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  • Writer's pictureHeather Green

How To Make Hawaiian Meatballs

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

My mother used to make this all the time. It’s delicious, you can partially make it ahead of time and freeze it and it’s a perfect meal to have on hand for a lazy lunch or dinner when you don’t feel like cooking!


When I was little, my mother used to make this for dinner and I LOVED IT! When I grew up I realized that I didn’t have the recipe. It wasn’t until a few years ago, that I FOUND the recipe and it tasted exactly like what I grew up with. So now I’m passing that recipe on to all of you. I even include the green onions, which my husband and I omit because we don’t really care for them. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! This recipe serves 4.

How To Make Hawaiian Meatballs by

  1. 1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef (though my mother and I use ground turkey to make it a little healthier)

  2. 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (honey flavored NOT cinnamon)

  3. 1/4 cup onion minced small

  4. 1 egg

  5. 1-1/2 tsp. salt

  6. 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

  7. 1/4 cup milk

  8. 1 Tbsp. olive oil

For the sauce:

  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar

  2. 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

  3. 1 15.25-oz can pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving juice

  4. 1/3 cup white vinegar

  5. 1 Tbsp. soy sauce

  6. 1/2 green bell pepper diced

  7. cooked rice for serving

How To Make Hawaiian Meatballs by

1.) Mix beef (or ground turkey), graham cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger, and milk in a large bowl. Shape into 1″ balls. I like to use a small ice cream scoop because this mix can be a bit loose and difficult to form into a ball.

2.) Heat oil in a large frying pan (I don’t use oil but Pam cooking spray). Brown the meatballs. Remove and keep warm. IF YOU’RE FREEZING: Once the meatballs are fully cooked and cooled place them into freezer-safe containers and freeze for a later date.

3.) Mix cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in reserved pineapple juice, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir until smooth and pour into a frying pan. Over medium heat, stir constantly until it thickens to a syrup-like consistency.

4.) Add meatballs, pineapple, and green peppers and heat through. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

As I’ve said this was a fantastic recipe to make ahead of time. I’ll make several batches of meatballs and freeze them and then pull a bag out and cook it up on a lazy evening. This is fun to make with kids, They’ll love adding the ingredients into a bowl and mixing it up, but adults should do the stovetop cooking.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and that it becomes a staple in your family’s recipe book. Have a great day! – Heather Astaneh

How To Make Hawaiian Meatballs by


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