A First Look at IKEA's New Vegetarian and Chicken Meatballs

A First Look at IKEA's New Vegetarian and Chicken Meatballs

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Ariel Knutson
Apr 8, 2015
(Image credit: IKEA USA)

Every omnivore knows that a trip to IKEA isn't complete without stuffing your face with meatballs, but soon vegetarians and vegans alike can also eat Swedish food while shopping for affordable bookshelves. That's because earlier this year, IKEA announced that they would expand their restaurant menu and food market options to include vegetarian and chicken meatballs. Hurrah!

I got a preview of the new meatballs at IKEA. Here's a first look at the new offerings, including what the meatballs are made out of, when you can get them at the restaurant and food market, and how much they'll cost. Oh, and how they taste, because we all know that's the most important thing.

Veggie on the left, chicken on the right
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Why is IKEA adding new meatballs to the menu?

People are looking for more sustainable, nutritious options when it comes to food, and IKEA wants to be a part of that movement. As is IKEA's way, they also wanted to make this food affordable. By giving people choices at their restaurants that are still Swedish – a traditional meatball, a chicken meatball with 25% less fat, and a vegan option – they believe they are helping people lead better lives. And with over 600 million customers that go to an IKEA restaurant every year, they believed they could make a difference.

What are the meatballs called?

The vegetarian meatballs are called GRÖNSAKSBULLAR which is pronounced like groants-ask-boolar.

The chicken meatballs are called KYCKLINGBULLAR, which kinda sounds like ky-cling-boolar.

What are the vegetarian meatballs made out of?

The vegetarian meatballs are also vegan and gluten-free. The ingredients will switch three times a years based on the season – fall, spring, and summer. The spring vegetarian meatballs this year are made out of kale, corn, red peppers, carrots, chickpeas, peas, and pea protein.

Instead of the traditional lingonberry sauce, the vegetarian meatballs are served with a cauliflower and sweet potato sauce that has a little garam masala. The meals are paired with steamed vegetables.

The vegetarian meatballs were good. You could see chunks of vegetables in the meatballs, and they hold together very well. The meatballs themselves tasted good, and the accompanying sweet potato sauce added a bonus sweetness to the whole dish. I would definitely eat them again.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

When will the meatballs be available and how much will they cost?

The vegan meatballs will be available in IKEA restaurants across The United States starting tomorrow, April 9th, and will cost $4.49 (10 meatballs). They will make their debut at the food market on June 30th and cost $7.99 for one kilogram of meatballs.

The chicken meatballs will be available at IKEA restaurants starting April 27th, and will cost $4.99 (10 meatballs). Just like the vegetarian meatballs, the chicken meatballs will arrive at the food market on June 30th and cost $8.99 for one kilogram bag.

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