Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Sweet and sour meatballs are on the menu, and I’m almost sure I’ll have you wrapped around a bowl by the end of this recipe.
Moist Meatballs Like You’ve Never Tasted
My family loves this meal, including our toddler, which is a surprise since he is a picky eater.
We’re okay 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 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, as we did with the sweet and sour sauce.
Our sweet and sour sauce includes ingredients such as;
- Brown sugar
- 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, potluck, birthdays, a baptism, anniversaries, or garden parties.
Sometimes it’s nice to 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
- Nonna’s Italian Meatballs
- Crock-pot Turkey Meatballs in a Honey BBQ sauce
- Keto Eggplant Meatballs
- Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Italian Meatballs
- Low-Carb Keto Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
- Turkey Meatballs in Honey BBQ Sauce
For these sweet and sour meatballs, you can use any pasta boiled and coated with butter and chives, couscous, vegetable spiral pasta such as zucchini, or just about any rice dish.
If you like that extra sweetness, a lovely pineapple rice dish from CBB fan Christine or beet leaves and rice stir-fry would compliment the sweet and sour meatballs perfectly.
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 cuts down on the prep and cooking time on meal day.
If you don’t like beef or prefer turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs, or other meatballs, you can undoubtedly 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 called Chicharrones.
Pork rinds have little to no carbs and are great fillers for meatballs, meatloaf, and even coating for chicken and other meats.
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 it thickens nicely and fully coats the meatballs.
Ensure 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
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Recipe Type: Main Dish
- Author: Mr.CBB
- Prep time: 20 mins
- Cook time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
- 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, a 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 teaspoons of fresh pepper
- 6 cloves of garlic chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 1.5 cups 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 teaspoons of water (add as needed for a bit of moisture)
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- In a large frying pan or deep skillet pot, add the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chives, and 2 cups of pineapple juice, and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Add the baked or fried meatballs into the sauce and stir until the sauce is thickened on medium heat and the meatballs are heated for about 8-10 minutes. Then add in the pineapple chunks.
- Serve over the garlic, ginger, lime rice, plain steamed rice, or cauliflower rice
- In a large bowl, add the meat
- Add in the cheese.
- Add in the garlic.
- Add in the egg.
- Add in the spices.
- Add the minced onion.
- Add in the breadcrumbs (or crushed pork rinds)
- Add 2 teaspoons of water.
- 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 for 10-15 mins or fry them in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Let them rest, then add over the top the rice.
Easy Weekday Dinner Recipe
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 like making homemade meatballs, you can buy pre-made, make the sweet and sour sauce, and serve over your favourite base dish.