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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Sweet and sour meatballs are a simple meatball recipe covered in a tangy sauce made from simple ingredients you already have in your pantry. These meatballs make a simple dinner served over rice or a quick appetizer for a get together!

sweet and sour meatballs over rice

We love to make this simple meatball recipe for a quick weeknight meal, you know me, it has to be ready in 30 minutes or less, I just don’t have time for hours of cooking!! This is also an easy recipe to double and make frozen meatballs out of, so you have some on hand for another meal. 

These meatballs covered in sweet and sour sauce really taste like mini meatloaves. My fam does not really love meatloaf, and I don’t like how long it takes to cook, so these are a perfect alternative. The meatballs come together in just a few minutes with simple ingredients, brown them for a minute, cover in sauce and bake…so easy!!

ingredients for meatballs

Ingredients

Meatball ingredients:

  • ground beef-I like to use a lean ground beef whenever I can, it helps these not get too greasy while they are cooking
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried parsley
  • garlic powder
  • egg
  • milk
  • grated yellow onion
  • regular oats-I like the texture that oatmeal gives these meatballs, you can substitute bread crumbs for the oats if desired 

sweet and sour sauce

Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients:

  • ketchup
  • brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • garlic powder
  • onion

ingredients for meatballs in a glass bowl

Instructions

The first step in making this meatball recipe is to form the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the meatballs. Using a wooden spoon, or your hands, mix everything together until it is well combined. 

Depending on the size you want your meatballs, start forming them by scooping out some of the meat mixture with a tablespoon, spoon or measuring cup. I like to use a cookie scoop, it works great for making meatballs. 

rolled uncooked meatballs

Roll the meat mixture between the palms of your hands to form uniform meatballs, place on a plate until ready the are all rolled and you are ready to cook. 

In a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat, pour in some olive oil and add the meatballs to the hot pan. Brown them on each side, this doesn’t take long. 

While the meatballs are browning mix together the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce. 

meatballs covered in sweet and sour sauce

Place the meatballs into a 400º oven, uncovered to cook for 15-20 minutes. The sauce will be hot and bubbly and the meatballs cooked through. You can test the doneness by inserting an instant read thermometer into the meatballs, you want it to come to an internal temperature of 165ºF. 

Serve hot meatballs immediately on their own, or these are also delicious served over rice. If you’re looking for a more classic spaghetti and meatball check out this Homemade Meatball Recipe.

meatball sliced in half over rice

Side dish ideas

Some things we like to serve with these meatballs are:

Recipe

sweet and sour meatballs over rice
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4.80 from 5 votes

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a simple and delicious dinner. Tender meatballs are covered in a tangy sweet and sour sauce and baked to perfection.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: 30 Minute Meal, American
Keyword: Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Servings: 6
Calories: 378kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1 tsp parsley, dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix to combine.
  • Form meatballs by scooping out some of the meat with a medium sized cookie scoop or spoon. Roll the meat mixture into balls and place on a plate.
  • Heat a large 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add in olive oil and brown meatballs on each side, this should only take 2-3 minutes.
  • If your skillet is oven safe, leave meatballs in this pan. If it not an oven safe skillet, place meatballs into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • Combine the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce and stir. Pour the sauce over the browned meatballs and place them in the oven to bake.
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and has thickened. Remove from the oven and serve over rice if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Use an instant read thermometer to make sure your meatballs are cooked all the way through. You want them to reach 165ºF. 
  • To make as an appetizer, roll into smaller meatballs, cover with sauce and bake until cooked through. Serve with toothpicks. 

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 860mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @feedingyourfam or tag #feedingyourfam!

Collage of how to make meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a simple recipe covered in a tangy sauce made from simple ingredients you already have in your pantry. These meatballs make a simple dinner served over rice or a quick appetizer for a get together!

sweet and sour meatballs in a pan

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This turned out great! Had ground turkey that we needed to use up, so swapped that for the beef, and then only had bread crumbs on hand, so swapped that for the oats. Still turned out delicious and hubby loved it. Will definitely make it again!

    1. I bet the sauce was great with ground turkey! I will have to give it a try! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment, I really appreciate it!!