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Pineapple Jerk Chicken Meatballs

Spicy jerk chicken meatballs simmered in a sweet and perfectly sticky pineapple sauce are packed full of flavor and heavenly served over fluffy rice!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 439kcal


Jerk Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 small scotch bonnet (or habanero) pepper, cored
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup lightly-packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pineapple Sauce

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced in 1/4-in cubes
  • Hot rice and additional cilantro for serving


Jerk Chicken Meatballs

  • Combine pepper, garlic, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, allspice, 5-spice powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse several times until mixture is very finely chopped.
  • Scrape processed mixture into a large bowl and add chicken, panko, and egg. Gently knead until combined and form into 1-in meatballs.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and swirl pan to evenly coat. Add meatballs to pan and sear on all sides, turning occasionally with a tongs until meatballs are golden brown. Transfer meatballs to a clean plate and set aside.

Pineapple Sauce

  • Wipe pan clean and add pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch-water mixture. Stir sauce over medium heat until bubbly and slightly thickened. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add meatballs and diced pineapple to sauce and toss until evenly coated. Cover pan and allow to simmer over medium-low heat 5-10 minutes until meatballs register 165F. Serve meatballs warm over hot rice with cilantro on top and enjoy!


Serving: 4meatballs (calculated without rice) | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.2g | Protein: 24.5g | Fat: 18.7g | Saturated Fat: 4.7g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 975mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 24.4g | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg