Family Recipe: Sweet And Sour Meatballs

Rilos & MiMi didn’t get to spend much time with Granny (my grandma) as they were just over four months old when she passed away but they sure do enjoy her recipes when I make them.  This sweet and sour meatball recipe has been made by Granny for as long as I can remember and it’s one of my kid’s favorites, even Hunter my picky eater.  Granny used to call them No Fuss Meatballs.  It’s super easy and can be made even easier.  It also can be made right away or ahead of time and kept in the crock pot.  It might not look the most appealing but my three kids sure do love them!

As I am making it for supper tonight I thought I would share.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings and takes approximately 20 minutes of prep time and the cook time varies based on the method you choose.



If you want to make this recipe even easier you can use frozen pre-made meatball.  I prefer the handmade ones but have used both.  Using pre-made meatballs cuts out quite a bit of time.  If you do use pre-made meatballs make sure you cook them in the oven based on the package directions.

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crushed up saltines crackers
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Dash of pepper


  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 4 cups gingerale



  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix well.  I use my hands to mix everything together because it’s easier and they are going to get dirty rolling the meatballs anyway.
  3. Cover a metal baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil (spray if using foil or blank baking sheet).
  4. Roll meatball mixture into about half inch balls.  You can really do any size you want, this is just my preference.
  5. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 30 minutes.



I usually make the sauce while the meatballs are in the oven.

  1. In a large pot on the stove add ketchup and gingerale.
  2. Turn on high and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn down to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce and meatballs are finished you have a couple options for combining and finishing them.

1. What I usually do is stick the meatballs in a crock pot and cover them with the sauce and turn the crock pot on low.  As long as the meatballs are in the crock pot for at least half an hour it really doesn’t matter how long you keep them in there.  I like to make the meatballs and sauce during nap time then put them in the crock pot on low until we are ready to eat supper.  That way I don’t have to worry or “fuss” about them.

2. You don’t have to use a crock pot.  You can add the meatballs from the oven to your pot of sauce and simmer for 30 minutes and they are ready to eat.


We typically eat the meatballs with rice or mashed potatoes and some kind of vegetable.  Most people like to put them directly on top of the rice or potatoes but I like to eat them separate and just put the sauce on the rice or potatoes.

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