3-Ingredient Pineapple Chili Meatballs

$12.72 per recipe / $0.80 per serving

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3-Ingredient Pineapple Chili Meatballs are a sweet and spicy spin on Grape Jelly Meatballs. These make for a fun, crowd-pleasing appetizer, or the start to an Asian-Italian Fusion Meatball Sub!

Today’s Pantry Essential: Chili Sauce

Anyone else make a stir-fry and then have a bunch of condiments in their fridge for months? Just me? Okay. Well we’re taking a few of those condiments and combining them to make an easy, flavorful, sticky meatball slow cooker meal. Yey!

The Star of the Show: Frozen Meatballs

Frozen meatballs can be a game-changer for busy moms on a budget who are looking to whip up delicious family dinners in no time. One of the standout advantages of frozen meatballs is their incredible versatility. These frozen meatballs can be incorporated into various dishes, from classic spaghetti and meatballs to hearty meatball subs, Swedish meatball stroganoff, or even zesty meatball appetizers like this one.

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, frozen meatballs offer substantial savings. Buying them in bulk allows you to take advantage of discounts and eliminates the need for frequent grocery store trips. Plus, you can control portion sizes easily, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. This budget-friendly option lets you enjoy wholesome, protein-rich meals without breaking the bank.

Having a stash of frozen meatballs in your freezer means you’re always prepared for a quick, satisfying dinner. This convenience can be a lifesaver on busy weeknights when cooking from scratch may not be an option. Simply thaw and cook, and you’ll have a wholesome meal on the table without the fuss.

Ingredients Needed

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Meatballs: Homemade meatballs are great, but for this recipe I used Italian style frozen meatballs which means this recipe takes nearly no prep time.
  • Pineapple: I used canned pineapple chunks in juice. You can also use fresh if you prefer.
  • Chili Sauce: I used a mixture of chili sauces that were in my fridge! Korean-inspired chili sauce has a unique flavor, but you can also look for a Thai sweet chili sauce or the standard chili sauce you would use for shrimp.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap the chili sauce for teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, coconut milk with red curry paste, orange marmalade, or cranberry sauce.
  • Swap out the pineapple for mango chunks for a different flavor.
  • Add sautéed peppers and onions to the slow cooker to extend the meal served over rice.

Necessary tool: Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a busy mom’s secret weapon for easy, budget-friendly meals, allowing you to prepare wholesome dishes with minimal effort, save time, and stretch ingredients while still satisfying your family’s hunger.


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low 4 hours, stirring half way through.
  2. Keep on warm, top with scallions and sesame seeds if desired.

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: To store leftover Pineapple Chili Meatballs, transfer them to an airtight container once they’ve cooled down and refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. They can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days
  • Freeze: Place them in a freezer-safe container or airtight freezer bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen meatballs will maintain their quality for approximately 2-3 months.
  • Reheat: To reheat, you can use your slow cooker again or opt for a stovetop or microwave method. If using the slow cooker, heat them on low until thoroughly warmed. On the stovetop, place them in a saucepan with a bit of water or sauce, cover, and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally until heated through. When using a microwave, place them in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat in short intervals, stirring between, until they’re hot.

Serve leftovers from this recipe over rice for a complete meal!

A party favorite

This Pineapple Chili Meatball recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd and it’s easy to portion the meatballs so you know you have the right amount.

Don’t worry about how much sauce or pineapple you have- As long as there is enough sauce to coat the meatballs the recipe will be great!


Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned pineapple chunks?

Yes, you can use fresh pineapple if you prefer. Simply cut it into chunks or tidbits. Canned pineapple chunks are used for convenience, but fresh pineapple can add a delightful, natural sweetness to the dish.

Are there any alternatives to frozen meatballs?

Absolutely, you can make your own meatballs from scratch using ground beef, pork, or a combination of meats, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Shape them into small meatballs and cook them separately before adding them to the slow cooker with the other ingredients.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this recipe?

es, you can control the spiciness by choosing a milder or spicier chili sauce. If you like it hotter, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes. Conversely, for a milder version, opt for a sweet chili sauce.

Serve with

  • Steamed rice
  • Stir-fried vegetables
  • Asian slaw
  • Spring Rolls

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3-ingredient Pineapple Chili Meatballs

3-Ingredient Hawaiian Asian Meatballs are a quick and easy spin on Grape Jelly Meatballs. These make for a fun, crowd-pleasing appetizer, or the start to an Asian-Italian Fusion Meatball Sub!
Katie Chase
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Recipe Cost $12.72
Recipe Servings 16


  • 6 quart slow cooker


  • 12 ounces chili sauce
  • 20 ounces pineapple chunks in juice
  • 40 ounces frozen meatballs homemade or Italian


  • Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and stir well to coat.
  • Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring halfway through.
  • Top with sliced green onion if desired.
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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