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Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe- Instant Pot and Crock Pot Methods

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Homemade Hawaiian meatballs. Enjoy these sweet and sour meatballs as a party food, appetizer or cozy family night main course over rice. Make them in your instant pot or slow cooker. This is an easy no fuss recipe ready in about 45 minutes.

Hawaiian Meatball appetizers on toothpick

This is the best meatball recipe to file in the frequent use category of your recipe box meatball section.  

This recipe has been in my recipe box since before crockpots. Your skillet, slow cooker or instant pot can all produce a great homemade meatball recipe.

Hawaiian Meatballs are so yummy and you can make them from scratch to control the ingredients and adjust the size and flavor of the meatballs just the way you want them.

You can also buy frozen meatballs or fresh ones instead of making your own. Just make this delicious sweet and sour sauce for a really quick no fuss option.

Instant Pot Advantages:

I’m now a convert to my instant pot. It makes this recipe so easy and quick. 

Your instant pot replaces the skillet, the extra sauce pan and a slow cooker. So you only need one kitchen tool.

  1. The instant pot is a good traveler in the car. The lid locks onto the top and has to be twisted off, not lifted off.
  2. It also is well insulated and helps keep your food warm during the trip to your event.
  3. Once you get there set the pot to warm function and you are ready to party. Don’t want that cumbersome lid (or maybe even the instant pot cooker itself) on your party table?
  4. Just lift the stainless instant pot insert out out.
glass lid on instant pot
Use the glass lid to keep your meatballs warm with the warming function.
  • Use the glass tempered lid on top to hold in the heat.
  • If your meatballs need rewarming after a while, put the stainless insert back into the instant pot and set it to warm. You can still use the glass lid on the warming function or while slow cooking too.

That’s nice so people can see what’s in the pot. It’s also much more inviting to approach. When the instant pot is buckled down with the huge pressurizing lid…it can be a bit intimidating.

Hawaiian Meatball Recipe:

Hawaiian meatballs
Hawaiian meatballs are delicious and make great party food or weeknight meals.

This recipe makes a LOT of sauce and 24 meatballs. This is great for pouring over rice or other sides. If using the sauce for dipping You can increase the meatballs to 32 or so and still use this same sauce amount.

Hawaiian meatballs can be made at dinner time, or made ahead and put in the instant pot and allowed to remain warm for several hours which is great for a party.

Hawaiian Meatballs are sweet with a bit of sour. You can adjust the flavors to your personal liking. That’s the value of a Homemade recipe.

Instant Pot Meatball Instructions:

Hawaiian meatballs-instant pot method
Cooked Hawaiian meatballs ready to serve.

Homemade Meatballs:

  • Combine meatball ingredients and shape into 2 inch balls.
  • On saute Function brown the meatballs in a small amount of avocado(or any vegetable) oil.
  • Deglaze the pan with a bit of water. Stir the meatballs gently to release them from the bottom as they brown.

Here is a visual walkthrough of making your finished meatballs and Hawaiian sauce in the instant pot. Please also watch our video demonstration for this method.

  • Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the browned meatballs. Stir gently to coat the meatballs and make sure they are clear of the Instant pot bottom
  • Cook on Manual Function on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Natural release 10 minutes. Then Quick release.
  • Serve over hot white rice.

Slow Cooker Meatball Instructions:

I originally made this as a crock pot meatball recipe. it’s a great method to use if you want them to simmer all day and keep them warm for a party.

  • These meatballs can be made ahead and put in the crock pot to simmer several hours on low heat (great for a party. NOTE the instant pot also has both slow cooker and keep warm functions if you prefer that.)
  • Follow the recipe instructions to make the meatballs. Put the uncooked meatballs (Brown them beforehand for best flavor) in the crock pot.
  • Put a teeny amount of water (about 1/2 cup-but make sure it’s enough to steam the meatballs) in the bottom of the crock pot to get them steaming. Let them simmer on low for 4 hours.
  • About an hour before serving make the sauce and pour it over the cooked crockpot meatballs and let them simmer while the rice cooks (If using).
Hawaiian Meatballs
Homemade Hawaiian Meatballs over rice makes a filling delicious weeknight dinner. Beef Meatballs with sweet and sour sauce make a great dinner recipe when served over a bed of cooked rice or our Rice/ Quinoa blend.

Skillet Beef Meatball Recipe:

These homemade meatballs can also be made in your skillet and the sauce made separately in a saucepan.

  • Make and form the meatballs as instructed and set a skillet to medium heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet.
  • Place the formed meatballs into the skillet (do not stack them).
  • Brown the meatballs on each side evenly by gently rolling them every couple of minutes.
  • Add 1/2 Cup water to the skillet and cover.
  • Allow the meatballs to steam until they are thoroughly cooked.
  • Meanwhile make the sauce in a separate sauce pan on the stove while the meatballs steam. Also make the rice in a saucepan now if you are using it.
  • Finally remove the cooked meatballs to a bowl and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Serve.

