Our Favorite Ways to Cook With Pineapple
Beyond its inherent aptitude for being highly snackable and refreshing, pineapple delivers a juicy-bright punch of tropical personality to both sweet and savory dishes. From enhancing crispy fish tacos in the form of a spicy-sweet salsa to playing the rich and syrupy starring role on a classic upside-down cake, pineapple is one of the most versatile fruits to cook and bake with throughout the entire year. Here's a few of our favorite ways to use it.
Ham Cured Pineapple with Prosciutto and Pomegranate
Most people adorn their holiday ham with pineapple. This year, flip the script and "hamify" a whole pineapple. The result is a "wow" worthy holiday centerpiece that resembles a modern version of the classic ham, pineapple, and maraschino cherry combination. The glaze, pomegranate, prosciutto, and charred pineapple hit every flavor note in the book. Carve the pineapple like, well... a ham.
Pineapple Fried Rice with Spam, Shrimp, and Cashews
Instead of dumping your fried rice out of a boxed to-go container, turn pineapple halves into a tropical serving bowl to dish your rice into. Fried rice is the perfect meal to make with day-old rice. Add in your favorite mix-ins such as shrimp and spam to turn this common left-over starch into a new and improved dish.
Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp
This incredibly easy seafood dinner uses fresh pineapple and a teriyaki-style sauce for the classic sweet-and-tangy profile of Hawaiian shrimp. The pineapple also concentrates as it bakes and helps keep the rice mixture from becoming too dry. Rather than spreading the rice to the far edges of the sheet pan, keep it closer to the center and layer the vegetables and shrimp on top. This way their juices seep right into the rice, and the teriyaki drizzle coats every bite.
Pineapple Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
A sweet-tangy-spicy glaze of Asian pantry staples caramelizes beautifully under the broiler. To complete the meal, serve with jasmine rice tossed with sliced green onions and lime rind strips.
Pineapple-Lime Upside Down Cake
Fresh lime zest adds just enough of a zingy “something special” factor to our foolproof take on the classic pineapple upside-down cake. This easy cake is a fan favorite for good reason—it’s so simple to make and is loaded with a delicious balance of buttery-caramelized and tropically sweet flavors. Pro-Tip: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a perfect finish.
Coconut Tartlets with Poached Pineapple and Mascarpone Cream
Refreshing and bright, with the tropical flair of pineapple and coconut, these little tarts are a fun departure from typical desserts. Even better, most of the elements can be prepared a day ahead, then assembled just before serving.
Grilled Pineapple Dessert Pizza
When it's time to serve up a spiral ham on special occasions make sure you serve it with this wonderful pineapple and tamarind glaze. As the ham bakes in the oven, the dynamic pairing of these ingredients forms a crystallized crusty coat. The result is a mix of sweet, salty and tangy flavors all in one savory bite.
Pineapple Pizza Dip
Whether you’re pro- or anti-pineapple on pizza, we’re willing to bet you’re going to love this pineapple pizza dip. Why? Well, because its delicious balance of salty and sweet, and the savory, ooey-gooey goodness this dip packs makes it irresistible. Give it a try for your next party, potluck, or tailgate and see what we mean.
Crostini with Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Chutney
Top baked bread slices with pineapple mixture, Jamaican-spiced shrimp, and cilantro for a flavorful appetizer.
Tangy and sweet, this drink pairs well with our luau, but is also good sipped solo. You'll need 6 cocktail skewers.
Make an adults-only cocktail in a festive, all-natural glass. The rum is optional; omit when serving to children. A 3 3/4-pound pineapple yields about 3 cups of fruit. When you core and cut it, save the juice.
Grilled Steak with Pineapple Rice
Add a touch of tropical flair to your steak dinner with a flavorful side of grilled pineapple rice. From grill pan to table, this dish is dinner-ready in under 30-minutes; so quick, it's basically a vacation from stressful supper prep.
