Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Mini meatballs are the quintessential appetizer. They’re tasty, filling, and easy to eat with a toothpick – all requirements of a good appetizer, right? These meatballs are sweet and tangy, and make a perfect addition to every party. They are easy to make, and can even be made ahead of time to save you time. To make your life even easier, you can use frozen meatballs, but I think the homemade meatballs really add a lot of flavor. Give them a try for your next get together, or even on a nice crusty roll for a quick dinner.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yields: 40-50 mini meatballs


For the Meatballs:

  • 4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, minced 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash together the bread, milk, and egg yolks until smooth. Add the pork, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Add the beef and mix until combined.

Using a tablespoon, roll the meat mixture in 1 1/4 inch meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the meatballs until cooked through and beginning to brown, 12-15 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato sauce, preserves, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper flakes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer until 5-10 minutes.

To Make Ahead: After the meatballs have finished baking, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large zipper-lock freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.

To Serve: Reheat sauce, covered and stirring occasionally, in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once sauce reaches simmer, stir in frozen meatballs and cook until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve, or keep warm in a crockpot.

Ricarda Rutter

*Ricarda Rutter is a Ten News reporter. She’s an award-winning and Walkley nominated journalist. She has worked at the SBS, ABC, and Triple R.Rutter is a mother and a wife.