Smoky-Sweet Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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This Smoky-Sweet Grilled Pineapple Salsa is the perfect fruity condiment for all of your fresh-off-the-grill favorites. Simply toss caramelized, grilled pineapple with onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and a sprinkle of Tajín. Enjoy with chips for a tropical Taco Tuesday or keep this recipe on your rotation as a topper for seafood, grilled chicken, BBQ pork, and so much more!

Ready in 30 minutes or less. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

An overhead shot of grilled pineapple salsa in a red-rimmed white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips on a wooden board atop a blue surface. Margaritas sit alongside the bowl.

Smoky and Sweet Grilled Pineapple Salsa is Straight-Up Stunning!

I love a fresh, fruity salsa, especially on a hot summer day! It’s such a refreshing pop of flavor for everything from seafood to BBQ pork and chicken to pretty much anything you’d slap on a smoky grill.

My first foray into fruit salsa was this super quick and simple Fresh Mango Salsa. At some point over the years, I began swapping out diced mango with juicy-sweet pineapple. This Grilled Pineapple Salsa recipe is the result and it’s one of my all-time favorite little dishes. 🍍

Ready in 30 minutes or less, this easy grilled pineapple salsa recipe is a smoky-sweet treat!

Ripe fresh pineapple has tons of natural sweetness that gets even better when you cook it on the grill. After just a few minutes of grilling, the fruit’s natural sugars caramelize into a balanced blend of smoky sweetness.

From there, the salsa comes together quickly with 6 simple ingredients – diced grilled pineapple, onion, jalapeño, garlic, fresh lime juice, and Tajín seasoning for a bright and zingy pop of flavor.

The resulting grilled pineapple salsa is super fresh-tasting and perfectly spicy-sweet. It’s a great little snack to enjoy all on its own, but it’s an equally awesome add-on for seafood and all things grilled.

This recipe is a true PWWB House summer staple, and I have a feeling you’re going to love it too!

How to Grill Pineapple

Choosing the best pineapple to grill. ⇢ For grilling, it’s best to start with a perfectly ripened fresh pineapple. Look for fruit with golden-yellow coloring, vibrant green leaves, and a sweet-smelling base. Here in Minnesota, it’s hard to find nicely ripened pineapples at the store, so I typically choose the most yellow-green pineapple I can find and let it ripen on my countertop for 2-4 days.

An overhead shot of four pineapple spears that have been sliced from a full pineapple on a wooden board.
For grilling, it’s best to slice pineapple into long, thick spears. Peel the fruit then slice it away from the core – easy!
A close-up shot of grilled pineapple spears on a gas grill.
Ripe pineapple grills up in about 4-5 minutes. It should have deeply caramelized grill marks and a strong pineapple-y aroma.
1

Peel and slice the fruit. The easiest way to grill a pineapple is in long, thick spears. Remove the tough skin by sliding a knife down the side to slice it away from the juicy pineapple flesh. From there, slice the peeled pineapple away from the core. You should end up with 4-6 slabs of fresh pineapple.

2

Grill the pineapple. Once the grill is preheated, lay the pineapple spears perpendicular to your the grates (so they don’t fall through!). After about 4-5 minutes per side, the fruit will have beautifully caramelized grill marks and a strong pineapple scent.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa Assembly

Once the fruit is perfectly smoky and charred, the grilled pineapple salsa comes together really quickly.

An overhead shot of ingredients displayed on a wooden cutting board and a light blue surface: chopped grilled pineapple, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, tajin, garlic, limes, and salt.
Pairing grilled pineapple with onion, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, and Tajín creates a fresh and fruity salsa with the best bright flavor.
An overhead shot of chopped pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, tajin, garlic, and salt in a large glass bowl atop a light blue surface, surrounded by cilantro leaves and spent lime halves.
To assemble, add everything to a bowl and toss to combine. Simple!
1

Dice the grilled pineapple into bite-size pieces, about ¼-inch. Tip! ⇢ Use a cutting board with an indented edge to capture the delicious pineapple juices – don’t let any of the smoky-sweet flavor to go to waste!

2

Mix the salsa. Combine the diced and grilled pineapple with red onion, jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and Tajín. Give the grilled pineapple salsa a quick taste and tweak seasonings as needed. For more zing, add an extra squeeze of lime. For a little more kick, add an extra dash of Tajín. Adjust until your salsa tastes just right!

