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Skip the takeout! These Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs and crisp vegetables simmer in a thick, sweet pineapple-soy glaze for an easy dinner recipe with just 15 minutes of prep. It’s a perfect family-friendly meal on your busiest days.

Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs with Vegetables and Rice

I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t love meatballs, so a bag of frozen bite-size turkey or beef meatballs has become a staple in my kitchen. Whether I use them in Dump-and-Bake Meatball Subs, in Weeknight Meatball and Tortellini Soup, or in my 3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatballs, they’re a versatile option that takes the guesswork out of dinnertime.

And now, I’ve got one more delicious option to add to my list: these Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs with bell peppers, onion, and rice!

Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs in a pineapple soy sauce glaze

You know what I love most about this simple Crock Pot dinner? It doesn’t taste like a slow cooker recipe!

The sauce is thick and rich (not watered down and thin), and the vegetables are crisp and bright (not soft and mushy)!

Crock Pot Meatballs with Vegetables

After years of testing and re-testing slow cooker dinners, I’ve learned a few good tricks along the way.

Here are a couple of my favorite tips for the perfect Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs:

  • Use a really thick, flavorful sauce to start with, because the water from the condensation in the pot will thin the sauce as it cooks.
  • Wait to add your vegetables during the final hour of cooking time. This way they stay crisp-tender, rather than becoming too soft.

Crock Pot Chinese Meatballs with Peppers and Onions

While the pineapple-soy sauce glaze requires an extra few minutes in a saucepan, it’s TOTALLY worth the effort. The sweet-and-savory combination is the key to this delicious, flavorful dish!

Asian meatballs with peppers and onions over rice

By simmering the sauce on the stovetop before it goes into the slow cooker, you get an incredibly thick, rich glaze that coats the meat and vegetables and gives the dinner that Chinese restaurant-takeout taste!

And please, please, please — don’t skip the sesame oil! It gives the dish a classic Asian flavor that you just can’t duplicate with a different oil.

Asian meatballs in the Crock Pot with vegetables

Serving Suggestions for these Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs:

  • Use a rice cooker (I love this one) to easily prepare a batch of sticky white rice;
  • For a speedy solution, grab a couple of pouches of microwaveable rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice); or
  • For a low-calorie option, try cauliflower rice! You can pick up microwaveable bags of frozen cauliflower rice at just about any grocery store.

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs with vegetables over rice

More easy slow cooker dinner recipes that you might enjoy:

Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
0 minutes
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 438.9 kcal
These Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs are an easy family-friendly dinner for busy nights!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag (25 ounces) frozen fully-cooked turkey or beef bite-sized meatballs (I used Butterball bite-size turkey meatballs)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup less-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • For serving: rice or cauliflower rice
  • Optional garnish: sliced green onion; toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and pineapple juice until smooth. Add soy sauce, vinegar, water, and brown sugar, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking constantly, just until thickened (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Pour sesame oil in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place meatballs in the slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
  • Stir in bell peppers and onion. Cook on LOW for 1 more hour, or until vegetables are tender and meatballs are heated through.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Notes

Cooking Just for Two? Cut the ingredients in half and prepare the dish in a small 2- or 3-quart slow cooker. The rest of the instructions remain the same.
Want to Prepare these Chinese Meatballs on the Stovetop? Start by making the sauce in a large pot, as instructed. Whisk in the sesame oil and add the meatballs; cover, and simmer over low heat for about 20-30 minutes (or until meatballs are completely heated through). Add vegetables and continue to cook (covered) over low heat until tender.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 438.9kcalCarbohydrates: 46.9gProtein: 20.2gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.8gCholesterol: 69.4mgSodium: 1523.5mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 11.1g
Keyword: chinese food, Meatballs, Slow Cooker Dinner
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Blair Lonergan

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Hi Blaire, this recipe looks delicious and quick. I am curious if you have tested it with less sugar/ juice? Do you think it will make a big difference if I cut back on those?

    1. Hi, Mila! No, I haven’t tested it any other way yet. I would think that you can reduce the juice, but you’ll want to replace it with water or broth. Let me know if you give it a try! 🙂

  2. Hey girl!
    This recipe was fantastic! Husband and kids loved it (although one kid still needed to add ketchup!)
    Thank you!
    Andrea