Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe -
Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe
  • READY IN 55 mins

Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Recipe by  

"My mother first made these for me and now I made them all the time - incredibly delicious! Serve as a main course, an appetizer.. doesn't matter, they always taste great!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    55 mins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, Cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese until well blended. Mix in 1/2 cup onion, pecans, basil, salt and sage. Stir in bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, vinegar, apricot jam, ketchup, 1/4 cup onion, oregano and hot pepper sauce. Pour over meatballs.
  4. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until meatballs are firm, and sauce is thick and bubbly.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 21, 2010

The first time I made them I followed the recipe the way it is. But as I was adding the ingredients, I realized how much sodium and fat would be in it. The texture turned out way too hard and all you could taste was bread crumbs, I think that 2 cups of bread crumbs is too much. However, I still had a feeling this recipe could be good, so today I made several changes: 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, fat free cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of 2% cheddar + 1/2 cup parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, onion, spices and 1 cup of bread crumbs. For the sauce: I reduced apricot jam to 1/3 cup, ketchup to 1/3 cup as well, and didn't add any oil just sprayed some Smart Balance before baking. I think that the key was to add less bread crumbs, you really don't need more than 1 cup. It turned out fantastic! I would have never imagined this combination of flavors would be soo good!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 25, 2004

These were okay. The sage in them makes them taste too much like Turkey stuffing. If I was to make them again I would not use sage, but I would use more italian spices like oregano, thyme, and basil and lost of garlic. They were very easy to make, baked well, but the stuffing taste was something we didn't enjoy too much.

Jan 13, 2004

Great, delicious recipe! What a wonderful way to have meatballs again. The only advice I have with it is to make sure the pecans are FINELY ground. I left ours a little big and they added an unnecessarily crunchy quality to them-- but they still tasted great!

May 13, 2008

Even though these are vegetarian, they seemed overly high in calories and fat. I pulled out all the stops in order to try to reduce both. Instead of 4 whole eggs, I added 1 cup of egg substitute (like Eggbeaters). I also used fat-free cheddar cheese and non-fat cottage cheese. I used 1/2 nuts instead of the full 1 cup (I had cashews and almonds on-hand) and finally I used panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. Things I added include: 1 tsp Italian herb mix, 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery minced in a food processor, and 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten. For the sauce I completely omitted the oil and used sugar-free apricot spread. This made about 16 large balls. The flavor was actually very good and I've already made this recipe this way a couple of times. Even my non-dieting and non-vegetarian boyfriend liked them. The only slight issue with them may be the texture (they come out of the oven a little soft). When left in the fridge overnight they actually firm up quite a bit and are perfect. I think one could also throw the batter into a loaf pan and make a "meat"loaf out of this. According to my (rough) calculations, each meatball has only about 120 calories and very little fat.

Jan 24, 2006

I noticed that some reviewers said their meatballs came out mushy and wanted to say it is VERY important that you DO NOT use fresh bread crumbs as that is whats causing them to be mushy. I hope this helps I would hate for anyone to miss out on this recipe it is really awesome!

Jul 06, 2006

This is a great recipe. The second time I made it, I rolled the balls smaller than called for, and it really altered the flavor because the sauce ratio was different. I prefer the larger size. I like these so much, I have been caught eating these cold from the refrigerator! ***I have made these numerous times since my original review and I have made an alteration in the recipe. I use 1 1/4 cups dry bread crumbs and 3/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs. I think the texture is better as they aren't quite so firm. They still hold up well in sauces. Great for making subs too!

Jun 02, 2008

These were delicious, exceptionally so the next day. I followed the recipe exactly except I made my own whole wheat bread crumbs and added some Italian seasoning with them. They freeze great and are fantastic when reheated. I just made 10 times the recipe for my daughter's wedding reception, per her request, froze them ahead of time, reheated them in the Nesco, and got at least 20 requests for the recipe. This is the best vegetarian recipe I've found in some time.

Jan 06, 2004

This was really good. I selected this recipe today because I have been looking for meaty dishes without soy. I followed the recipe step by step up until the baking. I baked mine longer than what the recipe called for. (my total cooking time was 1 hour) I didnt realize that the balls would firm up a bit more AFTER cooking, so my 'meaty'-balls became a little hard. I dont know, they just seemed too soft at 40 minutes. But even when hard, they were good. My mother enjoyed the flavor of the sauce. Also, I cooked one of the 'meaty'-balls plain(without the sauce)it was wonderful. I ate that one after cooking 40 minutes. I guess that one seemed right(more done) because it was dryer than the ones with the sauce. I will use this recipe when making spagetti from now on. (bake them and then just throw them in the spagetti sauce. Lastly, I dont know who well they freeze, but I'm gonna try.


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  • Calories
  • 803 kcal
  • 40%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 82.3 g
  • 27%
  • Cholesterol
  • 181 mg
  • 60%
  • Fat
  • 44.9 g
  • 69%
  • Fiber
  • 4.9 g
  • 19%
  • Protein
  • 24.8 g
  • 50%
  • Sodium
  • 2264 mg
  • 91%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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