The Best Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Looking for the perfect meatball recipe? Look no further! These sweet and sour meatballs are tender, perfectly seasoned, and amazingly delicious!

The meatballs are tender and perfectly seasoned, especially after baking in the simple sweet and sour sauce.

You’ll Need:


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground meat (see note)
  • 3/4 cup quick oats or old-fashioned oats that have been lightly pulsed in a blender
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (my favorite homemade version here)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot, cooked rice for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the meatballs, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form into about 12 meatballs (right around 2-inches each). Place in a lightly greased 9X13-inch pan.
  3. For the sauce, whisk together the ingredients until well-combined.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  5. Serve over hot, cooked rice, if desired.


  • I usually use a combination of lean ground beef and lean ground turkey but really any ground meat would work well - just keep in mind that if you don't want the grease to pool in the bottom of the baking dish (ew), use a pretty lean meat.
  • Also, I highly recommend doubling the sauce if you like dishes like this a bit saucier. Very often, I forego the baking and instead brown the meatballs in a skillet (or if doubling, I use my large electric skillet) on all sides and then drain any grease (most often there isn't any if using lean meat). Pour the sauce into the skillet, cover and let the meatballs simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through, turning once or twice.
  • Freezable Meal: After covering the meatballs with sauce, cover the pan with two layers of aluminum foil and freeze. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake covered without thawing for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more, until meatballs are cooked through.