This tangy Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs Recipe with Pineapple is easy to make as a quick, homemade weeknight meal. Serve over rice for a meal the whole family will enjoy!
This post is sponsored by Wisconsin Pork Producers Association. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Are you feeling stuck in the same old meal planning rut?
If you’re anything like me you’re always on the lookout for healthy meals to feed your picky eaters and busy family!
Ground pork is great way to mix up your routine and provide your family with a lean and nutritious meal.
My Grandparents raised pigs when I was a kid. I remember spending a LOT of time checking out pigs in the hog lot. Who am I kidding, I talked to them…. It was the country, I was lonely….so yes, I may have pretended the pigs were people.
Anywhoo….I grew up and time marched on…
Over the last 50 years, the way farmers raise pigs has changed. Advancements in farming methods, technology and economics have significantly transformed farming.
From a nutrition standpoint, today’s pork is 16 percent leaner and 27 percent lower in saturated fat compared to 26 years ago. In fact, many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken and provide more vitamins and minerals.
One thing that has remained a constant for farmers: their mission is to produce safe, nutritious food in a responsible manner.
On farms large and small, livelihoods are tied to the land and the health of animals in a farmer’s care. Farmers realize that raising healthy pigs by using good farming practices results in safe, high-quality pork products. More information about pig farming is available at PorkCares.org.
How to make my Healthy Pork Meatballs Recipe with Pineapple
One of the reasons I love cooking with ground pork is that it cooks fast and it takes on whatever flavor you infuse it with!
For these Asian pork meatballs, we’re going to give our pork a sweet and sour and Hawaiian inspired spin with a tangy sauce and sweet pineapple bits.
To start, combine ground pork, egg, soy sauce, ground ginger, green onions and salt.
I love these flavor combination. Can you smell it?? It’s SO good!
Combine the mixture lightly with your hands and combine ingredients. Now it’s time to shape these into meatballs!
Wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking. Then, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon (no fancy tools required) and shape them into 24 evenly sized meatballs.
If you end up with 23 or 25, don’t sweat it – it’s food, not rocket science.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add your meatballs and cook until they’ve browned on all sides and register 160 degrees in the center with a meat thermometer.
Tip: Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to cook the meatballs in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Remove them from pan so to make your sauce.
How to make the pork meatballs sauce
In a small bowl, combine reserved pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice wine vinegar with a whisk.
Add it to the same skillet over medium high heat. It will start to thicken so stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Stir until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
Add your pork meatballs to the sweet and sour sauce in the skillet and let the pineapple chunks join the party, too! Simmer for a few minutes until meatballs are heated through.
The safe internal pork cooking temperature for ground pork is 160 degrees F. To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatballs.
What to serve with pork meatballs
I like to serve these over white rice or brown rice.
Try an Asian vegetable blend to finish off this healthy, family friendly meal! (Save yourself some time and use a steamable bag from the freezer section!)
What can I make with leftovers?
Well, that’s assuming you have leftovers, because these sweet and sour pork meatballs are pretty tasty!
Of course you can freeze the leftovers, but why not turn them into a sandwich wrap? Sandwich some meatballs cut in half along with pineapple, broccoli slaw, and some sweet and sour sauce for dipping.
As my kids would say, easy peasy!!
Other tips for sweet and sour pork meatballs:
You can cook pork meatballs ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
To make for meal prep, prepare and cook the meatballs. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. When it’s cooking time, pull them from the fridge, make the sauce and reheat the meatballs in the pan sauce or reheat in your slow cooker!
To make as a freezer meal, prepare the pork meatballs and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw the meatballs in the fridge overnight. Then, simply make the sweet and sour sauce and reheat the meatballs in the sauce.
Make these pork meatballs gluten free by subbing out the soy sauce for tamari.
Where can you find pork? It’s as easy as strolling down the aisle of your local grocery store. And get this…new pork names are being adopted to match the names of beef cut. This will make them easier for you to identify and prepare, so keep a lookout for those new labels the next time you shop!
There’s more to pork than bacon, though I think you’d agree – bacon is pretty darn delicious.
A few other cuts I love for weeknight meals include pork chops, tenderloin and cutlets. You can learn more about the variety of pork cuts over at the Pork Board. Check out all the ways you can use this versatile protein!
Make this sweet and sour meatball recipe with pineapple a part of your weekly meal prep, or as a ready to heat freezer meal!
When you buy pork, you’re supporting farm families like mine!
Other weeknight pork recipes you’ll love:
- Easy Pork Stir Fry
- Chile Verde Pork Burritos – Instant Pot Recipe
- Chili Lime Pork Medallions
- Low Carb Crustless Sausage Quiche
Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs
- 1.5 lbs ground lean pork
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion plus extra for garnish
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 14 ounces canned pineapple chunks in juice, juice reserved
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- In a medium size bowl, combine ground pork (1.5 pounds), egg, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ground ginger (1 tsp), green onions (1/4 cup) and salt (1/2 tsp). Mix lightly with hands until ingredients are combined.
- Using a scoop or a tablespoon, shape into 24 evenly sized meatballs. TIP: wet hands slightly before shaping to prevent sticking.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through to 160 degrees in the center. Remove from pan, set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine reserved pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp cornstarch, and 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar. Mix to combine with a whisk.
- Heat the same skillet you for the meatballs and heat to medium high heat. Add pineapple juice mixture and bring to a bowl, Stir until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
- Return meatballs and add pineapple chunks to the pan and cook until heated through. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Serve over rice.
- Wet hands slightly before rolling meatballs to prevent sticking.
- The safe internal pork cooking temperature for ground pork is 160 degrees F. To check doneness use a digital cooking thermometer.
- Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to cook the meatballs in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Serve over rice and with an Asian vegetable blend for a complete meal.
- Meatballs can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for later use.
- If you make these ahead, you can also reheat pork meatballs in your crockpot.
- Make these pork meatballs gluten free by subbing out the soy sauce for tamari.