Slow Cooker Sunday: These spicy meatballs are so easy and delicious

Feb 1, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Nothing is more delicious for a family dinner on a Sunday than a big bowl of piping-hot meatballs. This version gives traditional meatballs a run for the money by swapping out beef and pork and opting for healthy lean ground chicken breast. And rather than preparing a basic red sauce, I wanted to give these an Asian flair with a hint of sweetness from fresh pineapple and a little bit of spice from red pepper flakes.

These are wonderful on their own if you are having a get-together — serve them on a large platter with extra sauce for dipping. Or you can easily make these into a meal by serving them alongside fresh steamed vegetables or over steamed rice. You can even make these gluten free simply by use a gluten-free breadcrumb mixture in place of the regular breadcrumbs.

Spicy slow cooker pineapple chicken meatballs recipe

Ground chicken breast along with fresh pineapple, onions, garlic and red pepper flakes are slow-cooked in a sweet and zesty Asian-inspired sauce.

Serves 6-8

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 6 hours | Total time: 6 hours 25 minutes


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce, and mix. Transfer the sauce into the bowl of the slow cooker.
  3. Using a tablespoon, form the meatballs, keeping them uniform in size.
  4. Once all the meatballs are formed, carefully place them into the bowl of the slow cooker.
  5. Top with the lid, and set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours.
  6. Serve the meatballs on a platter with extra sauce for dipping, as a side dish next to steamed vegetables or over rice.

More slow cooker recipe ideas

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15 Slow cooker cocktails
Slow cooker rosemary-olive oil bread