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Turkey Swedish Meatballs (Dairy Free)

When I was younger I had a dairy allergy. Every time I had milk, I got sick. Fortunately, as I got older, I grew out of that and it doesn’t bother me as much. I still wont drink milk and if I eat a lot of ice cream or something with a lot of heavy cream I find myself feeling less than great. I seem to be fine with most cheeses and yogurts though.

Because of this, I have found myself avoiding cream based dishes. However, there are times when a thick cream based sauce sounds so good! Fortunately, these days there are many methods to making dishes creamy without needing to use heavy cream or milk.

In this dairy free version of Swedish meatballs, I use cashew cream mixed with chicken stock as the based for the creamy gravy. Often, cashew cream is associated with vegan or vegetarian cooking, but I find that it is a great dairy free alternative for anyone. Not only is it dairy free but compared to dairy cream, cashew cream it is arguably nutritionally superior.

While it is still high in calories and fat like dairy cream, cashews are full of healthy fats. 76% of the fat from cashews are a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good stuff). On the other hand, the fat in cream is comprised of 62% saturated fat (the not so good stuff). Cashews also contain tons of protein and fiber. 1 cup of cashews contains 24g of protein and 4.3 g fiber while cream contains 0g of fiber and only 4.9 g protein per 1 cup.

In summary, even if you aren’t dairy-free or vegan, cashew cream may be worth trying. Nutritionally, you are just getting a lot more out of it, plus the added protein and fiber help to keep you feeling full and satiated for longer which is always a bonus!

Turkey Swedish Meatballs
For the Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs ground flax can substitute with bread crumbs
For the sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp worcestershire
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh sage for garnish (optional)
For the Cashew Cream
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Soak 1/2 cup cashews with just enough water to cover for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove form soaking liquid and blend with 1/4 cup of water until smooth. If you do not have time to soak for 3 hours you can boil the cashews for 10-15 minutes. This will work in a pinch, but the result may not be as smooth. 

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Prepare baking sheet with parchment
  4. In a large bowl combine turkey, diced onion, salt, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, egg, and ground flax. Use your hands to mix well. Then form into small golf ball sized meatballs and line up on the prepared pan.
  5. Place the prepared pan with the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking in a saucepan, heat chicken stock, Dijon, Worcestershire, cashew cream and bring to a boil.
  7. In a small bowl combine 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tsp water then add cornstarch mixture to the saucepan to thicken the sauce.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Once the meatballs are done, add them to the saucepan and bring to a boil again. Once heated through, serve immediately with mashed potatoes, or cauliflower and a veggie of choice and enjoy!



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