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Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

Asian inspired savory sweet chicken meatballs coated in an irresistible sticky homemade sweet and sour sauce….err yum!! I am always completely satisfied after this meal of Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs combined with roasted red peppers and fragrant Jasmine rice…and then I get so excited about tomorrow’s dinner…because leftovers! 🙂

Two hands holding a bowl of sweet and sour meatballs, rice and bell peppers

Brace yourself because you are about to experience some meatball magic!!

Okay true story. When I first attempted homemade chicken meatballs I didn’t have much expectations for it. I just wanted some clean eating in my diet, a meal prep friendly meal to prepare for a busy week, and I figured they would taste…decent. I was on what I like to call “practical eating” mode.

Here’s what I got instead: meatballs that were out-of-this-world flavorful, juicy and delicious, us oo-ing and ah-ing at the dinner table, me getting EXCITED about eating meatballs (is that even a thing!?) for dinner the next day…and the next day…and the next day. Because having leftovers after a long day is a wonderful thing.

I knew the sweet and sour sauce was the bomb because it’s the same sauce as my equally bomb Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe that we have on repeat in our household. But I truly did not expect to fall in love with homemade chicken meatballs.

The rumors are true and they are indeed so much better than store-bought. No fillers, no fake chicken, just the real thing!

Closeup of chicken mealballs coated with sticky sweet and sour sauce

Since then, Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs became a thing in our household. We are ALWAYS excited when it’s Sweet and Sour Meatball night.

We still oo and ah over it like we have never had it before.

How to make Homemade Asian Chicken Meatballs

Here are all the yum things that make up these Asian inspired chicken meatballs:

A large bowl filled with ground chicken, crushed pineapples, garlic, ginger, panko breadcrumbs, egg and other seasoning

Combine it all and roll into 1 1/2 – 2 inch balls…

Uncooked chicken meatballs lined on a tray
Uncooked chicken meatballs

Then panfry!

Pan frying chicken meatballs
Pan-frying chicken meatballs

The meatballs are juicy, soft, and SO flavorful! It has Asian-inspired notes from the soy sauce and sesame oil, are for the most part savory with hints of sweetness from the crushed pineapples.

Sweet and Sour Sauce for Meatballs

The meatballs are amazing. But it gets even better. OH YES.

The sauce, my friends. THE SAUCE.

Sweet and Sour sauce that is tangy, sweet, slightly savory….I never fail to clean off my plate when this sauce is present.

And here are the deets:

Cook everything in a pot under medium heat until it is nice and thick…giving it that sticky, sticky texture that we all love, and then evenly toss chicken meatballs in it.

Pouring sweet and sour sauce onto chicken meatballs
Adding sweet and sour sauce to chicken meatballs
A bowl of sweet and sour chicken meatballs
Chicken Meatballs evenly coated with sweet and sour sauce

How to Serve Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

I was inspired to serve this with bell peppers because Sweet and Sour Chicken is typically served with crunchy bell peppers and pineapples.

I incorporated the pineapples into the meatballs so it’s only fair to the bell peppers (and for our own selfish enjoyment) to include them somewhere in the dish, right?!

With that said, I highly recommend sautéing some red and/or orange bell peppers with cooking oil and a little salt and serving it on the side because that tangy sauce and the bell peppers compliment each other in taste and textures so very well!

And last but by no means the least, a little Jasmine rice to soak up every last bit of the sauce and not let it go to waste. Because you just must.

A bowl of sweet and sour meatballs, rice and bell peppers, with a fork in the bowl

More Tips and Tricks

A few tips to note while cooking!

  • Add more Panko breadcrumbs if you want to the meatball mixture to be firmer. If you are not using lean meat, you will probably need to add more Panko breadcrumbs to firm it up as well. As a reference, I am using 97% lean 3% fat ground chicken in this recipe.
  • When panfrying meatballs, cook on medium low heat so that meatballs cooks all the way on the insides without burning the outsides. Cover skillet to retain heat and cook it faster if needed.
  • Use a spatter guard to prevent oil from spattering and burning you!
  • Avoid overcrowding meatballs when cooking them on a skillet – use a large skillet and cook in two batches if necessary!

Can I make this with Ground Turkey or Ground Pork?

Yes! They are just as tasty!

Substitute ground chicken with ground turkey or pork and follow the rest of the instructions!

