Pineapple Glazed Ham Balls

Ham balls! Made from ham, bacon and ground pork, glazed with pineapple juice, brown sugar, cider vinegar, ketchup and dry mustard.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 20-60 meatballs, depending on the size



  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 pound ham, diced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp pineapple juice


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Process bacon and ham: Put the bacon and ham into a food processor and pulse briefly 3-4 times to chop fine. Do not purée.


3 Make ham ball mixture: Place the mixture in a large bowl with the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well to combine.


4 Form ham balls: Using your hands, form meatballs anywhere from 1-inch to 2-inches in diameter. The smaller diameter meatballs will make for easier eating if you are making them for an appetizer for a party. Larger meatballs will work well for a main course.

5 Bake: Arrange the ham balls in a casserole pan and bake in the 350°F oven for about 1 hour for 2-inch diameter meatballs, or 30-40 minutes for 1-inch diameter meatballs.

These meatballs are pretty forgiving, but look for an internal temperature of about 165° or so.

6 Make glaze: Make the glaze when you put the meatballs in the oven. Mix all the ingredients except the corn starch in a small pot and bring to a boil. Whisk in the corn starch and simmer 1-2 minutes.

pineapple-glazed-ham-balls-method-3 pineapple-glazed-ham-balls-method-4

7 Baste: Baste the ham balls once they have cooked for 20 minutes, then again at 40 minutes for larger meatballs or at 10 minutes and 20 minutes if you are making small meatballs, and then again at 5 minutes before they're done.

Serve by themselves as a party appetizer, or on pineapple rings.

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  • Aimee F

    Just came back from Lancaster PA and purchased a ham ball meat mix from Stoltzfus. Never had or heard of ham balls prior to my PA visit. Didnt know what to do with it and stumbled across this recipe. Quick and easy and delicious! Will have to make for a gathering soon. Thank you!


  • Dianne Haynes

    This is my husband’s favorite!! I didn’t care for Ham Balls til I made these.


  • Amber

    I don’t have a food processor so ham balls are a little hard to make! However, we here in Lancaster County, PA have Gene Wengers famous hamloaf So I’m using the sauce recipe on pre-made hamballs. Smells delicious!!

  • BC

    Great I did this with a “ham loaf” turned out nice, Thank you…bc

  • Lou Ann young

    I won 1st place in a cooking competition with this recipe. Dbl the sauce and left in the refrigerator overnight before heating in a crockpot. Delicious


  • Kerry

    I have been using this recipe for the past couple years, found it in a pin. My family loves these and it is hard to have leftovers, even with a double batch. My middle son likes them so much that he will make them on his own. Thanks, Elise , for putting the time into the recipe for us.

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you like it Kerry!

      • Angie

        I am so excited to try this recipe for a community meal we are doing this coming week in Burlington Iowa. I have a group of 100 people so I am going to try to make these. But my question is, do people usually eat a couple for a meal? I am going to use an ice cream scoop to make more uniform. So I am going to need several.

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Angie, they’re little ham meatballs, so I would make estimates based on how many meatballs people like to eat. Typically for a serving, you would expect about 1/4 pound of meat per serving for a meal, not an appetizer. This recipe has 2 1/4 pounds of meat, so that would serve about 9 people. So if you want to serve this as a main course for a meal for 100 people, you would need to multiply this recipe by about 11.

          • Angie

            Terrific! And thank you for your reply. I made these over the weekend to try and used Chili Sauce instead on half to see if it made them more zesty along with a nice dash of minced onion in the sauce. I did thicken a little bit more with cornstarch however I loved the overall recipe and I am super excited to get started on our community meal! I am sure they will be a huge hit! The Chili Sauce ones were fabulous as were the other half without! Love this recipe, especially with the bacon added. This one is a keeper! I also wanted say how much I love your recipes. Great website!!! Thanks again.

  • Beth Everetts

    Just had to find this recipe again as my son is coming home from college this weekend & these are his FAVORITES! Never any leftovers & he & his Dad squabble over them when there are any! Thanks so much Elise!

  • Penny Wolf

    UPDATE-This was a homerun and may be a new tradition for Easter at our house. Thank You.

  • Kevin

    I made these for a potluck this past weekend. They were the first things to go! Everyone loved them. In the last 15 minutes of baking, I added canned pineapple chunks to the pan and basted them too. At the end, I put it all in a crock pot to take to the party. Great recipe! Thanks Elise!

  • Rachel

    These were amazing. When I found and suggested it, my husband was initially dumbfounded, then fascinated, and after putting a pan of rather large meatballs in the oven, a little fearful. We enjoyed our meatballs with coconut rice and Hawaiian-style quick pickles. It was just fabulous. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  • Anne

    These are wonderful!!!!!!!!!

  • Juls

    I made these sunday night with my dad, and I put some away for lunch on monday:) ‘Course by the time I got to the fridge, they were all in my siblings’ lunch bags. great recipe! :)

  • Debbie in GA

    These look so good! The “ham” that the recipe calls for — are you talking ham that I buy at the deli for sandwiches? Should it be smoked, boiled, honey, etc.? Thanks!

    Whatever ham you like. ~Elise

  • Joe

    Is the glaze meant to be this thin? The cornstarch didn’t seem to have any effect.

    Yes, the glaze is thin. ~Elise

  • Sun Jae

    I’m quite desperate as I really would like to try and make those, but it seems impossible to find dry mustard in Belgium :( Can I replace it with “normal” mustard, or is it better to ground some mustard seeds?

    As for the pineapple juice, is it just juice in bottle?

    Sorry for the silly questions, I started cooking not so long ago, before I was a “take away” expert :p

    Just use smooth Dijon mustard instead of ground mustard. The pineapple juice you can get either plain, from a jar or bottle, or the juice left in a can of pineapple rings. ~Elise

  • Psydad

    Wonderful – and I am Not a big Hawaiian Pizza fan either. The only trouble I had was with the glaze – was it supposed to thicken? Mine didn’t – but that didn’t stop it from tasting great! I added a teaspoon of ground ginger to the meat and to the glaze – and I also used BBQ sauce in place of the ketchup for a bit more zip. All in all, this Will be on my pot-luck list – Thanks again for a delicious and well written recipe.

    No, it doesn’t really thicken much. Glad you liked it! Great idea to add some BBQ sauce. ~Elise

  • lyn

    These look wonderful. Could I just use ham and omit the ground pork?

    You could try it. Let us know how it works out for you if you do. ~Elise

  • marya

    Do you think this could work for a meatloaf instead of meatballs? I’m lazy and hate rolling out the meatballs. But it sounds delicious!

    Yes, but you may have to cook it longer. ~Elise

  • marynn

    Joke all you want; these are simply delicious! My mother-in-law made them and we loved them almost as much as her peerless potato salad and I stupidly never got her recipe. When I asked my sister-in-law if she might know she recalls simply “cleaning everything out” and any hard copy is gone.

    So many thanks to you for this retro recipe. It’s on the plan for next week.

  • Joanne D

    These look sooooo good – how about making a little kabob with meatball,pinapple and green pepper – perfect for my Daytona 500 party this weekend !

    Little kabobs would be perfect too! ~Elise

  • angela

    This sounds so bad, it has to be good! I’m sure I’ll be serving these up before you know it and re-naming them “Couilles de Jambon au ananas”!

    Hi Angela. Exactemente! All you have to do is French-ify the name and voila, you have haute cuisine. ;-) ~Elise

  • DessertForTwo

    I love the retro potluck recipes like this! Heard of porcupine balls? Wait, they might not be called that exactly. But it’s meatballs with raw rice in it, so that when you bake them the rice pokes out.

    Thanks for sharing, I bookmarked this for my next girls’ night!

    • debbs

      Porcupine balls are differnt then these. My family makes them with beef rice onion and tomato soup/sauce.