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Dinner This Week: Swedish Meatballs

This week’s menus include Swedish Meatballs, Herb-Crusted Salmon, and Meatless “Meat” Sauce with Chickpeas and Mushrooms for dinner in about an hour
By Published Dec. 14, 2022

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

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Dinner 1: Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes

Game Plan: Start by cooking potatoes. As the potatoes simmer, prepare the meatballs through step 2. Once the potatoes have been mashed, cover them to keep warm, and finish cooking the meatballs (steps 3 and 4).

Our Swedish Meatballs boast a sausagelike springiness and satisfying snap. To achieve the right texture, we mix beef, pork, bread, cream together in a stand mixer along with a little baking powder, which keeps the meatballs delicate and juicy. For a light, creamy sauce, we add a bit of cream to chicken broth and brighten it up with a splash of lemon juice. Our Mashed Potatoes start with a high-starch russets. We cook the potatoes until they are just tender, but not falling apart. Finally, for a silky smooth texture, we use a food mill or potato ricer fitted with the finest disk to process the potatoes.  

Printable Shopping Lists: Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes

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Dinner 2: Herb-Crusted Salmon with Couscous Pilaf

Game Plan: Brine the salmon, using the brining time to prep the other ingredients for both dishes. Once the water has been added to the couscous, cook the salmon. Finish the couscous right before serving.

For Herb-Crusted Salmon, we layer delicate tarragon under a toasted panko crust to protect the fresh herb flavor that can be driven away while the fish cooks in the oven. The crust is bound with a couple of tablespoons of beaten egg to help it stay in place. A quick brine keeps the salmon fillets moist and ensures that they are perfectly seasoned. The additions to Couscous with Shallots, Garlic, and Almonds can be adjusted to suit what you have on hand. Half of a finely chopped onion can be used instead of the shallot. Other nuts can be substituted for the almonds and other tender herbs, such as basil, can be swapped for the parsley. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Herb-Crusted Salmon with Couscous Pilaf

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Dinner 3: Pasta with Meatless “Meat” Sauce and Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad

Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both recipes. Start cooking the sauce. Once the tomatoes have been added (step 4), bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the chickpeas have been added to the sauce (step 5), boil the pasta while the sauce simmers for 15 minutes. Toss the salad right before serving.

Meatless “Meat” Sauce with Chickpeas and Mushrooms is a savory, unctuous sauce. Cremini mushrooms and tomato paste provide savoriness while chopped chickpeas add bulk and a meatlike texture. Extra-virgin olive oil, plus classic Italian aromatics—garlic, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes—round out the flavors. Our Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad with Grapefruit and Fennel combines soft, mineral-y green leaf lettuce with bitter, crunchy radicchio. Sweet, peppery grapefruit and grassy fennel both balance the bitterness of the radicchio and add brightness. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Meatless “Meat” Sauce and Green Leaf and Radicchio Salad

To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.


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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.