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Tangy and Sweet Meatballs Recipe

Tangy and Sweet Meatballs Recipe

When we entertain friends for Sunday dinner, I frequently serve these tangy meatballs. Everyone loves the distinctive sauce, but they're often surprised to learn it is made with gingernsaps. -Melody Mellinger, Myerstown, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 3-1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 10 gingersnaps, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, onion, bread crumbs and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls.
  • 2. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in batches in oil. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  • 3. In a large saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until cookie crumbs are dissolved. Pour over meatballs.
  • 4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 526 calories, 21g fat (7g saturated fat), 155mg cholesterol, 1226mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 1g fiber), 29g protein.

Reviews for Tangy and Sweet Meatballs

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Viki24 User ID: 8680169 240636
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"These are excellent meatballs! My family loves these with mashed potatoes."

shereeder User ID: 1853566 240071
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2015

"FINALLY!!!! Someone can actually post a recipe that includes the recipe for the meatballs! I haven't tried these yet, but the fact that there's a meatball recipe earns it 5 stars for me. THANK YOU!!! They sound delicious and will give them a try, even if it's for my pleasure at home."

CoreyKay24 User ID: 8031589 56503
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2014

"i love them sooo much! is there any way i can adjust the serving? i want to make some for me but 8 servings is wayyy too much. Can someone please help? these are the only meatballs i will eat."

Carina20 User ID: 7785257 56502
Reviewed May. 1, 2014

"These meatballs are freaking AMAZING!!!! They are alwayssss a hit! I make them every chance I get on a holiday and everybody loves them!!!!!"

ldr825 User ID: 3899651 136963
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2014

"Delicious every time, even the kids eat it"

mela3fan User ID: 2731029 128980
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2013

"I make this every New Year's eve, it has become a tradition. Everyone loves them, also great over white rice."

VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 133031
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2013

"I love meatballs & am always trying new recipes for them, so it says a lot that this recipe is my all-time favorite! I've made it many times now & it goes great with mashed potatoes. I don't like the mess & time it takes to brown meatballs in the skillet, so I place them on a cookie sheet & bake them at 350 for 20 minutes. Then I drain them on paper towels, place them in a baking dish with the sauce & then only bake them an add'l 20 minutes. They turn out perfect every time! Makes about 35 meatballs, depending on their size."

nancyphudson User ID: 279258 136961
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2013

"We love these meatballs. They are easy to make and are delicious with mashed potatoes."

wutch User ID: 6761275 141918
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2012

"I make these several times a year. My family loves them. I always make extra sauce for the mashed potatoes."

Joan Laska User ID: 2394184 49989
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"My Dad always made these for every potluck we went to and they were always the first things to go!"

tattbrat User ID: 4435731 128978
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2011

"I make these every time i go to a party because that's what everyone wants me to bring and they never last long. I use a lrg bag of frozen meatballs and 1 1/2 times the sauce and let them simmer in a crock pot for a few hrs. They are always a huge hit!!"

annk908 User ID: 5602288 133016
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2011

"Ive been making this recipe for years and will continue to make it for many many more :)"

mickeymotto User ID: 1689557 90404
Reviewed Feb. 6, 2011

"We made this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday and it was definitely a WINNER! What a unique flavor the the sauce had, We will certainly make this one again."

SWEETPEA123 User ID: 1949784 73089
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2010

"My family loves these! We serve them with buttery mashed potatoes and Italian Green Beans tossed with garlic and butter. Super good! Makes a LOT of sauce...Also, I spray the pan with cooking sray to help with cleanup."

kbhill01 User ID: 1502856 49812
Reviewed May. 1, 2010

"This is the best meatball recipe I have found!!! I have used it so many times for many potlucks or when I have company. Most of the time, I make the meatballs ahead and put in my crockpot on low for 6-8 hours."

ZumaCook User ID: 4318856 55746
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

"So yummy! Thought it was kinda weird putting ginger snaps into meatballs but it must be the secret ingredient. They're always a hit at potlucks & family gatherings."

vt_pure_angel User ID: 4785804 56499
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2010

"Amazing just the way it is! I will note that it did encourage gas to pass but since it affected us all we didn't care and it was well worth it!!"

Casey1226 User ID: 4821346 129861
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2010

"If you are cooking to impress, htis recipe is the way to go!!! It always does the trick in my home! It is now one of my favorite dished to make. You can't go wrong serving them with mashed potatoes."

missaubs User ID: 2235465 55743
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2009

"This recipe is excellent! I triple the batch and it is perfect for a party. I actually have used ground venison for the meatballs and the flavors are outstanding.

If I have a big party planned and a lot to do, I make the meat balls the day before according to directions, and then I put them in a crock-pot and store in the refrigerator until the next day. I turn on the crock-pot 3-4 hours before serving, stirring every 30-45 mins."

Laura Cramer User ID: 3791934 49988
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2009

"This recipe never fails to please. I made this one years ago when it was first published in Taste of Home, and my copy is worn from use."

angelnoel1997 User ID: 2055950 128914
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2009

"I always cook the same thing for my family. So I decited that I would try 1 new recipe a week. My 1st try was this & my 5 children absolutely loved it. I took the suggestion from fkebeling & used already made meatballs, I also had to double the receipe for my family of 7. I did cut back on the brown sugar, used 1 1/2cup instead. Definately will be making again!!"

VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 60276
Reviewed Jun. 4, 2009

"This is similar in taste to the grape jelly/chili sauce meatball recipe, but better, IMO. The gingersnaps really jazz up the taste. I substitute V8 juice for the tomato juice simply because I always have V8 juice on hand."

fkebeling User ID: 1402341 90050
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2009

"This is the best I have ever had. I used already made meatballs to save time. Gingersnaps is what makes. I lost the receipe and have been looking for it for over a year."

casum User ID: 4075339 141917
Reviewed Apr. 9, 2009

"This recipe it to die for!!!!

Thank you so much"

ldr825 User ID: 3899651 65772
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2009

"Made this dish a few years back, and it was the best meatballs I have ever had."

cindykay24 User ID: 1367953 65765
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2009

"great for races or ball games .. so easy a caveman could do it !!"

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