Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe

This is the perfect recipe to throw in your crock pot and forget about it until dinner time. Your whole family will love these tasty meatballs!
This sauce is amazing.


Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
You will love this quick and easy slow cooker meal. Just add all ingredients in the morning and you have an amazing dinner waiting for you!
  • 32 oz. package of precooked, frozen meatballs (you could use turkey meatballs)
  • 13.5 oz can of unsweetened pineapple chunks (put juice aside)
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl. cornstarch
  • ⅔ cup of white vinegar
  • 2 Tbl. Soy sauce
  1. Place meatballs in crock pot and top with green pepper and drained pineapple chunks. In a separate bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour sauce over meatballs, pineapple and green peppers. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

Equipment needed for this recipe:

Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Try these!

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  1. says

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE! This is the same as my mother’s “Sweet and Sour Pork” although I have always wondered about the sour part… anyway~ She would just slow brown cubed pork and then follow this same recipe. I have to say I am so excited to see it with meatballs and as a slow cooker recipe! Tonight’s dinner here we come!

  2. says

    What I love the most is that any recipe that has pineapples in it automatically becomes “Hawaiian something or other” (i.e. Hawaiian Pizza, Hawaiian Haystacks ~ which I had never had until I went to Japan because we don’t make that in Hawaii). We call these Sweet & Sour Meatballs in Hawaii and yes, that sauce is AWESOME!!

    • Denise says

      I usually don’t comment, but thought I would this time. I always wonder why someone’s comment was “removed by auther.” lol lol I once had a lady who posted pictures of what she’d been knitting. Well, one day I received her usual email and it had pictures of a naked lady in a laundry room posing. Don’t know if it was the blog lady or if someone hacked her account. I actually laughed my head off at myself because I was so shocked. Never expected that. lol lol

    • says

      Hi Laura!

      This serves 6-8 (or more depending on serving size. We usually can feed my family of 3 twice with this). I have never tried them as a freezer meal, so I am not sure the best way to go about doing it. I would maybe freeze the everything together before cooking the meatballs so they aren’t cooked twice. Let us know how it goes!

  3. says

    This was great! The only thing I did differently was add in 3 carrots that I sliced. We used the Sutton & Dodge meatballs found in Target’s meat department. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Well I just saw you said you used white vinegar…hmm..I used apple cider vinegar and it’s in the crock pot now..hope it turns out ok..I didn’t scroll down until I actually had time to sit down, I just read the recipe. :( usually it states the type of ingredient: dark brown sugar, light brown..white vinegar, apple cider :(

  5. says

    seriously how hard is it to make balls of meat? no fresh pineapple? there’s not even the SUGGESTION of using anything fresh. Use tons of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients! This kid of so called food is why kids (and adults) are unhealthy, overweight, and have no clue about food- it basically sums up everything that is wrong with lazy, pre-bought, no effort “cooking”. bravo.

    • says

      This is made to be an easy meal for people who work or have plans and need something quick. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that you can substitute for fresh ingredients. And if you don’t like it, don’t make it. It’s a simple as that.

    • says

      Hey I love no effort cooking, in fact its in my crockpot right now! I happen to be putting all my effort in carpooling, PTA’ing, Cheerleading,Gymnastics and Laundry today…..I can keep it fresh and healthy tomorrow night, oh wait thats Pizza Night its Friday! Thanks Ladies for the amazing recipes! You all are awesome!

    • says

      Hey, this is better for you than McDonalds! Give people credit for at least trying to keep healthy on a busy schedule! Yes, I’m all for healthy and all natural…but you are just being rude. There are better ways to get your message out than bashing people.

      • M B says

        “Cost of premade meatballs: $2
        Cost of pound of burger: $4

        Cost of canned pineapple: $.50
        Cost of fresh pineapple: $3”

        WHERE do you shop that pre-made meatballs are 2$!?? I can almost always find a cheaper deal for ground beef than pre-made stuffs.
        Also, WHERE can I find .50 can of pineapple? ha
        I agree that some things could be substituted – Light sugar free canned pineapple, The syrup with your own slurry of juice and maple, etc as a compromise for still being easy but a little more healthy. Convenience does prevail over health, but at least make the effort to meet halfway.
        Excited to try this with my own adaptions to suite my needs. Thanks for posting and it sounds like the original recipe was a hit!

    • Ralph says

      I am big on fresh. This lady is right; it’s no problem making meat balls. Take one night out to do these things, make healthy hamburgers, pies, meat sauces, whatever, and then freeze them. Whoops, is frozen fresh. LOL, there may be one or two domestic goddesses out there but for the norm especially with children, this is a great recipe, I am a single old fart and don’t like processed meat balls, never found one good so will make those and if you want a fresh pineapple, no problem, use one, I would substitute the sugar with local honey if I was also anal about sugar but this is one bloody cup. I am sure the recipe is Hawaiian Meatballs. You didn’t expect glazed sweet? “Ladies in dispute”, when I raised kids, 4, close in ages, 4 into everything and worked many long hours to support them and when a kid’s activity was scheduled, I was at every event. “no matter what” they came first. They were good participants lots of energy, (must have been the ice cream on the way to the game) the big M on the way home because it was generally late and my wife had done enough in her day. I have 4, very healthy (far from fat) productive nice adults who call me Dad, they turned out well in spite of a few fast food meals. You want good healthy kids, stay with their extracurricular activities. You can have a clean organized house and join a culinary club when they leave home which happens over night.

