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Hawaiian Meatballs

These Hawaiian meatballs take only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes prep to make! So easy and always a crowd pleaser. Makes the perfect appetizer or main dish.

Hawaiian meatballs in a bowl with pineapple and rice.
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Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe

Meatballs are a family favorite in my house and get devoured in a matter of minutes! We love this Hawaiian version, as well as BBQ meatballs, Asian meatballs and teriyaki meatballs.

I’m super excited to share another variation of my grandpa’s famous slow cooker meatballs. These Hawaiian meatballs (also known as sweet and sour meatballs) are very similar to my grape jelly BBQ meatballs, however I used pineapple juice instead of grape jelly to give them more of a Hawaiian flavor.

The taste of the Hawaiian meatball sauce is SO delicious! It’s tangy, rich and seriously addicting like these cranberry meatballs. The BBQ sauce does give them a little kick, but they are still pretty mild with lots of flavor.

We love to serve these Hawaiian meatballs over rice topped with green onions for a main dish, however you can eat them plain as well. They are one of our favorite Hawaiian appetizers and are always on the menu whenever there is a big game.

Recipe Ingredients

These Hawaiian meatballs only require 3 simple ingredients and are prepped in just 5 minutes! I used a can of pineapple that I had on hand, but you could use fresh pineapple if you prefer. You could also use homemade meatballs as well if you’d rather not use frozen. Sometimes I’ll use turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs if I want to keep the Hawaiian meatballs on the lighter side.

Hawaiian meatball ingredients on counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Frozen meatballs: To keep this super simple, I use premade meatballs, but you can always use homemade meatballs, if you prefer.
  • BBQ sauce: Choose your favorite sauce to make these meatballs truly your own.
  • Bell peppers: I like to use red and orange that I cut into chunks.
  • Pineapple chunks: I love the sweetness of the pineapple and I like to add a little bit of the juice, as well.

Ways to Serve

These Hawaiian meatballs aren’t just an appetizer! They make a delicious 5-ingredient crockpot meal as well…there are so many ways to serve them! Below are a few of our favorites.

  • Place toothpicks in the top to make a fun appetizer.
  • Serve over rice, coconut rice or cooked noodles.
  • Serve Hawaiian meatballs in a roll to make a mini slider.
  • Sandwich between french bread to make a Hawaiian meatballs hoagie.
  • Serve directly out of the slow cooker for parties.
  • Serve with sliced green onions and sesame seeds to dress them up.
  • Feel free to add more veggies too, like green/red bell peppers or onions.

How to Make Hawaiian Meatballs

Showing how to make hawaiian meatballs in a 4 step collage.
  1. Add meatballs to slow cooker and pour BBQ sauce on top. Then add sliced pineapple, bell peppers, and pineapple juice.
  2. Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high.
  3. Top with more pineapple and sliced green onions if desired.

Last-Minute Dinner

We love keeping a big bag of frozen meatballs in the freezer, as well as BBQ sauce and canned pineapple in the pantry so we can make these whenever we need a last minute dinner.

Hawaiian meatballs in a crockpot with a spoon.

Recipe FAQs

Why do you put milk in meatballs?

Though I use frozen meatballs for this Hawaiian meatball recipe, you can use homemade meatballs, if you prefer. The milk helps keep the meatballs moist when cooking.

Do I need to defrost meatballs before cooking Hawaiian meatballs?

No! That’s the beauty of this recipe. Just add the frozen meatballs to your crockpot and they will cook up perfectly in the slow cooker. :) Doesn’t get easier than that!

Can you double the Hawaiian meatball recipe?

Sure. If doubling, use 50 meatballs, 2 cups BBQ sauce and 2 cans of sliced pineapple. I would also cook them around 3 hours, until they are tender and warm throughout. If you are tripling the recipe for a super large crowd, I’d recommend using 2 slow cookers.

Storage

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Hawaiian meatballs in a bowl with rice.

Looking for ways to use more meatballs? Try crockpot grape jelly and bbq meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs, or meatball sliders.

More Meatball Recipes

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Hawaiian meatballs in a bowl with rice.

Hawaiian Meatballs

5 from 37 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These slow cooker Hawaiian meatballs take only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to make! So easy and always a crowd pleaser. Makes the perfect appetizer or main dish.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 5

Ingredients 

  • 25 frozen meatballs
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 bell peppers , cut into chunks (I prefer red and orange)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pineapple chunks , reserving 2-3 Tablespoons juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger , optional

For serving: Rice, Sliced green onion, Sesame seeds

    Instructions

    • In the bottom of a crockpot, add the meatballs. Pour the BBQ sauce over the top. Add the bell peppers and pineapple. Pour 2 to 3 Tablespoons pineapple juice (from the can) over the top. Sprinkle with ginger, if using, and stir until combined.
    • Cover with a lid and cook on high 2 to 3 hours, or until warmed through.
    • Enjoy as an appetizer or serve over rice for a main dish. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

    Notes

    Double the recipe: Use 50 meatballs, 2 cups BBQ sauce, and 2 cans of sliced pineapple.
    Tip: We love keeping a big bag of frozen meatballs in the freezer, as well as BBQ sauce and canned pineapple in the pantry so we can make these whenever we need a last minute dinner.
    Serving options: 
    • Place toothpicks in the top to make a fun appetizer.
    • Serve over rice, coconut rice or cooked noodles.
    • Serve in a roll to make a mini slider.
    • Sandwich between french bread to make a Hawaiian meatball hoagie.
    • Serve directly out of the slow cooker for parties.
    • Serve with sliced green onions and sesame seeds to dress them up.
    • Feel free to add more veggies too, like green/red bell peppers or onions.
    Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 5meatballs | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Appetizer
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Hawaiian meatballs in a white bowl.

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