Grilled Pineapple Lemonade
A refreshing and tart drink, this twist on classic lemonade adds a whole new level of fruity and smoky flavors. It can be adapted easily to be made on your outdoor grill. We found that cooking the pineapple over charcoal lent an extra smoky depth that mezcal fans will appreciate. It can be customized to your preference when it comes to sweetness, or feel free to add a boozy spin with a dash of silver rum or tequila. Enjoy this fruit-forward lemonade on a warm spring day accompanied by your favorite cookout bites. For aesthetic flair, add a chunk of pineapple or a slice of lemon to the rim of your glass.
Pineapple-Mango Breakfast Bowls
Take your taste buds to the tropics with these fruit-and-yogurt-filled pineapple boats.
Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
We cut the tenderloin in half before grilling for a nicely charred crust and a juicy inside in half the time.
Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple-Onion Salsa
The flavors of fresh salsa and smoky pork chops combine wonderfully in this dish.
Paleo Fish Tacos with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa
Michelle Tam, creator of the blog Nom Nom Paleo and author of two cookbooks (Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and Ready or Not!) makes this recipe whenever she's on vacation with her family in Hawaii. The tacos are made with butter lettuce leaves instead of tortillas, so they're very light and refreshing.
Our suggested wine pairing: Wine by Joe 2015 Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley; $14).
Chow Down on a Spicy Trinidadian Breakfast
Every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. sharp, my immediate family of seven rises to the sound of horns blaring at the gate. Grandpa’s here with breakfast, of course. He enters with rosy cheeks and meticulously unfolds a blue-and-white checkered kitchen towel from a wicker basket. We all throw our hands up at this week’s Julie mango harvest. When the overwhelming heat of dawn swells in the walls of our home, sucking on the seed of an ice-cold ripe mango is pure cooling bliss. But in my opinion, an unripe mango—what we Trinidadians call a “green mango”—trumps all.
Towering 35 feet over the green grass in Grandpa’s garden, casting shade over his home, stands the most majestic tree. It bears bright yellow and orange sun-kissed fruit with a slight pink blush, and a few prized unripe green mangoes camouflaged within the leaves. Problem: Grandpa is only willing to share his fruit once it’s fully grown, but what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right? His grandkids—me included—are sneaky. One person distracts Grandpa while another climbs the tree and picks the unripe gems right off the branch. (Depending on your luck, you might find one on the ground.) If Grandpa catches the thief, Arabic swear words are cast toward them, followed by one mighty steups (the sucking sound made by sticking tongue against teeth—a sure sign of irritation). Failure or success, a stolen batch is always worth the scolding.
Green mangoes are an integral ingredient in Trinidadian cuisine, like kutchela, chutney, takari, and my favorite breakfast dish, chow. It’s a garlicky, spicy, tart fruit salad that’s most commonly made with mango, but apple, pineapple, pommecythere, and cucumber may show up, too. On an early morning drive to Maracas Beach, on the north coast of the island, I’ll spy vendors setting up shop to sell chow of all sorts. It’s a popular topping for shark and bake sandwiches, grilled meat, and anything curried—my stomach is growling just typing this.
In chow, hard green mangoes are sliced, marinated in lime juice, and seasoned with shado beni, a spiny coriander plant. If you cannot locate shado beni at your local grocery store, you’re sure to find it at any West Indian or Mexican market. On the island, we may not live in huts without electricity (as some people assume), but we do eat chow with our fingers. Stick to this tradition—you’ll enjoy licking your hands once the bowl is empty—just keep a glass of water at hand because things are bound to get spicy.
Trinidadian Mango Chow
Dwarf pineapples are the perfect party-sized edible cups to serve a summery cocktail in. Serve up shots of your favorite vodka brand and sweeten your punchy paradise drink with light agave and mellow out the booze with lime juice.
The combination of spicy and sweet makes an ideal flavor pairing in this fun pineapple and jalapeño frozen treat. Fresh pineapple chunks are blended together with a jalapeno-infused simple syrup to offer up a cool and refreshing popsicle for summer.