Hawaiian Meatballs with Pineapple Coconut Sauce

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This Hawaiian Meatballs with Pineapple Coconut Sauce dish is one of my fave’s, but I hadn’t made it for a while, and kinda forgot about it until recently…it was a big hit with the kids, and it’s SUPER simple ingredients!

meatball recipe

It was actually a recipe my mother in law gave me after I got married, and the first time I made it was a big disaster. I’ve since changed up the method, and tweaked the recipe.

You wanna hear the disaster story?

Yes, you do.

Picture this: I’d been married 3 years, had 2 kids, bought our first home, and I found out a friend of mine from high school lived in my city going to school.  This friend was actually a sort-of former flame. I guess you could say a boyfriend, but I was 15, and we never sealed the deal with a kiss. Just held hands a few times. But, you know, some emotion involved, but not so much that I couldn’t invite him and his girlfriend over for dinner in my home, right?

After our 15 year old ren-des-vous, (and a brief stint of him hating me) we became friends. He dated one of my bestie’s, and I dated his bestie. We double dated, etc. We rubbed shoulders as under grads at BYU, I got married, moved far away, then moved back to the great state of Texas in Austin. So it wasn’t weird when I invited he and his girlfriend over (she later became his wife) for dinner.

I pulled out the recipes my mother in law gave me, and thought I’d try something new…something that would WOW my friends coming over.  Hawaiian Meatballs sounded exotic, I thought I’d give it a whirl!

The original recipe called for making the meatballs, then browning them stove top on the skillet. I did just that, and they looked great. As they came over, and we plated the food, the horror that came next was quite unexpected.

My friends’ girlfriend cut into her meatball and it was completely RAW! Agh!!! No!!

She asked if she could microwave hers, and then everyone else had to do the same. How embarrassing. They were very sweet about it, but it scarred me from that recipe for many years to come. Note to self: Do not try a new recipe for new guests. (I still don’t listen to that advice). I love to have families over for dinner, and I see it as experiment time!

I’ve now realized I prefer to cook meatballs in the oven, MUCH better for me. My son helped me make these meatballs (and realized making dinner is cringe worthy sometimes having to touch raw meat), and they bake easy for 30 minutes.

4 from 2 votes
hawaiian meatballs recipe
Hawaiian Meatballs with Pineapple Coconut Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Delicious and hearty meatballs with a tangy pineapple coconut sauce
Course: Dinner
Servings: 6
Author: Kristen Duke
  • meatballs combine:
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1.5 lbs. ground hamburger
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 2/3 cup cracker or bread crumbs
  • 1 t. salt
  • sauce:
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 t. corn starch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pineapple cut into cubes save rind
  1. Fre heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Form meatballs by combining all ingredients in first section. (makes 15-20 depending on size)
  3. Bake meatballs on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes (cut one open at end to make sure it's cooked through)
  4. Make sauce by combining coconut milk, corn starch, and brown sugar in a skillet on the stove until thickened.
  5. Place leftover fresh pineapple rinds (or 1/4 cup juice from a can) into the skillet til blended.
  6. Serve over rice.

Here is a picture of the pineapple rinds (the hard part that I’d otherwise throw away) soaking into the coconut sauce. The flavor is SOOOOO delicious!!

hawaiian meatballs

Who doesn’t love a freshly cut up pineapple picture?

hawaiian meatballs recipe

I thought about sprinkling some coconut slivers on top, but wanted to just enjoy the flavor of the sauce, maybe next time.

Another family favorite that is SIMILAR is my Hawaiian Haystacks recipe. I need to take a trip to Hawaii, now!!  Check out more family recipes on my site, too!

chicken recipe

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