Sweet and Sour Meatballs with tender ground turkey meatballs, pineapple and bell peppers, all coated in a homemade sweet and tangy sauce. Delicious as an appetizer or served as a meal over rice.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe
My mom has been making these Sweet and Sour Meatballs for years! She uses ground beef in her recipe, but to make it a little more waistline friendly I opted for turkey meatballs. Everyone love them and she undoubtedly get tons of requests for the recipe anytime she makes them.
The meatballs take about 20 minutes to make, then they are simmered in a sweet and sour sauce with veggies and pineapple until tender and completely delicious. To save on time you can use frozen meatballs. We like to serve with rice; brown or white – your choice. You could also add some roasted broccoli or a green salad to make it a complete meal.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs
This recipe couldn’t be easier and just requires a few simple steps.
- Drain a can of pineapple chunks, reserving the juice to use later for the sweet and sour sauce.
- Mix some water and cornstarch into a slurry (thickener for the sauce) and set it aside to use later. Cornstarch on it’s own would just clump up in the sauce so the water mixture is a must.
- Make the sweet and sour sauce – Heat pineapple juice, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar until simmering, then add the cornstarch mixture. Let it bubble and keep stirring until it’s nice and thick.
- Add the meatballs, pineapple and green pepper to the skillet and continue to simmer until everything is heated through and coated well.
Tips and Tricks for Success
- If you’re feeling really adventurous, add some more veggies, like onions, carrots or just different colored peppers. Or add some red pepper flakes for heat.
- If you’re not into the turkey meatballs, use beef. Keep in mind that turkey has a sweeter flavor than beef so a swap would be more savory.
- How to serve: Transfer meatballs to a bowl and add toothpicks to serve as an appetizer. Serve as a main dish over white or brown steamed rice.
- How to store: Store leftover meatballs with sweet and sour sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stove or in the microwave for individual portions.
- How to freeze: To freeze, place meatballs with the sauce in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and heat on the stove.
Other Asian inspired recipes to try:
More ground turkey recipes you’ll love:
Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs
- 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks juice reserved
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 30 fully cooked Turkey meatballs see link for the recipe, or use frozen
- 1 large green pepper, seeded and membranes removed cut into 1-inch pieces
- garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, sesame seeds
- Drain pineapple and set aside, reserving the juice. Whisk together 1/3 cup water and 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add water to the pineapple juice if needed to measure 1 cup, then pour into a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar to the pineapple juice and stir until smooth.
- Bring to a simmer, then add the cornstarch mixture to the skillet.
- Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add the pineapple, meatballs and green pepper.
- Simmer, uncovered, until heated through; about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.