These tasty pineapple meatballs are easy to make and incredibly delicious! They’re a hit for the whole family!
Simple and delicious – this is my kind of meal!
We all love meatballs around our house and this new version I found on Blog Chef did not disappoint.
They were fabulous and are now relegated to the ranks of “make often!”
The main plus is that my kids gobbled them up (not to mention my husband and me). Fantastic!
A few notes on the recipe – You can halve the recipe and it will work great. In addition, if you only have a small can of pineapple and have less juice than you need, just make up the difference with water and it will still taste fabulous.
What to Serve With This:
Baked Brown Rice
Steamed veggies like broccoli or peas
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ¾ cups pineapple juice, reserved from pineapple tidbits – use water to make up the difference if you don’t have enough reserved juice
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (14-ounce) can pineapple tidbits
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the meatballs by combining all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into about 1” meatballs.
- Brown Meatballs in a non-stick frying pan and drain on paper towels (or if you want to save time brown in the oven on a cookie sheet while you’re making the sauce).
- Make the sauce by combining cornstarch and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Then add 1 ¾ cup pineapple juice and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and stir. Simmer uncovered on medium low until thickened (about 8 minutes – mine only took about 4 minutes to thicken).
- In a casserole dish pour sauce over meatballs and add pineapple tidbits. Lightly mix meatballs until they are coated with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked.
Recipe Source: Blog Chef
84 Comments on “Pineapple Meatballs”
if you do this in a croc pot do you have to add the starch at the end?
The cornstarch helps thicken the sauce.
This recipe is STILL a favorite of ours!! Growing up we called it Waikiki meatballs!
It’s my father in laws favorite, thanks for sharing as always!
This was delicious! I made this tonight and the whole family loved it. They weren’t sure at first.. ewww. ..pineapple and meatballs?? Lol they all asked for seconds! Thank you for a great recipe!
Can these be made for a crowd in a crock pot? Would I need to brown them first.
Yes, I would brown them first or cook them fully and them warm the with sauce in a crockpot.
We have never made anything like this at my house but I woke up one day with a CRAVING. Made this recipe tonight and it is phenomenal! Delicious, easy, dude the thick sauce is my spirit animal; I served the meatballs and sauce over a simple brown rice, just magnificent.
I just together the meatballs and 2 pounds seem like a lot. I would like to see some reviews for this recipe.
Making these tonight and just realized I’m out of Worcestershire. Any ideas on a substitute?
Soy sauce could work in a pinch!
I have made this for over 20 years, recipe passed down from my mother-in-law. That recipe called for one beef boullion cube instead of worchestershire and I now use one Knorr powder packet instead of that cube that I keep on hand for gravy anyway. Delicious.
I have made this recipe now several times and my family love it. Thanks
This sauce was so good. I used my own beef and pork meatballs and only a half recipe of the sauce since I only had about a dozen meatballs. I heated the meatballs in a frypan and then added the pre-mixed sauce and stirred until it thickened. While waiting for the rice to finish, I added the pineapple chunks and about a half cup chopped red pepper and let it simmer for about 5 min. So good!
I lost my recipe that was a favourite and I was very pleased to find your recipe, It was absolutely delicious and reminded me of how good meat balls can be. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
I have never written a review for recipes before, and I have tried MANY.
I just had to express that this recipe is definitely a keeper!! The sauce has the perfect Hawaiian tang, exactly what I was hoping for in my sauce. A little on the sweet side, but I loved it.
I used frozen meatballs and heated them in a pan first, transferred them to a baking dish and coated with the sauce and pineapple tidbits. I have a countertop convection oven, I cooked it with the convection fan on for 30 minutes. Served over rice.
As another comment said, would be great to try adding in some green bell pepper and sweet onion to give it more veggies, will do that next time.
Thank you, Catherine!
Thank you Mel….you hit the nail on the head….have been trying to get this recipe right for years….needed the vinegar….amazing….husband ate 2nds…..good chef!
These are so delicious! I don’t like soy sauce so I just substituted Worcestershire sauce.
I’ve made this recipe several times. It’s so good, and definitely a family favorite!
