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Homemade pineapple meatballs are a breeze to make and delicious to eat. They're made with tender baked pork and beef meatballs in a tangy BBQ sauce with lots of pineapple chunks. Serve them with rice for dinner or skewered onto toothpicks as an appetizer.
Sweet and tangy pineapple meatballs are hard to resist. We make them with a juicy and flavorful mix of beef and pork then finish them in a Hawaiian-inspired BBQ sauce with lots of big pineapple chunks. They're a real crowd-pleaser.
One of the things we love about this recipe is that it works just as well for dinner as it does as an appetizer. Friends love skewering a tasty meatball at a party – and we love that we can make these ahead of time for a no-fuss appy.
But we also serve these for dinner over rice with a side of broccoli. The simple, family-friendly dinner gets asked for often around our place.
How to make pineapple meatballs
There are only 4 simple steps to making this meatball recipe.
- Make the meatballs. Mix the meatball ingredients then form it into balls that you bake in the oven.
- Make the sauce. Simmer the sauce ingredients until it's as thick as BBQ sauce.
- Bring it all together. Mix the cooked meatballs and some pineapple chunks into the tangy sauce.
- Serve. Now you can serve your tropical pineapple meatballs as an appetizer or spoon them over rice for dinner!
- Ground beef and ground pork – We love this combination as it's super flavorful and the pork keeps the meatballs extra moist. For a leaner version, substitute ground chicken.
- Breadcrumbs – We use regular breadcrumbs but seasoned breadcrumbs also work well.
- Milk – Any percentage works to add moisture to the meatballs.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and chili flakes – These add so much flavor!
- Pineapple chunks – We use canned pineapple as we use the juice in the sauce.
- BBQ sauce – Use your favorite brand.
- Soy sauce – You can use reduced-sodium soy sauce if you'd like.
- Rice vinegar – This adds a tangy note. Apple cider vinegar can also be used.
- Ginger – Freshly grated ginger works best.
Can I make these meatballs ahead of time?
Yes! The meatballs can be rolled and kept on the baking sheet (covered) in your fridge for up to 2 days. Also, you can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead.
How long do the leftovers last?
These pineapple meatballs will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat them in a microwave or gently on the stovetop.
Can I freeze pineapple meatballs?
Yes! You can freeze the cooked pineapple meatballs in their sauce for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight then reheat them in a microwave or a pan on medium heat.
What to serve with tropical Hawaiian pineapple meatballs
But they also make a fantastic family dinner. To make these into a meal we serve them with:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (can be gluten-free)
- ½ cup milk (can be unsweetened dairy-free milk)
- 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion, powder, sea salt, and black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce (can be gluten-free)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- Chopped green onions to serve
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form the meat into 1 ½ inch balls – a medium-sized cookie scoop works great for this. Place the meatballs onto the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they're browned and cooked through.1 lb lean ground beef, 1 lb lean ground pork, 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion, powder, sea salt, and black pepper, ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Drain the can of pineapples into a large, high-sided frying pan. Add the BBQ sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then continue to simmer until the sauce reduces and is as thick as BBQ sauce.20 ounce can pineapple chunks, 1 cup BBQ sauce, ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- When the meatballs have finished cooking, add them to the sauce. Add the pineapple chunks to the pan and let them warm for a few minutes. Serve the Hawaiian meatballs with some chopped green onions over the top.Chopped green onions to serve
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.