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.
SLOW COOKER MEATBALL PINEAPPLE SMOKIES
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.
MORE HOLIDAY APPETIZER RECIPES
HOW TO MAKE CROCKPOT MEATBALL PINEAPPLE SMOKIES
- 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.
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VARIATIONS ON SLOW COOKER MEATBALL PINEAPPLE SMOKIES
- 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.
EVEN MORE HOLIDAY APPETIZER RECIPES
HOW LONG ARE SLOW COOKER MEATBALL PINEAPPLE SMOKIES GOOD?
- 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.
- 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.
I’d add 1” pieces if bell pepper and sweet onion to this! Yummy!!! Great over cooked white rice!!!
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.
Wow! Good to know that sugar free ingredients worked for you.
After being frozen & then thawed in the refrigerator, would you heat them on the stove, or put them back into the crockpot?
I’d serve in crockpot and heat it in there, but either would work.
Use some drained pinto beans to thicken it up.
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.
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!
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.
What size crockpot did you use?
Just wish when I see a crockpot it says what size crockpot to use!
This was such a hit that my friends request it EVERY TIME we have a potluck! I have to make a double batch!!
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.
The directions says drained, had to go back and reread it. Hope that helps.
Can I make this stove top or in the oven and for how long?
Mine turned out watery like and not thick. Any ideas on what I did wrong?
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?
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!
I have a mix of grape jelly and bbq sauce, can I add pineapple to this?
Hi Candy, Sorry, I am a little confused by your question. what are you wanting to add pineapple to?
What do you serve with this when making it for dinner?
I bet it would be delicious over some white rice!
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
Thank you Judy!
Do you defrost the meatballs before you put in crockpot?
I never do.
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…..
Do you ise the smaller pack of smokies or the larger pack?
Looks delicious. And how much is a serving?
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!
Glad to know it was such a hit, Cindy. Thanks for the feedback.
Awesome next time I need double recipe, it was gone so fast.
Sounds like a good idea! Thanks for the 5 stars, Melissa.
I love the sweet and smokie flavors of this! Can’t wait to add them to our menu for our holiday party.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Julie.
Wow, the pineapple and smokie combo was fantastic! I can’t believe I never thought of it!
So glad you enjoyed them, Stephanie.
This is the easiest appetizer and everyone always goes crazy over it! Love that sauce!
Thanks for the 5 stars, Taylor.
Hello delicious! This is the perfect weeknight dinner
These are so good! Perfect for all holiday season!
My family loved this! I love the sweet and smoky flavors!
Fantastic! Thanks for coming back to let me know, Lauren.
These look so delicious, love the idea of mixing smokies and meatballs!
You’ll be in party mode in no time!