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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



  • 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



  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 9x13 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.