These sweet and sour meatballs are always a hit at parties. My mom sometimes takes shortcuts and uses pre-made meatballs from a bag, which, after spending a few hours in the slow cooker, taste fine. I like these best when they are made completely from scratch! Ground turkey works too, but doesn't hold its shape as well. To turn into a meal, heat rice to serve with the dish. The serving size refers to this dish as a main meal, but when served as an hors d'oeuvre, easily can feed 10 to 13 people. Sometimes I do not add the cornstarch into the sauce, and just allow it to boil for a bit longer, but the cornstarch really does yield the best result.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
3 hrs 30 mins
total:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • Thoroughly mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, and salt together in a bowl. Roll the mixture into balls and arrange onto a baking sheet.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.

  • Stir the cornstarch and brown sugar together in the bottom of a saucepan and place over low heat. Add the reserved pineapple juice and vinegar; stir until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 full minute before removing from heat; pour over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

  • Add the pineapple chunks and green bell pepper to the slow cooker.

  • Cook the mixture in the slow cooker on Low until the flavors are thoroughly combined, 3 to 4 hours.

Nutrition Facts

393 calories; protein 22.5g; carbohydrates 41.8g; fat 15.1g; cholesterol 100.7mg; sodium 757.1mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (113)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2011
I've been making Waikiki Meatballs for years. The recipe was originally published in a Betty Crocker cookbook in the 1970's, and has always been a family favorite recipe. Make exactly as printed - it's perfect! Read More
(68)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/09/2011
Meatballs came out great and delicious but the sauce and pineapple was somewhat unappealing. Read More
(4)
158 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 93
  • 4 star values: 44
  • 3 star values: 13
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2011
I've been making Waikiki Meatballs for years. The recipe was originally published in a Betty Crocker cookbook in the 1970's, and has always been a family favorite recipe. Make exactly as printed - it's perfect! Read More
(68)
Rating: 5 stars
09/16/2014
I have loved this recipe for years. Never thought about putting it in the crock pot, but it works for soccer practice night :) the original recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon ginger for the meat balls and 1 tablespoon soy sauce for the sauce. I highly recommend adding that to what is written here. Read More
(39)
Rating: 5 stars
12/01/2011
This sauce is delicious! I made it exactly as is. However, I did not put it on meatballs - I baked boneless/skinless chicken breasts with this sauce poured on top of them. After reading a blog of another fellow "AR Peep" who had made this and commented it would go well on just about anything, I knew I had to try it. I believe next time I make this I will have pheasant. Hubby said pork would be great as well. Thanks for a great sauce! Read More
(36)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2011
What a terrific change-up over the usual Italian or BBQ meatball recipes. Where has this been all my life? I made it on the stovetop tonight (baked meatballs and simmered them in the sauce while rice cooked) and was rewarded with smiles all around. Only one change, red pepper for green, because that's how we roll. I used apple cider vinegar because the recipe didn't specify and it just seemed right with the other sauce ingredients. It was a good choice, adding another layer of flavor to a simple, but so very tasty dish. I usually think of ways to improve a recipe as I'm eating it, but with this I was thinking of variations, like adding soy sauce to make it teriyaki, or a little cayenne to give it a kick. I would definitely use the sauce baked over chicken breasts, too. With less cornstarch it would make an island-inspired stir-fry. And it would be so good with pork tenderloin. Oh, the possibilities... The meatballs were delish, too, and such a solid simple recipe that, like the sauce, there are many possible variations, by adding different spices. I made gluten free breadcrumbs in the food processor and they worked perfectly. Next time (and there WILL be one) I might use crushed pineapple so I get a little pineapple in every bite, but that's just a matter of personal taste. This really is a very good recipe. Thank you, Sammie, for adding 2 new guns to my kitchen arsenal. You rock! Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2013
*DROOL* These were AMAZING. I used two 1.5 lb bags of frozen meatballs, doubled the measurements for all other ingredients, and set the slow cooker for 4 hours on high. I'm sure fresh meatballs can be cooked on low but I wanted to play it safe since I was using frozen and they were absolutely perfect. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2015
I read somewhere you should wet your hands with water before rolling the meatballs. Surprisingly it works really well at preventing meat mixture from sticking to your hands. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 4 stars
09/10/2011
I got this recipe from the the recipe card club back in the 70's Anyone else remember the yellow plastic box and you got one set of cards per month. This is still my kids meal of choice and they are in their 30's and 40 now. I never put it in the crock pot. I think the meatballs would get too done. Serve over white rice. Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
08/23/2011
We liked this sauce but it was a bit too sour for us maybe less vinegar. We didn't put it in the crock pot just over top ready made meatballs as we were short for time. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2016
I've made these for years. I use not only the pineapple juice but the cherry juice as well. We like a lot of sauce with the meatballs and rice. I like to make a thicker sauce as well and put a bit more cornstarch in. I also add canned lychees if I can find them. Read More
(6)
Rating: 3 stars
09/09/2011
Meatballs came out great and delicious but the sauce and pineapple was somewhat unappealing. Read More
(4)