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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound package frozen meatballs
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
hot cooked brown rice

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I always have many, many containers of frozen No Name Wild Rice Meatballs in my freezer. If I have fewer than three boxes I start to feel insecure. My local grocery stores no longer carry them, so I order them from Coburns Delivers (and I have no relationship with them, so you can trust me on this!).

These meatballs can be used in so many ways. They are great thrown into spaghetti sauce, they are perfect as an appetizer cooked with cocktail sauce and grape or apple jelly, and they are perfect in this recipe.

And this colorful recipe is so easy to make! It’s kind of like a stir-fry, and it has the best sweet and sour flavor combination. Serve over hot cooked brown rice for a fabulous and quick meal.

Why this recipe works:

  • Frozen meatballs are so easy to use and so convenience. They thaw beautifully in the pan with the other ingredients. You can make your own meatballs if you’d like; brown them before adding them to the recipe.
  • The sweet in this recipe is provided by the brown sugar, which also adds a molasses-like richness, and the pineapple juice. The sour is provided by vinegar and lemon juice.
  • The cornstarch in the sauce thickens the sauce so it coats the ingredients as it cooks. You can also use flour, but taste the sauce before you serve the dish to make sure the raw floury taste is cooked out.



In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic; stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.


Add the red bell peppers; stir-fry for another minute. Then add the frozen meatballs and stir.


Cover and pan and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.


In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple juice, cornstarch, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and soy sauce and mix well.


When the meatballs are thoroughly heated to 165°F, add the drained pineapple and the pineapple juice mixture to the skillet. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Serve over hot cooked brown rice.



Linda is a home economist who has authored 46 books (45 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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