Satisfy all of your flavor cravings with these Healthier Sweet and Sour Meatballs! Made with turkey and a delicious pineapple juice, coconut sugar, and soy sauce glaze.
Sweet and sour just met a whole new level
Do you ever find yourself craving sweet and sour chicken from your favorite local restaurant? Something about that flavor combo is just ridiculously satisfying!
Well, make room for this new dish and you’ll see yourself craving it just as much as that chicken. And just think – you can make it right in your kitchen! What’s not to love about Healthier Sweet and Sour Meatballs?
This meatball recipe is savory, juicy, and obviously sweet and sour. It’s made with a turkey and onion base and topped with a delicious sauce consisting of pineapple juice, coconut sugar, and more!
These meatballs make the perfect dish for Game Day and are wonderful for taking to potlucks. Trust me, they’re sure to become a new crowd favorite.
Ingredients included in these meatballs
We’re using two sections of ingredients for this recipe: the meatball fixings, and the sweet and sour sauce items. Only 12 ingredients in total… it’s gonna be good.
- Ground turkey: Ground turkey will work as the base of our meatballs. You’ll need about 2 pounds for this recipe.
- Eggs: Next up, grab 2 eggs. These add to the flavor while also working as a binding agent.
- Breadcrumbs: Next up, breadcrumbs will be used to thicken and form the meatballs. You can use whatever you have; I used crushed Simple Mills almond flour crackers.
- White onion: Dice up 1/4 cup of white onion. Don’t be afraid to throw in a little extra!
- Garlic: Add two cloves of garlic for flavor, obviously!
- Salt: 1/2 tsp of salt will be just enough.
- Pepper: Last but not least, add 1/4 tsp of pepper!
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- Arrowroot powder: 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder will help to thicken up the sauce.
- Pineapple juice: Next up, achieve that desired sweetness with the addition of 1/2 cup of pineapple juice!
- Coconut sugar: Add 1/2 cup of coconut sugar for extra sweet flavor.
- Soy sauce: Add 2 tbsp of soy sauce, because what is sweet and sour sauce without soy sauce?!
- Ketchup: 1/3 cup of ketchup will add a unique tanginess.
- Garlic: Finally, add 1 tsp minced of mined garlic, and your sauce is complete!
Items you’ll need to make this meatball recipe
This recipe is simple and only requires about 7 kitchen tools (plus measuring cups). You’ll need items to chop your veggies, mix your meatball ingredients, warm your sauce, and measure everything out!
Finally, you’ll need the following sized measuring cups, 1/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make healthier sweet and sour meatballs
This recipe begins by mixing all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl. From there, just bake, coat in the sweet and sour sauce, and enjoy!
To begin, preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the turkey meatball ingredients with your hands. Roll the mix into balls and place them on a baking sheet. They won’t shrink too much, so make them the approximate size that you’re aiming for. My mix made 28 meatballs.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
Remove any fat that may spill out.
While baking, heat all of the sweet and sour ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let bubble and reduce the heat to medium, whisking often. Let simmer for at least 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
Cover the meatballs with sauce. You can pour it over or brush it on.
Ingredient swap options
Have a few items that you’d like to use instead? Check this list for easy substitute options!
Looking to use something other than turkey? Easy! Use whichever ground meat you’d like. Chicken and beef will both work, and you can also use plant-based ground meats.
For breadcrumbs, I mentioned that I used almond flour crackers, but you can use whichever type you have! Toasted, fresh, panko… they’ll all work!
I love white onion in this recipe, but you can use yellow or red too.
Finally, you can use any sugar you’d like in the sweet and sour mix, including white sugar.
Preparing this recipe ahead of time
This is a great prep-ahead recipe for use at a later date. Just mix the meatball ingredients, form, and then store in the freezer.
When the day comes and you’re ready to enjoy them, just remove from the freezer, thaw, mix your sweet and sour sauce, and then cook everything as directed!
How to store healthier sweet and sour meatballs
Keep any leftover meatballs in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days. Don’t forget to make sure the container is nice and sealed!
More meatball recipes to try
It’s football season, which means meatballs are a must! Here are some more mouth-watering variations to try out next Football Sunday.
- Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Sauce
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Easy Turkey Meatballs (Gluten-Free)
Recipe by Erin Morrissey + Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used crushed Simple Mills almond flour crackers)
- 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together all turkey meatball ingredients with hands. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet. Meatballs don’t shrink too much, so make them the approx. size you want. Mine made 28.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165F.
- Some fat may spill out (white) but just trim it off/wipe it away from the meatballs.
- While baking, heat all sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let bubble and reduce heat to medium, whisking often. Let simmer for at least 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
- Cover meatballs with sauce, you can pour it directly on or you can brush it on.
- Serve immediately. Store in fridge.
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