Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs

Are you on the hunt for a savory and sweet appetizer that will have your guests begging for the recipe at your next gathering? Look no further than our Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs. These mouthwatering meatballs combine the succulent flavors of juicy pineapple and the rich, smoky notes of barbecue sauce for a taste explosion that will leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re hosting a party, game night, or simply want to treat your family to a delectable treat, these meatballs are sure to be a hit. In this blog post, we’ll take you through every step of the recipe, offer some variations to suit your taste, and share some handy tips to make your cooking experience a breeze.


Before we dive into the preparation, let’s gather all the ingredients you’ll need to whip up this irresistible dish:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef or pork (or a combination of both)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cooking spray

For the Pineapple Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (canned or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your heat preference)

For Garnish:

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Sliced green onions

Now that you’ve got your ingredients assembled, it’s time to get cooking!


Making the Meatballs

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, grated onion, chopped parsley, egg, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Mix everything together until well combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preparing the Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Mix until the sauce is smooth and well-blended.


  1. Preheat your slow cooker on the low setting and lightly grease the interior with cooking spray.
  2. Place the meatballs into the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the prepared pineapple barbecue sauce over the meatballs, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.


  1. Once your meatballs are ready, serve them hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley and sliced green onions. You can also provide toothpicks or cocktail forks for easy serving.


While the classic Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs are already a crowd-pleaser, you can customize this recipe to suit your preferences or add a unique twist:

1. Spicy Kick:

  • For those who love some heat, increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce or add a few dashes of hot sauce.

2. Mini Meatballs:

  • If you’re planning a cocktail party or a finger-food event, create mini meatballs instead for a bite-sized treat.

3. Different Proteins:

  • Experiment with different types of ground meat like chicken, turkey, or even plant-based alternatives for a unique twist on the classic recipe.

4. Pineapple Salsa:

  • Instead of crushed pineapple in the sauce, use diced pineapple to create a chunky, tropical salsa to accompany the meatballs.

5. Asian Fusion:

  • Add a touch of Asian-inspired flavor by including grated ginger and a splash of teriyaki sauce to the sauce mixture.


  • Make it Ahead: You can prepare the meatballs and the sauce the night before and store them separately in the fridge. This will save you time and make your party preparations a breeze.
  • Freeze for Later: If you have leftovers, freeze them in an airtight container. Simply reheat in the slow cooker when you’re ready to enjoy them again.
  • Serving Suggestions: These meatballs pair wonderfully with white rice, and they can even be served in a sub roll for a delicious sandwich.
  • Keep Warm: If your slow cooker has a “warm” setting, switch to it once the meatballs are ready to keep them at the perfect temperature for your guests.

There you have it, our delicious Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs recipe that’s bound to be the highlight of your next get-together. These sweet and savory meatballs are versatile, easy to prepare, and guaranteed to please a crowd. From the mouthwatering aroma that fills your home as they cook to the delightful explosion of flavors with each bite, this recipe is a keeper. Whether you follow the classic version or put your unique spin on it, these meatballs are sure to become a party favorite. So, set your slow cooker, prepare your ingredients, and get ready to savor the delight of Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs at your next event. Enjoy!

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