Sweet and Sour Beef Meatballs are sweet from the pineapple and sour from the apple cider vinegar. These slow cooked beef meatballs are a great midweek dinner or can be enjoyed as an appetizer for the holidays. Either way, they are delicious and easy to make!
This recipe reminds me of those BBQ slow cooker beef meatballs that are commonly served over the holidays. My aunt was the queen of those meatballs and they were so freaking good! For whatever reason, I feel like these kind of sweet, kind of tangy and kind of spicy meatballs should be served to a large crowd. And if not, they make for a great dinner and you’ll have plenty for leftovers.
How to make Sweet & Sour Beef meatballs
- The first step is to form about 24 meatballs with the two pounds of beef. Next, they are pan seared on the stove top until brown. Once browned, the meatballs are added to the slow cooker to cook for 2-4 hours. The time depends on how long you want them meatballs to absorb the flavor. The meatballs are cooked thoroughly within the first thirty minutes or so.
- The second step is to mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a slow cooker and turn on low
- Half way through the cooking, pineapple chunks, red bell pepper and red onion are added to the slow cooker until soft. Once the meatballs have cooked, a slurry of tapioca starch and water are added to thicken the sauce before serving.
What to serve with these delicious meatballs
- Sweet potato or cauliflower rice (my favorite!)
- Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
- Roasted snap or snow peas sprinkled with sea salt
- A simple green salad with an Asian inspired flare like this Almond Butter Asian Dressing
Sweet & Sour Beef Meatballs
- 2 # ground beef
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp hot sauce such as Sriracha
- 1 small red bell pepper (any color will taste fine)
- 1 14 oz can pineapple chunks
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp tapioca mixed with 1 tbsp water
- Form 24 balls with the ground beef and set aside. Heat a skillet with some oil over medium heat. Sear the meatballs until brown on all sides (they do not need to be cooked through. They will finish cooking in the slow cooker). Transfer them to the bottom of the slow cooker
- Once all the meatballs have been browned, turn the slow cooker on low. Add the apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, honey, fish sauce, mined garlic, grated ginger, hot sauce and the juice from the canned pineapple chunks. Reserve the pineapple chunks and set aside until later. Allow the meatballs to cook in the liquid for 2-4 hours
- Halfway through the cooking process, add the chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper and pineapple chunks and stir well. Right before serving, add the tapioca starch and water slurry and stir well. The liquid will start to thicken and coa the meatballs. Serve with your favorite vegetables or serve with toothpicks for an appetizer. Enjoy!