This recipe has been the “go-to” recipe in my family for 45 years! Try a little 5 spice powder in your meatballs to take it over the top! Thanks for all your comfort food on my dinner table Mel.
PS, eggs are expensive in Canada and add nothing to the recipe other than binding power. I skipped eggs, made the round meatballs and flattened them in the skillet to mini patty size. They would have flattened anyway and they cooked through very quickly because they were thin.
Eggs are expensive in Canada? I’m in Canada and it’s under $2.50 for a dozen.
Canada here too, eggs aren’t expensive. About $2.50 a dozen here in Nova Scotia
Oh how inflation has hit us. Eggs probably avg $4.99/dozen in Nova Scotia
I didn’t see how using an oven would add anything, except maybe increasing your utility bill. I made this in a skillet on a hotplate, cut down to 1/3 recipe to serve two adults. It was very good. Thank you.
I can’t wait to try these!!! Meatballs make my heart happy. I am curious about the pineapple flavor with them. Not a combination I would have ever thought of on my own. I always bake my meatballs without browning them on the stovetop first. I hate that step. Usually takes about 30 min at 350 and they’re prefect.
Big hit at the dinner table tonight! Thanks for the recipe.
I am planning on making this recipe tomorrow. Looking forward to dinner tomorrow. Hopefully I do it all correctly.
Ok…so I am extremely disappointed in myself. Your website is my go-to for all awesome recipes. I made the mistake of making a similar dish called “Hawaiian Meatballs” from another website. It turned out tasteless, out of curiosity I turned to your website and voila I found this recipe. Are you kidding me! Lol! I could have kicked myself! I need to redeem myself and will use your tried and true recipe. Thanks again for posting such wonderful food. I am incredibly grateful to you! Sending heaps of hugs of appreciation!
Not bad but it took a long time to thicken the sauce and the sauce is super sweet. Too sweet for my family’s taste. Will try a lower sugar recipe next time
Thanks for another winning dinner! I simplified it by putting the raw meatballs in a 9×13 then mixed up the sauce ing (in the same bowl that I had the meatballs in!) poured it over top of the meatballs and baked 25 mins, flipped meatballs and cooked another 10. So easy and tasty! Thank you!
Hey Mel! Made these tonight. Halved the meatball recipe for my small family but kept the same sauce amount. Added red bell pepper and sweet onion to the sauce. Tasted great! Thank you! (Also, baked the meatballs on a cookie sheet at 350 for 15 minutes to brown them. Then transferred them to a 9×13 and added the sauce. Only needed to bake them another 25 minutes before they were done – I used a thermometer.)
These are a tasty little treat even though they have too much sugar for me to have often. I do plan to make a large batch of the meatballs to have on hand and try with a few of your options.
I made these for dinner last night (we love trying all of your many meatball recipes) and they were so delicious. I used the ground dark meat turkey and I did not brown them because I am lazy. Just rolled them into balls, put them in a foil lined pan, and poured the sauce over. They turned out just perfect. The sauce is just right, surprisingly not too sweet (I did use the full amount of juice and no water). I wish I had made the full recipe for leftovers as a half batch was entirely gone. Mel, this one needs to go in your next post of the “forgotten” recipes–it’s an oldie but a goodie!
Ever browned these in a skillet then transferred to crock pot (with the sauce) to simmer and finish cooking? Just wondering if that might work?
Should work great!
Please tell me how to freeze and reheat Waikiki meatballs shall I cook meatballs first?
made a double batch of the meatballs and cream sauce (omg amazing sauce) last week and made these tonight. yum yum!
YUM! Made this tonight….BUT I didn’t feel like slaving away with the meatballs. I cut up some chicken breasts instead and cooked the whole thing in a pan in about 10 minutes. I served it over rice….fantastic!
I love this recipe but would definitely prefer to oven-bake them, as the pan-frying is crazy time-consuming! For how long and what temp would you cook them at? Thanks!
Pamela – I don’t know because I’ve never tried it; you’ll have to experiment. Good luck! Maybe 350 degrees for 20 or so minutes.
