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Shared by Shawna Goodman Sone

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yield: 40 meatballsTime: 3 h + overnight

Shared by Shawna Goodman Sone

Meatballs stacked on a turquoise plate with a serving fork on the side atop yellow tablecloth.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yield: 40 meatballsTime: 3 h + overnight

Family Journey

New York CityMontrealRa'anana, Israel

When Shawna Goodman Sone was growing up, her mother Rosalind hosted elaborate Shabbat dinners. “My friends loved coming because we had this formal [meal],” Shawna says. “Our house just took on a different mood on Friday.” 

Rosalind’s meal usually started with chicken soup that “was holy” and often included caramelized carrots, roast beef or chicken and an apple cake for dessert. Frequently, there were meatballs that were simmered in a sweet and sour sauce. These “S&S” meatballs became a hallmark of the Shabbat dinners.

Serve these meatballs with rice, or egg noodles with plenty of black pepper.

This recipe was shared by Shawna Goodman Sone. Read more about her family in "How a Shabbat Meatball Tradition Grew Over Two Continents and Three Generations" and try her recipe for Meatballs With Baharat and Hawajj.


For the sauce

  • 1 14-ounce can cranberry sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the meatballs

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup grated yellow onion, squeezed dry
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking ProjectsMain CoursesShabbatKosher for PassoverGluten FreeMeat North America


  • Step 1

    For the sauce, pour  the cranberry sauce, tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, ketchup and salt into a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the sauce over a simmer, mixing often, for 5 minutes.

  • Step 2

    For the meatballs, gently mix the garlic, onion, beef, egg, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl. Roll into 50 small uniform meatballs and place onto a tray. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce. Cook, partially covered, over a gentle simmer on low heat for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through  and the sauce has thickened. Transfer the meatballs and sauce from the heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. 

  • Step 3

    To serve, skim any excess fat from the meatball and sauce mixture. Reheat the meatballs and sauce in a pot over medium heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are hot.

  • Step 4

    Serve hot.