Sweet-&-Sour Meatballs

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These bite-size sweet-and-sour meatballs, drizzled with a pineapple- and soy-based sauce, make a great appetizer. Shredded carrot and finely diced pineapple keep the meatballs moist, while fresh ginger and Chinese five-spice powder amp up the flavor.

Sweet-&-Sour Meatballs
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved
  • Total Time: 1 hour

  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion whites

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces ground turkey breast

  • 8 ounces ground pork

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup sliced scallion greens

  1. Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating. Equipment: 36 short skewers or toothpicks

  2. 36 meatballs

  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

  4. Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

  5. Finely chop enough pineapple to yield 1/2 cup. Press out excess moisture with paper towels. Reserve the remaining pineapple chunks for the sauce.

  6. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in carrot, scallion whites, ginger, five-spice powder, salt and the finely chopped pineapple. Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 1 tablespoon each, make 36 small meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  7. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the reserved juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining pineapple and the cooked meatballs.

  8. To serve, thread a meatball and a piece of pineapple and/or pepper onto a small skewer or toothpick. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens.

Nutritional Facts

Per skewer
37 Calories
4g Carbohydrates
1g Fat
0g Saturated Fat
0g Monounsaturated Fat
3g Protein
12mg Cholesterol
0g Dietary Fiber
76mg Potassium
101mg Sodium
1g Added Sugars
1/2 lean meat Exchanges
0 Carbohydrate Servings

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4 replies

Lintay 2014-01-13 18:40:21 -0600 Report

I try to stay away from sugar in my meals,and drinks what would you suggest for me to use in drinks like herb tea's?

ohneclue 2014-01-09 23:14:14 -0600 Report

The idea of this recipe is great but neither the sherry, red wine or raspberry vinegar was the tested vinegar. Beware of using any vinegar except the one used in testing that matched Metformin for reducing/controlling blood sugars — apple cider vinegar. No other vinegar has been tested and therefore, should not be used in place of the tested one — ACV. So you can't just have a recipe with any vinegar in it and expect the same results. It would be very easy to substitute the tested vinegar and add a little sugar substitute to offset the sharp vinegar taste. This recipe calls for 1 spoon sugar which is not too bad but I personally use only the sugar alternatives that don't kick or get processed as a regular sugar.