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Superstar Appetizer: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Short on time and in need of a great appetizer? Try making these sweet and sour meatballs-they're sure to please.

Superstar Appetizer: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

"Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear." ~Lemony Snicket

I have been bringing sweet and sour meatballs to parties for years now and they have always been well received. My original version was made right in the microwave and then there was a slow cooker alteration, but I've finally settled on this stovetop version as my favorite. The combination of sweet pineapple and brown sugar mixed with tangy soy sauce and vinegar is just delightful. And come on, how many of us can resist a good meatball?

If you are really short on time, go ahead and buy a bag of frozen meatballs. To be honest, I have used them many times and have never had a complaint. If you have an extra hour though, I suggest making your own. Those are guaranteed to get rave reviews.

I am making these for a party this weekend but it seems as if I'll be lucky if I have even a handful left, since my boy keeps sneaking into the kitchen. Does he think I can't see him out of the corner of my eye? Please excuse me while I try to save the food...

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Meatball Recipe


  • 1 small sweet onion chopped finely
  • 1/8 cup Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 lb (a little over is fine) lean ground beef


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place a rack on a cookie sheet (you want the fat to drain out of the meatballs).
  • Mix all ingredients (except cheese, bread crumbs and beef) in a bowl.
  • Once combined add last three ingredients and mix well.
  • Using your hands (or a small ice cream scoop if using your hands grosses you out) form small meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs on the rack, leaving a little space between each.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Depending on your oven you may need to bake them longer but try not to go any longer than 30 minutes so they don't dry out.

(Makes about 35 small meatballs)

Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe


  • 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 small peppers cut into 1" pieces (any color you like-I prefer red and orange)


  • Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice. Set aside.
  • If the juice does not equal one cup add enough water to get it there.
  • Pour the juice into a large pan.
  • Add the 1/3 cup of water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch to the pan and stir until smooth.
  • Cook over medium heat until it gets thick, making sure you are stirring it constantly.
  • Add the pineapple, meatballs and green pepper.
  • Turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Serve with toothpicks or over a plate of white rice.


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