These Hawaiian Meatballs are made with a ground beef mixture that includes graham cracker crumbs, then cooked with an easy tangy sweet and sour sauce, pineapple tidbits and green peppers. 30 minute or less meal!
Now that daylight savings time has ended, it’s dark at 4:30pm. What in the world am I supposed to do with four energetic boys who are stuck in the house until bedtime?!
There have been lots of train tracks built, many lego towns put together, and a million forts made in my family room. While I’m not crazy about the change in daylight hours, it is fun to have some time inside with my boys. But the last thing I want to do, is spend hours cooking dinner.
Start to finish, these meatballs are cooked in 30 minutes or less! They have a yummy sweet and sour sauce sauce mixed in with pineapple and green peppers. The meatballs themselves are delicious. Instead of using bread crumbs or oatmeal as a binding agent, they use graham cracker crumbs. Together, the combo of the meatballs and sauce is to die for. Your family will love it!
- 1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup onion minced small
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 15.25-oz can pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving juice
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- cooked rice for serving
- Mix beef, graham cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger and milk in a large bowl. Shape into 1" balls.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Brown meatballs in oil. Remove and keep warm.
- Mix cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir until smooth and pour into frying pan. Cook until thickened.
- Add meatballs, pineapple and green peppers and heat through. Serve over rice. Enjoy!
Andi G. says
I have to make this! My oldest loves pineapple sausage, hot dogs, and meatballs, so this would be a hit I’m sure. P.S. I have that same blue plate!
These look so good! I agree with the whole daylight savings time thing. It totally stinks!
Looks incredible! I’ve been waiting for this one! Pinned.
marcie @ flavor the moments says
Oh, do these ever look great, Jen! Graham cracker crumbs are a twist to meatballs…I’m intrigued. I’m pinning. 🙂
Chelsia Rief says
These look so delicious! I’m going to have to try these out for my family!
Chris HyeThymeCafe says
OK, the graham cracker crumbs hooked me. Sounds intriguing. Makes me wonder if ginger snaps would work too?? Hmmmm… [#PinItThurs]
Hi Jen, I saw Hawaiian meatballs and have to come and check them out! I love Hawaiian anything and everything! Yours look so sweet and with all that glaze..oh goodness and what makes them even better at least to me, is that they are served over Rice! Thanks for sharing. Pinned!
Sarah Bates says
These look delicious Jen! Thanks for sharing at the Foodie Friends Friday party this week!
Since the size of the can will make a difference in the amount of reserved juice, do you by chance know how big of a can of pineapple tidbits I should use?
Hi Amanda! I believe it’s a 15.25-oz can on pineapple tidbits. I should probably amend that in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out!
This looks great and I am going to try it but I’m just turned off by the use of “Hawaiian” meatballs. I have lived in Hawaii all my life and we handle ever use pineapples in our cooking. And FYI, pineapples are not indigeonous to Hawaii. They were imported here. Don’t get me wrong, I love pineapples and I’m not putting you down. I just don’t see it being called “Hawaiian” Meatballs, that’s all. Just like “Hawaiian”pizza. We don’t eat pineapples on our pizzas 🙂
This recipe is delicious! The only issue I had was that it was my first time making meatballs, and ….well, they weren’t pretty! Would definitely try again though, as family loved it!
I’m so glad your family liked it!! 🙂
FYI this recipe is very sweet! The meatballs were sweet from graham cracker crumbs and the sauce from the juice and too much brown sugar. I even reduced the brown sugar to 1/4 C because I suspected it would be too sweet. We just couldn’t eat it. If I attempted it again, I would lessen the graham cracker crumbs for meatballs and dilute the juice with water. Not trying to be critical, just sharing my experience for others! 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Jill! They are on the sweeter side but I like the change of pace from a normal meatball. I have a turkey meatballs in a cream sauce recipe that are to die for, have you tried those yet?? SO good!
Cindee Gratias says
Hi Cindee – I’ve never cooked this in the crock pot but my guess would be to brown the meatballs as my directions indicate and then maybe add the soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice and bell pepper to the crock pot with the browned meatballs. Then cook for maybe 4 or 6 hours on low…then add the cornstarch last and let cook with the lid partially off for about 30 minutes. Now, keep in mind I haven’t tried this but by looking at the recipe, I think something like this might just work! Let me know if you give this a try!
How many servings with Hawaiian Meatball recipe?
Hi Pam! It’s about 6 servings. Thanks!
I would add rice to the list. I clipped this with Ziplist (which makes a grocery list out of the recipe) and rice was not included and of course I didn’t think of among the rest of the meals I was buying. Trying it tonight though…..Thanks.
Thanks Aaron! I added rice into the ingredient list. I hope you enjoyed it!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. My kids loved them.
Have a great summer.
So happy you liked them! They are a family favorite! 🙂
Your recipes are so good and healthy. Is any way for me to get the picture that is on the recipe to print as well. The pictures are beautiful and I would like it on the recipe.
Beverly Gonzalez says
I made the Hawaiian meatballs with your oven baked meatballs recipe. It was just as good and my family loved it. My family doesn’t like ginger that much so it was a good trade off and the meatballs were already made and frozen so I just thawed them. Great recipe both ways.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.. Looking forward to making this for dinner tonight..
Do you use. 80%lean ground beef or90% Lean?
I usually use 90% lean!
This reciepe is absolutely delicious! I’ve made so many times. My whole family loves it, even my 3 yr old who doesnt eat much meat! I’m gonna try it with some premade Teriyaki and pineapple chicken meatballs!
Thank you Samantha! So glad you like it!
Thanks Jen for your simple meatball recipe, you had me with the ketchup. I am a bachelor so simple is my name and I always cook my own meals.
I am also Canadian, and with our long winters, your meatballs will help keep me warm.
I’m so glad you liked them, Michael! It’s always nice to get a sweet comment like this! Glad I can help you out!
I made these meatballs as directed. When my husband taste tested them he said, ” they needle a little heat. ” so, I added a quarter tsp. Of red pepper flakes, and a bit more soy sauce. My family enjoyed them so much, my son ate the leftovers right from the pan. Great recipe!
Adding heat is always a good idea! I’m glad you like them!
Cynthia Ottone says
This recipe looks so delicious and sounds delicious. I do not cook very often as Ihavea brain injury from a stroke and am in a wheelchair, my husband does not want me too set the house on fire + I can’t see inside of the pans. I have to have some-
one helping me all the time.. Fun y how when you cook e erynight you get so tired of it, but when you cannot cook at all
You really miss it. I love to cook, so this has been so bad for me.I am definately going to try this soon.