These meatballs make the perfect appetizer or a fulfilling meal, served over steamed rice or “cauliflower” rice. My version of sweet and sour meatballs uses fresh pineapple… I try to stay away from anything in a can these days. I also added red chili flakes for a special kick, however you can easily adjust the amount to reach the level of heat desired.
This dish is also wonderful served as an appetizer at a party. Just prepare it through step 4, then place all ingredients in the crockpot and let simmer on low all day! Or make it a few days before and reheat in your crockpot.
Sweet N’ Sour Meatballs
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond flour, packed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon honey (opt)
- 2 teaspoons coconut flour, packed (opt)
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Prepare meatballs: Whisk together eggs, spices and almond flour. Add ground beef and combine using your hands. Shape into 60 small meatballs. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.
- While meatballs are cooking, start your sauce: In a large dutch oven or pot saute the onion and bell pepper in 2 tablespoons oil until tender. Add garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant, about one minute.
- Stir in chopped pineapple. De-glaze pan with the apple cider vinegar. Add water and red chili flakes. Bring to a boil.
- Add browned meatballs and simmer on low for 1-3 hours. The longer you cook it the better. The pineapple will cook down and create a lovely sauce.
It makes more of a soup than a “sauce”, however you can make it slightly thicker using a bit of coconut flour. At the end of cooking, take 1/2 cup of the soup in a small bowl and whisk in 2 teaspoons packed coconut flour. It will become a thick paste aka, “slurry”. Then pour the slurry back into the pot and gently stir in. After a minute or two you will see it start to thicken.
*Also, depending on the ripeness of your pineapple, you may find that you will need a little bit of sweetener. I suggest waiting to the very end, doing a taste test, then adding the honey only if needed.