These were so good! So many of the recipes from this blog are in my regular dinner rotation now!! I only had somewhere between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup of pineapple juice so a little more then a cup was water, but it turned out great.
Another hit from your outstanding collection that will be in our regular rotation. Our oldest son had to eat a plate in the car. I now know it is possible for a teenage boy to inhale meatballs and exclaim with a sauce covered mouth, “Those were fantastic!” He helped make them today and daresay he will be willing to pitch in on this meal anytime. We did brown in the over to save a step and avoid cleaning another pan and then poured off fat before adding sauce. We doubled the sauce because we seriously like sauce in our house and loved eating it over the rice. Also, I had unseasonaed ground pork on hand, so we used a mix of pork and beef. Yummy! I am going to put the leftovers in the fridge now to avoid snacking on them.
I was browsing your site (as usual) looking for a recipe with ground beef, when I stumbled on this one…am I ever glad I did! Mel these were FABULOUS!!! This recipe is def. going to making on our menu on a regular basis- I went to a Bible study last night and was telling a few people about my yummy supper and told them to check out your site- thanks for another great recipe! 🙂
I used ground turkey and halved the recipe which was just the right amount for our family. My kids loved this and also ate the pineapples. Fruits with vitamins and fiber: Check!. This recipe will be included in our rotation. Thanks again Melanie! =)
Crock pot worked great but i thought my turkey meatballs were a bit bland, next time I will pump up the flavor, turkey usually needs a bit more “help” than beef.
Making these right now. I used ground turkey since that is what we have on hand. Browned the meatballs (only 1.25 pounds so I halved the egg and spices) and am putting it in the crock pot so I don’t have to turn on my oven in this wicked AZ summer heat. I made the full recipe of sauce and will serve over brown rice and am going to saute red bell peppers in the same pan I browned the meatballs in to get all of the yummy fond and flavor. I am excited for dinner tonight! I’ll let you know how it turns out with the crock pot.
I can’t believe I’ve never commented – we make these often and love them! My 2 year old son eats 5+ meatballs at a sitting! Sometimes I’ll use ground turkey breast, or mix turkey & beef – last night I used a fresh pineapple and subbed water for all of the pineapple juice – it’s such a flexible recipe! Thank you!!
I made these for a house full of 20-something girls today… they were “the bomb diggity” and I was instructed not only to “make this every day” but also to 4x the recipe next time. They could not get enough. They even devoured the “extra” meatballs that didn’t fit in the dish that I put the sauce on. One person said “you all split one meatball… and I’ll eat the rest”, before we’d all even gotten to the table.
It was a hit, to say the least. I LOVE this recipe. I am sure it will become a staple in this household.
I am new to your website, I made these last night (the first recipe of yours I’ve tried). My husband is picky about sweet and sour sauces but this one he LOVED! We added fresh chopped celery, tomatoes, and crunchy chow mein noodles like Hawaiian haystacks and they were amazing! I can’t wait to share this recipe with our families! Thank you!
These turned out great! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am in LOVE with your blog! I cannot wait to try the cinnamon rolls with the pudding mix, but at the moment we are living in Grenada and those types of things are sometimes hard to find. However as soon as I get back to the US I am trying them!!
I posted your Divine Breadsticks on my blog. I will probably post this recipe and the broccoli soup recipe there soon. Thanks again!!
Hi Kensi – I’m glad you liked these meatballs! I hope you can find the pudding mix where you are but if not, I hope you can try the recipe later. Thanks for checking in!
my 20 oz can of pineapple tidbits only had 3/4 of juice. this time i simply opened another can but i just want to double check the amount of juice needed for the sauce. thanks so much. – helen.
Hi Helen – the amount of pineapple juice is correct in the recipe. What I usually do, if the juice from my can isn’t enough, is add water to make up the difference. I’ll edit the recipe to specify that.
Thanks, Becca – glad you both enjoyed this!
I made half the recipe as there's just the two of us. Just finished the leftovers tonight. Husband said it's a keeper. Great recipe!
Anonymous – your changes actually sound delicious! I’m glad this meal worked out, thanks for letting me know.
