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Tangy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Tangy sauce, a green pepper and some pineapple chunks transform premade meatballs into something special. Serve them over rice for a satisfying main dish. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 30 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (about 15 ounces)
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Hot cooked rice


  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside. Add water to juice if needed to measure 1 cup; pour into a large skillet. Add 1/3 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch; stir until smooth.
  • Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add the pineapple, meatballs and green pepper.
  • Simmer, uncovered, until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve with rice.
Nutrition Facts
5 meatballs: 389 calories, 19g fat (8g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 682mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 2g fiber), 11g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • justmbeth
    Jan 18, 2021

    The precooked meatballs made this recipe great when I was in a rush for time.

  • SColson132
    Jan 17, 2021

    Excellent recipe! I left out the green pepper (which I don't like), and used brown rice. Turned out very well!

  • NH-rescue
    Nov 14, 2020

    This meal disappeared in one sitting! It has a nice tangy taste. We made our own meatballs out of ground chicken, but a repeat meal worked just as well with chicken thighs, cut up into small pieces and cooked beforehand. Works equally well with Basmati rice or brown rice.

  • momio
    Oct 31, 2020

    I made this and my family loved it!

  • pols005
    Oct 20, 2020

    This is a weird combination that oddly works. I substituted Gardein meatless meatballs (which are fabulous by the way, family can't tell the difference), and I used less than half the amount of brown sugar called for. Honestly, with the pineapple and juice, an additional 1/2 cup sugar would have been way over the top. Family liked it and went back for seconds.

  • -Becky-
    Aug 31, 2020

    This is a great recipe. I've had it for years, and my mom made these when I was growing up. The actual name is Waikiki Meatballs, but that's the recipe where you actually make the meatballs yourself.

  • DancesWithHooves
    Aug 27, 2020

    This was great! Added a regular size bag of frozen broccoli (steamed in microwave and added to skillet in very last minute) and used turkey meatballs as that’s what I had on hand. Sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with Basmati rice and some bread and butter. Husband thought it was good and would have rated it 10/10 if I’d used beef meatballs instead. Personally I thought the turkey meatballs balanced the flavors really well as is! Next time will try to reduce the sugar further (I did not pack the brown sugar and I did a bit shy of a half cup. )

  • laura70
    Aug 6, 2020

    Quick and easy. Makes a nice thick authentic Chinese sweet and sour sauce. Really brings out the flavor of the meatballs. Not something I would make once a week but I will definitely make this again.

  • Laura
    Jul 23, 2020

    Huge hit in my house. Even my picky 11 year old loved it!! Every last bit was gone. Will definitely make again.

  • xxcskier
    Jul 21, 2020

    This was so easy! My family loves this. I made this using gluten free meatballs so everyone in my family could have this! Definitely keeping this recipe on hand!