I’ve already written about my recent obsession with my Crockpot so I’m sure this post will only cement that statement, but I just have to post yet another delicious slow cooker recipe. I first tried this recipe as an appetizer for last year’s Halloween party and it turned out so well that I’ve made it several times since then, usually served as a main dish over white or brown rice. Here is a photo of the ingredients necessary to make these simple and tasty sweet and sour meatballs (see complete list with amounts below). I forgot to put the bell pepper in this shot, but there’s one of those in the list of ingredients too.
Ingredients inelegantly dumped into the slow cooker in this order – frozen turkey meatballs, sweet and sour sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, cubed bell pepper, and pineapple chunks. In hindsight using a yellow bell pepper wasn’t the best choice because it made the meatball garnishes monochromatic, but the other colors at the grocery store didn’t look so great that day. If you want a more pleasing color palate I would suggest using any color pepper other than yellow.
Stir the ingredients as carefully as possible before turning on the Crockpot. I do my best to make sure that all of the meatballs are covered in sauce and that the ingredients are as combined as I can get them. This isn’t easy, what with the uncooperative nature of frozen meatballs, but it helps everything to cook evenly. I broke the cardinal rule of slow cooking when I made this batch of meatballs – I took the lid off about halfway through cooking to stir the contents. I wanted to make sure that the sauce was evenly distributed throughout, and since the final product wasn’t ruined by this breach in etiquette I guess it was OK.
Don’t these meatballs just look delicious? I started making this batch during a Florida football game a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t wait for them to be done. I’ve only made a few changes to the Reynolds recipe, but in my opinion they significantly improve the result. The original recipe calls for 3 lbs of meatballs, but I’ve found that 2 lbs works better because it leaves more of the delicious sweet and sour sauce to go around – especially if served over rice. Also, I reduced the cooking time from 4-5 hours to 3-4 hours because in this batch the meatballs near the edges were charred and all of them were a bit overdone. I suspect this cooking time will vary depending on what kind of slow cooker you’re using, but the meatballs will be scrumptious no matter what!
1 Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner
1 jar (10 oz.) sweet and sour sauce
1/4 c packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs frozen meatballs (turkey or beef, either one works)
1 medium bell pepper, cubed
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice or water, drained (pineapple in syrup is too sweet)
Open slow cooker liner and place it inside a 5- or 6 1/2 -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl. Place all ingredients in the lined slow cooker; stir gently. Place lid on slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until done. Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker. Cool slow cooker completely; remove liner and toss.
Only slightly modified from Reynolds’s Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipe.