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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

These Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a family favourite! Sweet, tangy, meaty and so good. Easy to make and are delicious served over rice.

Today I’m sharing a family favourite recipe…Sweet and Sour Meatballs. When I make this for dinner the kids run to the table! Delicious with rice and a green vegetable.

an enamel pan filled with sweet and sour meatballs. sitting on a grey background and blue checked towel

A Classic Dinner Recipe

This is a great recipe to add to your meal plan. These meatballs are simple to make and I haven’t met a person yet that doesn’t love them! In fact this recipe has stood the test of time…it appeared on my dinner table when I was a kid too!

Make them an appetizer!

I should also like to mention here that these sweet and sour meatballs also make a great appetizer! When I serve them this way I like to make the meatballs smaller in size (more bite-sized).

a close up view of an enamel pan filled with sweet and sour meatballs. sitting on a grey background and blue checked towel

Made with simple ingredients right from the pantry.

Nothing fancy here, just simple ingredients. The sweet sauce is made with vinegar and ketchup to give it the perfect sour zing to go with the sweetness of the sugar. TIP! We like our meatballs extra saucy so I like to double the sauce.

a top down view of an enamel pan filled with sweet and sour meatballs. sitting on a grey background and blue checked towel

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe Tips:

  • BEEF: Use lean ground beef. You can also use ground turkey, ground pork or a mixture.
  • MEATBALLS: You can make the meatballs from scratch, or feel free to use pre-made frozen meatballs. Just heat the frozen meatballs in the oven (without sauce) for about 15 minutes, before adding sauce.
  • SAUCE: If you like your meatballs really saucy, I would recommend doubling the sauce. If I double the recipe sometimes I will use only 3/4 cup of sugar (instead of the 1 cup when doubled).
  • OPTION: Sometimes if I have pureed pumpkin or yam in the fridge I will add 1/4 – 1/2 cup to the sauce. No one will even notice it’s in there! Trust me.
  • DOUBLE IT! This recipe is easily doubled.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve over steamed rice and with a green veggie or side Caesar salad. Another option is to make a separate skillet of chopped red bell pepper, onions, pineapple and green pea pods and serve this with the sauce and meatballs…it’s so good!

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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These Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a family favourite! Sweet, tangy, meaty and so good. Easy to make and are delicious served over rice.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale

Beef Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup quick oats or breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

The Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Instructions

The Meatballs:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the meatball ingredients (beef, onion, egg, oats, milk, salt and pepper) then shape into meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in size. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the meatballs (without the sauce) for 30-35 minutes. Or until centres are not pink.

The Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  1. While the meatballs are baking make the sweet and sour sauce.
  2. In a saucepan combine all the sauce ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, water, vinegar, soy sauce and ketchup) and bring to a low boil.
  3. Whisk and cook until the mixture thickens.
  4. Pour the sauce over the cooked meatballs, and put in a 300 degree F oven for about 20 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.

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