Through a comedy of errors (on my husband’s part) I ended up making this recipe with pork, orange juice instead of pineapple juice, and fresh (a little under ripe) pineapple. It turned out amazing and the tartness of the pineapple was a great contrast to the sweet sauce. Will definitely make it this way again!
Krista – hey, I made these this week, too! I’m glad you love them so much.
Becky – glad you like these little beauties. Thanks for commenting to let me know!
I LOVE these!!! Love them!! Thanks so much!! They are awesome!
Sounds like a good one to try for my lot. Never would have thought about putting meatballs and pineapple together!
Krista – you are right, green onions would give a great “pop” to this dinner as far as color and garnish. I’m glad you liked this meal. It is one of our family’s faves.
i know for a fact that i love ham and pineapple, but i’ve never tried beef with it. i’m totally up for trying it, especially since lately i’ve been pleasantly surprised by some interesting combinations of flavors.
I’ll bet this would be fantastic with turkey meatballs too – another recipe for me to try!
These were very yummy! I made a major blunder and doubled the vinegar (yikes) and surprisingly, they still tasted great. (Next time I plan on doing it right, though–I would appreciate a little less kick). Hubby liked them too!
Mmmm! We LOVE your sweet and sour meatballs so we will have to upgrade and try these as well!
This is my kind of recipe as well! Sounds yummy, I will be trying these very soon!!!!
amisparky – thanks for your compliment! We love this meal, too…glad it worked out for you!
Once again, you’ve come to the rescue! I actually have this recipe, though I can’t remember where I got it. BUT it doesn’t tell you to brown the meatballs first. You’re supposed to cook them in the oven and then half way through, add the sauce. Well, my meatballs were NEVER fully cooked! I’d have to increase the time, but then the sauce wouldn’t turn out the same. Disaster. I can’t WAIT to try it out again, the right way. 😉
hmmm- We made them yesterday and they were yummy!-Mrs v
Sounds like something my family would enjoy too. It’s great when you can find something that EVERYONE will eat!!
What a great recipe! I’m saving this one!
Those meatballs sound really tasty!
I have been trying to find ways to use up all my leftovers so I used my leftover hamburger meat to make the meatballs. I had some red onion and red and yellow peppers, so I threw those in with the pineapple. Then I had an opened bottle of sweet and sour sauce in the fridge, so I just used that instead of making my own. Everyone loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe, it was perfect.
This was a wonderful meal. The sauce had such great flavor and I loved the pineapple. Yummy!
ah yes… and old favorite at our house called, “waikiki meatballs”
Polliwog – I was worried when I read the vinegar was doubled but I’m glad they still turned out ok. Phew! Thanks for letting me know!
This is an AMAZING dinner. I’m eating it right now.
The only thing it’s missing is green onions on top for a bit of a color contrast.
I loved this one. I intend to make it again.
totally just made this AGAIN just now. i swear it’s the most delicious meal i make. i use the meatballs for EVERYTHING- and actually made some up the other night after watching a food network throwdown about meatballs. those shows make me hungry.
it’s in the oven as i type this, but i’m sure it will be delicious as always.
so, i made the meatballs this evening like i said. The halved recipe made 16 meatballs, and i put 3 in a bowl with some rice. when i went back to put the rest in the refrigerator just now, there were only 3 left. my roommate apparently loves these meatballs too. guess they’re not lasting me over the weekend like i had hoped. Of course he didn’t eat any when I made the FULL recipe.
Any insight on whether I can make the meatballs in advance and freeze them?
Hey Krista – you can definitely freeze the meatballs uncooked and then thaw and cook like normal (don’t freeze the sauce with the meatballs). Glad this was a hit again (for you and your roommate!).
I actually made a large batch of the meatballs and cooked them partially and then froze them (before I read your note) and we have since eaten them almost every night.
They go great with everything, and two nights in a row I have gotten a request for “bunnies and meatballs” from my roomate which is your meatballs with Annie’s Mac and Cheese bunny shaped.
I just cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes at 400 and they’re just like fresh. Amazing.
Krista – good to know! Thanks for sharing your tips on freezing these meatballs.