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How do you cook Ikea frozen meatballs?

Ikea’s frozen meatballs are a fan favorite for good reason – they’re tasty, convenient, and affordable. But how exactly do you cook frozen meatballs from Ikea to get that perfect, mouthwatering texture? There’s more to cooking frozen meatballs than just popping them in the oven or skillet. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make Ikea’s frozen meatballs taste just as good as if you ordered them fresh in the store.

What You Need

Before getting started, make sure you have the following:

  • 1 bag of Ikea frozen meatballs (they come in both beef and chicken varieties)
  • Oil for pan frying (vegetable, canola, etc.)
  • Butter or oil for baking
  • Preferred cooking method (skillet, oven, slow cooker, etc.)
  • Spices and condiments for seasoning (salt, pepper,Swedish meatball sauce, etc.)

Checking that you have all the necessary ingredients and tools will ensure the cooking process goes smoothly.

Thawing the Meatballs

The first step is thawing the meatballs. There are a few methods you can use for this:

Overnight in the refrigerator

For best results, thaw the meatballs overnight in the refrigerator. Place the unopened bag of frozen meatballs on a plate or in a bowl to catch any drips as they thaw. The low temperature will allow the meatballs to defrost gradually to retain moisture and prevent spoiling.

In cold water

If short on time, submerge the bag of meatballs in a bowl of cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it stays cold. Gently massage the bag occasionally to help break up the ice crystals. This method takes about 2-3 hours.

In the microwave

Microwaving is the quickest thawing method. Remove meatballs from the bag and place on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer. Microwave in 30 second intervals until thawed, gently flipping them halfway through. This takes approximately 5-7 minutes based on microwave wattage.

Once the meatballs are thawed enough to separate, they’re ready to be cooked!

Cooking the Meatballs

Ikea meatballs can be prepared through various cooking methods – pan-frying, baking, or even slow cooking. Choose your preferred technique based on time, convenience, and desired texture.


Pan-frying is quick and gives the meatballs a nice sear. Here’s how:

  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the thawed meatballs in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned. Turn occasionally to brown all sides.
  3. Once browned, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, gently turning occasionally, until cooked through.
  4. Optional: For deeper flavor, add sliced onions, garlic, or mushrooms to the pan when browning the meatballs.

The high heat helps develop a crispy crust while the lowered heat gently finishes cooking the insides.


For a hands-off approach, baked meatballs develop a tender, juicy interior:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place thawed meatballs on a lightly greased baking sheet without overcrowding.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, gently turning once halfway through, until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  4. Optional: Brush meatballs lightly with oil or butter before baking for extra browning and flavor.

The dry heat of the oven ensures a comforting texture.

Slow Cooking

Slow cooking yields ultra tender and flavorful meatballs. Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and let time work its magic:

  1. Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Add thawed meatballs and any additional ingredients like onion and garlic.
  3. Cook on LOW heat for 4-6 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Optional: For thicker sauce, stir in beef broth and flour or corn starch before serving.

The low temperature melts collagen and fat for succulent, falling-apart meatballs.

Serving Suggestions

Ikea meatballs wouldn’t be complete without the perfect accompaniments. Consider serving them with:

  • Mashed potatoes – The soft, soothing sides pair nicely with tender meatballs.
  • Creamy coleslaw – Crunchy cabbage and carrots complement the savory meatballs.
  • Lingonberry jam – A little sweetness to balance the savory umami flavor.
  • Gravy or Swedish meatball sauce – For extra moisture and traditional Swedish flavor.
  • On pasta – Toss meatballs with pasta noodles, tomato sauce, and Parmesan.

Get creative and make your favorite combinations! The meatballs pair well with an array of sides and sauces.

Nutrition Information

Here is the nutrition information for 6 Ikea Kottbullar frozen meatballs (about 84g) [1]:

Calories Protein Fat Carbs
140 12g 8g 4g

While not the healthiest, Ikea’s meatballs offer a good amount of protein and can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Tips for Perfect Meatballs

Use these tips for guaranteed tender, flavorful meatballs every time:

  • Thaw properly to prevent uneven cooking.
  • Brown the meatballs first to enhance flavor.
  • Avoid overcrowding in the pan or baking sheet.
  • Turn gently during cooking to prevent breaking.
  • Ensure meatballs are cooked through but not overcooked.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes after cooking to allow juices to redistribute.

Proper thawing, gentle handling, and not overcooking are key for the ideal texture.

Storing Leftovers

Like any leftover, properly stored Ikea meatballs will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and 2-3 months in the freezer. To store:

  • Refrigerator – Place cooked meatballs in an airtight container. Reheat gently before serving again.
  • Freezer – Freeze cooked meatballs in an airtight bag or container for longer term storage. Thaw again before reheating.

With proper storage, you can enjoy Ikea goodness again later!


With a little preparation and technique, it’s easy to make Ikea’s beloved frozen meatballs taste freshly prepared. Thaw them fully before cooking, then choose your ideal cooking method. Browning followed by gentle simmering or baking works well for a tender interior and flavorful crust. Serve with traditional Swedish sides like mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, or get creative with your own combinations. Master these simple steps, and you can enjoy affordable, appetizing Swedish meatballs without setting foot in the store. Skål!