This is an easy recipe for sweet and sour meatballs that will make your taste buds happy. You'll love the sweet and sour flavor of these meatballs. Plus, they're perfect for a party or any get-together. Serve them up with some rice on the side and you're good to go!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! ❤️ If you give it a try, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section at the bottom of the page or share a pic of your om noms on Instagram and tag @dishesanddustbunnies! ❤️
Ahhhhh, sweet and sour meatballs.
When I'm having a tough day and don't feel like cooking too much, sweet and sour meatballs is one of my go-to recipes. It's especially easy if I have some meatballs already prepared and in the freezer just waiting for me to make them saucy! 😉
I wouldn't consider this an authentic Asian sweet and sour sauce, but it is absolutely delicious nonetheless! It's an American/Canadian version of sweet and sour sauce made with some common ingredients such as ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard. If you haven't tried mixing these ingredients before, do it. You won't regret it!
This dish is quite rich with all its sweetness, so I like to throw in some steamed veggies, such as broccoli, on the side for good measure. 😉
These meatballs also make a great appetizer or dish to bring to a gathering or potluck dinner. These sweet and sour meatballs have everyone in my house smacking their lips and asking for more, so I know you'll enjoy them as well!
How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs – Overview
You can find the full recipe details, including ingredient amounts and the full instructions at the bottom of this post, but first here's a quick overview on how to make sweet and sour meatballs.
You can use homemade meatballs for this recipe or you can use the frozen store bought kind – either way, it'll be yummy!
In a mixing bowl, mix the sauce ingredients (packed brown sugar, white vinegar, mustard, and ketchup) and set aside until needed. In a pan on medium heat, cook the onions in a bit of cooking oil until they're softened. Add the sauce and combine. Increase the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Next, the meatballs are added to the sauce and gently stirred to combine. Be careful to avoid breaking apart the balls! Don't break those balls! 🤣
Reduce heat and allow the meatballs and sauce for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
As a meal, serve over rice with a side of steamed veggies such as broccoli (frozen Asian stir fry veggies are great too!).
What to serve with sweet and sour meatballs
When served as a meal, sweet and sour meatballs are delicious served over steamed white rice along with steamed veggies such as broccoli.
The meatballs go great with so many other recipes, but here are a few ideas:
Leftovers – How to Store and Reheat
Stored in an airtight container, sweet and sour meatballs will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator or for two months in the freezer.
To reheat: If you would like to reheat sweet and sour meatballs, first preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1½ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsps mustard
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 onion, halved then thinly sliced
- 2 – 3 lbs meatballs (you can use my homemade meatball recipe or use store bought)
- Optional: 2 cups chopped broccoli or other veggies you prefer, steamed and served on the side
- Optional: steamed white rice, If serving the meatballs as a main course
- If using my homemade meatball recipe, please prepare them first. If using store bought meatballs, heat and cook according to directions.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside until needed.
- In a large pan, set to medium heat, cook the onions in a little cooking oil until they're softened.
- Once the onions have softened, add the sauce and combine.
- Turn up the heat and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and combine. Be careful to avoid breaking apart the balls.
- Turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes uncovered. The sauce should start to thicken as it simmers.
- As a main course, serve over white rice with steamed veggies OR as an appetizer, serve plated with toothpicks on the side. Please see my note below for more info.
Oven Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add prepared meatballs to a lidded baking dish along with onions and sauce ingredients. Put the lid on and cook for 35 minutes. Remove the lid, gently stir around the meatballs and cook for another 20 minutes so the sauce can thicken.
If you want a HUGE amount of sauce to go with your balls, you can double the amount of sauce ingredients in the recipe. Doubling the sauce is especially great if you're using this recipe as a main course served over rice. If you're planning on using this recipe for appetizers you can probably get away with using the amount exactly as stated in the recipe – the appetizer version won't need as much sauce since they're usually served on tooth picks and plated. It's up to you though! 🙂
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Category: Main or Appetizer
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Asian/Chinese Inspired