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Hawaiin Meatballs 2.0

Hawaiin Meatballs with Pineapple

When I was growing up as a kid of the 80s & 90s, I remember my Mom packing a BIG casserole dish to every potluck we attended!  For every family get-together (um, 14 pairs of aunts & uncles meant LOTS of family get-togethers), end of season wind-up, school functions, you name it, there was always a casserole dish in tow to be shared with everyone.

She had a few different dishes she'd make for potlucks but the one that I requested most often was her infamous Hawaiin meatballs!

I am guessing the "Hawaiin" name in the title has to do with all the delicious pineapple in this dish.  Back in my childhood, growing up in small town Alberta, you wouldn't have found a fresh pineapple in a grocery within a 100 miles, so the canned pineapple tidbits or chunks were the perfect way to add pineapple to this dish all year round.  Nowadays, you could definitely substitute in fresh pineapple for the canned pineapple, if you'd prefer.

I have modified the original recipe to have a wee bit less sugar but don't let that fool you, these meatballs are definitely sweet & sour!

Hawaiin Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground pork and/or beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs or small flake oats
  • 1 egg

Sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from the can) or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits or chunks (or 1-2 cups fresh pineapple, cut up)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for meatballs with your hands.  Once mixed well, take small pieces of the mixture and shape into balls.  Place meatballs onto parchment paper.

Transfer to the oven to bake.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Mix brown sugar and flour in a large dutch oven.  Add pineapple juice, water, soya sauce and ketchup to the sugar-flour mixture.  Heat over high heat to bring the liquid to a boil, them reduce to a simmer while the meatballs cook.

Bake for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size and desired crispness of the meatballs.

Once the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked, add the meatballs to the dutch oven.  Pour the pineapple on top and stir in.  Put the lid on the dutch oven and return to the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cook your rice (try the instant pot - instructions here) and serve with a side salad or fresh veggies.

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