These gluten-free vegan IKEA meatballs are brought to you in partnership with my friends Little Northern Bakehouse. As always opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site and my Swedish meatball cravings possible!
When I think of IKEA, my most familiar association is not a trembling, near-collapse bureau drawer, nor the panic attack involved in building it. It’s not even the blue bags that were responsible for single handedly moving Charlie and I from our old apartment to our current home. Rather, when I think of Ikea, I think of Swedish meatballs. And then I think of my dad’s old assistant Darren.
Darren loved Ikea meatballs and used to brave the swollen throngs of college-bound cheap bookshelf seekers just to get his fix. This should not surprise me, since Darren also used to brave other horrors of dorm set-up without any promise of a creamy gravy sauce as compensation.
I used to call him “big brother Darren” because his responsibilities as my dad’s minion included moving me in and out of multiple dorm rooms, and chauffeuring me, my duffel bags, and mini fridge the 3-hour drive to and from. Needless to say, even though he never assembled furniture, Darren was an angel. And I only wish I had my cooking prowess back then to make him imitation Swedish IKEA meatballs as a thank you for all the schlepping.
My memories of what these meatballs actually taste like is a little fuzzy, but my hunch is that even if they weren’t packed with gluten, I wouldn’t be crazy about the mystery meat concoction today. For the die-hard fans amongst us though (and big brother Darren, I know you’re out there somewhere), I thought it would be fun to craft a plant-based, gluten-free version …