Easy Sweet And Sour Meatballs With Pineapple

5 from 1 vote

Whether you’re planning a casual get-together with friends, a cocktail party or a formal dinner party, these sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple are sure to please. They’re deliciously sweet and sticky with the perfect hint of tart. And they take only 15 minutes from start to finish, making them the ideal appetizer for hosts who need something quick yet delicious that will still impress their guests.

This easy recipe is one of the most versatile dishes you can serve at a party.

You can use beef, turkey, chicken or even vegetarian meatballs to meet the needs of your guests.

The sweet and sour sauce is super simple and fast to put together. (And there’s one special ingredient that I think makes these the best sweet and sour meatballs ever!)

Plus you can keep them warm in a crock pot so they’re easy to serve for all kinds of events.

Which is why they’re one of the staple menu items at every party I host.

Ingredients

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Ingredients for sweet and sour sauce - canned pineapple chunks, ketchup, brown sugar, corn starch, grenadine and vinegar

This recipe makes about 24 meatballs.

Here is your shopping list:

  • meatballs – 1 24-ounce package beef, turkey, chicken or vegetarian meatballs. Getting the exact weight is not critical. You can go up or down by a few ounces. I use Aidell’s pineapple and teriyaki chicken meatballs because they go so well with the sauce.
  • canned goods – 1 14-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • sweeteners – ⅓ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup grenadine – Grenadine is the secret sauce that adds extra flavor as well as the traditional red color.
  • condiments – ½ cup ketchup, ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • thickener – 3 Tablespoons corn starch

Substitutions

  • If you don’t want to have chunks of pineapple with your meatballs, substitute 2/3 cup pineapple juice for the can of pineapple chunks

How to make sweet and sour meatballs

Sweet and sour sauce being spooned out of a bowl

Prepare the meatballs

meatballs on a baking sheet

Heat the meatballs as instructed on the package.

In my case, I placed them on a baking sheet. Then baked them at 350℉ for 8-10 minutes (or until hot).

While the meatballs are baking, make the sweet and sour sauce.

Make the sweet and sour sauce

Sweet and sour sauce mixed in a saucepan

Drain the juice from a 14-ounce can of pineapple into a saucepan, leaving the pineapple chunks in the can for later.

Stir in ¾ cup water, ½ cup ketchup, ⅓ cup white vinegar, ⅓ cup brown sugar, and ⅓ cup grenadine.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning.

Sweet and sour sauce with corn starch being whisked in

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Corn starch and water mixed in a bowl

Meanwhile, mix 3 Tablespoons cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons water in a small bowl.

When the sauce is finished simmering, slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan. Don’t pour it in too fast or the corn starch will form gummy clumps that are hard to get rid of.

Stir until combined, making sure there are no lumps.

A spoon with thickened sweet and sour sauce above a saucepan

Simmer until thickened, about 30 seconds.

Add the meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple chunks in a saucepan

Add the cooked meatballs and the pineapple chunks to the sweet and sour sauce in the saucepan.

Toss to combine.

Serving suggestions

sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple in a bowl

Sweet and sour meatballs can be served with a scoop of sauce over rice as part of a main course.

Sweet and sour meatballs on a plate with metal toothpicks

Or used as an appetizer, served with toothpicks.

For parties, I like to put them into a crockpot on the Warm setting and let everyone help themselves.

Meatballs on a plate with sweet and sour sauce being drizzled over them

Alternatively, you can skip the step of tossing the meatballs in the sauce and serve them separately.

Then your guests can decide how much they want to add.

Storage

Sweet and sour meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat in the microwave or in a slow cooker on low setting before serving.

Other recipes you might like

sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple in a bowl

Sweet And Sour Meatballs With Pineapple

These sweet and sour meatballs are mixed with pineapple to create a tangy sauce that everyone loves.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 24 meatballs
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Small bowl
  • 1 Sauce pan
  • 1 mixing spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 24-ounce package beef, turkey, chicken or vegetarian meatballs
  • 1 14-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup white vinegar
  • cup brown sugar
  • cup grenadine
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the meatballs as instructed on the package.
    1 24-ounce package beef, turkey, chicken or vegetarian meatballs
  • Drain the juice from the can of pineapples into a saucepan, leaving the pineapple chunks in the can for later.
    1 14-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • Stir in water, ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, and grenadine.
    ¾ cup water, ½ cup ketchup, ⅓ cup white vinegar, ⅓ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup grenadine
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water.
    3 Tablespoons cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons water
  • Whisk the corn starch mixture into the sauce, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Simmer until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the cooked meatballs and the pineapple chunks to the sweet and sour sauce in the saucepan.
  • Toss to combine.

Notes

  • If you don’t want to have pineapple chunks in your meatballs, replace the can of pineapple with 2/3 cup pineapple juice.
  • To serve for a party, put the meatballs and sauce into a slow cooker on the Warm setting.
  • Alternatively, the meatballs and sauce can be served separately so guests can decide how much they want.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 meatball | Calories: 118 kcal | Carbohydrates: 11 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 64 mg | Potassium: 121 mg | Fiber: 0.2 g | Sugar: 8 g | Vitamin A: 36 IU | Vitamin C: 2 mg | Calcium: 11 mg | Iron: 0.3 mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

authorWanda Simone
courseAppetizer
cuisineAmerican
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have comments or questions about our sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple? Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on February 18, 2023 but was updated with new content on February 12, 2024.


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