Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a family favorite served over rice! Seasoned ground beef meatballs, tender crisp veggies and pineapple chunks are cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce.

This easy dish is one my whole family loves! We spoon these sweet & sour meatballs over rice and serve this dish with a fresh Cucumber Salad for a complete meal!

Overhead picture of Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a pot

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Looking for a quick and easy meal this week? Then this Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe is the perfect fit!

Everything can be prepped ahead of time so that when you get home you can simply assemble and cook! While the meatballs are cooking you can whip up the perfect pot of rice, a side salad and dinner is complete in less than an hour! To make things even better the meatballs are baked, not fried, for easy prep and fast clean up.

I make sweet and sour Grape Jelly Meatballs  and of course Sweet and Sour Chicken, this recipe is a combination of the two!

Closeup of Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a pot

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Making these sweet and sour meatballs couldn’t be easier! While the meatballs are baking, I prep all of the veggies making this dish pretty quick!

  1. Combine meatball ingredients and roll into balls on a cookie sheet and bake.
  2. Saute the veggies till tender crisp, add the sauce and the meatballs.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes to combine all those scrumptious flavors.
  4. Thicken by creating a slurry and serve over rice!

I use peppers because they add great flavor (and they look gorgeous). You can add in your favorite veggies based on what’s in your fridge; mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini and water chestnuts are great choices too!

If you’d like to make this even faster, you can use frozen meatballs in place of homemade.

Sliced vegetables on a wooden cutting board

How to Thicken Sweet and Sour Sauce: A slurry is a mixture of a thickening agent such as flour or cornstarch combined with cold water or broth. This mixture is used at the end of cooking time to thicken dishes like Beef StewChicken Stew or Easy Swiss Steak.

In this dish I mix equal parts cornstarch and water and stir into the bubbling sauce to thicken.

Can you Freeze Sweet and Sour Meatballs?

Yes, however a sauce thickened with cornstarch doesn’t always have the same consistency once defrosted (although it still tastes great). You can thicken the sauce on the stove while reheating using the same slurry mixture.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs over rice on a white plate

You don’t need a lot to serve with dish since they’re already a complete meal on their own! My favorite thing to serve with sweet and sour meatballs is (obviously) rice but Chinese style egg noodles would be great too! I do love roasted broccoli or Sesame Ginger Snap Peas to round out the meal!

More Meatball Recipes You’ll Love

Sweet and Sour Meatballs on plate served over rice
4.96 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Juicy homemade meatballs and tender crisp veggies in a sweet tangy sweet & sour sauce!  
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
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  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup bread crumb
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • cup onion minced


  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger fresh, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • cup white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 14 ounce can pineapple tidbits, juice reserved



  • Combine all meatball ingredients and mix together well. Form into ¾" meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake meatballs at 350˚F for 20 minutes.


  • Whisk sauce ingredients (except cornstarch and water) and set aside.
  • Cut veggies into 1" chunks, set aside.
  • Cook onion until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add peppers and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the undrained pineapple, meatballs and sauce mixture along with ¼ cup water. Simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
  • Create a slurry with the cornstarch and water and add just enough to thicken as desired. You may not need all of the slurry. Serve over rice.
4.96 from 22 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 372 | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 51.9mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Wonderful recipe! Thank you so much for this. Had all ingredients except had to use ground ginger and fresh pineapple. Love loved it5 stars

  2. Really good recipe, only problem was it was veeeeerrrry acidic. I tried to balance it out with more soya sauce and sugar, unfortunately it didnt quite work. I think next time about half the vinegar will do. I also think a mixture of pork and beef will make a tastier meatball. Dont forget to salt each step!4 stars

  3. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I have some meatballs in my freezer that I’d love to use up. May I use frozen meatballs with this recipe and combine with the other ingredients? Thank you for all the wonderful recipes on this site :-)5 stars

  4. I just introduced my husband to your website. I have enjoyed cooking for years. My husband loves to cook, but he is not the best at it! He made this to a t. I have learned to just eyeball. He measured everything exact to your recipe! It turned out amazing! After this, he did the Beef Stroganoff! Haven’t tried it yet, but smelled awesome! During this pandemic, your recipes keep us busy on the weekends. Thank you!5 stars

    1. You’re welcome Janet, that’s so wonderful to hear! Glad you are both enjoying the recipes!

    1. I’m sorry Kim, are you looking to skip the meatballs (or premake them)? If you’re looking to premake them, yes you sure can! If you’re looking to skip them, you might like to replace them with chicken or another protein as the dish will be quite saucy. I hope that helps!

      If I didn’t answer your question, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help you out!

  5. Holly, in the ingredients you list pineapple, juice reserved. And in the directions you list undrained pineapple. Please clarify