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Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Dinner in Under 30 Minutes

sweet and sour meatballs
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Sweet and Sour Meat­balls is the next recipe in my meat­ball series. Guys, these are SO good! Deli­cious spicy meat­balls, chunks of pineap­ple and crisp, fresh veg­gies coat­ed in a sim­ple, home­made sweet and sour sauce. Serve over your favorite vari­ety of rice and in less than 30 min­utes you have a meal you’d be proud to serve to company. 

If you missed the first post, “Meat­balls, Scrump­tious, Savory and Oh So Easy”, you’ll want to check it out. That orig­i­nal post teach­es you how to use my favorite meat­ball recipe to make 126 meat­balls in about an hour. That’s enough for around 5 meals, for a fam­i­ly of six. The post includes instruc­tions for freez­ing them, too, so you’ll be able to use them in all the oth­er great recipes, like this one.

If you’re look­ing for anoth­er deli­cious week­night fam­i­ly din­ner, you’re gonna love this recipe. With your pre-made meat­balls, it can be on the table in under 30 minutes. 

Sweet and Sour Veggies

The sweet and sour sauce only requires 6 com­mon pantry ingre­di­ents. Add meat­balls and the veg­gies of your choice. Serve Sweet and Sour Meat­balls over rice and you’ll have cre­at­ed a tasty Asian-style din­ner that will zoom to the top of your fam­i­ly’s favorites!

Ingredients You’ll Need for Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • frozen meat­balls (Get my Meat­ball recipe.)
  • canned pineap­ple chunks
  • brown sug­ar
  • corn­starch
  • soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • beef stock
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • veg­gies of your choice (I used bell pep­pers, cel­ery, red onion and zucchini)

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Pull 24–30 meat­balls out of your freez­er stash. They don’t need to thaw. Just have them handy, since the recipe goes togeth­er quickly.

pineapple and sauces

Start the sauce by dump­ing the pineap­ple into a 12″ cast iron skil­let and turn­ing the heat on to medium. 

In a small bowl, whisk togeth­er the beef broth, soy sauce and the lemon juice and zest. Don’t heat this, yet. It needs to be cold, to dis­solve the corn­starch in.

meatballs and pineapple in skillet

Add the corn­starch to the liq­uids in your bowl and con­tin­ue whisk­ing until the corn­starch is com­plete­ly dis­solved. Then, pour the mix­ture into the skil­let with the pineap­ple and stir to com­bine. It will begin to bub­ble and thick­en in just 1 or 2 minutes.

Now, toss the meat­balls into your sauce and turn the heat down to low. Let the meat­balls and sauce sim­mer long enough for the meat­balls to be heat­ed through (about 10 minutes).

veggies added to sweet and sour meatballs

Add the fresh veg­gies to the skil­let, stir to make sure every­thing is even­ly coat­ed and con­tin­ue to sim­mer anoth­er 2–5 min­utes. Cook long enough for the veg­eta­bles to be hot and to allow them to get to your desired degree of tenderness.

How to Serve Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Serve Sweet and Sour Meat­balls over your favorite rice: white, brown, wild or even cau­li­flower. (For the fastest meal, I start a pot of Minute Rice imme­di­ate­ly after adding the meat­balls to the sauce. The tim­ing is per­fect for it to be done, just as the meat­balls are ready to serve.)

sweet and sour meatballs

I’ll bet you had no idea meat­balls could be so ver­sa­tile and a great time-saver when mak­ing week­night sup­pers. Be sure to check out Meat­balls in Brown Gravy, too. It’s a com­fort food dynamo! 

Enjoy some time, this week­end, cook­ing and shar­ing a meal with your fam­i­ly. Laugh, enjoy con­ver­sa­tion and make some mem­o­ries. Be blessed, Friend!

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 30 min­utes
  • Yield: 6-7 serv­ings 1x


Units Scale


  1. Pour the pineap­ple, with juice, into a 12″ cast iron skil­let.  Set heat to medium.
  2. In a sep­a­rate bowl, mix togeth­er beef stock, soy sauce, and lemon juice.  Be sure it is all cold.
  3. Add the corn­starch to the cold liq­uids and stir until com­plete­ly dissolved.
  4. Mix the corn­starch liq­uid into the pineap­ple and stir until smooth and begin­ning to thicken.
  5. Reduce heat to medi­um low.
  6. Add the frozen meat­balls, stir­ring to coat them, and then let the mix­ture con­tin­ue to sim­mer until the meat­balls are heat­ed through.  It will only take about 10 minutes.
  7. Slice and chop the veg­eta­bles while the meat­balls warm.
  8. Add the veg­eta­bles to the skil­let.  Give a quick stir to make sure every­thing is coat­ed in the yum­my sauce.  Cook one or two min­utes more, until the veg­eta­bles are heat­ed through. (You can cook the veg­gies to your pre­ferred soft­ness. We like them ten­der-crisp and still bright in col­or.  Cook longer if you like them soft.)
  9. Serve over white, brown or wild rice.  I’ve even served it over cau­li­flower rice.
  • Prep Time: 10 min­utes
  • Cook Time: 20 min­utes
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Beef, Main Dish
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

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