Sweet and Sour Meatballs

We continue onto Week 12 of College Football, which means another delicious Football bite! I can’t believe that we are almost to the end of College Football season! If you are planning on throwing a party before the end of the season make sure these meatballs make an appearance. These meatballs are a football tailgate staple and incredibly delicious.

One of the best parts of this recipe is that you can make the meatballs and sauce ahead of time and freeze them for up to a month! That is always a bonus when it comes to getting ready for a party! Place cooked meatballs and sauce in two separate zip-top plastic freezer bags and freeze. When it’s time to serve, simply reheat the sauce, dump in the frozen meatballs, and you’re done. Score big with these fan-pleasing sweet and sour meatballs! 😀

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yield: 80 Meatballs


For the Meatballs:
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees F.
In large bowl mash bread, milk, and egg yolks with a fork until smooth. Add pork, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. Add beef and mix until combined.
Using a tablespoon, roll meat mixture into 1¼-inch meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake meatballs on 2 rimmed baking sheets until cooked through and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through cooking.
While the meatballs are baking, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato sauce, preserves, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper flakes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer until 5-10 minutes.

To Make Ahead:
After the meatballs have finished baking, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large zipper-lock freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.
Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
To Serve: Reheat sauce, covered and stirring occasionally, in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once sauce reaches simmer, stir in frozen meatballs and cook until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve.

Source: adapted from Inspired 2 Cook, originally from Cook's Country, December/January 2010

If you’ve missed them, make sure to check out the rest of my College Football Bites: :)

Week One: Pizza Pretzel Bites               

Week Two: Slow Roasted Pulled Pork 

Week Three: Mini Corn Dogs                 

Week Four: Buffalo Chicken Bites         

Week Five: Texas Chili                            

Week Six: Beer Battered Fried Pickles 

Week Seven: Buffalo Wings                    

Week Eight: Queso Blanco Dip              

Week Nine: Sloppy Joes                          

Week Ten: Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos 

Week Eleven: Spinach & Artichoke Dip 


One Year Ago: Toffee Mocha Cupcakes 

11 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Meatballs”

  1. #
    rumpydog — November 19, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Mmmmmm…… Those look so good!

  2. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — November 19, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    OK, when’s the Super Bowl? I think I’m booking tickets to your place!

  3. #
    Margaret Murphy Tripp — November 19, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    Oooooh, I like it! They look great and when I read the ingredient list, I love everything listed and have it all in the cupboard! Definitely bookmarking this one. Thanks!

  4. #
    ChgoJohn — November 20, 2011 @ 12:20 am

    You make a fine meatball! These sound delicious and I like that they can be made ahead and frozen.

  5. #
    Chica Andaluza — November 20, 2011 @ 2:51 am

    Gorgeous – I bought some mince yesterday and was planning on making a chili but may have to change my mind now!

  6. #
    Just A Smidgen — November 20, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I’m so glad these can be frozen.. it’s great to have something on hand for surprise company! Our college football ended on Friday when our Calgary Dino’s lost:( Well… good luck to your team!

  7. #
    Jenny — November 20, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    Yummy, I love meatballs! This looks absolutely amazing 😀

  8. #
    Angie's Recipes — November 26, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    mmm…those look absolutely delicious!

  9. Pingback: Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  10. Pingback: Buffalo Chicken Bites | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  11. #
    Roswyn Glenny — March 24, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

    Hi Christina, Made your Sweet and sour meatballs at the weekend, for family dinner. They were magnificent, that is the only word for them. Seven of us ate them all, I did make them fairly large, we really enjoyed them, they are now part of my family dinner meals. Thanks Roswyn

Leave a Comment