About Tori Avey

Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...

Did you make one of my recipes? Tag @toriavey on Instagram or Twitter… I want to see!

facebook instagram pinterest twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Please Note: We typically moderate comments once per month, so please don't expect a quick response. If you'd like more direct access to me and my team, consider joining my exclusive culinary community. You'll get access to member's only recipes and videos, prompt and cheerful cooking support, a private social community of passionate home cooks, and an ad-free experience on my site! Learn more here.

I encourage you to read through the entire post and comments section carefully before asking a question, as it has very likely already been answered. Read the comment policy.


  1. Shelly Sallop says

    Tori, kids are quick to say they can’t eat things without even tasting them. I make teriyaki meatballs with pineapple cubes. My grandson (12) likes the meatballs but”can’t” eat the pineapple. My granddaughter who is 18 loves the meatballs and now has started to eat the pineapple. As they are not allergic, I have said that each time I serve it, they must eat at least two cubes. Their dad has backed me up. Madi doesn’t object at all now and enjoys it,It will take her brother longer!

  2. Sharon says

    Can I use 1 1/2 pounds ground beef instead of beef and chicken? Also , my son has a fruit phobia so I just add the pineapple juice and not use the pineapple chunks (if course that’s what I’d love to eat) ? Want to make by fri

    • Tori Avey says

      In the U.S. tomato sauce is sold in cans… it is simply pureed tomatoes. If you don’t have them you can puree diced tomatoes into sauce.

  3. Jack Epstein says

    5 stars

    My grandmother and mother (may they both rest in peace) have made these forever…sweet & sour was attained with Sour Salt (Citric acid) and sugar of choice…we get them real sour and then sweeten the batch to our liking…no fruit…just the meatballs in a saucy (not thick) tomato sauce…so good. Miss that…I still make them, but they could never be as good as theirs!!

    • Janet Brown says

      My mother made hers with sour salt also. Can you share yours as I stupidly never wrote my mothers down. I know she used sour salt, sugar, rice and tomato sauce. She even used these to stuff cabbage with.

    • Sharon says

      I have shopped all over for the sour salt today not knowing it is in the canning section of grocery stores or hardware stores. My Mother made these meatballs every Christmas but said they were Swedish. We are Polish so probably My Grandma brought the recipe over. My Mom’s recipe is very vague with no measurements. Basically the meatball has 2lb meat, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper garlic powder. You boil in pot 1/2 full of water for 10 minutes. Take off scum. Take out Hal of water. Add 4 cans tomato sauce (16 oz per lb of meat)sour salt (citric acid) and brown sugar, cook couple of hours. My niece says try 1/2 tsp of salt per pound of meat and 1/2 cup brown sugar In sauce and then adjust to taste. I will try making tomorrow to see if I can recreate my Mom’s. Loved them every year.

  4. Jeanette says

    4 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m excited to make it this Passover! I also have to give you a HUGE thank you for posting the link to jump to the recipe at the beginning of the page. XO

  5. GINA RUBEN says

    Hi Tori, my mother used to make sweet and sour meatballs but without pineapple. I’m trying to recreate hers. Could I just leave out the pineapple? I see you are using the juice as well so that’s why I’m asking.

    • Tori Avey says

      There are many variations on sweet and sour meatballs; some people use grape jelly, others cranberry sauce. Without knowing your mother’s recipe I can’t guarantee that this will give you the right flavor, but you can try just using the juice and see if it seems the same. If not, she likely used another common ingredient. Some even use frozen lemonade to capture the sweetness!

  6. Denise says

    This looks delish! Can I use just ground turkey meat or just ground chicken? If so, which would You recommend?
    Thank you!

    • Tori Avey says

      Hi Denise! Yes you can. I prefer ground chicken, if you can get a mix of light and dark ground meat it will be more flavorful. Chicken is softer to work with, but cooks up more tender and tasty.

  7. Abbie Greenberg says

    This recipe looks delicious. I have a question please. When you say “tomato sauce” do you mean sauce in a can or a pasta marinara sauce?

    Thank you so much!

  8. Ilisa says

    Can I substitute lemon juice for the vinegar? is it the same measurements? I can’t find Kosher for Passover vinegar where I live.

    • Tori Avey says

      Yes that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m not sure if the amount would be the same, but you can taste the sauce to check flavor and get the right balance of sweet and tart.

    • Tori Avey says

      Julie– I think you probably good, but I haven’t tested it myself so I can’t promise the liquid levels will turn out right. You’d have to experiment a bit. It might be fine as written, I’m just not sure.

  9. Christine says

    5 stars
    Once again, you saved me. The meatballs were delicious and I also made the artichoke / spinach dip. Amazing! Thanks for making me look so good. 🙂

  10. Lindsay says

    5 stars
    THANK YOU for this truly fantastic version of sweet and sour beat balls. This dish has always ranked low for me, like a casserole, as I’ve never deemed it very healthy. But with the homemade sauce, it was delish. My Jewish boyfriend has been begging me to make this, so tonight I surprised him and he just died in heaven 😉 I added orange bell peppers and chili flakes to the sauce and sesame seeds, and green onion to the meat balls!

  11. Tessa says

    5 stars
    This looks delicious, I’m making it tonight. Here’s a question; I’m actually cooking it on the stove right now and it’ll be done by 2:45. Can I switch it to a slow cooker on low and be ok? It will be in the slow cooker for about 3 hours. If it’s ok to let simmer in the slow cooker should I add the pineapple chunks? Or wait until we’re ready to eat? Would love to hear back from you, love your recipes…

    • Tori Avey says

      Hi Tessa, it should be fine in the slow cooker on low for a few hours, I wouldn’t leave it for longer than 4 hours if it’s already cooked or the sauce might start to dry out a bit. I would add the pineapple chunks just before placing the slow cooker. Enjoy!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.