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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

These sweet and sour meatballs are tossed in a tangy sauce. Tender chunks of pineapple and bell pepper amplify the sweet and sour flavor and it’s all ready in 20 minutes!

Overhead view of sweet and sour meatballs with rice on a plate

Meatballs for dinner is one of our favorite easy meals. It only takes a bag of frozen meatballs and a few ingredients to make something quick and delicious.

Plus, they’re extremely versatile. Meatballs and gravy for dinner are creamy and comforting, or Crock Pot Cranberry Meatballs make mouthwatering appetizers.

This sweet and sour meatballs recipe is way easier than making sweet and sour chicken at home, and way faster than ordering takeout!

Ingredients You Will Need:

Meatballs – any type of meat will work: beef, pork, turkey or even meatless. Just make sure they’re homestyle and not Italian meatballs.

Bell peppers – you can use any colors you like. Other veggies that would make tasty additions include white onion, broccoli and snow peas.

Pineapple chunks – adds to the sweet part of “sweet and sour.” Do not use fresh or frozen pineapple or the sauce will not thicken.

Sweet and sour sauce – you only need pineapple, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch to make your own. I recommend white vinegar, but you can substitute apple cider or rice vinegar if that’s what you have.

Plate of sweet and sour meatballs over rice

If you want to make this even easier, you can use a jar of store-bought sweet and sour sauce.

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Pot diced bell peppers with sweet and sour sauce
  1. Begin by making sweet and sour sauce for meatballs. If using a jar of sauce you’ll need 12 ounces or 1 ½ cups. If making by scratch, you’ll need the juice from canned pineapple (fresh pineapple will NOT work).
  2. Drain and save the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple. You should have about 1/3 cup or so. Save the pineapple chunks for later.
  3. Add pineapple juice to large pot along with vinegar and sugar. Heat and stir over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water to dissolve any lumps. Add to sauce and bring to a boil. The sauce will thicken up.
  5. Add bell peppers and meatballs and stir everything together. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until meatballs are no longer frozen and heated through. Gently stir in pineapple chunks and serve.
Ingredients for sweet and sour meatballs cooking in a pot

What to serve with sweet and sour meatballs

We like ours over sticky white rice, but you could also use cauliflower rice or serve with stir-fried vegetables.

Homemade Garlic Fried Rice is also a delicious option and it’s just as easy to make.

If you’d like to make this sweet and sour and spicy, it also tastes great with some hot sauce (like Sriracha) drizzled on top.

Pot of sweet and sour meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Crockpot instructions:

If you’d like to make these in the crockpot, add frozen meatballs, bell pepper and pineapple to slow cooker.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over meatballs.

Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours, or until sauce has thickened. You may also add the peppers and pineapple at the end if you would like them crisper.

Overhead view of sweet and sour meatballs with rice on a plate

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Easy sweet and sour meatballs recipe using frozen meatballs and a quick homemade sauce. Serve with rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (8 or 20 oz) pineapple chunks (SAVE JUICE)*
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple)**
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2-3 bell peppers, diced (any color)
  • 2 lbs frozen homestyle meatballs
  • Green onion, for garnish (optional)
  • Rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Drain and save the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple. You will need about 1/3 cup. Save the pineapple for later.
  2. Add pineapple juice to large pot along with vinegar and sugar. Heat and stir over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water to dissolve any lumps. Add to sauce and bring to a boil. The sauce should thicken up.
  4. Add bell peppers and meatballs and stir everything together.
    Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until meatballs are no longer frozen
    and heated through. Gently stir in pineapple chunks and serve.

Notes

*Do not use fresh or frozen pineapple or the sauce will not thicken.

**If using jarred sweet and sour sauce you will need 12 ounces or 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Crockpot instructions:

  • Add frozen meatballs, bell pepper and pineapple to slow cooker.
  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over meatballs.
  • Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours, or until sauce has thickened. You may also add the peppers and pineapple at the end if you would like them crisper.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 757mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 17g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

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