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Nanny's Sweet & Sour Meatballs {Paleo-friendly, perfect for passover, low-carb} | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Nanny’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a family staple holiday recipe, made a little bit cleaner! We love this slightly sweetened sauce paired with the gluten-free meatballs for a perfect holiday meal.

Nanny's Sweet and Sour Meatballs | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Last week I talked a little about Passover and my family. Specifically my nanny (also known as grandma). This little lady (little, like me), is extremely special to me.  She is also a mean cook in the kitchen. I’ve learned many tricks of the trade from her, especially when it comes to Holiday cooking. I also dedicated my cookbook to her! If you’ve made Nanny’s Potted Chicken, you already know how fabulous her cooking is!

When she gave me her Swedish Meatballs and Rolled Cabbage recipe, I knew it was something I wanted to adapt to be a tad cleaner. After a few trial and errors, I’ve made a sauce almost identical to Nanny’s. Note: We used to call these Swedish meatballs in our family, but sweet and sour is way more appropriate!

Nanny's Sweet and Sour Meatballs | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

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Nanny's Sweet and Sour Meatballs | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Nanny's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes



  • 2 teaspoons oil of choice
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms mined
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt more to taste


  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef *see notes
  • 2 tablespoon almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until they start to caramelize and brown.
  • Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, taste and adjust spices as necessary.
  • In a bowl, combine meat, almond flour, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well and roll into balls.
  • Gently add the meatballs to the simmering sauce. Use a spoon to spoon sauce over meatballs to cover them in the sauce as they cook.
  • Let simmer over medium-low heat for an additional 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked and no pink remains. Serve warm.


Nanny uses a blend of half ground chuck and half ground veil in her original recipe.
Nanny's original sauce recipe: 1 can cranberry sauce (whole or jelly), 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce, 1 can Sauce Arturo, a little lemon juice.
Photos updated March, 2017


Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 20.3gProtein: 18.9gFat: 10.2gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1224mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15.8g
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made these tonight for supper, using an equal mix of beef and pork, and they were delicious!!! I think they’re my new favourite meatballs! They are also toddler approved as my 14 month old ate about 6 of them! We will be adding these to our meal rotation for sure.

  2. I’m going to make this weekend for Hanukkah. I’m laughing because my grandmom’s recipe is the same as Nanny’s – tomato sauce, sauce Arturo and cranberry. I’m excited to try them. Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow new family favorite, especially my husband who couldn’t get over the ingredients. I must admit I grabbed a meal plan and didn’t look at the individual recipes just the pictures. I’m so glad I did because I would have never picked this recipe based off the ingredients. Really good and really easy to make.

    1. You have no idea how much this touched my family’s heart – you know how special nanny is to us! 🙂 So happy you enjoyed it!

  4. I’ve made a few recipes from this blog now, which have all turned out really well! These were delicious, I was never a big fan of actual meatballs but my mom is and we both loved these.

  5. Hi Lexi,

    The pineapple juice is missing the unit of measurement. Just wanted to be sure of what it should be before I started playing around with this recipe. 🙂


    1. Can definitely serve 3-4 depending on how much they’ll eat- but you can always make more than 1 lb. of meat!

  6. Good morning! I can’t wait to try these. I’m sorry to bother but what size can of tomato sauce do I need? I see it says 2 but not the ounces/per can. Thank you!

  7. My family makes swedish meatballs and I LOVE them but they are not healthy at all!!!!! The traditional cream sauce kind of kills the health factor! I love this variation of meatballs! I will definitely have to try it!

  8. Yum, Lexi!!! I have been craving for this type of meatball but so many contain sugary, pre-made sauces that I would rather keep out of our kitchen. Leave it to you to whip up a recipe! Thanks much and can’t wait to make these 🙂