need the full quart.  As the stock and roux mixture heat it will start to thicken into a gravy, whisk it occasionally.
  • When the meatballs are baked, add them to the gravy and simmer on low until ready to serve. Serve meatballs and gravy rolled in lefse.


  • Double the recipe to meal prep meatballs for the freezer.  Meatballs can be frozen raw, cooked, or cooked and in the sauce.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking or reheating.
  • Browning the meatballs in the pan just adds flavor, it does not cook the meatballs all the way through.  Finish them in the oven.  To save time, you can skip the sear and just bake them directly in the oven, about 20 minutes but cut one open to be sure they are cooked through before adding them to your sauce.
  • These basic homemade meatballs are versatile and can be used in different sauces!
Keyword homemade meatballs and gravy, meatballs in brown gravy, Meatballs with Lefse, Norwegian Meatballs