Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes

Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies are a delicious and easy appetizer for any game day party made with apricot preserves, bbq sauce and pineapples.

We love meatball recipes around here but not only for Appetizer Recipes, they also work great for a main dish to serve for dinner too. Just like Cocktail Meatballs, Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies is an easy weeknight dinner or holiday appetizer everyone will enjoy.


Crockpot Meatball Pineapple Smokies are an easy recipe that’s a family favorite. The ease of having this in a crockpot also means that it’s completely portable making it the perfect holiday potluck appetizer or side dish.

You don’t even need to move it to a serving dish. Keep it in the crockpot on a warm setting and add some toothpicks or small plates close by and you’re all set.

We are making homemade meatballs for this recipe but if you want to make this even easier, you can use frozen meatballs. You don’t even need to thaw out the frozen meatballs first before adding them to the crockpot, just add them in with the other ingredients and use the same cook time. It’s like skipping a whole step!

What are Beef Smokies?

If you’re not familiar with little smokies, they’re small smoked sausages that come fully cooked and are full of flavor. There are many different brands, such as Lil Smokies and Aidelle, at the grocery store to choose from and everyone seems to have their favorite.

Which BBQ sauce do you use?

The same debate can be made for bbq sauce brands too. I use classic Sweet Baby Rays for my standard bbq sauce when I need to mix it into a recipe with other ingredients. As a brand they have a big offering of choices like sweet and sour or sweet teriyaki along with classic bbq flavors.

I really don’t think you can go wrong with whatever brand you choose for either.

We have so many fantastic Slow Cooker Recipes on the site. Being able to place your ingredients into a crockpot and a few hours later have an amazing dinner or side dish is a big help especially during the busy holiday season. 



  • In a large bowl, combine beef and onion, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
  • Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meatballs in two batches until cooked through, turning occasionally.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  • Stir in hot dogs, preserves and barbecue sauce.
  • Cook, covered, on high or until heated through, 2-3 hours.
  • Stir in pineapple.
  • Cook, covered, until heated through, 15-20 minutes.

Crockpot BBQ Pineapple Beef Meatballs


  • Sauce: I love easily you can change up this crockpot recipe just by changing the sauce. Try adding chili sauce for a kick of heat or honey bbq sauce for a subtle sweetness. 
  • Preserves: Try leaving out the pineapple and apricot preserves and add grape jelly instead. It may sound a bit different but it’s a tried and true classic. 
  • Instant Pot: Place the meatballs in the instant pot first and add the additional ingredients on top. Cover with the lid and make sure the valve is sealed. Pressure cook for 7 minutes and then vent the valve. Once it’s done venting, take off the lid, stir and serve.



  • Serve: Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies can be kept in a crockpot on a warm setting for up to 4 hours. I don’t recommend leaving them out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Place the leftover Crockpot Meatball Pineapple Smokies in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Make sure the Meatball Pineapple Smokies are fully cooled and place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe storage bag. They are okay to freeze up to 3 months in the freezer.

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Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies

Slow Cooker Meatball Pineapple Smokies are a delicious and easy appetizer for any game day party made with apricot preserves, bbq sauce and pineapples.
Yield 16
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 12 ounces apricot preserves
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 32 ounces frozen beef meatballs
  • 1 package mini beef smokies hot dogs , drained
  • 20 ounces pineapple chunks , drained


  • Mix the apricot preserves and barbecue sauce together in the slow cooker.
  • Add in the meatballs and smokies and stir well to coat.
  • Cook on high for 2-3 hours.
  • Stir in pineapple chunks, cover, and continue cooking on high heat for 20 minutes.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Meatball Pineapple Smokies in a slow cooker


About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I didn’t have apricot preserves so I subbed in my homemade hot pepper jelly, a little sweet, a little hot. Also added some bite size pieces of red and orange bell peppers.Otherwise followed the recipe. It was a big hit. This will definitely go in the holiday rotation!

    1. YUMMY! Great ideas Linda and thank you for the 5 star review on our Meatball Pineapple Smokies!

    1. Hi Kayla, Pear has a distinctly different flavor and texture but I would be interested in hearing how it turned out!

  2. Super easy and everyone loved them. We doubled the reciept to feed more of us and home made our meat balls. We did 2/3 beef and 1/3 spicy ground sausage with the miced onions and they were delicious. We served this over rice to make a full meal. We would definetly do this one again. They were sweet and savory and was great with the pineapple chunks.

  3. I’d add 1” pieces if bell pepper and sweet onion to this! Yummy!!! Great over cooked white rice!!!

  4. The store only had sugar free apricot jam and I used sugar free BBQ sauce, the store also only had frozen Italian meatballs. Everything turned out delicious, there was no Italian taste to the meatballs, people ask for recipe.

  5. After being frozen & then thawed in the refrigerator, would you heat them on the stove, or put them back into the crockpot?

  6. What size package of little smokies do you use? There were 12 and 14 oz packages, but there were also 24 oz packages at the store. Do you use the smaller or the bigger size?

    I’m going to try this served over rice for dinner. I hope it works for that.

    1. The difference is only a couple of smokies but if it was up to me I would go with the bigger one because they are awesome!

  7. I love that you put the meat balls and little smoked sausages together! Why haven’t I thought of this all these years. I normally just add BBQ sauce and whatever leftover jelly or jams I have in the refrigerator at the time. Works great. Thank you for sharing.

  8. This was such a hit that my friends request it EVERY TIME we have a potluck! I have to make a double batch!!

  9. 1) Ours was watery, too, and not thick like your picture. Any ideas why?
    2) Should the pineapple be drained or added with juice?

    Thank you so much.

    1. I don’t understand why you didn’t answer those other two questions. You responded to almost everyone else, lol! I would have liked to know what to do if I don’t have a crockpot. I’m gonna just try cooking this low and slow in a big pot on the stove. Hopefully that will be like the same thing. Has anyone else done that?

      1. Hi Autumn, sorry, I get a lot of comments and its really hard to get to everyone. I have not tried doing stovetop and I love our crockpot and how flavorful the meatballs get. pleas let me know how yours turns out!

      2. Do it covered in the oven at a low temperature to mimic the lower temperature of a crockpot/slow cooker. If you’re concern about the sauce end results beingbtoo thin, leave it uncovered to cook off excess liquid in the, as the same as baking baked beans. One can find slow cooker temperature equivalents on a net search…the net knows everything! ?

  10. I made this for company tonight one of many appetizers I used blue berry preserve because that only what I could find it was so delicious everyone liked it very much would make it again and not chance a thing Thank you for recipe

  11. Is 3 hours on high a long time in the crockpot? I’m afraid the meatballs will start falling apart. Has anyone had this problem.? I’m going to make these for a bbq tomorrow…..

  12. This was really good, however, I’m not sure the pineapple added that much to it. There was a hint of pineapple taste, but if you don’t have pineapple, this recipe would be totally delicious without it. Also, I used grape jelly instead of apricot. I cook for ten of us, so I doubled the recipe – 2 bottles of bbq sauce, 2 jars of grape jelly, and 2 cans of chunk pineapple. I put in 2 lbs of mini smoked sausages and 3 lbs of Armour pre-made meatballs. My kids have requested this to become a weekly menu staple!