Meatballs glazed with perfect sweet and sour sauce with plenty of colorful, crunchy veggies and yummy pineapple… Sweet and Sour Meatballs are for dinner on the nights when you don’t feel like Hero cooking a dinner from scratch.
This recipe is your savior for busy weeknights when you want a quick meal on the table. Everybody has some frozen meatballs in the freezer, right? That’s all you need, along with great juicy pineapple (canned pineapple can come to the rescue in a pinch).
The rest is all customizable and must already be in your pantry. Here is a super tasty and super quick meatball dinner...
How many of you crave for some Chinese take-out kinda dinners every now and then? The one that’s covered in a delicious sauce that’s sticky, glossy and utterly delicious.
You would be amazed at how easy it is to whip up your own homemade sweet and sour sauce. Drizzle that on anything and you have one fantastic meal, loved by big and small. The kids would be asking for more with those sweet and sour flavors going on in every single bite.
We are going with frozen meatballs tonight, just for the huge convenience of not spending more time in the kitchen, rolling them from scratch. And if you want to make your own meatballs from scratch, well there’s nothing wrong with that too.
You can still go ahead and make your own meatballs from any ground meat and use them in this recipe. Ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken or even ground turkey. We have some great made from scratch meatball recipes like Greek meatballs, creamy parmesan chicken meatballs, Swedish meatballs or even Mexican meatball soup.
But these sweet and sour meatballs are your instant dinner fix, with the help of frozen meatballs. The homemade sweet and sour sauce is so flavorful and bold that you wont even know the difference between homemade and frozen, pre-packaged meatballs.
Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- For Sweet & Sour Sauce – Brown sugar, rice vinegar or white vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, pineapple juice, cornstarch.
- For stir-fry – Pineapple, red onion, bell peppers (the more colors, the prettier it will look), green onion, frozen meatballs, oil.
How to make Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
Pretty simple. Just place the brown sugar, vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and pineapple juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons of water and add it to the sauce and simmer for a further 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside. See super easy and quick, and jam packed with flavors!
For a little background, you can read my full post for homemade sweet and sour sauce.
How to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs stir fry
We cooked this with homestyle frozen meatballs. You can try it with any meatballs of your choice. You will find the exact measurements in the recipe card below. Here we will roughly cover how easy it is to whip up this easy Asian style stir fry with meatballs.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and the meatballs and cook, turning every so often, for 4-5 minutes, or until almost cooked through.
Add the onion and bell peppers, and stir-fry for another 4-5 minutes.
Then add the pineapple and cook for a minute. We love fresh pineapple cut into chunks for this recipe, but if canned pineapple is all you can manage on certain days, that’s fine too. Add in the above prepared homemade sweet & sour sauce. Stir-fry until well combined.
Remove from heat and garnish with green onion. Serve with steamed rice, fried rice or noodles like chow mein. See how easy life can be? Saying that…
Can I make meatballs from scratch?
Sure, if you feel like it. All you need is a pound or so of the ground meat of your choice. Half ground beef and half ground pork makes great meatballs. You can add a little finely chopped onion, 1 egg, 3/4 cups breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and the seasonings of your choice, like a dash of paprika or garlic powder and roll the meatballs out of the mixture after well combined.
Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush them with a little oil and bake 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through in a preheated oven at 500 degrees. You can fry them with a little oil too, till they are brown all over.
You can make a giant batch of baked meatballs and freeze them for a quick meal some time in the future, making it a great meal prep dinner idea.
What other vegetables to add in Sweet and Sour Meatballs
This is a great customizable stir fry with whatever veggies you feel like eating, or have in your refrigerator. Green beans, green peas, snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and broccoli are all good in this sweet and sour sauce based dish.
There you go, we’re giving you a fantastic dinner idea for the whole family to enjoy. No more “what to cook for dinner?” when you come home all tired and worn out. Take out that wok and make these Asian style meatballs happen in no time.
Enjoy these sticky, glossy, sweet and sour meatballs with yummy pineapple chunks every now and then in every little bite. Delicious! I’m already craving some more…
Sweet and Sour Meatballs, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
For Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tsp cornstarch
For Stir Fry
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 to 1.5 lbs frozen meatballs
- 1 small red onion, cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced into chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, diced into chunks
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
- 3-4 green onion, green part for garnishing
- To make the sweet & sour sauce, place the brown sugar, vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, pineapple juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water and add it to the sauce and simmer for a further 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and the meatballs and cook, turning every so often, for 4-5 minutes ,or until almost cooked through.
- Add the onion and bell peppers. Stir-fry for another 4-5 minutes. Then add the pineapple and cook for a minute. Add in sweet & sour sauce. Stir-fry until well combined. Remove from heat and garnish with green onion.
- Serve with steamed rice or noodles.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 595Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 100mgSodium 1386mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 5gSugar 27gProtein 23g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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