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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Meatballs of pork and beef with spicy tomato sauce in bowl, vintage wooden background, selective focus

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a classic. Brown sugar and ketchup come together for a sweet and tangy sauce to perfectly coat and brown your meatballs.

Why You’ll Love These Meatballs

This recipe for sweet and sour meatballs comes together quickly and easily. Perfect for a busy weeknight when you just need to get some food on the table.  You can easily make this recipe ahead of time and add it to your Sunday meal prep list if your the type to prep your meals in advance.  Even if you aren’t that much of a planner these meatballs can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Helpful Equipment To Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Ingredients 

  • 250 grams of ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 grams onion, chopped
  • 150 grams of dry bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of rice for serving (optional) or Pasta of your choosing

Sauce:

  • 118 ml of water
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 59 ml of cider vinegar
  • 58 grams of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Traditional spicy meatballs in sweet and sour tomato sauce. Restaurant menu, dieting, cookbook recipe top view.

How To Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Grab a large bowl and combine the ground beef, egg, onion, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, form small balls with the meat mixture.

Heat oil in a large skillet and pan-fry the meatballs on medium-high heat until they are golden brown on all sides and thoroughly cooked through.

To make the sauce combine water, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl.

Using a large whisk, mix until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. You don’t want any lumps of cornstarch.

Pour sweet and sour sauce over the cooked meatballs and lower the heat. Cook until the sauce becomes nice and thick, about 3-5 minutes.

Take the pan off the burner and serve the meatballs with rice, noodles, as a meal on their own or as an appetizer.

Prep time 10 mins

Cook time 15 mins

All About Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a classic, a true family favorite. Who can resist the sweet and sour sticky sauce?

Perfect for a meal on their own or a great appetizer, these sweet and sour meatballs will not disappoint.

Leftovers are ideal the next day, just be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Variations

  • Use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef – Any ground meat will work for meatballs. Or you can make a combination of your preferred ground meats.
  • Add some spice – Sprinkle in a teaspoon of red chili flakes to increase the spice level.
  • Run out of onions – No problem you can use a shallot instead or omit it altogether.
  • Add some pineapple to the sauce. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned pineapple. Make sure they are cut into small chunks and then add them to the pan to warm. Sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple is a great twist on this classic.

Tips and Tricks/Notes

  • Add more flavor to the sauce by using broth instead of water. You can use beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Liquid or powder both work well.
  • To ensure all the meatballs are the same size you can use a cookie or ice cream scoop.
  • Make a double batch and freeze half so you can have a meal ready to go on hand.
  • Make a double batch of the sauce to use over chicken or another favorite dish.

Meatballs in sweet and sour tomato sauce with spices served in a frying pan on dark background . Top view

How To Store

This sweet sour meatballs recipe keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. This meatballs recipe also freezes very well and will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.

FAQs

How to make sweet and sour sauce for meatballs?

Making a sweet and sour sauce for meatballs is really super easy. Combine water, brown sugar, cider vinegar, ketchup, cornstarch and soy sauce in a pan and heat until it thickens.

What do you serve sweet and sour meatballs with?

Sweet and sour meatballs are great on their own but you can serve them with rice; any kind of rice will work whether it be white, brown or wild, or you can toss them with some Asian-style noodles. Or I have also been known to chow down on these meatballs in a meatball sandwich.

Are sweet and sour meatballs gluten-free?

Sweet and sour meatballs can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs and make sure your soy sauce is gluten-free.  Make your own gluten-free breadcrumbs by toasting gluten-free bread and then processing it into crumbs.  Make sure your soy sauce is gluten-free too as most have wheat added. Tamari is a good gluten-free option and can be found in the same section of the grocery store.

Can sweet and sour meatballs be frozen?

Yes, absolutely! Sweet and sour meatballs freeze very well.

Meatballs in sweet and sour tomato sauce with spices served in a frying pan on dark background . Top view

Conclusion

Sweet and sour meatballs are a definite crowd-pleaser. Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner the kids will love or a great option as an appetizer at your next dinner party.

Print
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Meatballs of pork and beef with spicy tomato sauce in bowl, vintage wooden background, selective focus

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


  • Author: Sam
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Sweet and sour meatballs are a classic. Brown sugar and ketchup come together for a sweet and tangy sauce to perfectly coat and brown your meatballs.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 250 grams of ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 grams onion, chopped
  • 150 grams of dry bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of rice for serving (optional) or pasta of your choosing

Sauce:

  • 118 ml of water
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 59 ml of cider vinegar
  • 58 grams of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Instructions

  1. To prepare meatballs, combine the beef with the egg, onion, pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Make small meat balls from the mixture with your hands.
  3. Take a large skillet, add oil, and fry the meatballs over moderate flame until they are thoroughly cooked and golden brown on top.
  4. Add water, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and mix the ingredients with a whisk.
  5. Pour sauce over the meatballs cooked meatballs. Lower the heat and cook the sauce for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick.
  6. Remove from heat and serve hot with Rice.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: dinner, meatballs, meatball recipe

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