Sweet-&-Sour Meatballs

Sweet-&-Sour Meatballs

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2012

These bite-size sweet-and-sour meatballs, drizzled with a pineapple- and soy-based sauce, make a great appetizer. Shredded carrot and finely diced pineapple keep the meatballs moist, while fresh ginger and Chinese five-spice powder amp up the flavor.

Ingredients 36 servings

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Original recipe yields 36 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallion whites
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces ground turkey breast
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup sliced scallion greens


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop enough pineapple to yield ½ cup. Press out excess moisture with paper towels. Reserve the remaining pineapple chunks for the sauce.
  4. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in carrot, scallion whites, ginger, five-spice powder, salt and the finely chopped pineapple. Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 1 tablespoon each, make 36 small meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the reserved juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining pineapple and the cooked meatballs.
  6. To serve, thread a meatball and a piece of pineapple and/or pepper onto a small skewer or toothpick. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.
  • Equipment: 36 short skewers or toothpicks
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 skewer
  • Per serving: 37 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 4 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 5 mcg folate; 12 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 470 IU vitamin A; 8 mg vitamin C; 8 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 100 mg sodium; 75 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ lean meat

Reviews 4

November 17, 2014
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By: kvlyn
Listed as gluten-free, but.... This recipe is listed as gluten-free. However, be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce as regular soy sauce is not gluten-free.
July 12, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty meatballs, sauce too tangy/sweet The sauce was too tangy/sweet for me. Maybe it was too much rice vinegar. I felt that the sauce lacked a deep, rounded flavor. Was very disappointed with the sauce unfortunately. Pros: meatballs were flavorful and moist Cons: unhappy with the sauce
March 27, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
good flavor, but fell apart my meatballs fell apart when baking. flavors were good, but i think i should have added some panko or put in freezer for a bit...it ended up being a big mess.
March 06, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Simply fabulous This was a great recipe. The meatballs had a lot of flavor without the sauce but with it, fabulous. I served the meatballs in the sauce with rice for dinner. Even my fussy daughter actually liked them (and she doesn't like turkey or pork). A keeper Pros: Moist and very tasty, easy appetizer or even dinner Cons: A little time consuming in prep
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