This year, I decided to develop a kosher for Passover Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe. A while back, blog reader Susan Fedrow submitted her family’s delicious Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe to me. It’s a popular recipe on my site; I often get emails from readers saying how much they love it. I decided to use it as the inspiration for my Passover meatball recipe.
To make the recipe Passover friendly required some tweaking. One of the main ingredients in the recipe is chili sauce, but the most popular brand (Heinz) has corn syrup in the mix. Corn is considered kitniyot, which is not Passover friendly for Ashkenazi kosher Jews. I’m not a big fan corn syrup in general, so I was excited to recreate the sauce from scratch without the added syrup. I experimented till I came up with a sauce that has a similar flavor. Then I replaced the breadcrumbs in the meatballs with matzo meal, and made a few other minor tweaks.
Presto! Passover Sweet and Sour Meatballs. You’re going to love this one.
There seem to be dozens of variations on the Sweet and Sour Meatball theme out there. Different ingredients are used to capture the “sweet” flavor, as well as the “sour”… grape jelly, cranberry sauce, tomato juice, frozen lemonade, sour salt, lemon juice… the possibilities are endless. I happen to like this version because of the pineapple juice and chunks– they add so much wonderful sweetness and texture! They can be served as an appetizer with toothpicks, as a side dish, or even as an entree choice. Pour them over quinoa or mashed potatoes for a more complete entree. This is a fabulous dish. You and your Seder guests will kvell… promise!
Do you have your own version of Sweet and Sour Meatballs? Let us know how you make it in the comments section below!
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- 2 large cans (20 oz. each) pineapple chunks in their own juice (no sugar added)
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or another Passover-approved vinegar)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder, divided
- 3/4 lb. lean ground beef
- 3/4 lb. dark meat ground chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3-4 tbsp matzo meal (use GF matzo meal for gluten free)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste-- add carefully, it's very spicy!)
- Note: I live in an area with a lot of great kosher markets, so I've never had trouble finding any of the items in this recipe with kosher for Passover certification. However, I'm told that in some places brown sugar and cider vinegar can be tough to track down with a KFP hechsher. If that is true in your area, feel free to swap cider vinegar for wine vinegar or Passover-approved white vinegar (not balsamic), and brown sugar for white sugar. Also, if you need to make this gluten free, use gluten free matzo meal for Passover!
- Drain your two cans of pineapple chunks and reserve the juice.
- In a medium pot, mix together tomato sauce, ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and the juice from the pineapple cans. Stir together and turn meat to low to let the sauce slowly warm.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl use a fork to mix together the ground beef and chicken, egg, 3 tbsp matzo meal, paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne. I like a little heat in the meatballs, so I add a heaping 1/4 tsp of cayenne. If you don't want them spicy, you can omit it completely-- or just add a pinch for depth of flavor.
- Form the meat mixture into small 1-inch meatballs. If the mixture seems to moist or stick, add another tablespoon of matzo meal to the mixture. Place the meatballs into the warming sauce.
- When all the meatballs are formed, bring the mixture to a boil and stir to cover the meatballs with sauce. Lower the heat to a low, even simmer and cover the pot.
- Let the meatballs cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently, till sauce thickens and meatballs cook all the way through. If the sauce seems to be reducing too fast or losing too much liquid, lower the heat and add a little water to thin it.
- After 40 minutes, add the pineapple chunks to the sauce and stir to coat. Let the chunks warm in the sauce for 5 minutes.
- Serve. You can serve this as an entree with a Passover-friendly starch, as a side dish, or with toothpicks as an appetizer. Enjoy!