My mom’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a first class ticket down memory lane. With pantry staples like cranberry sauce, tomato sauce and brown sugar, these meatballs will transport you right back to childhood.
This is Jewish soul food at its best!
What is in Sweet and Sour Meatballs
How to make the Best Ever Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Start by making the sauce. Just saute the garlic and mushrooms until they sizzle and soften. Then, dump in the rest of the ingredients. It really couldn’t be easier!
At this point, you could transfer the sauce to a crock pot set to low heat. Or, just leave it on the stove. I like the crock pot method because it keeps a nice even temperature that you don’t have to worry about for the rest of the day.
While the sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. First, combine everything for the meatballs except for the meat. It should resemble the consistency of a thick oatmeal.
Then, mix in the ground meat.
Coating your hands with a little bit of olive oil makes it easier to form the meatballs. Then, drop the meatballs into the slow cooker and let ’em go!
What is the secret to great meatballs?
When done properly, these Sweet and Sour Meatballs should be melt-in-your-mouth tender, easily yielding to the side of your fork. There are a few factors that contribute to getting the perfectly tender meatball:
- Just enough filler to hold the meatballs together is all you should use. I read something about how the ideal ratio of meat to breadcrumb should be 50/50. I don’t agree with that at all! If you want a super tender meatball, use as little filler as you can. For example, this recipe’s ratio of meat to breadcrumb is about 80/20.
- Make sure that the meat you’re using has enough fat. Don’t go any leaner than 94% lean. Any leaner than that and you risk having tough meatballs. I use an 85% lean ground turkey for this recipe. Beef or pork would also be delicious!
- Skip the browning of the meat! Drop your meatballs raw, right into the sauce. Let them cook low and slow in the sauce.
How to serve Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Although I’m partial to egg noodles, there are lots of delicious ways to enjoy these meatballs. Here are some ideas:
- Over rice
- With a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the sauce
- As an appetizer with cocktail toothpicks
- Over mashed potatoes
How ever you choose to enjoy them, these Sweet and Sour Meatballs are best enjoyed on a chilly, rainy or snowy evening for maximum coziness. And when you make them, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more comfort food recipes, try these:
- Chicken and Broccoli Mac & Cheese
- Easy Homemade Chicken Ramen
- Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce
- Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- Hearty Chicken & Vegetable Stew
Best Ever Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- 3 lbs. ground turkey or beef
- 1 1/4 cups plain bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 14 oz. cans whole cranberry sauce
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 lb. egg noodles
- Saute the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms become soft and start to release liquid, transfer to a crock pot. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Stir well and set the heat to low. Cover. (Alternatively, leave everything in stock pot over low heat).
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs except for the ground meat. Once all other ingredients are combined, stir the meat into the mixture. Coat your hands in a little bit of olive oil and form the meatballs.
- Uncover the sauce, and carefully place the meatballs into the sauce one by one until all meatballs are in the pot. Cover. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours and up to several hours, gently stirring occasionally.
- Boil the egg noodles for 7 minutes and drain. Serve sauce and meatballs over the warm noodles.