If you love sweet and sour sauce, you are going to love this orange and pineapple combination. It pairs well with the hardy flavor of ground beef meatballs seasoned with garlic, ginger, and Chinese five-spice powder.
Orange Pineapple Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

This sweet and sour meatballs recipe with an orange-pineapple sauce is delicious served over rice as a main meal or threaded on toothpicks as an appetizer. Skip the take out and make this tasty recipe at home in about an hour.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 800 kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life
Ingredients for the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
Ingredients for the Meatballs:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teapoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions sliced (reserve green parts for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for frying meatballs
  • 3 cups cooked rice (optional)
Directions for the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  1. Separate the pineapple chunks from the pineapple juice. Reserve the pineapple chunks for later. Measure out 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, stir in the arrowroot powder to make a slurry, and set aside (this will be used to thicken the sauce later).

  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, zest, ketchup, vinegar, and tamari or soy sauce. Stir in the sugar and simmer until the sugar dissolves.

  3. Stir the pineapple juice and arrowroot slurry and add it to the saucepan.

  4. While stirring, bring the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. (Makes about 2 cups)

Directions for the Meatballs:
  1. Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  2. In a large bowl, combine egg, milk, dried bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, Chinese five-spice powder, pepper, and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. Add ground beef. Mix until combined.

  3. Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until they are browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of drippings in the pan and drain off any excess.

  4. Add the peppers and onion to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan. Add 1/2 cup of the sweet and sour sauce, stir to combine, and cook until the meatballs are no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes more.

  5. Add the reserved pineapple and green onion to the skillet, and stir to combine. Serve over rice with the remaining sweet and sour sauce. Serves 6.