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Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe

Sweet and sour meatballs are a staple from when I was a kid and this recipe brings back lots of memories and tastes delicious!

sweet and sour meatballs

Read on for my easy and delicious Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe.

The success of these sweet and sour meatballs is all due to the sauce and this is a great sauce.

The ketchup is a must have in it, and adds that extra zing! Mike’s mom used to make this for him many years ago and it’s still one of his favorite recipes. The best sweet and sour meatball recipes simply must have ketchup in it, that’s what makes this classic old fashioned meatball recipe the best one you’ll ever taste!

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Mix the brown sugar, soy,vinegar, water and ketchup in a pot.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Combine the breadcrumbs, egg and ground beef together in a bowl.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Roll the meat mixture into meatballs, whichever size you want. I prefer slightly larger ones, they don’t dry out as quickly.

Pop them into the 375 degrees oven and start them cooking.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Mix your flour or cornstarch in cold water….

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

..and add it to the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

After about 20 minutes, take the meatballs out for a second, and drain the fat out of them. And to gross you out and demonstrate why I do this, look at the cup of fat that I drained. Eeeew.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Now you can cover those babies up with sauce.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Finish cooking them until done, and they look oh-so saucy and delish like this!

When cooking meatballs I like to insert a thermometer in them and make sure they have reached a temp of at least 165 degrees. With all the beef recalls lately, it’s far better safe than sorry! It’s also good to be familiar with safe internal temperatures.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I love sweet and sour meatballs on rice, especially bad-for-you, white rice!

You don’t have to commit to eating these on rice, however. If you really want to go all retro, stick toothpicks in these babies and call them an appetizer. I’m thinking that these might make it into my second cookbook as just that : sweet and sour meatball appetizers.

Nothing says classy like a sweet and sour meatball on a toothpick…..

sweet-and-sour-meatballs

Happy cooking everyone! These meatballs are one of THE most popular recipes here on The Kitchen Magpie, and I’m sure it’s because they are a retro delight! Everyone loves a good sweet and sour meatball!

Also, if you love sweet and sour, check out my Retro Sweet & Sour Meatloaf

Here’s the video we did of this recipe to show you how easy it is:

Love,

Karlynn

0 from 0 votes
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Sweet and sour meatballs, the secret to a great sauce is using ketchup.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 397 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion   if you like onion in them
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
Instructions
  1. Mix the brown sugar, soy, vinegar, water and ketchup in a pot.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, egg and ground beef together in a stand mixer bowl. Use the paddle attachment and mix on low until combined. This makes for the BEST distribution of egg and crumbs through the meat!
  3. Roll the meat mixture into meatballs, whichever size you want. I prefer slightly larger ones, they don’t dry out as quickly.
  4. Pop them into the 375 degrees oven and start them cooking.
  5. Mix your flour or cornstarch in cold water then whisk it into the sauce.
  6. After about 20 minutes, take the meatballs out for a second, and drain the fat out of them.
  7. Now you can cover those meatballs up with sauce.
  8. Finish cooking them until done, and they look oh-so saucy and delish like this!
  9. When cooking meatballs I like to insert a thermometer in them and make sure they have reached a temp of at least 165 degrees. With all the beef recalls lately, it’s far better safe than sorry!
  10. I love sweet and sour meatballs on rice, especially bad-for-you, white rice!
Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 701mg 29%
Potassium 341mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Sugars 38g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 1.7%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 13.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Crockpot Meatball Shepherd's Pie - The Kitchen Magpie
    December 22, 2017 at 7:00 am

    […] thing to make when I’m not home and he’s solo parenting/feeding the kids. I prefer my sweet & sour meatballs to all else, but when Mom’s not home, Dad still has to feed the […]

  • Reply
    Anne Alcock
    September 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I printed the recipe off and made it from there. I watched the video afterwards and noticed you put minced garlic in the meatballs; however, our recipe doesn’t call for garlic. I wish I had watched the video first, and now it’s too late because they’re cooking in the oven. Perhaps you should put garlic in the printed recipe?

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    This is my fave sauce. I make it the same except put 2 tbps Frank’s Red Hot in it Yum. Everyone always loved them ????

  • Reply
    Raven Wanders
    October 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I used to love them until i lived in the South. They made the sauce with a jar of chili sauce and jar of grape jelly\U0001f628

    • Reply
      The Kitchen Magpie
      October 19, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Oooh I have heard of the grape jelly ones!!!

