Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Are you looking for a quick and easy appetizer for a tailgating party? These delicious Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs are the bomb! You can make these delicious meatballs three days ahead and then throw them into a CrockPot with the sauce for game day. They are even delicious on a sub bun with Provolone cheese.

I had a hankering for meatballs the other day, but all I had in the fridge was ground chicken that I had planned to use for something else. I started thinking about grape jelly meatballs and how much I like those… and then thought, why not Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs? Plus… bonus…. they are baked!

What is in this amazing recipe?

This recipe is so simple, with just a few ingredients, it can be thrown together and in the oven in just a few minutes.

  • Ground chicken
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Crushed pineapple
  • BBQ sauce
  • Soy sauce (optional)

How to Make Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs

This recipe has two components – the meatball and the sauce. For the meatballs, you throw together the chicken, seasonings, garlic and breadcrumbs and mix well with your hands. Form the mixture into 18 golf-size meatballs and arrange in a baking dish prepared with cooking spray. While these are baking, make the sauce by combining the pineapple and its juice, BBQ sauce and a tad of soy sauce.


  • Turkey. Not a fan of ground chicken? Try these delicious meatballs with ground turkey instead.
  • Mix-ins. Some great add-ins would be chives, ground ginger, hot sauce, or even a little bit of shredded cheese.
  • Change up the sauce.  You can make these using different types of sauce – from smoky and sweet to mild or hot.

More Favorite Appetizer Recipes

If you are looking for more delicious appetizers for the party, try one of these other recipes:

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time28 minutes



  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley optional


  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce your choice on flavor/heat level
  • 4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce optional



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients, using your hands, until just blended.
  • Using your hands, form golf-ball size meatballs. Arrange in baking dish without them touching each other.
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink inside.


  • In large skillet, over low heat, whisk together sauce ingredients.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, on low.

Putting it all Together

  • When meatballs are finished baking, place them in skillet with sauce. Stir to coat each meatball well. Serve hot or place in CrockPot on low with remaining sauce.


Nutrition will vary based on BBQ sauce used.
If preparing meatballs ahead of time, store sauce and meatballs separately.  
For reheating in CrockPot, if sauce thickens too much, thin with pineapple juice or chicken broth until desired consistency is reached.
These meatballs can be made into cocktail sized meatballs, adjust baking time accordingly.


Serving: 3 meatballs | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 473mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g
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