Sweet & Sour Meatballs – Oven Baked Turkey Meatballs

Oven Baked Sweet & Sour Meatballs

These saucy Oven Baked Sweet & Sour Meatballs are an easy and delicious dinner time favorite. I remember having these growing up, and they were always called “Hawaiian meatballs”. But, I've been to Hawaii several times and have never seen this on a menu there. So it all had to do with the pineapple, I'm thinking.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Sweet & Sour Meatballs

No matter what you call them, this classic dish is sure to please.  All you need is some rice to make the meal complete. The recipe has a long list of ingredients, but don't let that scare you off. Its easy peasy to make, and not time consuming at all. While the meatballs are in the oven you can get the sauce done on the stove top.

You can make this dish with ground beef, chicken,or any other ground meat, but I like to use lean ground turkey frequently because it's a versatile, and economical source of lean protein. Turkey is also a good choice when there is a sweet element to the dish.

This sauce combo, of ginger & sesame, along with pineapple juice, rice vinegar and a little shot of spice from the sriracha, is delicious. When you bake your meatballs, there's a bonus of no added fat.

And here's a little tip: make double the amount of meatballs, bake, cool and freeze half to have on hand. Cooked meatballs freeze beautifully, and you will have meatballs all ready for this, or any other meatball recipe. If you're looking for more meatball recipes, try this one for Hoisin Meatballs, or these Cajun Meatballs

These sweet & sour meatballs are always a hit with kids. It's nice to make your meatballs a little on the smaller side for them. If you happen to have fresh pineapple, substitute that for the canned chunks.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Sweet & Sour Meatballs

How to Make Oven Baked Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 327

Fat per serving: 11g

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Classic Sweet & Sour Meatballs are lightened up by using lean ground turkey and baking them with no added fat. Serve with rice on the side for a delicious meal that is sure to please. Make this recipe gluten free by replacing the bread crumbs with cooked rice or quinoa, and use tamari instead of soy sauce


  • *Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup very finely minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tbsp dried ginger)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro or parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
  • Salt & pepper
  • *Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from drained pineapple
  • 1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 thumb sized knob fresh ginger, grated, or 1 TBSP dried ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (optional)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 8 oz can pineapple chunks, drained, reserving juice.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk all meatball ingredients except turkey in a large bowl. Add turkey and mix with a large fork, or your clean hands until mixed.
  3. Roll turkey mixture into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning half way through. Meatballs should be nicely browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. While meatballs are cooking: In a saucepan, whisk together broth, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, 5 spice, sriracha, honey, and vinegar.
  6. Add peppers and and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium low. Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water and stir into sauce, heating and stirring until sauce is thickened and glossy.
  7. Add pineapple and meatballs, cooking until heated through.
  8. Serve hot with rice.


Most of the sodium in this recipe comes from the soy sauce and the chicken stock. The nutrition calculator is using regular soy sauce and chicken stock, so you can reduce the sodium considerably by using reduced sodium options for those products.


Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Sweet & Sour Meatballs

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6 thoughts on “Sweet & Sour Meatballs – Oven Baked Turkey Meatballs

  1. Great alternative to beef meatballs. I love baked ones as I find they stay moist and are less greasy.
    Nice healthier option! Plus I bet they taste great!

  2. This is a beautiful recipe Colleen, and the Turkey meatballs don’t look dry at all. The sauce looks delicious. I often make turkey and chicken meatballs, as an alternative to red meat and bake them too, but I love the pineapple and the sweet savoury flavours in here. Great job! Lovely pictures too 🙂

  3. Absolutely delicious looking meatballs. Turkey is a tough one to get right and these meatballs get two thumbs up. Great post Colleen!

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