    • Denise says

      Anyone with half a brain and cooks could easily figure out how to make this healthier. No need to be a debbie downer. If people are concerned about making it healthier, they will make things from scratch and experiment.

    • Alysia says

      Tiana if you want to do it the “hard” way and have the time then substitute. They do not claim to be a “Clean eating recipe” site. This is a simple comfort food recipe. Why so hateful? Not everyone has time to make homemade meatballs. Nor core a friggin pineapple and canned or frozen pineapple can be just as healthy. Doesnt have to be a fresh one. And “Tons of other unhealthy ingredients”… Ummmmm white vinegar, green pepper, and meatballs are all pretty fair ingredient wise. Some corn starch, brown sugar, and soy sauce are not whats making this country fat…..

  6. says

    This was ammmmmaaaazing!!!!
    I didn’t use a crock pot, but rather opted to use my plain old non-stick and the results were super.
    However, i reduced the amount of sugar and increased the amount of vinegar to have a more tangy than sweet taste.
    Thanks for uploading this recipe.

    Twitter: @penelopekirui

  7. says

    I’ve had this in the crock now for about 3 hours and my sauce still hasn’t thickened. I added more cornstarch to try but all it did was turn the sauce a weird color! And suggestions?

    On a side note, it still smells delicious! I just can’t imagine eating it without the thick sauce :)

  8. says

    I’m having the worst time finding frozen meatballs at any of my local grocery stores would it be okay if I made my own, would I have to brown them first and how would that change cooking time? I have all the other ingredients but the meatballs. Would any other meat work? Any easy meatballs recipe suggestions?

  9. says

    I was looking for a perfect recipe for my Hawaian Party & I came accross this & I have to try it because I too have 5 sisters, no brothers. We have all moved apart (accept for two of them live near eachother). I miss my sisters and all of us getting together for family meals & celebrations. Thank you!

  10. says

    Some people may be having trouble with watery sauce because they are using a large can of pineapple which would be about 20 ounces instead of the 13.5 ounce can called for. In fact, I can only find pineapple in 8 oz. and 20 oz. sizes, so I either just use an entire small can or only part of the large can and juice. Thank you so much for this recipe – my family absolutely loves it!

  11. says

    About how many servings does one batch yield? I’ve heard your recipe is the BEST and so I’m going to make it for about 30 people… Quite an undertaking I have a feeling. I just need to know how many batches to make so no one goes hungry :)

    Thank you!!!

  12. says

    Depending on how big the servings are and if you are feeding adults. A 2 pound bag should have around 64 meatballs in it. So I’m thinking around 6 to 8 servings. You may want to read through the comments. We had no problem with the sauce thickening up, but some people did. Hopefully their comments will be of help to you! They are yummy meatballs. Hope all goes well with you big gathering!! :) -The Six Sisters

  13. says

    Oops. Have this in the crockpot now — before I came back to read the comments. I didn’t see a use for the pineapple juice, so I drank it. lol! I made my own meatballs and added onion and carrots to this. Super fast and easy, other than making the meatballs. I’ll be serving with brown rice. I’m not worried about the final results too much, as my large crew eats just about anything.

  14. says

    This is very similar to my Sweet n Sour Pork recipe only in a slow cooker. In addition to the green pepper and pineapple, I add small wedges of fresh tomato right before serving (warm for 3 min.). Oh yes, and the sauce also includes cider vinegar for a little tang. It is absolutely delicious.

    Sinea from Ducks ‘n a Row

  15. says

    I’ve made this several times for parties and it’s always been a huge hit. Just a quick suggestion – use crushed pineapple instead of diced. It helps the sauce thicken more easily and ensures bits of pineapple in each bite.

  16. says

    I am going to make this tonight with homemade venison/pork meatballs. I was looking for a recipe that didn’t require a bottle of sweet and sour sauce so this is perfect. For those of you having issues with the cornstarch not thickening, just hold that back out of the recipe and add the cornstarch with water AFTER it is cooked and stir it in until you get the desired consistency.

  17. Kylie says

    Hi there- just threw this into the crockpot! Super excited to try it, however had no white vinegar and so I googled substitutes, bringing up the options of malt or cider vinegar. I had both on had and choose to use malt… Was just wondering if anyone has tried this before and how it turned out?


  18. Melissa says

    Thanks! Wonderful recipe. I loved it. What side dish goes well with this? Sure white steamed rice…but any other ideas? I’m serving a large party and this will work perfect.

    • Cyd says

      We have a lot of vegetables and salad recipes on our blog. Also, on our sister site you can find thousands of recipes that would be perfect for a side dish.

