It's a brand new year, and that means it's time to try NEW things... including new frugal recipes. Get ready to add a super-delicious-family-favorite-inexpensive meal to your recipe arsenal.
This one is a guaranteed hit!
Let me start by giving you a little background on this dish: Years ago, when I was first introduced to this recipe by my mother-in-law, I was skeptical... to the point of pep-talking myself into eating it.
So not my thing.
Sweet and sour-type sauce?
I thought chicken and pork had claim on that territory.
I was prepared to be thoroughly unimpressed and weirded out by the first bite.
Boy howdy, was I ever WRONG!
These meatballs were delicious, and upon my first introduction to them, I ate an embarrassing amount while furtively casting glances at the people around me to see if they were noticing just how many of those meatballs were magically disappearing from my plate. I couldn't help it! Those things were pure magic, I tell you! So magical, were these meatballs that all the kids cleaned their plates (there may even have been some plate-licking involved).
If you try one new recipe this year, let this one be it. It's low cost, it's delicious, it's budget friendly, kids devour it, and it's a cinch to make (seeing as how it can be semi-homemade if you choose). You'll be so glad you gave it a try!
(Note: I prefer to make my own meatballs to avoid additives, but the cost of buying pre-made bulk meatballs from Sam's or Costco vs. making your own is about the same. Fresh pineapple works well in this recipe, and if you can find one on sale for $1.50 BUY IT! You can also add diced green pepper to the sauce, or double it if you're a sauce-lover.)
1/2 bag (6lb.) frozen meatballs (I use 3 lbs. of homemade meatballs)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (fresh works too)
6 cups steamed rice
In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and corn starch together over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Add the can of pineapple (including the juice). Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Empty half of a bulk 6 lb. bag of frozen meatballs (or use 3 lbs. of homemade meatballs) into a large pot on the stove. Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the meatballs, cook on medium heat until the frozen meatballs are heated through.
Steam 2 cups of dry rice. Serve the meatballs over the steamed rice. Store in an air-tight container. Freezes well.
~ Savings ~
7 lb bag brown sugar - $5.05 = 378 T = $0.015/T = $0.48
15 fl. oz. soy sauce - $1.42 = 30 T = $0.047/T = $0.379
2 gal. vinegar - $3.58 = 32 C = $0.112/C = $0.075
35 oz. cornstarch - $2.48 = 124 T = $0.020/T = $0.08
20 oz. can crushed pineapple - $1.24 = $1.24
6 lb (96 oz.) meatballs - $14.98 = $7.49
20 lb. long grain rice - $11.86 = 50 C = $0.237/C = $0.474
Total Recipe Cost: $10.21
Cost per Serving: $0.85