Polynesian Style Meatballs

by Melissa on June 13, 2009

 I was looking for something to make with ground turkey when I came across this meatball recipe. The original recipe calls for ground pork, but even with the leaner ground turkey, these meatballs were delicious! The seasoned meatballs go really well with the sweet pineapple sauce, making these a staple in our dinner rotation. I made a few changes to the original recipe, including omitting the green pepper. I am sure green or red pepper would add flavor and color, if only I liked them. :)


Polynesian Style Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
  • 8 ounces pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray.

Combine the ground turkey with next 6 ingredients (egg through mustard) in a bowl and mix well. Using a medium scoop or your hands, roll into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, or your desired size.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Move meatballs to baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they are cooked through.

While meatballs are baking, in same pan you used for the meat, cook the onions until they begin to soften. Add the pineapple with juice and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat until just boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, water, brown sugar and cornstarch and mix well. Add to pineapple mixture and stir to combine. Boil and stir for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.

Add meatballs back into pan and toss to coat. Serve over hot rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.

Source: Adapted from Sweet Tea in Texas, originally from allrecipes.com.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

brannyboilsover June 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I made a vegetarian version of these meatballs, too (http://brannyboilsover.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/the-omnivore-gave-me-whale-eyes/) ! I made them with ground turkey for my husband and he loved them that way too. Glad you liked them.


michelle June 14, 2009 at 8:30 am

I sure wish my husband would eat meatballs, because this looks great!


Kate June 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm

I make something similar with turkey meatballs also.


Jessica June 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

These look so tasty! I can’t wait to try them, the pineapple sauce sounds so good!


Eva June 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm

mmm i might need to get some ground turkey soon


Marguerite June 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Those look delicious!


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