Ready for a dump-and-go slow cooker recipe? Try these easy slow cooker Hawaiian meatballs made with pineapple chunks, sloppy joe sauce, and frozen meatballs. It's tangy and takes less than five minutes to throw together.
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These were inspired by my Zesty Italian BBQ Chicken recipe (which has a great zing to the BBQ flavor) and a recommendation from a Facebook recipe group. A group member was looking for an easy meatball recipe that wasn't from scratch but also didn't use BBQ as its main sauce ingredient. A user recommended Manwich which I often have on hand.
Manwich (or any sloppy joe sauce for that matter) is a tomato puree-based sauce with a great blend of seasoning. I love Hawaiian meatballs, but I'm not always the biggest barbecue sauce fan, so this is a great fit for me.
This tangy tomato-based sauce would also taste fantastic over chicken or pork.
These Hawaiian meatballs are versatile because they can be used as your main dish or make for a great party dish. Take your cook-and-carry Crockpot and a pack of toothpicks.
This recipe calls for just three ingredients.
- Frozen meatballs, fully cooked. I use Kroger brand homestyle meatballs.
- Sloppy joe sauce. I use Manwich or Kroger brand.
- Pineapple chunks. I use canned Dole Pineapple Chunks or fresh pineapple if I have it.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Toss the ingredients so the sauce covers the meatballs.
Cook on high for 2–3 hours.
Don't cook these meatballs for too long. With the slow cooker, it's tempting to let dishes cook for a long time, but this really only needs two hours to do the job.
This recipe calls for precooked meatballs, so the goal here really is to fully warm through the meatballs and allow the flavors to come together. If you cook for longer (say, overnight) you'll possibly end up with burnt sauce and overcooked meatballs.
- Frozen meatballs: You can use any type of fully-cooked frozen meatball with this recipe (homestyle, Italian, turkey, etc.) but they must be fully cooked. The cook time here is not appropriate for raw meat. The 26 oz frozen meatballs from Kroger have about 27 meatballs total for reference.
- Sloppy joe sauce: If you want a tomato-based Hawaiian meatball sauce similar to my sloppy joe creation, you can used BBQ sauce and a little bit of ketchup instead. Use a cup of BBQ and a half cup of ketchup (or go full barbecue with 1-½ cups BBQ sauce).
- Pineapple chunks: You can used canned crushed pineapple instead, but I prefer the chunky pineapple in the finished dish. The chunks are also better if you plan to serve this potluck-style.
You can serve this over rice or using toothpicks for a potluck or party.
To garnish, I recommend cilantro (pictured) or green onions.
Easy Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
- 26 oz frozen meatballs fully cooked
- 15 oz sloppy joe sauce
- 8 oz pineapple chunks drained
- Add meatballs, sloppy joe sauce, and pineapple to the bottom of the slow cooker. Toss ingredients so the sauce covers the meatballs.
- Cook on high for 2-3 hours.