  19. Katie says

    I made these meatballs for a work luncheon, and everyone loved them. I used the Kroger brand turkey meatballs and low sodium soy sauce, and I thought it was delicious. Since I needed to serve 20 people, I basically doubled the recipe. I used a 20 oz can of pineapples instead of 2 13.5 oz cans because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too sweet. I also let everything warm in the crock pot a little longer and stirred once during cooking to make sure all of the meatballs were heated. Several people asked me to share the recipe, so I know it was a hit. Thanks!

  20. Thuyvi McIver says

    I like to add a small onion and a coup,e cloves of garlic to this. I also sauté my veggies just a little before I throw them in the crockpot so they aren’t half way done and still mostly raw when the meatballs are done.

  21. Lisa Lara says

    I am so glad I found this recipe on pinterest and tried it! I loved it. I served it over brown rice. I will freeze the leftovers for future meals. I had best results turning my crockpot on high for the fourth hour and needed to stir occ. Loved it. Thank you girls!

  22. Sydnie says

    I’ve made this once and the family loved it! Tonight I’m making it again… But I added lots of broccoli. Carrots, and snow peas to make it go farther and have fresh veggies in it! I also added extra pineapple and doubled the sauce. I plan on serving it with brown rice. So YES… You can take a delicious recipe and tweak it to fit your lifestyle. I’ve also made this once with frozen chicken breasts & shredded them at the end. So good!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  23. Dan B says

    For anyone who is stuck with a completely liquidy sauce at the end, separate the sauce from the meatballs and just simmer it on the stove with some extra cornstarch and re-add it to the crockpot and then leave it on low for another hour.

    As for Tiana, you could’ve just made those fresh ingredient substitutions yourself, but we’re all glad you made sure to voice your dismal opinion, thanks! :). Glad I’m not your husband.

  24. Heidi says

    I made this and loved it! I halved the recipe and added some julienned carrots (about 1/4 c which was 4-5 baby carrots), as well as a few extra pinches of brown sugar (I spilled a little extra vinegar when measuring – OOPS). The only canned pineapple I could find was 8oz cans of tidbits… but they worked perfectly. I added the carrots with everything else, cooked on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirred everything, then turned down to warm for the rest of the time – maybe 3 1/2 hours. Served over brown/wild rice. Next time I may add broccoli and a little onion.

    I would double the sauce ingredients… there wasn’t a lot left to pour over the rice. My sauce wasn’t too watery, but just in case it did turn out that way I added 1-2 extra pinches of cornstarch. Half of this recipe plus the rice made for a total of 3-4 meals for me.

  25. Courtney says

    As I access this recipe again for my Superbowl shopping list, I just want to say that this recipe is awesome! It’s so easy and inexpensive. I use it all the time — as an appetizer, or as part of a main dish. I’ll serve the meatballs over brown rice, or I’ll make subs with Kings Hawaiian sub rolls and white American cheese.

  26. Kristie Moore says

    Another wonderful and delicious recipe! This just got done in the crock pot and we are having this for the first time. My husband and I are both giving you and this recipe 2 thumbs up! Another recipe I am sharing with friends and family!

  27. Diane says

    These meatballs were sooo good! I needed them in a hurry, so I used the stovetop. A 20-oz can of pineapple chunks with its syrup and 2 Tbls cornstarch thickened up nicely. I also added a little ketchup to the sauce ingredients. Really good on white rice. Thanks for sharing, will definitely make again.

  28. basketball grandma says

    I think the reason some sauces aren’t thickening could be because of the amount of water/fat in the meatballs. I have used 2 different kinds, one thickened and one did not. Just an idea.

  29. Cassie says

    I tried this for the first time tonight. I had it in the crockpot for about and hour and since time was running short I transfered it to a pan on the stove, brought it to bubbling, turned it on low while I made the rice, and it was delicious! It thickened up nicely on the stove. Even my hubby who is not a fan of pineapple liked it, we will be having it again!

    • Cyd says

      The recipe says cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. I think 8 plus hours on low would be way too long. Not sure if your crock pot has a keep warm setting. The frozen meatballs have been precooked, so the keep warm setting may work. You will want to add more liquid so that it doesn’t dry out.

  30. Valerie says

    WOW…..this was great! I just started getting back into slow cooking because of a busy lifestyle. I made my own turkey meatballs to control ingredients. My husband and I love this dish. I have made it once and bought everything to make it again this week. Since it’s just the two of us now, I freeze half and it freezes great! Thanks for sharing this one!!

  31. Rebecca D says

    I have used this recipe several times and add half a sweet onion cut into chunks with the bell & pineapple. It’s always amazing! There is enough sauce to use if you want to add more meatballs; I’ve added an additional 16 oz successfully with plenty of sauce to add on rice. I bake the meatballs first for 15 mins to thaw them (because extra frozen meatballs need more cooking time) and slow cook for 4 hours. The sauce will thicken in the last half hour.

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