Make the easiest Hawaiian Meatballs in your Instant Pot, using frozen turkey meatballs, store-bought teriyaki sauce, and tangy and sweet pineapple for a quick appetizer or add rice for a full dinner.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: What’s better than dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less and starts with frozen meatballs? This recipe can be served as a party app or for a satisfying dinner, and it’s totally kid-approved.
We’ve tested all of the ways to cook frozen meatballs in an Instant Pot, and this recipe for Hawaiian-inspired meatballs with pineapple and teriyaki sauce is a total winner, even among picky eaters.
We love using the Instant Pot to pressure cook frozen meatballs since it’s easy, hands-off cooking. Also try our Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs and Instant Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
Grab these ingredients to make Instant Pot Hawaiian Meatballs:
- Pineapple chunks. Separate the juice and pineapple for the recipe, you’ll use both at different times.
- Soy sauce. You can use low-sodium or regular soy sauce, depending on how salty you want the dish.
- Rice wine vinegar. This is available at most grocery stores in the international aisle.
- Bell pepper. We like using a green pepper, but you can use any color you like.
- Meatballs. Use small turkey meatballs that are fully cooked and frozen, no need to thaw.
- Teriyaki sauce. Be sure to choose a flavorful teriyaki sauce because that’s where a lot of the flavor comes from.
- Cornstarch. This thickens up the sauce to coat the meatballs.
How to Make Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Meatballs in an Instant Pot
✅ This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Start by combining the pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and bell pepper in the pressure cooking pot. Then place a steamer basket in the pot over the mixture. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the steamer basket.
Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then use a quick pressure release. Remove the steamer basket from the pot using tongs or oven mitts since it’ll be very hot.
Now it’s time to make the delicious sticky-sweet teriyaki coating. Add the Teriyaki sauce and use the Sauté feature to cook the sauce down until it’s smooth and uniform. Make a cornstarch slurry and add to to the sauce to make it nice and thick. Return the meatballs to the pot with the sauce. (At this point, you can add the pineapple chunks to coat them with sauce or keep them out.) Stir to combine, until everything is evenly coated.
Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallions. Enjoy!
SERVING SUGGESTION: When I’m making these for dinner, I like to spoon them on a bed of rice, with extra sauce drizzled over the top, lots of crunchy chow mein noodles, and diced, steamed veggies.
Important Tips for Making Instant Pot Pineapple Meatballs
- To serve these meatballs as an appetizer, just pour them in a serving dish. Or, if you want to get extra fancy, you can put use a toothpick in each ball, along with a pineapple chunk and a green pepper.
- We usually use two pressure cookers when making these for dinner, with white rice in one and the meatballs in another. If you have only one pressure cooker, I recommend cooking the rice first and covering it tightly in a container, then wiping out the pressure cooking pot and making the meatballs. The rice stays warm a nice long time when covered.
- My kids don’t like teriyaki sauce on their pineapple, so we like to keep them separate and let everyone mix them in according to their tastes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Meatballs
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat the meatballs in the Instant Pot, microwave, or on the stove.
Yes, you can use a different kind of meatballs if you prefer. Just ensure that they’re fully frozen, fully cooked, and no larger than 2 inches in diameter.
We recommend using canned pineapple for this recipe because you’ll need the juice from the canned pineapple to make the sauce.
However, if you want to use canned pineapple juice for the sauce and cut fresh pineapple for the finished dish, go for it!
You can serve these on their own with toothpicks, over rice, or in sub rolls as sandwiches. Try our Instant Pot brown, white or forbidden rice.
More Instant Pot Appetizer Recipes
If you’re looking for more quick and easy Instant Pot appetizers for entertaining, try these recipes next:
- Instant Pot Cranberry Baked Brie is a classic, ooey-gooey cheese appetizer that always disappears quickly.
- Classic Hummus in the Instant Pot is super fast, fluffy, and delicious, and perfect for vegetables or pita bread.
- BBQ Bacon Deviled Eggs have just the right amount of spicy heat for a fun spin on a traditional appetizer.
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Hawaiian Meatballs Instant Pot Recipe
This recipe for Instant Pot Hawaiian Meatballs starts with frozen meatballs for a quick appetizer OR a full dinner when served with rice and sides.
- 1 can (15 oz) pineapple chunks, separated into juice and pineapple
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bag (28 ounce) frozen fully-cooked turkey meatballs (1-inch or 2-inch diameter)
- 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Sesame seeds and sliced green onions, for garnish, optional
- Cooked white rice or coconut rice, for serving*
- Add pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and bell pepper to the pressure cooking pot. Place a steamer basket in the bottom and distribute the frozen meatballs evenly.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 5 minutes.*
- When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Remove the steamer basket and meatballs from the cooking pot. Set aside.
- Add the teriyaki sauce to the cooking pot. Select Sauté and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is smooth. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water and add to the pressure cooking pot. Select Sauté and simmer until liquid thickens. Return the cooked meatballs to the pot and stir to combine. Add the reserved pineapple chunks and gently stir to combine.
- Switch to the keep warm setting until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked rice garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.
*It will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure in addition to the 5 minutes cook time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 859mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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What makes these Hawaiian meatballs? Is this something eaten in Hawaii by native Hawaiians?
No, only Hawaiian inspired as I stated above. Many luau foods are a combination of Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Asian cooking and include dishes with teriyaki sauces.
A very poor pressure cooker recipe! The meatballs are already cooked, why the need of my Instant Pot??? You can do much better than that! Cheers!
Hi Frank – the meatballs are fully cooked, but they’re frozen and the pressure cooker is a great way to heat them. You just put in the ingredients, set the time, and start it. Then it’s hands off while you go help with kids with school or finish getting ready for the party. In addition, once you’ve completed the sauce, you can use the Keep Warm setting to keep them warm until time to serve.
You wrote, “Teriyaki sauce. Be sure to choose a flavorful teriyaki sauce because that’s where a lot of the flavor comes from.” That makes good sense. Could you please share the teriyaki sauce brand that you use? There may be several brands in the supermarket and I’d like to purchase the brand that you use. Thanks.