Can I freeze this?

The uncooked meatballs are the perfect candidate for freezing! Roll the meatballs and save them in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for up till a month.

Thaw completely in refrigerator overnight before panfrying them.

A bowl of chicken meatballs coated in sweet and sour sauce, rice and bell peppers

How to Serve Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

Serve it with some of my other favorite sides!

Okay, am I the only one or are you also wishing you could GRAB THAT FORK and inhale those sticky juicy meatballs?!

This is a meal I could eat all day everyday! (Insert drooling emoji, thank you very much)

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Other Asian inspired Meals!

A bowl of sweet and sour meatballs, rice and bell peppers, with a fork in the bowl

Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

Asian inspired soft and flavorful chicken meatballs coated with a sticky tangy sweet and sour sauce, serve with seared bell peppers and rice. A delicious meal that makes great meal prep!
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 623kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

Asian Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 lbs lean ground chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs more if needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple drained
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • cooking oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Other

  • cooking oil optional
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers sliced
  • a pinch of salt to taste
  • cooked white or brown rice

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine all Asian Chicken Meatballs ingredients except cooking oil. Mix well. If mixture is not firm enough to roll into balls, add more Panko breadcrumbs 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Grab a small piece of the meat mixture and roll into 1 1/2 – 2 inch balls (see Note 1).
  • Add cooking oil to skillet and set to medium heat. Once oil is heated, bring meatballs to skillet. Avoid overcrowding and cook in two batches if needed. Sear on one side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, then continuously flip and sear other sides to make sure the entire meatball is cooked.
  • Cover skillet and lower to medium low heat if needed (see Note 2).
  • Once meatballs are cooked or reaches 165º F, remove from skillet and bring to a large bowl.
  • Using the same skillet (add more cooking oil if needed), saute sliced bell peppers until softened. Season with a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
  • Heat a small pot to medium heat and bring all the Sweet and Sour Sauce ingredients to a boil. Lower to medium low heat and cook for another few minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Toss chicken meatballs evenly in sweet and sour sauce.
  • Bring Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs, bell peppers and rice to bowl.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Note 1: Refrigerating mixture can help firm up mixture and makes it easier to roll into balls.  
Note 2: This is to ensure the insides of the meatballs are cooked thoroughly without burning the outsides. If covering, make sure to not cover for an extended period of time. Check every 30 second and keep flipping meatballs.

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 125g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1303mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1999IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Kathleen Pope says:

    5 stars
    I’ll fight you for this dish! You and me, fork and fork! LOL! Love this MinShien, printed and planning on making this week! Thanks!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Haha! You had me LOL so hard! I can’t wait to hear what you think! 🙂

  2. Linda Brown says:

    5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe that used ground chicken instead of beef, and these chicken meatballs were delicious! The sauce was easy to prepare and tasted better than bottled sauces from the store. I made the dish last night with jasmine rice and broccoli, and my husband and I really enjoyed it. We had plenty left over for tonight’s meal, and it was just as yummy on night 2! Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much for the kind review! Makes me so happy to hear that you guys enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. Amber Rose says:

    5 stars
    Super yummy! Served it with rice and broccoli for dinner then as left overs the next day with rice and asparagus! Very filling and high in protein, happy the meat balls fit into my macros!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! Happy to hear that!

  4. Di Brennan says:

    5 stars
    Had the family recently for our Easter get together and made the chicken meatballs with the peppers & rice….
    Was definitely a great dish and everyone loved it….especially the sticky Asian inspired sauce….
    A big tick from me ✅……I’ll be making it again and also requested by 2 of my family for the recipe…..

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s fantastic! Happy to hear everyone enjoyed it so much!

    2. Jeff Sulman says:

      5 stars
      Very easy and tasty. I used a bit less sugar.

    3. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks for sharing Jeff!

  5. 5 stars
    I rarely leave comments for recipes, but wow this was good! it was very easy to make, didn’t require a whole lot of ingredients, and it turned out amazing. Will definitely be making this regularly. thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Christy! Love hearing from you!

  6. 5 stars
    You know the best thing is that I didn’t have to go and do an almost endless scroll to get to the recipe. I am so grateful for the to-the-pointness of the entire thing and the cherry on top is the recipe is a 5/5. The plates were licked clean.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, Dee!