Hawaiian Meatball Recipe Appetizers:

Instant Pot Hawaiian Meatballs
remove the meatballs to a serving bowl or serve them right from the instant pot.

Double this recipe for a large group.

  • Make the meatballs small (1 inch diameter) and follow the directions for the larger meatballs.
  • NOTE: You will need to cook the meatballs in batches. Brown the meatballs in batches in the instant pot or your skillet before you put them all together for cooking with the meatball sauce recipe.
  • Serve your small meatballs in a large shallow bowl or a tray with toothpicks. Set the sauce on the side in a bowl for dipping the sweet and sour meatballs.
  • Give people small plates or bowls to catch the drips.
  • Or leave them in the instant pot on the warm function drenched in the sauce.
  • Let people scoop the meatball appetizers onto small plates to eat with toothpicks.

Your Printable Recipe Card:

Hawaiian Meatball appetizers on toothpick
Yield: 32 meatballs

Hawaiian Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Enjoy these sweet and sour meatballs as a party food appetizer or cozy family night main course over rice. This beef meatball recipe is a sure winner for weeknight dinners and party food.

Ingredients

Homemade meatballs recipe:

  • 3 lb. hamburger
  • 3 Cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • water as needed to deglaze and steam.

Hawaiian sweet and sour sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 c. pineapple juice
  • 6 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Cup. sugar
  • 2 20 oz. cans pineapple tidbits or pieces with juice
  • 1/2 Cup peppers of different colors and heat, cut in strips, or chopped

Instructions

INSTANT POT Meatballs Instructions:

  1. Combine meatball ingredients and shape into 2 inch balls.
  2. On saute Function Fry meatballs balls in small amount of avocado oil. They may stick a bit so deglaze the pan with a bit of water if they do to help release them. Be gentle or the meatballs will fall apart.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water and put the sauté lid on. Saute the meatballs in batches until they are browned.

Sauce and finishing:

  1. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the browned meatballs. Stir gently to coat the meatballs and make sure they are clear of the Instant pot bottom.
  2. Cook on Manual Function on high pressure for 5 minutes. Natural release 10 minutes. Then quick release.
  3. Remove the meatballs to bowl and make the cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch and water.
  4. Set the instant pot to sauté mode. When the sauce boils add the slurry and cook one minute while stirring constantly. NOTE: Sauce thickens as it cools.
  5. Add the meatballs back into the instant pot and set to warm. OR
  6. remove the meatballs to a serving dish and put the sauce in a separate bowl for dipping.

Notes

If serving the meatballs over rice. Start the rice 30 minutes before serving time.

CROCK POT MEATBALL RECIPE:

  • These meatballs can be made ahead and put in the crock pot to simmer several hours on low heat (great for a party. NOTE the instant pot also has a keep warm function if you prefer that.) 
  • Follow the recipe instructions to make the meatballs. Put the uncooked meatballs (brown them beforehand for best flavor) in the crock pot.
  • Put a teeny amount of water(about 1/2 cup-but make sure it's enough to steam the meatballs) in the bottom of the crock pot to get them steaming. Let them simmer on low for 4 hours.
  • About an hour before serving make the sauce and pour it over the cooked meat balls in the crock pot and let it simmer while the rice cooks(If using).

SKILLET MEATBALL INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Make the meatballs as instructed and set a skillet to medium low heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet.
  • Place the formed meatballs into the skillet (do not stack them).
  • Brown the meatballs on each side evenly by gently rolling them every couple of minutes.
  • Add 1/2 Cup water to the skillet and cover.
  • Allow the meatballs to steam until they are thoroughly cooked.
  • Meanwhile make the sauce in a separate sauce pan on the stove while the meatballs steam. Also make the rice in a saucepan now if you are using it.
  • Finally remove the cooked meatballs to a bowl and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield

32

Serving Size

3

Amount Per Serving Calories 374Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 49mgSodium 473mgCarbohydrates 67gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 5gSugar 40gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 12g

Did you make this recipe?

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Instant Pot Hawaiian Meatballs-pin image
Instant pot hawiian meatballs-pin image
Our Instant pot hawaiian meatballs make a quick, easy dinner that can be enjoyed on a bed of rice or quinoa or with noodles. #hawaiianmeatballs #instantpot #crockpot #stovetop #easy #fromscratch #homemade
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These sound delicious!!

homemadefoodjunkie

Sunday 7th of June 2015

These are really good meatballs. Our family loves them!

Heidy@The McCallumsShamrockPatch

Thursday 18th of December 2014

I feel in love with these at first sight, such a refreshing tropical vibe and man oh man look super delicious !!!Thank you so much for joining in the celebration tonight on #PureBlogLove , we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you next week on Thursday 8 pm est - through Sunday night. Besos Heidy

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