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Sweet and sour chicken meatballs with stir fried peppers, onions, and pineapple on a bed of white rice.
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Healthy Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Meatballs

Ground chicken meatballs and stir fried bell peppers, onion, and fresh pineapple chunks glazed with a pineapple sweet and sour sauce.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Cost $15

Equipment

  • sheet pan
  • dutch oven or large skillet

Ingredients

For the Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoon milk or milk alternative
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion cut into chunks
  • 2 bell peppers any color, cut into chunks
  • 1 to 2 cups pineapple cut into chunks, preferably fresh but can also use canned

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 cup canned pineapple juice
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan by covering it with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray.
  • Combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • Roll the meat mixture into 24 to 26 meatballs and place them on the sheet pan, leaving space between each one.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. When the time is up, remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  • While the meatballs cook, set a large dutch oven or high sided skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil.
  • When the oil is hot, stir fry the onions and peppers. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the pineapple and cook 1 more minute.
  • Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set them aside. Turn the stove to medium-low heat and add the sauce ingredients besides the corn starch and water.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil. Whisk together the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Then add the mixture to the sauce.
  • Simmer the sauce until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisk every so often so the bottom doesn't burn.
  • Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in the stir fried vegetables and stir to coat them in the sauce.
  • Add the chicken meatballs to skillet and gently stir them to coat in the sauce as well. Be careful not to break up the meatballs.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and serve sweet and sour chicken meatballs over white or brown rice.

Storage

  • To store: Allow the sweet and sour chicken meatballs to cool completely before scooping them into an airtight container and placing them in the refrigerator. Store chicken meatballs in the fridge up to 4 days.
    To freeze: Allow the meatballs to cool completely before placing them in a freezer-safe airtight container, along with all of the extra sauce. This will keep them moist and tender when reheating. Freeze meatballs up to 4 months for best quality.
    To reheat: Place the meatballs in the refrigerator and allow them to defrost overnight. When ready to eat, scoop meatballs and sauce into a large skillet over medium heat. Stir meatballs constantly so they don't stick or burn and heat them until they're just warmed through in the middle.

Notes

  1. Instead of ground chicken: you can also use ground turkey for a similar texture and taste. Ground beef is not recommended for this recipe since it is much denser and greasier.
  2. Instead of breadcrumbs: if you don't have breadcrumbs, you can finely crush unseasoned crackers or plain cereal to use as a binder for these meatballs.
  3. Instead of onions and bell peppers: you can stir fry any of your favorite vegetables, though onions and bell peppers are most common. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms are all great options.
  4. Make sure to use "toasted" sesame oil for the most flavor.