Meatballs with Bell Peppers and Pineapple is a meal that is a true comfort food. The juicy, fresh pineapple adds to this made-from-scratch but easy to prepare dish and pairs perfectly with the beef in the meatballs. Don’t even think about substituting canned pineapple! Green bell peppers are one of the most versatile vegetables around, and diced with a rough-chop into larger chunks makes them stand up and give a garden-fresh taste to the sweetness of the pineapple and heartiness of the beef. The meatballs are simple but flavorful with minced onion, Panko bread crumbs and crushed red pepper flakes. Before cooking, they are lightly rolled in flour to help keep the meaty juices inside and this step also aides in adhering the sauce to the meat.
To finish the dish, crushed red pepper flakes bring everything together. In fact, if you decide to leave them out at the end, you might find the dish lacking because that tiny bit of heat is super satisfying.
Every time I make Meatballs with Bell Peppers and Pineapple, I wonder why I don’t make it more often because after taking that first bite… well let me just say again, THIS is comfort food, through and through. Try it for a great weeknight family meal or a pot luck crowd-pleaser.
Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ onion, diced very fine
- 1 whole egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, or Regular Breadcrumbs
- 2 cups beef stock or broth
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup white wine, or vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon, cornstarch
- 1-½ cup FRESH pineapple chunks
- 2 whole green bell peppers, seeded and diced roughly
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Canola oil, or Safflower oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Cooked brown or white rice for serving
- Combine1 pound ground beef, diced ½ onion, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ½ cup breadcrumbs, and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Mix with hands until combined. Roll meat mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet (Do not roll too tightly). Freeze on the pan for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Mix together 2 cups beef stock, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, ½ cup sherry (or vinegar), ⅓ cup sugar, and 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
- Chop your 1 ½ cups pineapple and 2 green pepper and set aside.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat. Roll meatballs in ¼ cup flour, then fry in two batches until nice and brown, about two minutes per batch. Remove meatballs and set aside on a separate plate.
- Pour off oil from pan and return pan to medium high heat. When pan is hot, throw in the chopped green peppers and cook for one minute. Add pineapple to pan and cook for one minute, stirring gently. Pour in stock/soy sauce mixture, then add meatballs back in. Stir gently to combine and allow to cook and bubble for a few minutes, or until sauce is thickened. (Your pan might be rather full here, but it only needs to simmer slightly to thicken. Add salt and crushed red peppers to taste. (Hint: this dish is yummy if it's a little spicy.)
- Serve over cooked brown or white rice with extra crushed red pepper flakes because it REALLY is better with a little extra.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.