There are a million different ways to enjoy meatballs at home, with all kinds of different flavors. One of the least known about, yet possibly one of the most delicious, is the strange-sounding Hawaiian meatballs.
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However, the key component of this recipe isn’t just the pineapples but the sweet and thick sauce that goes over everything. Other than that, this recipe for Hawaiian meatballs is simple to make and, thanks to a few simple meatball tricks, should result in some really tender and supple meatballs.
Hawaiian Meatballs Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Ground beef
• Cracker crumbs
• Ground ginger
• Pineapple tidbits
• Green pepper
• Brown sugar
• Soy sauce
How To Make Hawaiian Meatballs
• Mix the ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger, and milk together and shape into rounded tablespoon sized balls
• In a large saucepan on medium heat, cook the meatballs for 10 minutes, turning often to brown all sides
• Place the meatballs in a bowl to the side and drain any fat from the meatballs
• Set the pan aside to use for the sauce
• In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and the sugar until combined
• Add in the reserved pineapple juice, vinegar, and soy sauce and whisk until well combined
• Return the pan to medium heat and add the sauce
• Bring to a boil and stir for about 1 minute until it thickens up
• Add in the pineapple and the green peppers and stir to combine
• Gently add in the meatballs and return the mixture to a simmer for 1 minute
• Remove from heat and serve.
What To Serve Your Hawaiian Meatballs With?
Meatballs are a bit of a weird dish when it comes to trying to find something to pair it with.
While a lot of people just eat meatballs on their own, to make them into a full meal, you really need to pair them with a side dish, as well as a carb source.
A good mainstay to serve these Hawaiian meatballs with is some simple boiled rice alongside a plate of steamed vegetables. While the side dishes might be a bit plain, the thick, rich sauce should provide plenty of flavor to coat everything – you just might need a small sprinkle of salt as well.
You could also consider serving this as a sandwich, meaning the only thing you would need to serve with your meatballs is a big submarine roll! The sauce would saturate the bread inside, making it into a delicious meatball sub! A small amount of cheese, some tomatoes, and maybe some lettuce would make it a satisfying and complete lunch!
Don’t be afraid to just eat it all on its own, though – we all go through days where we just want a little bit of protein and little else, so why not just eat a giant meatball and some sauce?
Could You Use Fresh Pineapple For This Recipe?
This recipe calls for pineapple tidbits, which are basically just diced canned pineapple, usually preserved in pineapple juice.
While using canned fruit might seem unconscionable, it is actually the easiest way to get pineapple for this recipe, as they come ready prepared and cut up for you, allowing you to just add them directly to the recipe.
If you found yourself with a pineapple that you needed to use up, however, you could certainly use it for this recipe.
However, make sure you are preparing it really, really well.
Preparing Fresh Pineapple
You need to not only remove all of the harsh, spiky skin, but you also need to get rid of the hardcore. Plus, you need to get rid of any of those slightly sunken, dark spots that dot the flesh of the pineapple.
You also need to cut the pineapple flesh into very small chunks, as otherwise, they won’t be easily coated in the sauce.
Honestly, while using fresh ingredients is always nice, this is simply one of those times where using the easier canned alternative is simply better. Plus, you get the preserving liquid, which adds a ton of flavor to the sauce as well!
Looking for more delicious Meatball recipes? Try these out:
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 15 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 ½ Lbs ground beef
- 2/3 cup cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup onion (minced)
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup milk
- One 13.5oz can Pineapple tidbits (drained, reserve syrup)
- 1/3 cup green pepper (diced)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- Mix the ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger, and milk together and shape into rounded tablespoon sized balls.
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, cook the meatballs for 10 minutes turning often to brown all sides. Place the meatballs in a bowl to the side and drain any fat from the meatballs. Set the pan aside to use for the sauce.
- In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and the sugar until combined. Add in the reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce and whisk until well combined.
- Return the pan to medium heat and add the sauce. Bring to a boil and stir for about 1 minute until it thickens up.
- Add in the pineapple and the green peppers and stir to combine. Gently add in the meatballs and return the mixture to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.