These easy teriyaki meatballs are perfect as a main dish, or served on toothpicks as an appetizer. With practically no prep time and a short cook time, you can enjoy delicious flavor in under 30 minutes!
If you’re looking to put dinner on the table quick, you’re in the right place. These über-easy meatballs taste like you’ve spend ages making them, but you’ll really spend about 5 minutes of work on them. Minimal effort for maximum results? That’s what we’re all about!
There’s a reason this one is a family favorite, and it’s not just because it’s easy on the cook. This recipe is super versatile — served over a bed of rice or noodles, it makes a delicious dinner. Stick your meatballs on toothpicks and put them on a serving tray, and you have a perfect appetizer for game day!
What’s in this recipe?
This simple recipe involves just 3 simple ingredients. One thing I love about these meatballs is that I always have the ingredients — two live in my pantry, and I always keep the third in my freezer — which means that I can throw this together with little-to-no-warning. This makes it perfect for busy weeknights!
- Frozen Meatballs: You can most likely find these in the frozen section of your local grocery store. I prefer the homestyle version for this easy recipe — I don’t love the flavor of the Italian ones with the teriyaki sauce. If you’re really ambitious, you can also use homemade meatballs in this recipe. This is my favorite meatball recipe – you can use ground beef, ground turkey, or even ground chicken breast!
- Teriyaki Sauce: Here with all the teriyaki flavor, we have delicious teriyaki sauce. I use store-bought. My favorite is PF Chang’s, but you can use just about any brand. You can even make your own teriyaki sauce — heres a recipe I love for homemade teriyaki sauce.
- Pineapple: You will need an 8 oz can of pineapple for this delicious recipe. I prefer to use pineapple tidbits, since I like the size and shape, but you can use a can of pineapple chunks, crushed pineapple, or even fresh pineapple cut into small pieces. If you use fresh pineapple, you will also need 1/4 cup of pineapple juice for the sauce.
Making Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs
Step 1 | Mix it Up
Start by putting all your ingredients into a very large skillet. I like to put the meatballs in first, making sure that they’re in a single layer, then dump the canned pineapple and teriyaki sauce on top. Do NOT drain the pineapple before you dump it in. That gorgeous pineapple juice adds a lovely sweetness to the sauce that helps balance the strong umami from the teriyaki. You want it all!
Step 2 | Let It Simmer
Put a lid on your skillet, or cover it with a piece of aluminum, and let it cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. You will end up with tender meatballs infused with the sweet and savory flavors from the tangy sauce. I just leave mine to cook while I do other things, but if you’re worried about burning, you can stir your meatballs half-way through.
Step 3 | Garnish and Serve!
Your last step is to get this ready to eat! You can serve this over rice for an easy dinner idea, or you can put these on toothpicks for the ideal savory party appetizer. Either way, I would recommend sprinkling the the top of the meatballs with sesame seeds. You can also add chopped green onions for a pop of color!
- Watch out for split meatballs! If you let your meatballs simmer too long, they’ll start to split open. They’ll still taste good — they’re just less aesthetic that way.
- You can make this in the crock pot. Just put the meatballs at the bottom of the slow cooker and dump the sauce and pineapple on top. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low!
While the original recipe is pretty darn good by itself, here are a few options to change things up a bit:
- Add veggies: Want to up the nutrition level on this recipe? Let your favorite veggies simmer with the meatballs. I love adding onions, bell peppers, snap peas, and chopped carrots.
- Change up the sauce: You can make this with sweet and sour sauce, which is absolutely delicious. If you replace the teriyaki sauce with barbecue sauce, you can make Hawaiian meatballs!
- Add a little heat:Red pepper flakes kick the heat level of this dish up a notch. You can also add sriracha sauce for added flavor and heat!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through before serving.
Yes! This makes a great freezer meal. You can put the uncooked ingredients into a freezer bag, then dump them into a crockpot the day of.
You can also freeze the cooked leftovers by placing them in a freezer safe container. They’ll keep for up to 3 months. To thaw, put the container in the fridge overnight.
You can serve this with a variety of side dishes such as steamed vegetables, stir-fried noodles, fried rice, or a crisp green salad. You can also serve it by itself as an appetizer!
3-Ingredient Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs
- 24 oz frozen meatballs
- 1 cup teriyaki sauce
- 8 oz canned pineapple tidbits do NOT drain
- Place meatballs in a single layer in a large skillet.
- Pour teriyaki sauce and pineapple tidbits with their juice over the meatballs.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow meatballs to cool, then serve!