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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Pineapple and cilantro garnish a bowl of sweet and sour meatballs on a bed of white rice.

Slow cooker sweet and sour meatballs

I think there are two words in the English language that excite me more than any others – slow cooker.

This recipe for sweet and sour meatballs is truly one of the best dishes you’ll ever make in your slow cooker!

Savory ingredients like soy sauce and red pepper flakes pair perfectly with the sweeter ingredients like light brown sugar and pineapple chunks.

Sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavor combos, and the tastiest way to enjoy those flavors is on these savory meatballs.

Whether you serve these meatballs over white rice for dinner or with toothpicks as an appetizer, you’ll be glad you used this recipe! The slow cooking time allows the meatballs to really absorb the delicious ingredients, making them SO flavorful.

I can promise you this – you definitely won’t be able to have just one! Perfect for game day, too!

Orange sweet and sour sauce covers pineapple and meatballs in a white bowl.

Ingredients for sweet and sour meatballs

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cornstarch
  • Water

Here’s what you’ll need for the rest of the dish:

  • Pre-cooked frozen meatballs
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Cilantro or parsley

Honestly, pineapple chunks from a can work just as well as freshly cut pineapple. Whichever way you go about adding pineapple, make sure that some of the juice gets added to the slow cooker, too. It gives the sauce the perfect amount of tangy sweetness!

A fork is placed in a white bowl that contains several meatballs and yellow pineapple chunks.

What kind of meatballs should I use for sweet and sour meatballs?

While I use beef meatballs, there are definitely others you can choose from! Pork, chicken and turkey meatballs will all work well with this recipe.

Vegetarian friendly meatballs are also an option, but you may have to adjust the cooking time to be a little shorter.

How long will they stay fresh?

If you’re serving these as an appetizer at a party, I recommend keeping them right in the slow cooker on the warm setting. They should be tasty and fresh for the whole party!

If you end up with leftovers, these sweet and sour meatballs will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze them?

Absolutely! This dish is actually great for freezing if you’re planning ahead. Simply keep the meatballs and sauce in an airtight container and it’ll stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to serve them, allow the meatballs to thaw in the fridge overnight, then place them back in the slow cooker on the warm setting until they’re ready to serve.

A close up shot shows sweet and sour sauce covering chunks of pineapple and meatballs in a medium sized white bowl.

More incredible meatball recipes:

Stuffed Cheesy Chicken Apple and Sage Meatballs

Asian Pork Meatballs

Mexican Meatballs

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs

Thai Baked Chicken Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Savory ingredients like soy sauce and red pepper flakes pair perfectly with the sweeter ingredients like light brown sugar and pineapple chunks. This makes this slow cooker sweet and sour meatball recipe so addicting!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Asian
Servings: 8

Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.

Author: Julie Chiou

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

For the rest of the dish:

  • 2 pounds pre-cooked frozen meatballs
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks
  • Cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • To prepare the sauce:
    In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and cajun seasoning. In a separate small bowl, mix cornstarch and water, then add to the saucepan. Whisk often until the sauce starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs and pineapple chunks to the slow cooker. Add the sweet and sour sauce and cover. Cook 4 hours on low, or 2 hours on high.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve over rice, or on its own with cocktail picks. Enjoy!
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Recipe Rating




Halle

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

So easy to set it (& my rice cooker) and forget it. And really delicious! I halved the recipe because I only had a 1lb bag of meatballs, and the only thing that I wish I had done differently is leave the sauce amounts doubled and just half the meatballs/pineapple.