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Sweet and Sour Meatballs for the Oven or Slow Cooker [+ Video]

These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

One of the first recipes that Cade and I learned in our little cooking class we took in college was a sweet and sour sauce. I’ve been wanting to make it into sweet and sour meatballs for years but I always got distracted so I’ve finally busted out the recipe and it was such a smart move because these babies are oh so yum!!

In that class we learned a lot about food, sanitation and that Cade and I cook totally different. Let’s just say that I tend to be a bit better with multitasking, love you anyway! xoxo!

These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for the Oven or Slow Cooker

But back to the food which is the most important. These can be baked or stuck in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours. You can even just whip up the sauce and throw that in there too.  There’s a few things about meatballs that I think people get wrong. But before I get to that, don’t forget to snag our cookbook, Our Sweet Basil Kitchen which is on sale this week!!

Why Do Meatballs Fall Apart?

One of the most asked questions with meatballs is, why do meatballs fall apart? Totally understandable. Meat that has been ground up needs a binding ingredient to bring it all back together.

You absolutely should have some kind of carb and milk in addition to the egg. Its’ called a panade, and you only need about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs per 2 pounds of meat, give or take. But the point is, bread and milk are going to keep your meat juicy and wonderful as well as act like a glue so don’t skip it.

Why Do Meatballs Need Eggs?

Why do meatballs need eggs? Well, one, maybe two eggs for binding is necessary to keep that ground meat together. Ever had meatballs fall apart and you did add the panade? That is because you either over worked the meat or you didn’t add an egg.

How to Season Meat

Salt it!! You guys, stop telling me things are bland and in the next sentence say you cut the salt in half. Ok, most of you don’t do that, but really 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat. Remember that.

Why Are Meatballs Rubbery?

I kind of mentioned this already but it’s almost always because you over mixed the meat. Ground meat needs to be handled gently and to a minimum. The more you mix the meat the more tough and rubbery it becomes. I tend to use my hands to ensure I don’t keep mixing because who wants to hang out in raw meat? It’s also a good idea to mix all of your mix ins before adding to your meat like, whisk the eggs, make the panade, mix the seasonings etc.

How to Keep Meatballs Round

Oil for rolling! I learned this on a cooking show that visited an Italian restaurant. Place a little oil on your hands and roll em up! In fact, I put it on a dish and dip the meat in it and roll whenever I need a little more oil. The oil shines the meat up all pretty but it also helps the meat smooth together in your hands versus a clumpy, overworked meatball.

These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

 

More Crock Pot Recipes:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for the Oven or Slow Cooker

These sweet and sour meatballs are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties. They can be baked in the oven or slow cooker! crock pot, insta-pot

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for the Oven or Slow Cooker

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 -6
These sweet and sour meatballs for the oven or slow cooker are perfect for dinner or an appetizer for football parties, really anytime! Delicious sweet and sour meatballs! They are the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate party. They can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, crock pot, insta-pot you name it!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds 85/15 Ground Beef
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onion
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk regular milk is fine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoons canola Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Yellow Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Green Bell Pepper chopped
  • Clove Garlic minced fine
  • ½ Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • ½ Cup Rice Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Ketchup
  • ¼ Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar white is fine
  • Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Mandarin Oranges smashed (with juice)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch for desired thickness
  • ¼ Cup Cold Water
  • Sesame Seeds for garnish
  • Green Onions for garnish

Instructions

For the meatballs

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, add the meat, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, coconut milk, and seasonings.
  • Mix with your hands until just combined.
  • Roll into balls by rubbing your hands with a little oil and then place in a greased 9x13" baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

For the sauce

  • In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the oil, peppers and garlic.
  • Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add onion powder, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar and sesame.
  • Stir to combine and add the oranges and juice.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch and water together and then whisk into the sauce.
  • Bring back to a boil then turn down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve over meatballs with sesame seeds and green onions. *You can also just place the meatballs in a slow cooker with the sauce for 3-4 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Meatballs for the Oven or Slow Cooker
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 1404mg61%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 13g26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
These are our favorite meatballs and the sauce is awesome too! ohsweetbasil.com

Waikiki Meatballs

 Our favorite sweet and sour chicken recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

9 comments

  • We really love this recipe!  Do you think it would also work work with ground turkey?  If using turkey would you recommend any changes to the recipe?  Thanks! 

    • Reply
    • Absolutely! Turkey is more lean than ground beef so they might and up a little dry/crumbly. I would increase the coconut milk to 1/3 cup to keep them tender and juicy.

      • Reply
  • To make in a slow cooker, do you fully cook the sauce according to directions (ie bring all ingredients to boil on stovetop) and put the sauce over meat in slow cooker? Or would you just mix ingredients and then have sauce cook in slow cooker as well? 

    • Reply
    • Great question! Just mix and cook it in the slow cooker! Enjoy!!

      • Reply
  • hey girl- these meatballs look so yummy! Ya’ll have a great week!

    • Reply
  • Hi Carrian,
    I think you accidentally omitted the amount of sugar from the recipe?

    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, Sorry about that, it’s there. 🙂

      • Reply
  • These look delicious, but how much sugar?

    • Reply
    • It’s corrected. Thanks for your patience.

      • Reply

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