Juicy and tender Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs are so simple to make. Serve with a vibrant homemade glaze for an easy weeknight meal!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Add sweet and sour chicken meatballs to the dinner menu this week! With only 10 minutes of prep time, this meatball recipe is easy, hearty, and satisfying – perfect for busy weeknights.
Simple to make, packed with protein, loaded with flavor, and brushed with a tangy glaze, these sweet and sour meatballs are a delicious way to add variety to mealtime.
Why You’ll Love this Chicken Meatball Recipe:
- KID FRIENDLY: Kids go crazy for these bright and colorful chicken meatballs.
- SAUCY: Each meatball is brushed with a homemade sweet and sour sauce for ultimate flavor. Make a double batch of the sauce so you have some leftover for dipping!
- CROWD PLEASER: Serve these chicken meatballs for family dinners, party appetizers, or game day. They’re incredibly versatile and always impress a crowd.
Oven baked to perfection, these chicken meatballs are tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Make the meatball mixture.
- Form meatballs.
- Make the sweet and sour sauce.
- Brush the sauce onto baked meatballs and broil.
- Garnish and serve.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs Ingredients
- Chicken: I love making these meatballs with ground chicken, but ground pork would also be delicious.
- Egg: Binds the meatballs together.
- Bread Crumbs: Absorb any extra moisture so the meatballs aren’t too wet or greasy.
- Soy Sauce: Adds a bit of umami flavor and salt to both the meatballs and the sauce.
- Sesame Oil: Adds a rich nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet and sour sauce.
- Ginger and Garlic: For flavor.
- Pineapple Juice: The base of the sweet and sour sauce.
- Sugar: Brown sugar sweetens the sauce.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Adds acidity to balance out the brown sugar.
- Ketchup: Adds a slight tanginess.
- Corn Starch: Thickens the sauce into a glaze.
- Food Coloring: Red food coloring is optional but adds that classic bright red color.
Absolutely! I love using a cookie scoop – it helps ensure meatballs are all the same size and keeps your hands clean.
Definitely. While more dense than Panko bread crumbs, regular bread crumbs are a wonderful alternative.
Use liquid or gel food coloring – whatever you have on hand.
Slathered with a homemade sweet and sour sauce, each juicy meatball is bursting with flavor!
Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Glazed meatballs can be a little messy to freeze, thaw, and reheat. For best results, freeze unglazed meatballs in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and make the glaze prior to serving. When ready to serve, follow the recipe as written beginning with step 7.
Serve sweet and sour chicken meatballs with your favorite starch or grain like pasta, rice, quinoa, or couscous.
Tips for Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs
- Use a cookie scoop for uniform meatballs. This ensures they will cook evenly!
- The red food coloring makes the glaze pop, but is totally optional.
Sweet and sour chicken meatballs make for a delicious weeknight meal or party appetizer. No matter how you serve them, they’re a guaranteed hit!
If you’ve made this recipe, please be sure to let us know by leaving a star rating or a comment below. Enjoy!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs Recipe
For the Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish
For the Sweet and Sour Glaze
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- Red food coloring optional
For the Chicken Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently mix the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic together. Try not to compact the meat as you mix.1 pound ground chicken, 1 large egg, 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- Coat your hands with the olive oil and portion out golf ball sized meatballs. Roll the meatballs until they become smooth. This will also coat the outside of the meatballs with oil so they will crisp in the oven. The mixture will be very soft and wet – that’s okay!2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs bake, make the sweet and sour sauce.
- Once the meatballs register 165°F on an instant read thermometer, brush with the sweet and sour glaze and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize.
- Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds and serve with additional sweet and sour sauce on the side.Sliced green onions and sesame seeds
For the Sweet and Sour Glaze
- Whisk the pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup together in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired.½ cup pineapple juice, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ketchup, Red food coloring
- Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Remove 2 tablespoons of sauce and stir it together with the corn starch. It should form a thick paste.2 teaspoons corn starch
- Stir the paste back into the sauce and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened into a glaze.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
- Storage: Store meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Glazed meatballs can be a little messy to freeze, thaw, and reheat. For best results, freeze unglazed meatballs in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and make the glaze prior to serving.