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Polynesian Cocktail Meatballs

Almost everyone says yes to meatballs. They’re the first appetizer to disappear at every party, and they’re perfect when served as a delicious meal with rice and veggies. Our sweet and sour meatball recipe bursts with the tangy goodness of pineapple, a hint of spicy hot sauce, and our irresistible gluten-free Sweet and Tangy Sauce.

Whether entertaining guests or looking for the best sweet and sour meatballs you can make in a crockpot, you’ll love this option’s combination of sticky sweetness and mouth-puckering tartness.


Special Diet



Appetizer, Dips & Snacks

Main Ingredient



Entertaining, Holidays


  • Gluten-free non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1/2 cup San-J Sweet and Tangy Sauce – divided
  • 3 – 4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 green onions thinly sliced – divided
  • 1 5 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


What Is Sweet and Sour Sauce?

  • Sweet and sour sauce combines sugary and tart components to create a unique condiment perfect for marinades, dips, and drizzles. It's best practice to thicken the sweet and sour sauce before incorporating it with your favorite protein or vegetable. 
    Our contribution to the sweet and sour family is our San-J Sweet and Tangy Sauce. This Polynesian-inspired condiment blends sweet and tart fruit juices with spices and honey for an exciting addition to any dish. We also add a touch of our gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce for a kick of umami richness.

How to Make Polynesian Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • Drain the pineapple over a bowl reserving the juice. Reserve 1/2 cup of the drained pineapple and place to the side. 
  • Put the rest of the pineapple and the pineapple juice in a saucepan with 1/4 cup San-J Sweet and Tangy Sauce, the hot sauce, and lemon juice. 
  • Bring to a boil and let boil gently for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. 
  • Keep warm as meatballs bake.

How to Make Polynesian Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the chicken, the reserved 1/2 cup pineapple, remaining 1/4 cup San-J Sweet and Tangy Sauce, rice, egg, half of the green onion, the water chestnuts, salt, and pepper. Mix well. 
  • Form into small balls, about 2 Tablespoons per meatball.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheets, spray lightly with more cooking spray and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked through and browned. Place on a serving platter.
  • Stir half of the remaining green onions into the sauce. Spoon a little of the sauce onto each meatball and serve any remaining sauce on the side. 
  • Sprinkle with the remaining green onions and serve with toothpicks or cocktail forks.
Check out more appetizer recipes.

* The Gluten Free recipes that appear in this website incorporate a variety of San-J's products that are Certified Gluten Free. Please be sure to consider the other ingredients to make sure they comply with your dietary needs and restrictions.

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