Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Forget the frozen meatballs and whip up a fast and fresh recipe for Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs in 30 minutes or less! So what separates these rotund beauties from all of their culinary cousins? A lick-the-spatula-and-your-plate homemade sweet and sour sauce that pairs perfectly with the garlicky meatballs but would work equally as well atop chicken breasts, as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or simply drizzled over white rice, if you're into that sort of thing. #iam Toss in a few chunks of fresh pineapple and there will be multiple candidates for President of the Clean Plate Club. Best of all? The meatballs are baked at a high temp so they're ready for tossing in minutes, and that means dinner is on your table in 30 minutes or less. Just add fried rice or lo mein noodles to complete your feast!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings (24 meatballs)
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Ingredients

For the meatballs:

Cooking spray

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, chicken, pork or a combination

3 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup minced yellow onion

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup diced pineapple

Directions

  1. Make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking dish or mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, garlic, onion, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the breadcrumb mixture, mixing with your hands just until combined. Using your hands, break off 2 or 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture at a time and roll it into a ball. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake the meatballs for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are cooked through. While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce.
  5. Make the sauce: Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the oil it hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  7. Whisk the pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch mixture into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a large bowl, then add the diced pineapple. Add the prepared sauce and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
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