Sweet and Sour Meatballs

November 3, 2011
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I was playing one of my “favorite” games the other day (I wish I could type with sarcasm), with which I am sure many of you are familiar. I like to call it, “use up a bunch of stuff in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.”  Playing this game was quickly becoming a necessity as of late, considering every time I opened the freezer, something would fall out; same goes for the pantry.  This was very annoying. It had to stop.

Well, I decided to play this well-known game the other day, when I opened the freezer and a package of ground turkey came flying out. ‘Fair enough, I’m cooking with turkey tonight.’  I was not in the mood for spaghetti, and I didn’t have any tortillas to make up tacos, but I DID have some canned pineapple crammed into the pantry, so I started brainstorming… I decided upon Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs.

This quick dish is incredibly easy and highly adaptable to whatever you have on hand. You can make the meatballs with ground beef, turkey, or chicken, you can serve them with rice, pasta or plain, you can use store bought breadcrumbs or make your own in the food processor, believe me…this recipe is very forgiving. I think my favorite part, however, is the sweet and sour sauce. It combines the fresh taste of pineapple with the warm sweetness of brown sugar, which provides the perfect bath for the meatballs to simmer in. Yum.

Often times when I make my posts, I have doubled my original recipe in order to make a “normal” serving size of 4-6. That said, I am usually just cooking for two, as it is just Ryan and I eating. (Lord knows I don’t need MORE stuff to cram in the refrigerator…)  Today, however, I am posting the recipe as is; I think several of you are also cooking for a smaller crowd and this way you don’t have to go through the process of scaling it down. I hope you enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Meatballs:
  • 8 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz bread crumbs – about 1/4 cup (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 green onion – finely chopped
  • Black pepper – to taste
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  • 8 oz. can pineapple chunks – drained. RESERVE liquid
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients for meatballs.
  3. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls.
  4. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20  minutes, or until fully cooked through.
  5.  *If you decide to serve this dish on top of rice, begin to cook rice after you put the meatballs in the oven.
  6. 5. In a medium sized pot, or a skillet with high sides, mix together reserved pineapple juice, ¼ cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  7. While sauce comes to a boil, mix together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl (creating a slurry).
  8. Add slurry to the sweet and sour sauce and allow to thicken.
  9. Add meatballs and pineapple chunks to the sauce and allow to simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  10. Serve on top of rice and enjoy!

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