Homemade Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Feb 3, 2022 | meat, Recipes

What’s better than a delicious meal? How about a delicious meal that you can make in under an hour? Sound good to me. Well, that’s exactly what these Sweet and Sour Meatballs are. They make a quick and delicious meal that you can make and eat any day of the week. And, you can make them from scratch with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Let’s get cooking!

Making The Meatballs

These meatballs are pretty straightforward. Put some ground beef in a mixing bowl, add some minced or grated ginger and garlic (you can use ginger and garlic powder if you want. Use 1 tsp of each per pound of meat.) Add a bit of salt and pepper to the meat and one egg to help bind it all together. If you want to stretch the meat a little further, you can also add half a cup of fine dry breadcrumbs. Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, mix well.

Forming The Meatballs

I find that forming these meatballs, or any meatball for that matter, is best down in two stages. Stage one is portioning out the meat. In this case, use a tablespoon to divide the meat into portions. The second stage is to roll the meat portions into balls. The easiest way to roll the balls is to have a bowl of cold water handy (no pun intended). Wet your hands and roll the meat into balls. Re-wet your hands after every two or three balls. Wetting your hands will prevent the meat from sticking to your hands and forming a thick layer of fat on your hands. It will also help give the balls a smooth appearance. Keep in mind your hands don’t have to be dripping wet. Just a little wet is fine.

Cook the Meatballs

Once the meatballs are formed, place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast them in the oven at 400°f for 15 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, you can make the sweet and sour sauce.

How To Make Sweet and Sour Sauce

There are a few different ways to make a sweet and sour sauce. I wanted to keep this recipe simple and use ingredients you probably have on hand, so I used ketchup as the base. If you’d like to see another way to make a sweet and sour sauce, take a look at this Sweet and Sour Chicken Ball Recipe.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

You will need one green bell pepper and half a red onion for this recipe. Cut both into bite-sized pieces. I like to cut the green pepper into odd shapes because I think it adds to the dish’s appearance. You don’t have to take the time to do that if you don’t want to. Cut the pepper however you’d like. The other sauce ingredients are ketchup, white vinegar, sugar, and water. You can find the measurements in the recipe at the top of this post. Finally, you will need a bit of cooking oil. I like to use peanut oil, but you can use grapeseed, avocado, or canola oil if you’d like.

Making the Sweet and Sour Sauce

To make the sweet and sour sauce, heat a wok or large skillet on high heat. Add in the cooking oil, bell pepper, and onion. Stir-fry the pepper and onion until they start to brown, about two to three minutes. Then, add the ketchup and stir-fry for another minute. Next, add the sugar, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil, then add in the cooked meatballs. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about three to five minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Just like that, your Sweet and Sour Meatballs are ready to go. Serve them with rice or noodles for a full meal. These meatballs also make a great hors d’oeuvre. Just stick them with some toothpicks, and you’re good to go. And these can be made ahead, kept in the fridge for up to four days and reheated. You just can’t go wrong.

The Wrap-Up

I love anything Sweet and Sour from my Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls, to my Sweet and Sour Chicken Legs, and of course, these Sweet and Sour Meatballs. With sweet and sour, you just can’t go wrong. So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

That does it for today but thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed the post. And, if you haven’t already, remember to sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the page to get exclusive recipes, cooking tips, behind-the-scenes stories etc., in your inbox once a month. The first edition of my new newsletter comes out next Monday. Don’t miss out! Have a great week and a fantastic weekend! I’ll see you right back here next Thursday.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a delicious and easy thing to make with a pound of ground beef. This simple recipe uses things you probably already have on hand to make a delicious sweet and sour sauce that you'll want to put on everything. Serve with rice to make a full meal. These meatballs also make a great appetizer for any party.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian, Chinese
Keyword: Ground Beef Recipes, Meatballs, Sweet and Sour
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup green bell pepper 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup red onion 1-inch pieces


  • Combine the ground beef, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Divide the ground beef into one tablespoon portions.
  • Wet your hands and form the meat portions into balls, then place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  • Roast the meatballs in a 400°F for 15 minutes.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, heat a wok or large skillet over high heat.
  • Add the peanut oil and carefully swirl it around the wok to coat it.
  • Add the bell pepper and onion and stir-fry until they brown a little.
  • Add the ketchup and stir-fry for one minute before adding the vinegar, sugar, and water.
  • Add the meatballs into the wok, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick, about three minutes.
  • Serve with rice.
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  1. Barbara Kavanaugh

    4 stars
    Looking forward to the newsletter!

    Gonna try this.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip about wetting your hands! I will use that going forward. Judy

  3. Chef Ben Kelly

    My pleasure Judy. I’m glad you found that useful

  4. Chef Ben Kelly

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to it too

4 from 2 votes

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