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How to Not Screw Up Swedish Meatballs With Ginger Ale Sauce

Joanne Kristin has diplomas in Journalism and Arts and Science from Fanshawe College in Canada.

Ginger ale meatballs

Ginger ale meatballs

Ginger Ale Meatballs

As it stands, I am not a very good cook—but I can cook about five fantastic recipes that can fool anyone into thinking I'm Wolfgang Puck. Today, I'm going to let you in on a little secret recipe that's hypnotized many people into thinking I'm a chef. If you decide to make it, that's great. It will be well worth the effort. I promise. If you decide to sell it on eBay and make a million bucks, the least you could do is name it after me!

Swedish meatballs with ginger ale sauce are one of my favorite comfort foods ever. This dish will warm your belly and your heart like a good bottle of whiskey. It will also impress even the most unsatisfiable of people. Next time Jack's cranky, you'll know exactly what to do. The best thing about them is that they are so easy to make. Bear with me here; I'm not Martha Stewart, so 90 percent of my instructions will be a little of this and a little of that, but you'll get it.


For the meatballs:

  • 1 family pack medium hamburger
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 package soda crackers, crushed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 eggs

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups ginger ale

Step 1: Make the Meatballs

  1. Prepare the meat. I use medium beef. Medium beef has a fat content of 25%. You may use leaner meat if you like. Lean ground beef only has a fat content of 17%, and extra lean, only 10%. Personally, I prefer beef and some fat to go with my comfort food. Any protein you want will be just fine.
  2. Add an onion. Again, flavour preference. Maybe you enjoy a lot of onion; just don't get carried away.
  3. Add a good amount of salt, depending on how much meat you use. I find people shy away from salt and never use enough, so suit yourself to your own liking.
  4. Add 2 to 3 eggs.
  5. Bust in an entire package of soda crackers to bind the meat together. I think in the big leagues, they call it 'bind'. Ha. Last time I didn't have crackers, so I used toast. I've also used breadcrumbs. Whatever works.
  6. You can add spices, too, if you want, but I'd take it easy, at least until you taste the sauce. You don't want the flavours to clash. I once used garlic, and it didn't taste right. Last time, however, I threw in some basil and then gave myself a pat on the back because it was pretty great.
  7. Roll it into little balls about the size of a golf ball, and put them on a baking sheet.
  8. I cook mine at 350F for about 25 to 30 minutes. I'm also paranoid that I'll give someone food poisoning, and I can't cook, so keep that in mind. At this temperature, they're done. Just make sure they're brown. If you know what you are doing, then do what you do.

Step 2: Make the Ginger Ale Sauce

It's time to make the sauce while your meatballs are cooking.

  1. In a large pot, add 2 cups of ketchup. The good stuff, Heinz. Some of the cheap stuff is too tomatoey. I know what you're thinking, ketchup, but don't assume it's going to taste like a college guy made it after getting home from the bar because it won't.
  2. Next, add 2 cups of ginger ale and 1 cup of brown sugar.
  3. Put it on medium heat, and bring it to a boil. It doesn't really mix well until it heats up.
  4. Once you boil it, put it on low heat and simmer.
  5. Add your meatballs to the pot. I generally simmer them for at least 45 minutes. Remove from heat and eat. Now, they will be 10 times better tomorrow, so if you're trying to impress someone, make them the day before. Put them in the fridge, and then just heat them up on the stove or in the microwave the next day.
  6. I think they are best eaten alone in a big bowl, but you can add them to spaghetti or stick toothpicks in them and serve them as hors d'oeuvres. Up to you!

© 2017 Joanne Kristin