Appetizers | January 25, 2022

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs will take your appetizer game to the next level. Easy to make, deliciously savory with a little bit of sweet, they are a fun addition to any party!

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Main Dish Sweet and Sour Meatballs

You can never go wrong with meatballs at any gathering. Everyone loves a bite-size appetizer! Sweet and Sour Meatballs are also delicious as a main dish served over rice or mashed potatoes. It is worth doubling the recipe so you’ll have leftovers for dinner down the road!

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Is it easy to make homemade meatballs?

One of my favorite things about this dish – it’s HOMEMADE. It’s quick and easy and unbelievably better than store bought meatballs. You know the spongy texture that comes with a store bought frozen meatball? None of that is present when you make meatballs at home! And you’ll know every ingredient inside of your meatballs.

If you can mix a few ingredients and use a scoop, you can make this dish! Trust me, it’s worth it when everyone comes back for seconds… and thirds. 

home made meatballs for appetizer or main dish

Sweet and Sour Meatballs is a family friendly dish. Kids love them. Adults love them. What’s not to love about these bite-sized chunks of perfection? Smothered in a sweet and tangy sauce, I love the bit of sweetness from the pineapple, combined with a little bite from the fresh ginger. You’ll never go back to frozen meatballs again!

how to freeze homemade meatballs

Can I freeze meatballs?

Speaking of frozen, yes, homemade meatballs can be frozen. Just make the meatballs as directed and bake. After the meatballs are cooked, let cool and place in an airtight container and freeze. The day before serving, remove from freezer and thaw overnight in the fridge. When ready to serve, make the sweet and sour sauce and let the meatballs cook until warmed. The meat has already been cooked completely, so the meatballs simply need to warm up!

How do you make meatballs?

Ingredients Needed to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • lean ground beef
  • dry bread crumbs
  • milk
  • onion
  • salt
  • dry mustard
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • egg

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • brown sugar
  • cornstarch
  • ginger or dry ginger
  • dry mustard
  • pineapple chunks in juice
  • 2 fresh red, green, orange peppers

Whether you’re preparing a spread for a big game, or preparing a simple dinner for the whole family, these Sweet and Sour Meatballs are here to steal the show! Easy, versatile and packed with flavor. Serve with our favorite appetizers and small bites! Classic 7 Layer Dip, Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Ball, 5 Minute Hummus, Baked Hot Wings with Creamy Gorgonzola Dip, and Ham and Cheese Sliders with Poppyseed Dressing.

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Mix the meatball ingredients, shape into 18-24 (1 1/2 inch) balls. 
  • Cook on ungreased 9×13 pan or sheet pan for 20 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and dry mustard in a saucepan
  • Stir in pineapple juice and water and heat to boiling.
  • Add meatballs and pineapple to pan.
  • Cover, simmer, stir in peppers.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs originally posted in January 2010, updated with new photos and content 2022

Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

How to make sweet and sour meatballs from scratch! These quick and easy meatballs are perfect for an appetizer or a main dish served with rice.

Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword appetizer, Asian recipe, easy dinner, meatballs, quick and easy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 large egg

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (to taste) or 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 fresh red, green, orange bell peppers (or combination) to equal 3 cups

Instructions

Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position rack on top third of the oven.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients, shape into 18-24 (1 1/2 inch) balls.

  3. Cook in ungreased 9×13 pan or sheet pan for 20 minutes. The meatballs can also be cooked in a frying pan over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and dry mustard in a saucepan with a whisk or spoon.

  2. Stir in the juice from the pineapple plus additional 1/2 cup of water and heat to boiling. When the mixture boils, reduce heat, stirring constantly. 

  3. Add meatballs and pineapple. Cover, simmer, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes. 

  4. Stir in green and red pepper. Cover; simmer until the peppers soften a bit about 5 minutes. Keep warm in chafing dish or crock-pot if serving at a party. 

  5. Make approximately 24-28 (about 1 1/2 ") size meatballs.

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