oven baked sweet and sour meatballs
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Best Ever Easy Sweet & Sour Meatballs Recipe

These easy, sticky sweet and sour meatballs are a cherished recipe passed down to me from my Mom. They truly are the best homemade meatballs I've ever had - oven-baked to perfection. This delicious sweet and sour sauce is a mix of ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and orange juice. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


For Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 2/3 lbs 750 g ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup packed finely chopped green onion
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For Sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients together (using your hands is the easiest way). Roll into lime-sized meatballs and place in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake until browned, about 20 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt, then cook until very soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook a minute more, then add the ketchup, orange juice and brown sugar and bring sauce to a simmer. 
  • Whisk cornstarch into soy sauce until smooth, then whisk into the sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened and glossy. Taste and season with more salt if desired. 
  • Add meatballs and continue cooking until sauce is very thick and meatballs are cooked through to 165ºF, about 15 minutes more.