Hawaiian Meatballs — '70s Party Classic

Easy-bake meatballs and a quick sweet-and-savory sauce make tasty bites for parties or just a fun thing for dinner!

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

There's a lot to love about the 1970s: the hip fashion, the groovy tunes and—of course—the fun food!

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Take these Hawaiian meatballs, for example. The recipe highlights the best flavors of pineapple, a popular ingredient in retro '70s recipes. Beef meatballs are coated in a sweet and savory pineapple sauce, then served on toothpicks with tart pineapple chunks. The result is a delicious and easy appetizer that's perfect for serving a crowd.

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You're not limited to this style of serving, though. If you're hosting a more formal dinner, make it a meal by serving the meatballs with a grain (such as rice, quinoa or pasta) and roasted vegetables. Either way, this Hawaiian meatball recipe is sure to become one of your greatest hits.

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Beef Meatball Recipe

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. ground beef

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 Tbsp. milk

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Instead of ground beef, you can also use ground turkey or chicken.

1. Mix meatball ingredients

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

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In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients.

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Mix until just combined.

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2. Bake the meatballs

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Form the beef mixture into balls that are about the size of golf balls. Place on the baking sheet about 1 in. apart.

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Bake for 20 minutes, rotating once halfway. The meatballs are ready once the centers reach 165°F.

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Pineapple Sauce Recipe

Things You'll Need

  • Juice from 20 oz. can of pineapple

  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

  • 2 Tbsp. water

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

1. Combine ingredients

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In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently to dissolve the brown sugar.

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In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk well and add to the pan.

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Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. Remove pan from the stovetop and let mixture cool slightly.

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Hawaiian Meatballs with Pineapple Sauce Recipe

Things You'll Need

  • Beef meatballs

  • Pineapple sauce

  • Pineapple chunks from 20 oz. can of pineapple

  • Toothpicks

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

1. Toss meatballs and sauce

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Toss the meatballs with pineapple sauce, making sure to fully coat each meatball.

Tip

You will likely have leftover sauce. Feel free to serve it as a dipping sauce or save it for another batch of meatballs.

2. Add toothpicks and pineapple chunks

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Spear a pineapple cube with a toothpick. Move the pineapple to the upper half of the toothpick, then add a meatball.

Repeat with the remaining meatballs and place on a plate for serving.

Stay groovy!

If you're looking for more sweet and savory appetizers, try our recipe for Roasted Grape and Mascarpone Toasts.

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