Tender Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs are bathed in the most amazing sweet and tangy sauce and STUFFED with pineapple in every bite!! An incredible make ahead appetizer or family favorite dinner!
I am slightly obsessed with pineapple. I want to add it to every taco, salad, sandwich, salsa and kebab. And I practically do. To me, pineapple makes everything better as its fresh, sweet tang enlivens, compliments, and brightens every savory spice. And every meatball.
Every birthday growing up, each sibling excitedly chose their favorite “birthday meal” that Mom would make for our special family birthday dinner. I always looked forward to my birthday for this reason alone (I was always highly food motivated ) and always selected either Chicken Divan or Waikiki Meatballs. I just couldn’t get enough of those melt in your mouth meatball morsels. The only problem was, I was always searching for pineapple to skewer along with my meatballs so I could savor the meatballs and pineapple together. So to update this classic, I kept the meatballs similar to the original with the addition of more seasonings and a splash of soy sauce and brown sugar but then I stuffed them with pineapple! No more searching, instead every juicy meatball gives way to refreshing sweet pineapple. mmmm….
But if you really don’t want to stuff your meatballs, as it does take a little more time, then these meatballs are still totally worth making just for the sauce. I think it can be difficult to strike a balance between sweet and tangy and too tangy when it comes to Hawaiian sauces, so I hope you agree this sauce is just right. And if is not for your taste buds – you can add more tang with vinegar or less tang with brown sugar 🙂 For my Hawaiian Sauce, I incorporated a few special ingredients to take it to over the top delicious such as hoisin sauce (like Asian BBQ sauce) to add some balanced sweet and tang and Asian Sweet Chili Sauce to add a slight punch of sweet heat (still family friendly) and a depth of flavor you just won’t drool over in other Hawaiian sauces.
I also wanted this sauce to have the perfect consistency but adding a cornstarch slurry at the end of cooking and simmering did not produce the silky, thickened sauce we know and love. To remedy the thin sauce problem, you simply simmer the sauce for a few minutes on the stove then pour all over your meatballs, pineapple and bell peppers and then you can walk away while your home fills with the enticing aroma of the islands.
And when you can’t stand the Hawaiian siren calls any longer, lift your slow cooker lid and tender, juicy mouthwatering Pineapple Stuffed Hawaiian Meatballs infused with the luscious paradisaical sauce await. Aloha!
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