Main Dishes

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Pineapple

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Sweet and sour meatballs are on the menu and I’m almost certain I’ll have you wrapped around a bowl by the end of this recipe.

This is one meal my family loves including our toddler which is a surprise since he is such a picky eater.

We’re fine with that since and take it as a 5 star recipe because if he likes it then it must be good right?

Mrs.CBB and I have experimented with various kinds of meatball recipes but always go back to the tried and true original Nonna’s Italian meatball recipe.

The great thing about having a standard meatball recipe is that you can use it as a base to add other flavours on top as we did with the sweet and sour sauce.

Our sweet and sour sauce includes ingredients such as;

  • Brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • Sweet pineapple 

Meatballs are delicious fried or baked on their own, soaking in pasta sauce, dripping in a honey garlic glaze or coated in sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and sour meatballs are a staple party food for most gatherings especially for game day, a pot-luck, birthdays, a baptism, anniversary or garden parties.

Sometimes it’s nice to just curl up on the couch with a bowl of sweet and sour meatballs watching a movie and munching on them as a snack.

Meatballs are always the star of the show when added to pasta, soup or even on top of rice like we are doing today.

Our Other Famous Meatballs Recipes

For these sweet and sour meatballs, you can use any type of pasta boiled and coated with some butter and chives, couscous, vegetable spiral pasta such as zucchini pasta or just about any rice dish.

There is a lovely pineapple rice dish from CBB fan Christine or beet leaves and rice stir-fry that would compliment the sweet and sour meatballs perfectly if you like that extra bit of sweetness.

If you want to cut the sweet with a bit of savoury you can make a simple garlic ginger-lime fried rice which is always a hit at our house topped with sweet and sour meatballs.

Making Meatballs In Batches

One quick tip I want to share is that we try to make our meatballs ahead of time and freeze them.

We pick one day in the week when we are both home and make a batch then freeze them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Once they are frozen we freeze approximately 30 in a Ziploc bag which is perfect in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When a meal comes up in our meal plan that requires meatballs all we have to do is take out what we need and defrost them.

This really cuts down on the prep and cooking time on meal day.

If you don’t like beef or would prefer turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs or other types of meatballs you can certainly switch them up in this recipe.

Cutting The Carbs

If you are on a low-carb diet or looking for an induction friendly recipe for the Atkins or Keto diet our meatballs are keto-friendly.

All you need to do is swap out the breadcrumbs for plain ground pork rinds also called Chicharonnes.

Pork rinds have little to no carbs and are great fillers for meatballs, meatloaf and even coating for chicken and other meats.

We use Buster Rhinos Pork Rinds which we order online out of Whitby, Ontario delivered right to our door.

Note: Unfortunately, Buster Rhinos has just informed their fans that they have closed after 16 years.

They have some of the best pork rinds for the keto diet, low carb diet, gluten-free diet, and pork rind fanatics at excellent prices.

You will notice we use Buster Rhinos in all of our keto recipes that use pork rinds as fillers or keto pork rind nachos.

That’s where the low-carb ends though I’m afraid as there is sugar and pineapple in the sweet and sour sauce.

Making Sweet and Sour Sauce

The sweet and sour sauce is adapted from one of our favourite chefs The Pioneer Woman-Ree Drummond although we’ve added a few little extras to suit our tastes.

The best thing about this sweet and sour sauce is how it thickens up nicely and fully coats the meatballs.

Make sure the meatballs are soaked in the sauce otherwise you’ll have dry patches around the meatball which doesn’t make for a pleasant eating experience.

This is the one recipe your friends will be asking you for and when they do, hit PRINT below and you can share it with them or send them to Canadian Budget Binder to experience The Free Recipe Index.

Start your utensils…here we go!

How To Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs


Update: Please bear with me as I’ve changed my recipe plugin and will be manually updating every recipe for print.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Mr.CBB
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Whether you’re after an appetizer for a party or a main dish meal these sweet and sour meatballs will be a hit for all the meatball lovers on your guest list.
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups of pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of chives
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of diced pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (thickener)
  • Steamed white or brown rice sauteed in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt, tablespoon of each garlic, ginger, and lime (for serving)
  • Meatballs Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Pork mince
  • 2 lbs Lean Beef or Veal mince
  • 2 medium onions chopped fine
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon of fresh pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1.5 cup of Fresh Parmigiana Reggiano or Grana Padana Grated- Not the stuff in the jars or pre-grated please don’t use that stuff.
  • 1.5 cups of fresh grated Romano Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of dry parsley flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of Italian breadcrumbs (I prefer the ones seasoned with cheese and parsley)
  • 2 teaspoon of water (add as needed for a bit of moisture)
  1. Sweet and Sour Sauce
  2. In a large frying pan or deep skillet, pot add your vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chives and 2 cups of pineapple juice and bring to a boil.
  3. With the remaining pineapple juice make a slurry with the cornstarch (make sure there are no lumps) and add it to the pan stirring to incorporate it.
  4. Add your baked or fried meatballs into the sauce and stir until sauce is thickened on medium heat and meatballs are heated through for about 8-10 minutes then add in your pineapple chunks.
  5. Serve over the garlic, ginger, lime rice or plain steamed rice of your choice
  6. Meatballs
  7. In a large bowl put in your meat
  8. Add in your cheese
  9. Add in your garlic
  10. Add in your egg
  11. Add in your spices
  12. Add in onion
  13. Add in your breadcrumbs (or crushed pork rinds)
  14. Add in 2 teaspoons of water
  15. Mix thoroughly but don’t over-mix. With a tablespoon scoop out enough to roll into uniform mini meatballs and put them on a parchment-lined tray. *Note: You can now freeze them on the tray and then bag them for later use in your freezer) You can either bake the meatballs until golden brown 10-15 mins or fry them in your choice of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes each side.
  16. Let them rest then add over top the rice
  17. Enjoy!

It may seem like quite a few steps but trust me this is an easy recipe and if you make the meatballs ahead of time you’re cutting down on the prep time.

If you don’t fancy making homemade meatballs you can buy pre-made and make the sweet and sour sauce and serve over your favourite base dish.


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  1. Looks yummy and quite straight forward to make!! I’d cut back on the garlic to deal with tastes here. The meatball recipe would make a tasty meatloaf too from the looks of it too! Now to find some good sales on the meat for this. Stickers would be nice too. I’m guessing about two cans for the pineapple would give me the amount of fruit and juice needed for the sauce, or close enough to call it.

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