A close-up overhead shot of grilled pineapple salsa in a red-rimmed white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips.
The best pineapple salsa is one that’s suited to your tastes, so tweak and adjust seasonings as needed!

Serving Suggestions

Of course, any salsa pairs well with chips or a taco night spread. But grilled pineapple salsa is delicious with BBQ staples like grilled pork or even a delicate and light seafood dinner.

A few of my favorite ways to enjoy grilled pineapple salsa include…

A close-up shot of a woman's hand scooping up grilled pineapple salsa with a tortilla chip from a white and red bowl.
Smoky-sweet and fresh, this grilled pineapple salsa recipe is the absolute best. Enjoy with chips, tacos, nachos, and so much more!

I can’t wait for you to try my Grilled Pineapple Salsa recipe! It’s smoky-sweet, juicy, and fresh all at once, and it’s the perfect topper for all of your favorite grilled goodies. I think you’ll love it as much as we do!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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An overhead macro close-up shot of grilled pineapple salsa.

Smoky-Sweet Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Sauces and Condiments, Appetizer Recipes, Snack Recipes
  • Method: Grilling and Smoking
  • Cuisine: American, Hawaii-Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Ripe fresh pineapple has a ton of juices that get even better when cooked on the grill. After just a few minutes of grilling, the fruit’s natural sugars caramelize into the most delicious smoky sweetness.

My favorite way to put grilled pineapple to use is this particular Grilled Pineapple Salsa. You mix it with onion, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and Tajín to create a fresh fruit salsa that’s perfectly spicy-sweet.

We love enjoying this pineapple salsa with chips, but it’s an equally awesome add-on for any of your favorite seafood dinners or grilled recipes. Check the blog post, above, for more serving inspiration! ♡ Happy grilling!


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ whole pineapple, peeled and sliced from the core (lengthwise) into 4 long spears
  • ¼ medium red onion, finely diced (approx. ½ cup)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded as desired and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 large, juicy limes, juiced (approx. 45 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • heaping ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • heaping ½ teaspoon chile lime seasoning such as Tajíin
  • for serving, as desired: finely chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, etc.

Instructions

  1. Prepare the grill: Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.)Weber Genesis II Propane Grill on a deck.
  2. Grill the pineapple: Place the pineapple spears on the grill, positioning them perpendicular to the grill grates. Close the lid. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until the pineapple is beautifully charred and softened slightly.A close-up shot of grilled pineapple spears on a gas grill.
  3. Mix the pineapple salsa: Transfer the grilled pineapple to a cutting board. Carefully dice into ¼-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl with all remaining listed ingredients (red onion – Tajín). Gently stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired – depending on the size of your pineapple, you may need a little extra salt or lime juice.An overhead shot of pineapple salsa in a large glass bowl with a spoon atop a light blue surface alongside cilantro leaves and lime halves.
  4. Serve: Transfer the grilled pineapple salsa to a serving dish. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve immediately with tortilla chips. This salsa is also a wonderful add-on for your favorite tacos, grilled chicken, BBQ salmon, pulled pork, and more. Enjoy!An overhead shot of grilled pineapple salsa in a red-rimmed white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips on a wooden board atop a blue surface. Margaritas sit alongside the bowl.


Notes

Jess’ Tips and Tricks

  • Picking the perfect pineapple: A ripe pineapple will have vibrant green leaves and golden-yellow coloring. It should feel firm to the touch and the base should smell sweet and fruity. Here in Minnesota, it’s hard to come by a perfectly ripe pineapple at the store, so I usually look for the most green-yellow pineapple of the bunch and allow it to ripen on my countertop for 2-4 days.
  • Pineapple leftovers: This recipe uses half of a whole pineapple, which ends up being about 3 cups chopped once grilled. You can certainly make a double batch to use up the entire fruit – doing so serves 10-12, easily. That’s a lot of salsa! So, I typically save the other half to use in another dish. Fresh pineapple is a key ingredient for my popular Sheet Pan Chicken al Pastor recipe. I also like to freeze it for smoothies. Plenty of options!

Make-Ahead and Storage

  • This grilled pineapple salsa is best enjoyed the day it’s mixed up, though leftovers will keep for 2-3 days. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy chilled.

Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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