A New Old Favourite – Sweet and Sour Meatballs

The Sweet and Sour Meatballs aren't your run of the mill meatballs. The addition of smoky paprika, chili flakes, and pineapple take this old school treat to a new level! #meatballs #sweetandsour #sweetandsourmeatballs #dinner

A Family Favourite

Sweet and Sour Meatballs. I don’t know how many versions I’ve eaten with my family or how many times they’ve graced our table. During my childhood I’m sure they were on a weekly rotation. In fact the distinct memory that popped into my head was of my poor dad eating yet another meal of sweet and sour meatballs. He would politely grin and bear it, but he was really sick of them after my sister became obsessed with them. After I entered high school she began to learn to cook meals for the family; sweet and sour meatballs being the obvious favourite.  He never said anything back then but if you mention sweet and sour meatballs now he gets a little bit of a shivery panic attack.

The Original Recipe vs The New Recipe

Our original family favourite meatballs were made of our own beef, ground into mince in my Grandpa’s basement. The sauce was a basic sweet and sour with added ketchup. No extra onions or peppers and most of the time no pineapple. I started out making this plain version for my young family but eventually I improved the recipe to our liking. My current version is made from chicken or turkey and includes shredded onions and carrots in the meatballs. The sauce usually has pineapple chunks and a good amount of ginger and chili flakes because we like it a little spicy.

The Sweet and Sour Meatballs aren't your run of the mill meatballs. The addition of smoky paprika, chili flakes, and pineapple take this old school treat to a new level! #meatballs #sweetandsour #sweetandsourmeatballs #dinner

Sweet and Sour Meatballs 3.0

I was a little apprehensive about trying this recipe, originally blogged by Amanda of What’s Cooking – Fine Dining My Way. I didn’t think it could be much better than the Sweet and Sour Meatballs I already made but she had piqued my interest and really sold the dish to me! When I got to the grocery store and found pineapples and minced chicken on sale, the dinner dilemma was solved!

Last Minute Substitutions

Here’s a lesson in reading the recipe all the way through before beginning. A brief glance told me that it contained a pineapple and what I thought was chicken mince (turns out it was turkey). I didn’t have any tomato paste in the pantry so one substitution I made was to use a half pint of my homemade tomato passata. My tomato passata is precious and I don’t just use it in any recipe because it is like gold in my kitchen. The recipe must be passata worthy and this one was. Another substitution was plain old breadcrumbs. I just don’t have matzo meal kicking around in my pantry. Oh, and I omitted the coriander seeds but then wished I hadn’t.


Pin it HERE.

The Sweet and Sour Meatballs aren't your run of the mill meatballs. The addition of smoky paprika, chili flakes, and pineapple take this old school treat to a new level! #meatballs #sweetandsour #sweetandsourmeatballs #dinner

More Meatballs from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

20 Minute Instant Pot Meatballs and Spaghetti
Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Soba Noodles

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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  • DF
The Sweet and Sour Meatballs aren't your run of the mill meatballs. The addition of smoky paprika, chili flakes, and pineapple take this old school treat to a new level!
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:40 mins
  • Serves:4
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

    Ingredients
    • FOR THE SAUCE
    • 2 cups tomato passata
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • FOR THE MEATBALLS
    • 1/2 onion; finely diced
    • 2 garlic cloves; minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 pound minced chicken
    • 1 egg
    • 4 tbsp bread crumbs
    • 1 tsp smoky paprika
    • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • pinch flaked chilies
    • 1 pineapple; skin off, cored, and cut into chunks
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (to serve)
    Method
    1. In a large pot or dutch oven (preferably with a wide base) place the tomato passata, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and first amount of salt. Heat on low while you make the meatballs.
    2. To a large bowl add the chicken mince, finely diced onion, minced garlic, second amount of salt, egg, bread crumbs, paprika, and pepper.
    3. Mix well with a spoon and shape into 1 inch meatballs. Drop each into the waiting warmed sauce.
    4. When you’ve made all the meatballs, cover and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.
    5. Add pineapple and simmer for about five more minutes so the pineapple softens a bit.
    6. Serve over rice and top with cilantro leaves.
     

     

     

     

     

    6 comments

    1. foodisthebestshitever

      I saw those puppies and though two sweet and sour recipes in way day? How, pray tell, does this happen?? I have never seen or heard of sweet and sour meatballs…
      Then I realised we both must follow cottage grove, and I really need to try sweet and sour meatballs.
      The end 🙂

      Reply

      1. dishnthekitchen

        you’ve never had s&s meatballs? you poor soul. Eat these then thank us all later 😉

        Reply

    2. Amanda

      This is beautiful! Sometimes you have to make substitutions. What beautiful tomato sauce you have! Thanks so much for linking to me. It’s amazing that we both have these childhood connections to sweet and sour meatballs. Your pictures are stunning.

      Reply

      1. dishnthekitchen

        I’m excited to give the rest of your blog a read 🙂

        Reply

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