Monday, December 10, 2012

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a Crowd

Today's recipe is one I used for my daughter's wedding, and a number of times for our Labor Day party when we were using the Luau theme. You can't go wrong with Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Unless of course, there's an abundance of bees, because those little stinkers LOVE pineapple! Our 1st Annual Davis Labor Day Party was almost a disaster because of the invasion of bees. What's worse is that the next day, we pulled leftovers out of the fridge, and discovered bees had burrowed down into them, and were coming out to investigate! I have an admittedly unreasonable fear of bees, so it was kind of a nightmare come true.

I don't have a picture currently, because I took the last of the meatballs to the Christmas Cookie Exchange. ;o) So here's a picture of the wedding party, who is obviously thrilled, because they are finally going to get to eat meatballs! 

This recipe is insanely easy. You can make it difficult if you want to, by making your own meatballs. If you want to do that, I suggest the Meatball Evolution recipe.  That said, I find meatballs to be a pain in the tuckus to make! They just don't last long enough for the amount of work they take. I only make them if I need them for someone who can't do all the fillers in store-bought meatballs. So, unless you need a specific menu, buy the frozen ones, and throw this sauce over them in the crock pot. 

Leni's Notes:
~This more than filled our 18 quart roaster. This will do the roaster REALLY full, pluse a crock pot or two. Or better yet, get two roasters, and fill them both about half way so you have room to stir.
~If you're not having a wedding reception for 200 people, maybe cut the recipe down a bit. ;o)
~If you want to make a meal of this rather than appetizers, serve with rice or egg noodles. Wonderful. 
~If you have extras, they freeze really well, which makes for a quick dinner on busy nights.
~Not that it effects the flavor, but if you have a variety of bell peppers, the red, orange and green look beautiful on the plate.
~When I originally made this, it had soy sauce in it. (I used Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids.) It adds a nice fullness and cuts the sweetness, but as so many have trouble with MSG and soy, I just decided to leave it out.

2 cups cornstarch
8 cups brown sugar
16 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
5 & 1/3 cup vinegar
6 chunked and seeded bell peppers
(Optional - 1 Cup soy sauce)

~Place meatballs, drained pineapple and chunks of green pepper into the roaster pan.
~Stir the cornstarch and brown sugar together in a saucepan and place over low heat.
~Add the reserved pineapple juice and vinegar; stir until smooth.
~Bring the mixture to a boil; pour over the meatballs in the slow cooker. 
~Cook the mixture in the slow cooker on low until the flavors are thoroughly combined, 3 to 4 hours. (If you do the big roaster, you might need more time, especially if the meatballs are crowded together.)

Blessings from my kitchen to yours,


  1. I didn't see what quantity meatballs you use with this recipe. (pounds, cups, or each)

  2. yes, how many meatballs. Your reception was for 200 - you must of had more than 200 meatballs?

    1. I bought small cocktail meatballs (1 oz each, I believe) that came in 10 lb bags. If I remember correctly, 2 bags was enough to fill an 18 qt roaster.

      When the meatballs came in, I thought we hadn't ordered enough. But I trusted the math and handed them over to the women who were preparing them for the reception. They said they had an abundance of meatballs, and had to fill other containers!

  3. This is similar to a Southern Living '70 recipe which has all the same ingredients as yours but instead of meatballs, little sausage links cut into thirds and cooked before adding to the rest. Also was for about 20-30 servings but I increased everything to the event size. Was my most requested recipe and one of my favorites. The meatballs makes it so easy. I had lost my recipe . Now I can make it again. Thanks!

  4. Oh, I'm so glad! I consider this a go-to for parties, everyone loves it! Happy partying!