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Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a delicious and easy recipe! Meatballs, pineapple and peppers are all coated in a homemade sweet and sour sauce!


I could not wait to share this recipe for Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs with you today. It turned out so good that even my picky eaters enjoyed it. It was so simple to make and my house smelled AMAZING while it cooked. The sauce is a wonderful blend of sweet and tangy. And the meatballs came out so tender! It may sound like a weird combination of flavors but it really works so well. If there is one recipe I wish people would make from my site, it is definitely this one!

sweet and sour meatballs shown on white rice on a white plate with a glass of iced tea in the background.


Do I need to thaw the meatballs first?

Nope! The meatballs go in frozen.

Can I make my own homemade meatballs?

I wouldn’t suggest it. Mainly because homemade meatballs will release a lot of fat as they cook and you might end up with a greasy mess. Perhaps if your meatballs had already been pre-cooked that would work. Just make sure they aren’t Italian style meatballs. Those flavors do not work well with this. Also, I have only made this with frozen meatballs so this is all just guessing on my part. If you try it and it works for you, please let me know!

How do I serve these sweet and sour meatballs?

If you want to serve these as an appetizer, just serve them as-is and with small bowls and forks on the side for guests to help themselves. Or if you want to make it more like a meal, you could serve them with rice.

Can I cook these for longer?

Technically yes, but at some point, you’ll want to switch it over to high to help the sauce thicken. Getting it hot helps that cornstarch activate to thicken the sauce. Unless maybe you have a slow cooker that naturally runs hot, you may not need to. I’ve only ever tested this out this one particular way but if you have tips or have tried making it a different way, please comment below.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheating in the microwave or on a pot on the stove is your best option.

fully cooked sweet and sour meatballs in a black oval slow cooker with a silver spoon inserted into the meatballs.


  • frozen homestyle meatballs – use your favorite here, I know different areas carry different brands and it seems like there are varying sizes of the bags too. I used a 28 ounce bag but if yours is a little less or a little more – that’s fine, it will still work. Just make sure you don’t get the Italian flavored meatballs because the seasoning in those won’t work well with this recipe.
  • canned pineapple chunks in 100% juice – you need the kind in 100% juice not syrup because you are going to use that juice to make the sauce and the syrup is just too sweet and not the right consistency to make this sauce. If you can’t find the pineapple chunks, you can use pineapple tidbits.
  • green pepper – you could also go with a red or yellow pepper here. I suppose you could leave it out if you really hate peppers.
  • brown sugar – this is the sweet part of the sweet and sour sauce. Because brown sugar has molasses in it, it’s also adds a nice depth of flavor. I would not substitute this with regular sugar or a sugar substitute if possible.
  • vinegar – I have not tried this with apple cider vinegar so I honestly couldn’t say if that flavor would work well here. I like apple cider vinegar but I’m not sure I would like it in this.
  • soy sauce – if you are sensitive to sodium, you could go with a low sodium soy sauce here.
  • cornstarch – this is going to help thicken the sauce. Don’t use flour, it doesn’t work as well and you’ll end up with lumps in your sauce.
frozen meatballs, pineapple, soy sauce, brown sugar, green pepper, cornstarch.


First, drain the juice from the can of pineapple into a medium bowl (you’ll need that later for the sauce.) It should give you about a cup of pineapple juice.

draining the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl.

Place frozen meatballs into a 4-6 quart crock pot.

frozen meatballs shown at the bottom of an oval black slow cooker.

Then top meatballs with pineapple chunks and green peppers.

chopped green peppers and pineapple chunks shown on top of the frozen meatballs in a slow cooker.

Add brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch to the pineapple juice you set aside earlier. Whisk it all together well.

pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch and soy sauce whisked together in a clear bowl.

Pour sauce over meatballs.

pouring sweet and sour sauce into crock pot over green peppers, pineapple and meatballs.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. After a couple of hours, switch the crock pot to high and cook for an additional hour. Doing this will thicken the sauce. After an hour, the sauce should be thicker and bubbling around the edges.

a silver spoon holding up some sweet and sour meatballs over the crock pot.

You can serve them just like this or over some rice to make it a meal!

closeup photo pf sweet and sour meatballs on white rice.


Originally published: December 2015
Updated and republished: May 2023

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipe.

