Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

Danish MeatballsThis recipe and the following two recipes are all recipes my husband brought back from when he lived in Denmark. He always talks about how amazing the food is in Denmark and how he’s dying to go back just so he can eat the food again (and I can’t wait to go with him)! A few weeks ago he pulled out these recipes and made them for me. They were all delicious!

This first recipe is called “Frikadeller” which very loosely translated means “Meatballs”. You can have them with or without gravy. They are delicious either way. You can make them with all pork or a mixture of pork and beef. If you want it to be super savory use all pork. Serve these along with Brunede Kartofler (Caramelized/Browned Potatoes) and/or Rødkål (Red Cabbage).

For leftovers (if you really want to do it like the Danes) slap a few of these bad boys onto some toast (or bread) with some mayo. Oh man, it is GOOD.

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • ¾ lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large onion - grated
  • ½ c. breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp. sage leaves
  • half & half (or milk) for consistency (1/4 to ½ c.)
  • butter
  • ¾ - 2 Tbsp drippings from Frickadeller
  • tiny butter if needed
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 c. heavy cream (Milk works too)
  • 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon
  • salt & pepper
  1. Combine beef, pork and onion. Add breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic, and sage leaves (it works best if you mix it with your hands).
  2. Slowly add half & half for consistency (you want them to be slightly sticky, you shouldn't be able to form them into a perfect ball). Coat large skillet well with butter. Drop clumps of mixture (a heaping tablespoon-size) onto the skillet.
  3. Fry on medium to medium low heat until brown (press the meat down a lightly with a fork so it flattens out a little.. it should look like a fat hamburger.. see picture below), then flip (approx 3-5 minutes per side). Add more butter with each batch.
  4. Serve with gravy (see below). *Don't wash the skillet-- you will want the brown bits and drippings for the gravy*
For the gravy:
  1. Add the flour to the drippings to form a roux (add butter if needed). Slowly add cream (or milk) until mixture reaches gravy consistency. Add beef bouillon, salt & pepper to taste.


  1. I sent this recipe to my daughter. Her hubby lived in Denmark for 2 years and loves all things Danish. She's making these for him for Valentine's Day- he'll be a very happy camper! Thanks for posting this one!

  2. We just made this for dinner tonight. It'll go more quickly next time, but I probably will save this recipe for weekends. Wow is it good!! We chose to go with all pork. The gravy is phenomenal. Definitely a keeper.

  3. I’ve been looking for a frikadeller recipe to use on my international food blog, and this looks like the best out of the dozen or so I’ve seen online. Do you mind if I borrow it? I’d be happy to give you a link back (of course)! Thanks!

    • Sure! You may use it. If you put our recipe on your site we would prefer you to use your own picture and link back as well. If you use our picture, please make a direct link to us for people to find the recipe

  4. My paternal grandmother used to make these for me when we would visit her in Detroit. When she made them back in the 50s, I always thought they were called “frickadillas”. Both of her parents were born in Denmark. Thank you for the recipe!

  5. I followed the recipe as directed. The Frikadellers came out perfect but the gravy is a little two salty..I just added the beef bullion nothing else. Any suggestions how to make it less salty?

    • Every home even in Europe will tweek recipes. This is how my mother, back to her grandmother made them. Except my mother always used allspice and not the sage. Living in Ausria, we purchased them in the interest of time . They call them Frikadillen. But instead of allspice they used nutmeg. Had a German friend who made them. She used nutmeg. As a side note. We made Hungaian Goluasch, and served it with spaetzle. Our Hungarian friend was surprised because in her family it was served as a soup. Later we served it to a young man from Hungry. They ate it as a sauce with spaezle. Some use nothing paperika and some add a little tomato sauce. Recipes are as authentic as how each house makes it.

  6. The Danish name is: frikadeller (plural). The traditional receipe is without the sage, garlic and maybe the nutmeg. When I make them, I use my moms way: put the meat in a bowl so that the meat fills the bottom of the bowl. Then cut out a fourth and lift on top of the rest of the meat. Fill the empty fourth with either 1.wheat flour or 2. outmeal or a mix of the two. I prefer the outmeal. Then add the rest of the receipe without the milk. Mix with a kitchen spoon and add slowly milk until it feels right. The mix should be quite wet but still be able to stick together. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour to settle. Form a ball with a spoon and your hand and fry in butter (or margerine) on medium heat for 3-5 min on each side until brown. Cut one to check if the middle is cooked. Serve with potatoes and gravy and something sour on the side. It is a very common daily dish in Denmark, my home turf. Bon apetit.

    • Peter, thank you so much for sharing your family’s way of making frikadeller! This will be very helpful the next time I make these meatballs – and very helpful to our readers!

  7. First I put the onion in a food processor and add 2 eggs process till onion is liquid like then add the eggs. When this is done add 1 pound of ground pork, salt and pepper to taste and process again add flour by the tablespoon full till mixture is a thick like consistency add a bit of milk not much and process one more time. Fry in canola oil and a bit of butter on medium low heat.

  8. Here is another thing to try. Take the frikadellar mixture (I leave out the nutmeg) and scoop it into 1″ meatballs into a pot heat with simmering 2-3 c. good chicken stock and poach the meatballs until cooked through. (7-8 min. Remove the balls and drain the stock into a measuring cup. You should have about 2 c. In the pot add 3-4 tab. butter, melt and stir in 1-2 tab. curry powder (depends on how spicy it is and how you like it). then add 3-4 tab. flour and make a roux. Stir in a grated apple *gala or other med sweet apple) and cook for a minute or two. then whisk in the stock. You can add a bit more curry if needed. Add meatballs and heat through then serve over rice. Danish Meatballs and Curry. I make a double batch of the meat mixture and make both frikadellar and meatballs and curry. I have my neighbors hooked on both. Also check out the cookbook ‘Take a Silver Dish’ , sometimes you can find it on Amazon or Ebay


  1. 5 Delightful Danish Recipes |

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