Sweet and Sour Meatballs

There are fewer foods that hold as much charm as a meatball.  As least that’s how the members of my house see it.  Big meatballs, small meatballs, meatballs with sauce, on pasta, in a sub.  Italian meatballs, buffalo chicken meatballs, Swedish meatballs, turkey meatballs, there are no unwelcome meatballs in our house.  And that includes frozen meatballs, by the way — a great thing to keep in the freezer for last minute dinners.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

The latest meatballs trend to flash through my house (and this is intentionally tongue in cheek: these are not the newest meatball-kid on the block) is sweet and sour meatballs. Beefy meatballs glazed with a tangy sauce made from a very pleasing combo of ketchup, jellied cranberry sauce, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, soy sauce and a splash of Worcestershire sauce are hard to stop eating.

Sweet and Sour Glaze

Many sweet and sour meatball recipes use some sort of jelly to provide the sweetness, but here I chose jellied cranberry sauce, which has the sweetness, but also the appealing tartness from the cranberries. The fact that it’s jellied helps make the sauce shiny, silky and smooth. And soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce add notes of salt and savory, which plays off the tartness of the red wine vinegar. The richness of the tomato paste smooths it all out.

You could use a meatball or meatloaf mix here if you prefer instead of the beef; equally as delicious, and a nice blend of different ground meats. And while they are perfect as a main course, they are also great served with cute little skewers or toothpicks as appetizers for a cocktail party.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs: Beefy meatballs are glazed with a simple tangy sauce and pretty hard to stop eating! (Pile them over rice, or skewer them up for cocktail parties).

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and place the meatballs in the pan, making sure not to crowd them; you may need to do this in batches, if your pan isn’t large enough.   

Cook the meatballs for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are browned.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Then flip them and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the other side is brown.  The meatballs should be browned on at least two sides, but not cooked through. 

Remove meatballs from the skillet and drain any excess oil from the skillet. In the same skillet, add the ketchup, cranberry sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, soy sauce, water and Worcestershire sauce

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  

Return the meatballs to the pan, then cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the sauce stays at a gentle simmer, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.  

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley if desired. 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

What to Serve with Sweet and Sour Meatballs:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Other Meatball Recipes:

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Beefy meatballs glazed with a tangy, simple pantry ingredient sauce are hard to stop eating.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Sauce:

  • cup ketchup
  • ½ can jellied cranberry sauce (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley to serve (optional)

Directions

  • In a medium bowl beat the egg. Add the beef, onion, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and use your hands to combine thoroughly (or use a spoon; it will take longer, but if you are not a hands-in-the-ground-beef person you can do that). Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and place the meatballs in the pan, making sure not to crowd them; you may need to do this in batches. If your pan isn’t large enough. Cook the meatballs for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are browned, then flip them and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the other side is brown. The meatballs should be browned on at least two sides, but not cooked through. Remove meatballs from the skillet and drain any excess oil from the skillet.
  • In the same skillet, add the ketchup, cranberry sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, soy sauce, water and Worcestershire sauce. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan, then cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the sauce stays at a gentle simmer, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 942mg | Potassium: 555mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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