Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs

Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs
Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: About 28 Servings
Ratings (8)

These meatballs are sweet and spicy, perfect for an appetizer meatball. Or serve them as a main dish with rice and a vegetable side dish or salad. 

The ingredients can be doubled for a larger batch, and you could use part beef in this recipe for a meatier flavor.

As an appetizer, serve the meatballs hot from a slow cooker or chafing dish with cocktail napkins and toothpicks for guests.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound lean ground pork (90% lean if possible)
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (plain)
  • 2 green onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons red bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 375 F (190 C/Gas 5).
  2. Line 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan with foil or nonstick foil. If regular foil, grease with cooking spray or a little shortening. 
  3. In a bowl, combine the ground pork, bread crumbs, 2 finely chopped green onions, chopped red bell pepper, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, the coriander, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and beaten egg. Mix until well blended.
  1. Scoop meatball mixture with a tablespoon or cookie scoop and shape into small meatballs. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in the center.

Make the Sauce

  1. In​ a large saucepan, combine the apricot preserves, apple juice, vinegar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ground ginger, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. Whisk or stir until well blended.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Add the baked meatballs to sauce and stir to coat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thoroughly heated.

Serve as appetizer meatballs or serve as a main dish with rice and a green vegetable.

Makes about 25 to 30 small meatballs.

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Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 61
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 22 mg
Sodium 146 mg
Carbohydrates 4 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 5 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)