Slow Cooker Pineapple Brown Sugar Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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These Pineapple Brown Sugar Meatballs are smothered in a homemade BBQ sauce and cook in the slow cooker, making them an easy game day appetizer, weeknight meal, or holiday potluck offering!

Thank you Reynolds and Socialstars for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own #ReynoldsCrowd™

white bowl with pineapple brown sugar meatballs with toothpicks stuck in meatballs

I just have to get this out first: I am obsessed with these Slow Cooker liners from Reynolds. Mostly because I LOVE my slow cooker but hate cleaning it. You get that, right?

So when I was offered the chance to feature them in some recipes, I couldn’t say no. My kitchen was already fully stocked with the liners  and I know I’m not the only one who loves a good slow cooker recipe (these Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken Tacos or this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork would also be great for game day!)

ingredients for pineapple brown sugar meatballs including meatballs pineapple peppers sauce and slow cooker liners

I have been going through a meatball phase since the beginning of December. Maybe because meatballs seem to appear around the holidays a lot, or maybe because I hadn’t made them much lately because they can be a little time consuming, but I’ve become thoroughly obsessed.

The trick is to make a huge batch and get your freezer stocked up, because having meatballs in the freezer makes meal times so much easier (and tastier!).

So that’s what I did. More than once.

overhead image of large slow cooker with meatballs and sauce in a slow cooker liner

And now I have a freezer full of meatballs, and my heart — and stomach — are happy. Clearly, my first slow cooker recipe had to a meatball recipe. I was toying with a bunch of different flavor combinations, but in the end I went back to this Pineapple Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce. It is completely my own creation, and it has gotten some great reviews from readers who’ve made it. Since I love pineapple with my meatballs, I knew it was going to be a great match.

I don’t really have a meatball recipe that I use on a regular basis. Normally, I add one egg for each pound of ground beef, and about ¼ cup of bread crumbs, salt and pepper. I don’t get too fancy at all. If you really want to make things quick and easy, feel free to grab a package of frozen meatballs and use those instead.

So there you have it — the Very First Meatball Recipe on The Recipe Rebel. It’s a big day, right?!? Do yourself a favor and make these for your next game day party, weeknight dinner (serve them up with some instant rice!), holiday potluck, birthday party, whatever. Just do it! And don’t forget to pick up some slow cooker liners so you can have a little giggle when you see the others soaking and scrubbing their slow cookers while you whip out the liner and trash it.

close up image of pineapple brown sugar meatballs in slow cooker with colored toothpicks

Follow Reynolds on Pinterest and find more great slow cooker recipes here!

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Slow Cooker Pineapple Brown Sugar Meatballs

5 from 4 votes
Slow Cooker Pineapple Brown Sugar Meatballs are smothered with the most amazing sweet and tangy sauce! Frozen meatballs are slowly cooked to perfection in that sauce with pineapple chunks and bell peppers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings
Calories 298cal


Pineapple Brown Sugar Sauce:

  • cup pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)


  • 2 lbs precooked or browned beef meatballs* (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 medium bell peppers (cut into 1/2" pieces)
  • cups pineapple chunks (fresh or canned, drained)
  • Sliced green onion or parsley for garnish


  • Whisk together pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, corn starch, garlic, onion powder, salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Place meatballs, peppers and pineapple chunks in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Pour sauce mixture over top and stir until combined.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until thickened. Taste and serve.


Ingredients and Substitutions:
  • Pineapple juice: I love the pineapple flavor in here with the pineapple chunks, but you can substitute for apple or orange juice for a different flavor. 
  • Brown Sugar: any sweetener will work here and you can reduce it to suit your tastes if you like your sauce less sweet. 
  • Ketchup: ketchup adds rich tomato flavor, sweetness and tang. You can swap it for crushed tomatoes, but you will want to add sweetness, acidity and seasonings to compensate. 
  • Meatballs: my homemade Easy Meatball Recipe or these Turkey Meatballs work great in this recipe, but you can also use frozen, store bought meatballs in a pinch. I like to add my meatballs to this recipe frozen (homemade or store bought) so that they don’t fall apart while slow cooking. 
  • Vegetables: feel free to mix up the veggies and clean out your fridge! Onions, snap peas and carrots are great in here. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 298cal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 1280IU | Vitamin C: 52.8mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Paul Jones says

    Is there a way to make it without ketchup? I want to make these, but struggle with the heavier flavour that ketchup usually lends to sauces

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Paul, I’ve only tested the recipe as is, but the ketchup is an important ingredient for the base of the sauce. You might be able to reduce it the amount. Hope this helps!

  2. Angelica Navarro says

    I made these for my daughters bday last year and want to make them again this year! But I’m pressed for time. How could I do this in a pressure cooker?

      • Steve says

        So I cook the meatballs however I normally would….freeze the….and then for this recipe put in slow cooker and do the additional hours? Just confirming that you aren’t making the meatballs in the slow cooker.

      • Ashley Fehr says

        I don’t cook them in the slow cooker, no. You could just bake them for 10-15 minutes until browned and then proceed with the sauce though if you prefer

  3. Debbie S. says

    Sounds delicious, I am looking for some interesting recipes for this winter season. I will give this a try. Thanks so very much!

  4. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says

    I LOVE Reynold’s liners as well, totally makes clean up a breeze! But what I really LOVE LOVE LOVE are these meatballs! That pineapple brown sugar sauce sounds amazing! I could eat ALL of these… right from the slow cooker! Cheers, doll! 😉

  5. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! I have had an eye out for new crock pot recipes since I recently purchased a new crock pot! I love your pineapple bbq sauce – I always have pineapple and juice in the pantry. I’ve not tried the liners, but I just added them to my grocery list! Can’t wait to make this! 🙂

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Oh Dorothy I’m sure you’ll love them! I always hate scrubbing my slow cooker, but I refuse to live without it. Lol. They’re so handy! And thank you! We love pineapple everything 🙂

  6. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I’m obsessed with those liners too! I just started using them a few months ago and I’m hooked. I love that there is virtually no clean up! And these meatballs are just calling my name. The combination of pineapple and brown sugar sounds like the best combo, Ashley!

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