Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe + Video

This Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe features a homemade sauce that is bursting with flavor. Make them for dinner or as a party appetizer!

Not only is the sticky sauce soaked into every bite, but it creates a shiny glaze that you’ll want to pour over everything.

If you love the flavors in this dish, try a chicken skillet, beef kabobs, or my Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Looking for more varieties of meatballs? Check out this roundup with ten of our all time favorite recipes.

sweet and sour meatballs in a clear bowl

Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe Instructions

Place all of the ingredients for the sweet n sour meatballs (except for the sauce) in a large bowl and mix until just combined.

It’s important not to work the beef too much with your hands or it will become dense and dry when cooked.

Scoop out evenly sized portions and roll them gently with your hands. Arrange them in a single layer inside a baking dish, cover with the sauce, and bake. That’s all there is to it!

sweet and sour meatball recipe ingredients

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
  • Ground beef - An 80/20 blend is perfect for this recipe, but I recommend going even leaner if you want to use a combination of beef and pork. You could also use ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.
  • Bread crumbs - This, along with the egg, acts as a binder to hold everything together. Be sure to use the plain variety without any extra flavors or seasonings. Panko breadcrumbs would also work, and they add some extra texture too.
  • Sauce - If you’re short on time, a bottle of your favorite from the store is just fine. I personally like to use my homemade recipe, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make.
rolling out the meatballs

Serving Suggestions

This sweet and sour meatball recipe can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Serve a few over jasmine rice with a side of snow peas for an easy meal. We especially like to create delicious sliders out of Hawaiian rolls.

You could even pair them with a variety of appetizers for game day or a themed party. Make a double batch, keep them warm in the crockpot, and let guests serve themselves.

sweet and sour meatballs with sauce poured over top

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Mixing Bowl - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • 9x13 Baking Dish - This set is one of my favorites! It comes with a lid for easy storage and is great for casseroles too.
  • 1 Tablespoon Scoop - Guarantees that all of your sweet n sour meatballs are the same size.
baked sweet and sour meatballs

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

How do I keep the meat mixture from sticking to my hands?

Keep a separate bowl of water nearby and dip your hands throughout the process. The water will prevent any sticking and help create a smoother surface.

What’s the best way to reheat sweet and sour meatballs?

Heat them in the microwave on half power in 30 second bursts, and cover the plate in plastic wrap. This will create steam to keep them nice and moist and help them to heat evenly.

Otherwise, pop them back in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.

I’m allergic to pineapple. Is there something I can use in its place?

Orange juice is probably the closest substitute, but the flavor won’t be quite the same.

sweet and sour meatball recipe in a glass bowl


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sweet and sour meatballs on a toothpick

Video: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

To see us make this recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

Yield: 54 meatballs
Author: Donna Elick
Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe

Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe

This sweet and sour meatball recipe features a homemade sauce that is bursting with flavor. Make them for dinner or as a party appetizer!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 recipe The Best Ever Sweet and Sour Sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine ingredients and mix with hands to combine. Using a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion, lightly shape the scoops into meatballs using your hands to roll them. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with sweet and sour sauce. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!

sweet and sour meatballs closeup

Originally published October 2012, updated and republished July 2021

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  1. These look amazing! I love that you used a homemade sauce...

  2. Well that just sounds delicious! These would be addictive.

  3. I'm allergic to pineapple. Is there something I can use in it's place?

    1. You could try orange juice, but the flavor will change. Let me know how it goes!

    2. how about lemon or apricot or apple

    3. how about lemon, apricot or apple juice or applesauce

  4. Carrie Quirk-SillettiOctober 19, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    made these were great

  5. made them they are delicious

  6. Making them for Super Bowl Sunday

  7. Love your making these soon

  8. Excellent and easy recipe. I have made it twice in 2 weeks and we love it. The sauce makes it. Thanks.


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