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Sweet and Sour Meatballs with bell peppers and pineapples in a orange skillet
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with juicy homemade meatballs and a sweet and tangy sauce that's delicious on steamed rice. A great make-ahead dish perfect for busy weeknights!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chill30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 706kcal


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1/4 cup water, broth, or milk
  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20 chuck)
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • In a small bowl, soak bread in broth or milk. Tear with your hands until it resembles a soft paste.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, soaked bread, onions, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix until combined. 
  • Using a small scoop, portion about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture and using roll between palms of hands into a 1-inch diameter ball.
  • Arrange meatballs in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 20 to 30 minutes or until firm.
  • In a bowl, combine pineapple juice, rice vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until well-blended and set aside.
  • In a wide pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add bell peppers and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • Add pineapple chunks and cook for about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • In the pan, add another 1 tablespoon oil if needed. Add meatballs in a single layer and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  • Remove excess oil from the pan except for about 1 tablespoon. Add onions and cook until softened.
  • Add pineapple mixture and bring to a boil.
  • Add browned meatballs in a single layer. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked.
  • In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch and stir until smooth. Add to pan, whisking to prevent lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add bell peppers and pineapple chunks. Continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot.


Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 54.9mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 3.9mg