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a delicious and easy recipe! A homemade sweet and sour sauce covers meatballs, pineapple and peppers.
4.94 from 76 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 28 ounce bag frozen meatballs
  • 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in 100% juice (save juice)
  • 1 green pepper diced into chunks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch


  • First, drain the juice from the can of pineapple into a medium bowl (you'll need that later for the sauce.) It should give you about a cup of pineapple juice.
  • Place frozen meatballs into a 4-6 quart crock pot.
  • Then top meatballs with pineapple chunks and green peppers.
  • In the bowl where you put the pineapple juice you set aside earlier, whisk in the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch.
  • Pour sauce over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
  • After a couple of hours, switch your crock pot to high and cook for an additional hour. Doing this will thicken the sauce. The sauce should be thicker and bubbling around the edges when ready.


YouTube video


  • The meatballs do not need to be thawed first. They go in frozen.
  • Don’t like peppers? Just leave them out!
  • Frozen meatball packages all come in varying sizes depending on the brand. This recipe will accommodate all standard size bags of meatballs – as long as it isn’t family size, it will work.
  • If your can of pineapples doesn’t give you a full cup of pineapple juice, you may need to supplement with a little more or just add a touch of water to get you up to one cup.
  • For a meal, serve with rice. For an appetizer, serve with toothpicks or set aside bowls for your guests to serve themselves.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 384mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made these for the Super Bowl and they were a hit. And using the frozen meatballs made them so easy. I used Johnsonville Homestyle Meatballs and honestly, they tasted like homemade. My crock pot’s low setting is too low – so I thickened the meatballs on my stove top and then transferred to the crock pot for the party. I will definitely be making these again.

  2. 5 stars
    OMG so good!! Took these to a potluck and they were a huge hit! I put them out with a rice cooker of cooked white rice and it was absolutely the hit of the potluck – thanks so much. A new favorite!

      1. 5 stars
        I never would’ve thought that frozen meatballs could taste so good LOL. This sauce is so good! It really elevates all the flavors. I should have doubled the recipe because people couldn’t get enough.

  3. 5 stars
    Little story for ya, before I knew how to REALLY cook anything (completely self-taught thanks to PBS) a co-worker asked me to help her cater her son’s wedding reception. I panicked, but it was $100. She dumped some frozen Meatballs in a large aluminum deep pan and then dumped some canned sweet and sour sauce from GFS over them a threw it in the oven. At first I thought “Ew! Gross!” until I tried them and fell in love with the sauce. I always thought my mom made the best sweet and sour sauce.

    Years later and pretty advanced in my cooking skills, I wanted to get some of that sauce for S&S chicken. I damned near threw up. I was so disappointed, lol. That’s what I get for learning what things are really supposed to taste like.

    I will be making this soon. I DO still love the frozen Meatballs from GFS. I will just weigh out what is needed for the recipe. Thanks, Brandie! ❤️

  4. 5 stars
    I have been looking for this particular recipe for a long time and I’m so happy I found you and this recipe!! This was an old favorite of mine and I lost contact with the original “Home chef” that made them. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to peruse the rest of your recipes now as I think you may have more of my favorites in your hands.

  5. my husband didn’t read the recipe and used a family sized bag of meatballs. what can we do?

  6. I want to make these while my son is at baseball so can’t change the the temp at that 3rd hour. Would 4 only low you think? or 2 on high?

    1. Hmm…you can cook on low for three hours and see how that does for you. If it isn’t thick by the time you get home and if you have a saute setting on your slow cooker, then you can pop that on for a few minutes and it will start to bubble and thicken. Th cornstarch needs high heat to help it thicken but some newer slow cookers run pretty hot these days so may not be necessary 🙂

  7. Hi there, I am wondering if I can use plant based meatballs for this recipe? I have made this before however at that time we were still eating meat and they were delicious!

    1. I don’t cook with plant based food -I’m sorry. So I couldn’t honestly say how it would turn out. It might have to be a test you try yourself at home. I would assume if its a frozen meatball it should still theoretically work but I don’t know how different they are from the traditional meat based in terms of holding up to slow cooking.

  8. 5 stars
    I love the taste. I used the small italuan meatballs. I did the 2 hours on low and then 2 hours in high but a friend came over and it cooked an additional 44 minutes. The sauce was bubbly and thick. I added a small onion but should have done 2 plus 2 bell peppers.

  9. Can I make this with thawed meatballs? I was going to follow a different recipe for sweet and sour meatballs and it called for the meatballs to be thawed. I found this recipe last minute and it looks better!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy to follow and the meatballs were delicious!! I served over brown rice to cut down on the carbs a little!