Sweet & Sour Meatballs {Vegan}

When I was growing up, my mom made this dish. It’s one of those dishes that has all the comfort food vibes: Sweet & Sour Meatballs.

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t eaten this dish in many, many years. One is, my mom is gone. Another is, I haven’t eaten meat in about 6 or 7 years!

But even though this is a meat dish, it’s one I still sometimes get a craving for. It’s just so warm and comforting and it’s perfect for these cold, dark winter days.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs Vegan

The dish is basically meatballs which you fry up so they have a nice little bit of texture and crispness on the outside. Then you made a sauce–a sweet and sour sauce that includes sugar and vinegar together. Finally, you add in a few extras: I like sweet peppers and also pineapple. There’s something about the sweet-savoury balance that I really love. Finally, you serve the whole thing over a big bowl of rice and go to town!

When I used to eat meat, I’d made these with ground turkey, though I remember my mom making them with beef.

This was one of the recipes I found in my mom’s recipe box, and I thought I’d just swap out some vegan meatballs for the meat and see how it worked. It worked pretty great!

There certainly are lots of vegan meatball options out there on the market, and you could totally make your own, but I’ve been playing with some Modern Meat products I was gifted with recently, so I used those.

The product comes frozen, so I didn’t bother to cook them before they went into the sauce. I made all the components in my dutch oven, then threw in the frozen package of meatballs and fired the whole thing in the oven for half an hour, and it worked great!

If you’re using not frozen meatballs, I would take the extra step of frying them in a little oil before baking.

Vegan Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs {Vegan}

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-made vegan meatballs of your choice (I used Modern Meat)
  • 1 tin of pineapple chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 small-medium onion, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup light-coloured jam (plum, apricot)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On the stovetop, in a dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium-high heat, and add the onions. Stir well and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown on the edges. Add the red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mason jar, add the juice from the pineapple, the ginger, garlic, jam, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, water and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well till combined.
  4. Add the sauce to the pan and increase the heat to bring up to a boil until it thickens. Finally, add in the pineapple chunks and the vegan meatballs. Stir well.
  5. Put the top on the dutch oven and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

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