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Tender, fresh Turkey Meatballs are smothered in a homemade Spicy Pineapple Barbecue Sauce. Full of sweet and spicy flavor, these meatballs will steal the show for sure when served as a party appetizer or as a dinner entree!
I love to make meatballs from scratch. My kids like to get in on the action too, like when we make Turkey Meatball Soup. Frozen meatballs just never taste fresh, they get freezer burn and well, they just don’t taste as good. So we opt to make our meatballs from scratch ever time. Like this, and this.
People don’t seem to like to make meatballs because they’re messy. I mean, who wants to throw their hands into a big bowl of squishy ground meat? Your kids do!! This is one of the best ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen – getting them to do those tasks that you just aren’t a fan of. My son loves getting messy so this is a perfect way to let him help.
First you squish all the meatball ingredients together, then you plop them down on a foil lined baking sheet. I use a cookie scoop for measuring so they will cook evenly. Pop the meatballs in the oven and make the barbecue sauce, which needs just three ingredients. Combine the spicy barbecue sauce, pineapple juice and crushed pineapple together in a saute pan. I like using the saute pan because it’s flat bottomed but larger than a saucepan and not as deep, so when you add the meatballs they won’t get lost in there. I’m kind of in love with this saute pan; it’s heavy and has a copper bottom which really helps with even heating.
Let that sauce get all bubbly and turn the heat down a tad. Let it simmer because as it does the liquid will reduce down and the sauce will get thicker which will help it stick to the meatballs which is what makes them really yummy.
The last step is, once the meatballs are cooked, to let them simmer in that delicious sauce for just a bit to soak up some of that flavor while they’re fresh out of the oven.
Finally they are ready to serve. I love the Hawaiian vibe in these meatballs. The sweet and spicy sauce with the pineapple just sings Aloha to me! We have enjoyed these meatballs a multitude of ways, from toothpick appetizer style to serving it up with rice and veggies to lining them up on some fresh rolls. Whichever way you enjoy, they will be delicious and gone before you can say Mahalo!
Spicy Pineapple Barbecue Turkey Meatballs
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 grated white onion
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Pineapple Barbecue Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups spicy barbecue sauce your favorite brand
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 25-30 meatballs homemade as above or frozen
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, gently stir together (or mix with your hands) turkey meatball ingredients. Shape meat into 1 inch balls and arrange on the foil lined baking sheet at leas 1 inch apart.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15-16 minutes, or until lightly browned and juices are clear.
- Meanwhile, in a 3-quart medium saute pan, stir together barbecue sauce, pineapple and pineapple juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer while meatballs cook, or until thickened.
- When meatballs are cooked, stir them into the sauce until coated. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve immediately as an appetizer or as an entree with rice and vegetables.
Want more great appetizers? Try these: