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Magic Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Welcome to Reindeer Recipes. A collection of holiday awesomeness from some of my absolutely favorite bloggers. If you’re stopping here from Swirls of Flavor, Welcome! Isn’t Gwynne the best?


There is nothing like family Christmas traditions.

When I was a kid, there were things I always looked forward to. Like my red and white striped feety pajamas with the butt flap. Dang, I loved those pajamas. Lip Smackers in my stocking from Santa. My grandfather tucking me and my cousins into a big pull out sofa bed. He’d put on an 8-track tape of a Grand Ole Opry Christmas and we’d force ourselves to fall asleep so Santa wouldn’t pass by. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I’d love to have one more of those sleepovers.

As I got older, Christmas became more about hanging out with friends and making stops at various family members homes to deliver presents and say a brief hello.

I spent many Christmases at my best friend Kristen’s. I was always invited to spend the holiday with them at their family’s home in Rhode Island or just hang out at their house for food and fun.

sweet and sour meatballs

Kristen’s mom used to make a crockpot of these delicious meatballs. We would devour them. The sauce was called Triple Pepper Ketchup from a local company called The Lollipop Tree. We would make a trip to Portsmouth to pick up bottles of it at the factory store. It had to be that sauce.

I began making these meatballs every year. Still making the same pilgrimage to Portsmouth to pick up my sauce for my Christmas Eve open house.

Then one year, the store was gone.

I was able to locate the company that bought out The Lollipop Tree and was able to purchase some bottles to be shipped. But they were pricey. At $9.50 a bottle (I use 3 bottles) it was a hard meatball to swallow.

So, I hit the kitchen and came up with this recipe that tastes amazingly like The Lollipop Tree.

I make a double batch of meatballs and pour this sauce over and keep heated on low during my party. You can make and bake your meatballs ahead of time and freeze to save some time on the day of your party. Just take them out of the freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator then place them in your crockpot (even if still a bit frozen) and cook on low in the crockpot.

If you are looking for something new to serve at your holiday open house, office party or get-together, these will make you a holiday hero. Trust me.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Magic Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Recipe type: Appetizer
Delicious, tangy, sweet and zingy meatballs for your holiday open house
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 3 (12 oz) bottles red currant jelly
  • 2 (14 oz) bottle Hot & Spicy Heinz ketchup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and cook, stirring until all melted together and starting to boil. Turn heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes more.
  2. Add to meatballs in a crockpot and keep heated on low.
  3. Enjoy!

Now go hop on over to see Pat at Life at Lydia’s House. She’s the next hop on the Reindeer Tour.

Make sure you check out the other ladies and their wonderful Christmas recipes, traditions and decorating tips.

Tamyra at Positively Southern

Shelly at ConfettiStyle
Marsha at M Jones Style
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Reader Interactions


  1. My mouth is watering for these! Magic Sweet and Sour Meatballs will definitely be making an appearance at my holiday party this year! Thank you Lisa!

  2. Wow, these look so darn delicious! Thanks for re-creating the lost recipe! I can’t wait to serve up a batch of these to my crowd of hungry meat lovers!

  3. Yum, yum, yum Lisa. What a great appetizer for the holidays. And I love that the recipe is so easy (my style) and quick. Thanks for sharing.

    • Enjoy!