Sweet and Sour Meatballs: the tasty recipe for a fast, easy weeknight dinner

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist
Brown sugar
1/2 cup
Rice vinegar
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
Soy sauce
1 tbsp
Pineapple juice
2 ¼ cups
1 tbsp
bell peppers, diced
1 to 2
pineapple, chopped into chunks
1 cup
green onions, sliced
2 tbsp

Busy weeknights call for fast, simple dinners that don't skimp on taste. Sweet and sour meatballs are perfect for those kinds of nights and have an incredible flavor that both kids and grown-ups will love. With savory soy sauce, sweet pineapple juice, and tangy vinegar, these incredible-tasting sweet and sour meatballs have it all, and they take less than 20 minutes to make! Adding bell peppers and pineapple chunks to the dish helps give it a bit of crunchy texture, which is a great complement to the tenderness of the meatballs. Enjoy them over rice as a hearty meal or serve these easy sweet and sour meatballs as an appetizer at your next get-together with family and friends. They'll be a massive hit!

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Your first step to making these mouthwateringly delicious sweet and sour meatballs is to make the sauce. Pour the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and pineapple juice into a skillet over medium-high heat. Let it come up to a boil. While the sauce is bubbling away, combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup of pineapple juice to make a slurry. This will help thicken the sauce and give it that amazing texture. Once the sauce has come to a boil, pour in the cornstarch mixture and give it a good whisk to combine.

Then add in the meatballs, peppers, and any other veggies you want to toss in, then cover the skillet with a lid and let everything simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. It's ready to be served once the sauce is nice and thick and the meatballs have heated through.

Tips for Making the Best Sweet and Sour Meatballs

– Using cornstarch is key to thickening the sauce. If you don't have cornstarch, you can use flour instead.

– If your sauce isn't thickening, you can cook it a few minutes longer.

– Either fresh or canned pineapple is great in this recipe.

– If you don't like too much sweetness in your meals or want to watch your sugar intake, you can cut the sugar out and reduce the amount of pineapple. For some heat, add a little cayenne pepper and you can make your sweet and sour meatballs healthier by adding a variety of other chopped veggies to your recipe.

– You can also use your slow cooker to make these easy sweet and sour meatballs. Add the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.


What to Serve with Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

For a complete meal, sweet and sour meatballs taste best served over rice or cauliflower rice. This dish is also great with brown rice or quinoa. However, they can also be stuck with toothpicks and served as an appetizer.

How to Store Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Place leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They'll stay good when frozen in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. You can reheat them in a skillet or bake them at 350°F for 10 minutes.


Heat the brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and 2 cups of pineapple juice in a skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.

Whisk cornstarch and ¼ cup of pineapple juice until it's smooth and lump-free. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the skillet. Add in the meatballs and peppers, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir in the pineapple, garnish with green onions, and serve.


For the best tasting sweet and sour meatballs, make the meatballs from scratch. However, if you're short on time or looking for maximum convenience, fresh store-bought or frozen meatballs will also be tasty.

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