Kidney Diet Tips

Recipe Review: Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Have you been on the hunt for an easy-to-make crowd pleaser? Well, look no further. These Sweet ‘n’ Sour Meatballs are a hit! I have prepared these meatballs for the patients a number of times over the years, and they always go over really well. They have a sweet and zesty flavor and are great for getting some additional protein, especially for dialysis patients.


The recipe does not call for any salt, so this is great for those who have trouble managing fluids and sodium (be mindful however that chili sauce is not salt-free, and I was unable to find a low-sodium variety). The meatballs for this recipe are almost all protein. Very little filler.

The Shopping & Prepping  

The ingredients were easy to find at multiple grocery stores, and preparing this recipe was extremely simple. There was very little preparation. The recipe called for 7% fat ground turkey, however, my patients prefer ground beef. Keeping with the same fat percentage, the recipe still worked out great! Preparation of the meatballs per the recipe included pan searing the meatballs. However, as I was cooking for a very larger number of folks, I prepared all of the meatballs and lined them up in a foil lined pan sprayed with cooking spray (baked on 425° F for approximately 20 minutes). If you choose to bake the meatballs instead of pan searing, you can omit the 1/4 cup canola oil in the recipe.

Our Village Tasters

Like I said before, these meatballs always go over well with the patients, and are a favorite for our in-center patient celebrations!


  • Substitute equal amounts of ground turkey for ground beef if ground turkey is not something that you like.
  • Garlic powder and black pepper could be substituted for an equal amount of your salt-free seasoning blend (1-1/2 teaspoons).
  • The grape jelly and chili sauce in this recipe could be omitted and the meatballs could be used as a protein source for other recipes such as a spaghetti and meatball rendition with DaVita’s Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce (this recipe substitutes red peppers for tomatoes, making this a low potassium alternative to tomato sauce).

Similar Recipes from

In addition to Sweet ‘n’ Sour Meatballs, try some of these other great high protein crowd-pleasers from

Creamy Crock-Pot® Beef and Noodles

Seafood Dip

Ground Beef Casserole with Cornbread Topping

Deviled Eggs

Super Burgers

Joseph Ewing, RD, LDN

Joseph Ewing, RD, LDN

Joseph Ewing, RD, LDN is a renal dietitian with DaVita, a freelance dietitian and a personal chef in addition to being a co-author of four cook books. Among them is the "Feed Your Athlete: A Cookbook to Fuel High Performance". Joseph has degrees in culinary nutrition and culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University and completed a dietetic internship program at the University of Maryland. Joseph has over a decade of experience in the culinary nutrition industry.