Swedish meatballs with gravy and pasta-26

I love the way that fast, easy meals come together—but I don’t always love the way that they taste. Many dishes require you to sacrifice a bit of flavour or texture if you want to have them ready to serve in 20 minutes, which means that weekday meals made in your home kitchen often aren’t as delicious as your weekend ones. This easy sauce recipe is one of the few that I treasure as a recipe that’s both quick and tasty.

I look at it this way: you work hard during the week, and most of our families need a little break between school, work, and extracurricular activities. While extra-special weekend meals are great, I almost prefer having my higher quality meals throughout the week. You have less time to put them together, which can be stressful, but they let you to enjoy a tasty meal and hit reset on your brain before continuing on with your busy day.


What you need to make a 10-minute sour cream sauce

Easy sauce recipes and spice blends can help you create flavourful food throughout the week in very little time. My family has a mix of allergies and sensitivities, so I tweaked this great Swedish Meatballs recipe from Damn Delicious in order to make my favourite sauce of the moment.

It’s creamy, quick to make, and doesn’t need to simmer or rest to let the flavours blend together. Like any great sauce, it also freezes like a champ. If you make this and put it in the freezer, you’ll find that it thaws to a watery, lumpy mound… But as soon as you heat it up, it goes right back to being creamy and delicious.

To make this sour cream sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients. Some of these ingredients have amounts listed, because they work best in certain ratios. Others are listed on their own, as I tend to season based on how I’m feeling that day. You can find what measurements work best for you, or check in on the original Damn Delicious recipe to see how they do it!

Ingredients for this sour cream sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter (I like salted, grass-fed butter for this recipe—it gives it an extra richness)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp beef bouillon (we use Better Than Bouillon, which doesn’t have MSG)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley

Swedish meatballs with gravy and pasta-7

My favourite easy sauce recipe

As I mentioned, this sauce is really quick and easy to make. If you follow the instructions below, it should be ready to serve in under 10 minutes!

  1. Create a roux with your butter and flour. To do this, melt the butter in a stainless steel pot on medium-low heat. Add your flour to the pot once the butter is bubbling, whisking constantly. Whisk and heat until the paste turns to a thick liquid, which should take about a minute.
  2. Add your water and bouillon, continuing to whisk. Simmer until thickened, for about five minutes.
  3. Turn off your burner. Stir in sour cream, salt and pepper, and any herbs you’d like to add for flavour.

Swedish meatballs with gravy and pasta-12

What can you put this fast, easy sauce on?

My partner is on the keto diet, so we eat a lot of low carb/high fat foods. This sauce is perfect for us. It’s creamy with a little bit of tang, and it offers a nice, low-carb option that still tastes great. The whole recipe contains 35.75 g of carbs in about 5 cups of sauce, which means that it’s about half as carby as traditional tomato sauce.

I’m not on the keto diet, but I still really like this higher fat, lower carb sauce option. It gives me a great alternative to tomato sauces, and I feel like it keeps me full for a lot longer than a regular meal. The fact that this easy sauce recipe doesn’t stain my tupperware or my white dress shirts if I spill it is just a bonus! While I enjoy tomato sauces, they can be inconvenient for our household: I’m allergic to tomatoes, and even when I’m willing to take a Benadryl to enjoy some red sauce anyways, homemade tomato sauces take a long time to make. They need to sit and simmer while the flavours blend, and I’m just not always ready to take that on on a weekday.

My favourite way to serve this gravy-style sauce is on spaghetti (our low-carb favourite is NuPasta, and it’s the one photographed here) with homemade meatballs. It’s also excellent on penne and traditional pasta—De Cecco is excellent, if you can find it. You can add onions and Panko/breadcrumbs to the meatballs if you want a more traditional texture and flavour, but I like the pared-down version you see below. The ground pork in the recipe keeps the meatballs soft and juicy, and you get a meatier flavour and texture without the breadcrumbs.

Swedish meatballs with gravy and pasta-20

Ingredients for these meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Parsley
  • Nutmeg
  • Bacon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Onion salt
  • Garlic powder

Easy meatballs that bake while you make the sauce

You’ll notice that these meatballs, like this sauce, don’t have amounts listed for every ingredient. I like to follow my instincts and season a little differently each time, being led by how the meatballs look and smell.

Shape your meatballs in your hands (add a little olive oil to your hands if they’re sticking too much), then fry in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Brown the edges of each meatball, turning frequently. To finish, continue grilling your meatballs on the stovetop, or put the whole pan into the oven at 375˚F until fully cooked and no longer pink inside.

Add your meatballs, pasta, and sauce to each dish to serve, then finish with a garnish of parsley for colour.

Swedish meatballs with gravy and pasta-24

What else can you use this simple, sour cream sauce with?

This easy sauce recipe is perfect for putting together a meal in a pinch, but it’s great for more than just pasta. The bouillon base means that it can be a little salty, so I like pairing it with foods that pick up flavour well. It’s great over steamed cauliflower (in place of, for instance, a cheese sauce), and is tasty as a warm dip for skewers and bread.

You can also use this sour cream-based sauce in place of gravy, which helps cut down on the number of sauces and dishes you need to make throughout your busy week. Try it on pasta, meatballs, or even steaks and sandwiches.

Check out our other easy recipes for home-cooked meals and shop for kitchen essentials at Best Buy to help you finish your meals in no time. 

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.