These Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs are perfect for an easy meal or appetizer. Make tender chicken meatballs and toss them in a sticky sweet and sour sauce.
Make some delicious sweet and sour meatballs for an east weeknight dinner
This recipe for sweet and sour chicken meatballs is my absolute favorite kind of weeknight dinner. It is easy, delicious and everyone loves it!
You can serve this for a simple weeknight dinner with rice, make a batch for meal prep or even make them into mini meatballs to serve as an appetizer. Place the mini meatballs in a crockpot and you have an appetizer that stays warm for the whole party.
This sauce is sweetened by pineapple juice and ketchup instead of the usual chili sauce and grape jelly. I personally like that this sweet and sour meatball recipe isn’t too sweet, but you can sweeten it up with some chili sauce or brown sugar.
- Baking pan or sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and liquid measuring cup
- Whisk and tongs
- Large skillet
This recipe is intended to be made in an oven and then on a stove top. If you would like to use a crock pot to keep the meatballs warm, prepare the sauce and meatballs as written and then toss them all in the slow cooker on warm.
I usually serve these sweet and sour chicken meatballs as an easy weeknight dinner with white rice and air fryer brussels sprouts. You can also make extra sauce and serve them with some rice noodles.
Sometimes I roll up mini meatballs and make crockpot sweet and sour meatballs for an appetizer. Chop up some green onion, sprinkle it over the top and serve the mini meatballs with toothpicks.
Can i make them ahead and freeze them?
If you want to make a big batch of these chicken meatballs ahead of time, you can cook a big batch and freeze them. Then when you are ready to eat them, allow them to defrost and warm up in the oven.
You can wait to prepare the sauce when you reheat the meatballs because it only takes a few minutes to make. Then, once the meatballs are reheated, toss them in the sauce and serve them. This is a great way to have a high protein meal prepared ahead of time.
Chicken meatball Ingredients
- Ground chicken
- Large egg
- Bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
Sweet and sour sauce ingredients
- Pineapple juice
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Ketchup rice vinegar
- Cornstarch or arrowroot starch – optional for thickening
To make these sweet and sour meatballs gluten free you can use almond flour in place of the breadcrumbs or find a gluten free bread crumb. You will also want to use tamari or coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.
You can use any kind of ground meat that you like to make these meatballs. If you prefer turkey meatballs, use ground turkey. You could also use ground beef or a ground meat blend like a meatloaf mixture.
This recipe is a completely homemade version of sweet and sour meatballs. I prefer the taste and texture of homemade meatballs, but you could use store bought premade meatballs in order to cut down on cooking time.
The sauce is sweet from the pineapple juice and ketchup. If you like a very sweet sauce, stir in a few extra tablespoons of brown sugar. For a sweeter sauce you could also use some chili sauce in place of or in addition to the sriracha.
To make this a full stir fry meal, you can add some steamed broccoli and diced red bell peppers to the pan before tossing the chicken meatballs in the sauce.
Let’s make some Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs
Step 1: Prepare and bake the meatballs
To begin, preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, add meatball ingredients (ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp ketchup, salt, and pepper) to a large mixing bowl.
Mix thoroughly and use a scoop or spoon to scoop eighteen 1 tbsp meatballs on to a baking sheet. Then, bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare the sauce
While the meatballs bake, prepare a sauce by combining pineapple juice, soy sacue, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, and ketchup in a small bowl.
When the meatballs are almost finished cooking, add the sauce to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until it bubbles. Then, educe to a simmer and simmer for 4 minutes
Next, remove the meatballs from the oven. Then, prepare a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce.
Step 3: Mix the meatballs and sweet and sour sauce together and enjoy!
Increase the heat of the sauce to medium-high and pour the slurry into the pan. Next, mix vigorously to thicken the sauce and then reduce heat to low.
Finally, toss the meatballs in the sauce until they are coated and then remove the pan from the heat. Garnish with green onion and serve with rice or cauliflower rice.
storage and reheating
Once prepared, allow the meatballs to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top until just warmed through.
Check out these other delicious chicken meatball recipes!
Want to make a similar recipe but with shrimp? Check out these Sweet and Sour Shrimp Lettuce Wraps.
You can find the entire recipe down below. If you make my sweet and sour chicken meatballs, please leave me a comment down below or let me know on Instagram!
Chicken Meatballs Ingredients
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Optional: 1/2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Add meatball ingredients (ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp ketchup, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl)
- Mix thoroughly and use a scoop or spoon to scoop eighteen 1 tbsp meatballs on to a baking sheet
- Bake at 400F for 15 minutes
- While the meatballs bake prepare a sauce by combining pineapple juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, and ketchup in a small bowl
- When the meatballs are almost finished cooking add the sauce to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until it bubbles
- Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 4 minutes
- Remove the meatballs from the oven
- Prepare a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce
- Increase the heat of the sauce to medium-high and pour the slurry into the pan
- Mix vigorously to thicken the sauce and then reduce heat to low
- Toss the meatballs in the sauce until they are coated and then remove the pan from the heat
- Garnish with green onion and serve with rice
- To make these gluten free use tamari or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce and use 1/2 cup almond flour in place of the breadcrumbs