Forget the frozen meatballs and whip up a fast and fresh recipe for Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs in 30 minutes or less!

Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs with pineapple on top of white rice in a white bowl

Homemade meatballs make a weekly appearance at our house and are a dinnertime favorite of both of my eating machines (read: my husband and 17-month-old!).

And a quick search for “meatballs” around here will lead you to more than six takes on good ol’ balls-o-meat.

Glass bowl with ground turkey, garlic, onion, egg, salt, pepper and breadcrumb mixture

We’ve got the classic Baked Turkey Meatballs, the handheld Baked Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps, the takeout-fakeout Baked Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs, and now, rounding out (food pun count: 1) the lineup: Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

White spatula with homemade sweet and sour sauce with more in saucepan in background

So what separates these rotund beauties from all of their culinary cousins? A lick-the-spatula-and-your-plate homemade sweet and sour sauce that pairs perfectly with the garlicky meatballs but would work equally as well atop chicken breasts, as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or simply drizzled over white rice, if you’re into that sort of thing. #iam

Baked meatballs in glass bowl with sweet and sour sauce being poured over them

Toss in a few chunks of fresh pineapple and there will be multiple candidates for President of the Clean Plate Club.

Best of all? The meatballs are baked at a high temp so they’re ready for tossing in minutes, and that means dinner is on your table in 30 minutes or less. Just add fried rice or lo mein noodles to complete your feast!

A white plate containing white rice and Sweet and Sour Meatballs with pineapple

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Main Course

Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less with this easy recipe for extra-moist baked sweet and sour meatballs tossed in a homemade sauce.
4.96 from 49 votes
Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs with pineapple on top of white rice in a white bowl
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 24 meatballs


For the meatballs:

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, chicken, pork or a combination
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 cup diced pineapple


Make the meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F. Grease 9x13 baking dish or mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and milk and let sit for 5 minutes. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, garlic, onion, egg, salt, pepper and breadcrumb mixture, mixing with your hands just until combined. 
  • Using your hands, break off 2 or 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll it into a ball. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake the meatballs for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are cooked through. While the meatballs bake, make the sauce.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the oil it hot, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown.
  • Whisk in the pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked meatballs to a large bowl then add the diced pineapple. Add the prepared sauce and toss to combined. Serve immediately. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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Calories: 70kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 139mg, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.4mg

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  1. I love the ingredients for the meatballs, can you please tell me what I can substitute milk with?
    I don’t mix meat with milk.
    Your help is much appreciated.
    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    These meatballs are the best by far! Everyone in the family asks for them all the time! It is easy to make, and love how the meatballs cook while the sauce is being made!
    Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  3. Good day
    Can I freeze the sweet and sour meat balls and if so should I freeze the sauce separately?
    Much appreciated
    Thank you

    1. Hi Fran! I’ve never tried freezing these meatballs, but if you do, I’d freeze them before baking them and without the sauce.

    2. I appreciate your quick response
      I have to freeze the meatballs after cooking because the ground turkey had already been defrosted
      So would you recommend I freeze the cooked meat balls separately and then prepare and add the sauce when ready to serve?
      Thank you

  4. So tasty! At the end I added the pineapple and sauce to the baking dish I had cooked my meatballs and kept them warm in the oven until we were ready to serve. The flavours blended nicely :) Thanks for the recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        Made it tonight and ot was really good! Everyone loved will just double the sauce net time

  5. 5 stars
    Delish! We used ground beef, and added onion, red peppers and vinegar that someone else suggested in the comments.

  6. Could these be done in a crock pot? Pre make the meatballs and the sauce and just toss together and heat?

  7. 5 stars
    So easy and so good!! The sauce is the perfect amount of sweet and the meatballs are tender. Highly recommend!!

    1. Omg so perfectly good!
      We had a pineapple we needed to use up, threw it in the juicer for this recipe!!! Delish!

  8. 5 stars
    This is the 2nd time I’ve made it. I start the sauce recipe with sliced onion and chopped bell peppers. A can of pineapple doesn’t have quite enough juice for a full cup, so I just top it up with water.
    It’s super easy and delicious; hubby loves it.

    1. I haven’t tried frying them so I’m not sure, but you’ll want to make sure if you do try that out that the interior cooks before the exterior gets too crispy.

    1. I have recipes that call for small amount of white vinegar. I cook a lot of chinese dishes and I used some rice vinegar once. I love the sour.

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