Today’s recipe for the classic IKEA meatball rolled out from our test kitchen already in 1985. Since then, the IKEA meatball has become an icon on plates around the world and a proud example of traditional Swedish cooking. But, when we asked customers on three different continents what food they prefer, we realized we had to extend our meatball family with tasty alternatives.
“Not everyone eats beef or pork, so we went into the kitchen to create new recipes,” says David Johansson, chef and product developer at IKEA Food Services. First came the chicken ball – an alternative for those who like meat, but not necessarily red meat. “Like all our meatballs it’s just as good hot as cold, and we’ve seasoned it gently so it fits different cuisines and local flavors.”
Sustainability was also a reason to create new options. “With the veggie ball we wanted to offer something as appreciated as the classic meatball, but plant-based and with less environmental impact,” explains David. Next came the salmon and cod ball. It contains pieces of salmon that are too small to be used as whole fillets. “And since it’s very tasty meat, we thought, why not make delicious fish balls of it instead?” says David.
The newest edition to the family is the plant ball. It’s made with pea protein, potatoes, apple, oats, and onion, but has the great taste and juicy bite of a meatball – making it perfect for everyone who wants to cut down on meat without losing out on the experience. With a climate footprint that is just 4% of the meatball’s, the plant ball has the power to make a difference. “A lot has happened since 1985. Now, there are edible IKEA icons for more of the many people. No matter if you’re flexitarian, vegan, meat lover, have dietary needs, or cultural preferences.”