    • Reply
      Raven Wanders
      October 19, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Im not sure if chili sauce is up here but if you can find it is worth a try for the retro meal\U0001f606

  • Reply
    Dawn Schwartz
    October 18, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Made them yesterday! Love them, thanks Karlynn!

    • Reply
      The Kitchen Magpie
      October 18, 2016 at 3:15 am

      Awesome!!! So glad to hear it!

  • Reply
    Skyla Bradley
    October 18, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Love this one! It’s a family favorite here.

  • Reply
    Donna Nielson-Weale
    September 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve used this recipe … The meatballs were delicious (and so easy to make).

    • Reply
      The Kitchen Magpie
      September 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Awesome to hear!! The old classics are always the best, aren’t they?

  • Reply
    Sandra Casson
    May 8, 2016 at 2:56 am

    I can’ t remember the last time I had these, likely at a 4H function!

  • Reply
    Donna Nielson-Weale
    May 8, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I made these … They were delish!

  • Reply
    Arleigh Gladwin Stockwell
    April 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I have made this for a couple of potlucks – it’s a winner!

  • Reply
    Elisa Boyce
    April 11, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Love anything retro. Lol except the casseroles that were fabulously decorated with half wieners lining the top of casserole. \U0001f633

    • Reply
      Elisa Boyce
      April 11, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Lol my mom had a cookbook and that was the cover photo casserole! Never forgotten!

  • Reply
    Kathy Elson
    January 15, 2016 at 2:45 am

    I made these tonight and they were delish. A new favourite!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    August 26, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Wondering … do you heat the sauce on the stovetop before pouring it over the meatballs? Or does the sauce thicken up in the oven?  Thanks!

  • Reply
    Andy Keefe
    August 8, 2015 at 2:17 am

    best ever! the sauce is awesome with cubed pork too!!!

  • Reply
    Dawn Schwartz
    August 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    This is probably my most made recipe from your site. I can’t get enough of them! Rice and a green veggie and everyone’s happy!!

  • Reply
    James Lori Shipley
    August 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    We love the simple recipe I created for these-one can crushed or diced pineapple with juice and brown sugar bbq sauce. Dump over meatballs and heat to serve. We do these for all our parties and will serve with rice and veggies if doing it as a meal. Alternatively make spaghetti sauce and serve with noodles or on skewers with peppers and mushrooms, onions etc. So versatile!!!

  • Reply
    pam
    April 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I followed the recipe and mine are falling apart. Well.. I used magic bullet for the onions. Lol probably why. And they stick to my casserole dish. I think I ruined them 🙁

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    This is fool proof, so delicious and easy! It is my go to for meatballs. 

  • Reply
    MsFarmLover
    February 13, 2015 at 2:26 am

    These are the most delicious meatballs I have ever made. They were a huge hit for dinner tonight. Thank you very much for sharing this great recipe.

  • Reply
    Guest
    February 6, 2014 at 12:43 am

    The Sauce was fine but the meat balls sucked..

  • Reply
    guest
    February 6, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Just made this recipe (Sweet & Sour Meatballs… yea right!) Followed the instructions to the letter, guessed the steps left out. Was pretty much the worse meatballs I ever tasted. I would highly recommend that you not waste your good time preparing this. Sorry, but, just being honest.

  • Reply
    Alexis
    June 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I made these with ground chicken, tripled the recipe for a large crowd and added 1 cup of sour cream to help keep them moist, otherwise followed recipe – fabulous!! Everyone raved about them!! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    NathanZ
    January 24, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Hi – I’m making this recipe right now. But I see 1 and 1/2 Cups water listed in the ingredients. Does that go in the sauce with the brown sugar, vinegar, soy and ketchup?

  • Reply
    Hatteras propellers
    January 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    After reading many of your website I staleness say i launch this fact one to mostly be top notch. I soul a weblog also and require to re post a few shears of your articles on my own diary site. Should it be alright if I use this as eternal I own testimonial your website

  • Reply
    CoryLomax
    January 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    If you use grass fed beef, you would not get near as much fat.. and what fat you get, is delicious and healthy. I would leave it in, Fat is where the favour is. 

  • Reply
    Srcollas
    July 15, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I made these last week & loved them…couldn’t believe I made them from scratch!!!  I just wanted to share this: since I did not have any bread crumbs, I improvised(very unlike me) & used 1 package of onion soup instead.  It was good 🙂
    thx for sharing your recipe! 

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