Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I think there is going to be a meatball renaissance. Call it a hunch. In fact, we’re going to launch the campaign now. Let’s #MakeMeatballsGreatAgain.

A lot of people hear the word “meatball” and instantly feel like yawning. Not me. My first thought is “What kind of meatballs?” I have seen how hamburgers have become the latest craze for creativity. What is a meatball but a ground up burger, bun and all? Why shouldn’t it be as trendy as its cousin?

In a previous post, “A Reintroduction to Meatballs“, I gave a basic meatball recipe which can be easily adapted for personal preferences. Changing the types of meat, the seasonings and/or the sauce will produce a completely different flavor profile. Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, Hungarian … mild, spicy, sweet and sour …

This particular version comes from a good friend of mine who made these for potluck dinners at our church. My boys, who were pretty young at the time, just loved them (they still do). Never ever be afraid to ask someone for their recipe. It is a compliment. It’s really a compliment when you tell that person that it is still a family favorite 20 years later!

Print Recipe
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. Mix above ingredients (by hand is easiest) until well combined.  Form into meatballs (see note below). 
  3. Place in two 9"x 13" metal pans that have been coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine all sauce ingredients. 
  5. Pour over meatballs. 
  6. Bake meatballs, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 
  7. Turn meatballs over to coat with sauce.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. 
  8. Remove from oven and serve.
Recipe Notes

Note: Some grocery stores have ham loaf instead of ground ham. This is fine to use. It probably has more ground ham than pork but that is okay. You can either buy two pounds of ham loaf and add the pound of pork sausage or you can buy a pound and a half of ham loaf, a half pound of ground pork and add the pound of pork sausage.

A cookie scoop is a perfect tool to mold meatballs to a consistent size. For this recipe I used a 1.5" cookie scoop.

These meatballs freeze really well. After they have cooled, place them in a resealable plastic bag, eliminating as much excess air as possible, and freeze. When ready to use, remove the desired amount and thaw to room temperature. Mix up half of a recipe of the sauce and warm it in a pan on the stove until steaming. Add the meatballs and slowly heat through. Too hot a temperature will tighten up the meat and cause it to be tough.

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Simple, homemade, pork meatballs get a flavor boost from a tangy, pineapple sauce that will please a crowd.

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