Whether you’re making them for an easy party appetizer, or serving them as a main dish over rice, Hawaiian Meatballs are sure to be hit! All you need is pineapple, BBQ sauce and meatballs, and you can cook them in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.

Hawaiian BBQ Meatballs on a plate with a toothpick in each one.

My favorite part about Hawaiian Meatballs is the tangy-sweet combination from the pineapple and the bbq sauce. You can use store-bought bbq sauce, but my homemade bbq sauce takes it to a whole new level!

How to Make Hawaiian Meatballs:

In the Slow Cooker:

  • Spray the bottom of your slow cooker lightly with cooking spray. Add frozen meatballs to the bottom of pot.
  • In a large bowl stir together homemade bbq sauce and crushed pineapple. Pour over meatballs. 
  • Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Serve warm garnished with chopped green onions, if desired.
Two process photos for making Hawaiian meatballs in a crockpot.

On the stovetop:

  • Add homemade bbq sauce and crushed pineapple to a medium pot.
  • Add meatballs and stir to coat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, 
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes for thawed meatballs, or 14-16 minutes for frozen meatballs.
  • Serve warm garnished with chopped green onions, if desired.
A slow cooker with Hawaiian Meatballs, ready to serve.



BBQ Hawaiian Meatballs in a slow cooker, being served with a spoon.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
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  • 50 – 60 pre-cooked frozen meatballs* store-bought or homemade
  • 2 1/2 cups BBQ sauce* store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup fresh diced pineapple , or use crushed pineapple from a can, slightly drained


For slow cooker meatballs:

  • Spray the bottom of your slow cooker lightly with cooking spray. Add frozen meatballs to the bottom of pot. Pour pineapple and bbq sauce over meatballs. 
  • Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Serve warm garnished with chopped green onions, if desired.
    Sauce being poured over meatballs in a slow cooker.


Meatballs: Our favorite frozen store-bought meatballs are Costco’s Kirkland brand Italian meatballs. Homemade pre-cooked meatballs also work. If meatballs are thawed, reduce cook time. 
BBQ Sauce: My easy homemade BBQ sauce takes just minutes to stir together, and is amazing in this recipe. My homemade sauce makes about 3 cups, so add 2.5 and save the leftovers for something else, or add all 3 cups, some extra meatballs, and a little extra pineapple.
Stovetop Method: Add meatballs, pineapple and bbq sauce to a large pot and stir to coat. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes for thawed meatballs, or 15+ minutes for frozen meatballs, or until warmed through. 
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 


Calories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 11gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 40mgPotassium: 218mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 8.4mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.7mg

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I originally shared this recipe August 2017. Updated February 2021.

Process photos by Nikole from The Travel Palate.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Quick and easy. And taste great. I made this recipe for my grandson’s birthday party and everyone loved them. Especially my four year old grandson. Who is a picky eater.

  2. One helpful hint about these frozen meatballs. Don’t microwave them. I did that for a party that I was catering years ago and they became like golf balls. Slow cooker, oven or stove top only for these!

  3. 5 stars
    Hosting a party of 35 or more people… I need to make these… My crock not big enough, can I slow bake them instead?

    1. Yes, you could bake them. Bake the meatballs first (according to package or recipe instructions) then add the sauce at the end.

    2. I had somebody make this for me a long time ago and it was so good! I was wondering what kind of store bought bbq sauce you would recommend. There’s just so many different flavors I’m not sure what to pick

  4. I wonder if the crushed pineapple would make the bbq sauce too thin. I think I am going to get the smallest can of crushed pineapple and add in 3/4 cup pineapple preserves. Similar to the recipe for grape jelly meatballs.

  5. Great recipe – loving all that I have tried so far. But how come you make your own sauce but you buy frozen meatballs? I assume this, as you don’t give the simple recipe for making meatballs.

  6. 5 stars
    is one of my go to recipes. Especially after the first time I made them, my husband thought I went to a lot of work. He loves them! Having out of town family on the weekend and going to share my Hawaiian meatballs!

  7. 5 stars
    This seems to be our go-to recipe when we’re in a rut and need a dinner idea. The meatballs are easy to make and everyone loves them. We usually serve them over rice…yumm! Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  8. Thank u for sharing ur recipe! I am looking forward to making these for my Christmas Eve party this year. I love finding new yummy ideas…urs is great! Will let ya know how they go. I am going to make homemade meatballs for mine. Can’t wait.

  9. 5 stars
    Love these Hawaiian BBQ meatballs! I made them to bring to a New Year’s Eve party and people asked me for the recipe…just made them again for another party and received many compliments. I always make extras to keep handy in our fridge in a plastic container — quick snack to microwave or heat up and serve with brown or white rice for a quick dinner! Your recipes are awesome!

    1. Thank you so much Katie! That makes me so happy to hear. Thank you for taking the time to comment–and thanks so much for following TBFS <3