A crock filled with Sweet & Sour Meatballs - coated with a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and green pepper.

Every time I make these Sweet and Sour Meatballs my mind wanders to so many places.  I think of all the past Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve parties, birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, fall get-togethers…the list goes on and on.  I’ve used this recipe for every former occasion I can think of, at least once.  More than once most of those times because, well, why would you not want these any time an opportunity arises?

A crock filled with Sweet & Sour Meatballs - coated with a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and green pepper.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a great appetizer.  I usually keep mine in a crock-pot during get-togethers, so they stay warm.  The pineapple and green pepper are a great combination, and they are complementary to the meatballs in taste and color.

Thee Sweet & Sour Meatballs  coated with a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and green pepper in a cup cake wrapper.

We also love eating Sweet and Sour Meatballs over rice as a meal.  When I make this as a meal, I double the glaze, so there is enough to soak through the rice.  This sweet and sour “gravy” is delicious, and you’ll want to make sure you have plenty.  I only double the glaze when I’m serving it over rice.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and green pepper served over rice.

Making homemade meatballs does take some time.  But in the end, there is no comparison in texture and flavor.  Some time ago, I didn’t have as much time for preparation and decided to pick up a reputable brand of meatballs from the store.  I was appalled at how rubbery the texture was.  Gross.  Next time, I’ll only make these when I have enough time to prepare the meatballs myself.  There will be no more trying to rush them along in time for an impromptu get-together.  The sacrifice in the quality of meat isn’t worth it.

A Sweet and Sour Meatball held up on a fork with meatballs , pineapple, and green pepper served over rice in the background.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Serving Up Southern


  • 2 lbs. ground round
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, optional
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 13 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained, reserve juice
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 green peppers, chopped


  • Thoroughly mix the beef, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, ginger, and milk.
  • Shape meat mixture into small balls, about 1 inch.
  • Melt shortening in a skillet; brown and cook meatballs. Meatballs will be firm to the touch when done. When done, remove and drain on paper towels.

For the glaze:

  • Mix cornstarch and sugar together; stir in the reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth. Pour into a pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  • Add meatballs, pineapple, and green pepper to the glaze and heat through.


Meatballs can also be baked. Put on broiler pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until firm when touched.

Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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  1. Kim; in the glaze recipe, you have 1/2 brown sugar, I am assuming it is a 1/2 c.brown sugar?

  2. Yes, 1/2 cup is correct. Thank you, Martha, for pointing that out. I’m going to correct it now. :)

  3. Love thiese meatballs! This will be one of my go to recipes I ‘m sure. Took a pot of these meatballs to a potluck and everyone loved them. Perfect combo of sweet and sour, and the pineapple and green peppers make the dish look so colorful too.

    1. I’m so happy you love them Joyce! Thanks for your sweet comment.

  4. Made these yummy meatballs again! This time I doubled the glaze and served it over rice. A complete meal! Just as good when reheated the next day for leftovers! Yum!!

  5. So glad to hear this, Joyce! Thanks for coming back and letting us know!

  6. Made this last night for my family, so yummy! This recipe will be added to my favorite collection!!!

    1. So glad they were a hit Erica! I love that they made it into your favorite collection!

  7. mamma che fame! (I had to say it in Italian because it betetr transmits immediacy :D)Do you know that one of the most known and oldest typical recipes of my hometown is meatballs just like these? The only difference is that women use to put them in tomato sauce “ragout” and put them on pasta on Sunday lunches. With tons of grated parmesan cheese on top! :)

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