You’ll love these Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs, made with frozen meatballs slowly cooked with sweet pineapple and barbecue sauce. The addition of vegetables makes this a full and nutritious meal, perfect to serve over rice or noodles.
These meatballs can also be served as a super tasty appetizer! It's a great dump-and-go recipe when you need something with minimal prep that still yields impressive results.
💚 Why You'll Love This Recipe
For the perfect blend of sweet and savory, make these super tasty crock pot Hawaiian meatballs! With a blend of barbecue sauce and pineapple chunks along with veggies, this hearty dish is easy to prepare and packed with flavor from the tangy sauce.
And the best part? All you have to do is pop all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and wait a couple hours! It doesn't get much simpler than this yummy meatball recipe. Great for an easy weeknight meal or even a fun and exciting appetizer!
🧂 Ingredients Needed
- onion - use a sweet onion to compliment the sweet and savory flavors of the BBQ sauce and pineapple.
- red bell pepper - for some extra color and more healthy veggie goodness.
- minced garlic - expands the flavor profile of this dish and gives it that yummy garlic taste.
- barbecue sauce - an easy way to quickly and easily add lots of flavor to your meatballs; use your favorite BBQ sauce.
- pineapple chunks - provide some sweetness and a slightly tropical twist that makes these meatballs irresistible.
- frozen meatballs - this recipe is made super simple by using store bought frozen meatballs!
- Place onion, red bell pepper, and garlic into a prepared slow cooker.
- Add barbecue sauce and pineapple chunks.
- Place meatballs in the slow cooker and mix until well combined.
- Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the veggies are tender.
Nope, there's no need to let your meatballs thaw before cooking them! As long as you give them enough time in the slow cooker, they'll fully heat through even from frozen.
If overcooked, meatballs can become dry and tough. Be sure to check in on your dish at around the 5 hour mark, and if the vegetables seem cooked through turn off the slow cooker.
The inclusion of pineapple turns the sauce into a Polynesian-inspired sweet and sour sauce and gives this meatball dish a Hawaiian flavor.
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- If you find your sauce is too thick or the meatballs end up a bit dry, feel free to add some pineapple juice. This will also increase the pineapple flavor!
- Garnish with chives or green onions for an extra pop of color and flavor.
- Serve slow cooker Hawaiian meatballs over rice or noodles, or all on their own!
- Stick some toothpicks into your meatballs to serve them as a great appetizer.
- These meatballs can also be cooked on high for 2-3 hours if you're pressed for time.
📌 Using frozen meatballs in the slow cooker is a fantastic way to create a simple but mouth-watering main dish that will become an instant family favorite!
💡 Substitutions and Variations
- To speed up prep, use a bag of frozen bell pepper and onion strips.
- You can also buy jarred minced garlic to avoid having to mince it yourself.
- Feel free to use any kind of barbecue sauce you like. You could even make it yourself if you have a homemade BBQ sauce you prefer!
- The same goes for the meatballs; frozen meatballs make for a super simple recipe, but homemade meatballs can be used instead.
- For even more flavor, consider adding ingredients like soy sauce, minced fresh ginger, teriyaki sauce, white vinegar, green pepper (or any color bell peppers), sesame seeds, or brown sugar.
🥫 Storage and Reheating
Stored properly in the fridge in an airtight container, your meatballs should last 3-4 days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 5 months.
To reheat, either place the meatballs back in the slow cooker and turn on the low setting until everything is well heated, or pop them into a pot over the stove. They can also be microwaved in a pinch.
🍴 What To Serve With This Dish
To give your crock pot Hawaiian meatballs an extra edge, serve them over top this Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice!
✔️ More Slow Cooker Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Lemon and Rosemary - This pork roast becomes super tender and decadent in the crock pot and is flavored with delicious lemon and rosemary!
- Slow Cooker Breakfast Burritos - A new way to make breakfast, these burritos can cook overnight and then easily be wrapped up into a savory and filling meal.
- 5 Ingredient Crock Pot Buffalo Mac and Cheese - You'll love the bold and cheesy flavor of this simple slow cooker pasta dish.
- Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler - Make this sweet and fruity dessert from Six Sisters' Stuff and use your slow cooker for more than just dinner!
Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs
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📋 Recipe Card
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
- 1 sweet onion, cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 18 ounces barbecue sauce (1 bottle)
- 20 ounces pineapple chunks (1 can)
- 32 ounces frozen meatballs (1 package)
- Prepare a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place the onion chunks, red bell pepper chunks, and garlic in the slow cooker.1 sweet onion, cut into chunks, 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks, 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Add the barbecue sauce and the pineapple.18 ounces barbecue sauce, 20 ounces pineapple chunks
- Add the meatballs and mix to combine.32 ounces frozen meatballs
- Cook 5-6 hours until the vegetables are tender. Serve alone or over cooked rice.
- For even easier prep, use one package frozen onion and pepper strips instead of the onion and red bell pepper.
- Use minced garlic from a jar instead of mincing fresh garlic.
- You can also cook your meatballs on high for 2-3 hours.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.