8 Creative Ways to Eat a Pineapple

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Biting into a chunk of fresh pineapple has a way of transporting you (mentally) to a tropical beach. But pineapple doesn't just taste good, it's full of excellent nutrients, too.

A cup of pineapple chunks delivers 2.3 grams of fiber, almost 80 milligrams of vitamin C (that's close to the daily recommended intake), and is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, copper, and thiamine—providing at least 10% of the recommended daily intake for each of these nutrients.

While most people are familiar with chunks of pineapple showing up in fruit salads, on top of Hawaiian-style pizzas, or maybe even as a garnish on a tropical smoothie, there are many ways to get a little more of this tropical mainstay in your diet. Some of these recipe ideas are quick and nutritious snacks, others are creative twists to level up your favorite comfort foods. No matter how you slice it (or dice it), all of these pineapple recipes are worth trying at least once.

Health Benefits of Pineapple

  • A good source of fiber.
  • A good source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, copper, and thiamine.

For more information on the benefits of pineapple, please refer to Pineapple Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.

How to Use Pineapple

Of course, the most obvious way to eat pineapple is to simply slice it up and enjoy the fruit on its own. It also makes an excellent topping on cereal, yogurt, or even a bowl of ice cream. But pineapple doesn't need to be eaten raw—you can grill it, bake it, roast it, and use it as a sweet and tangy topping for your favorite proteins, like teriyaki chicken or a hearty burger.

The options and opportunities for creativity are plentiful. Here are eight fun ideas to help whet your palate.

Pineapple Panini

You may not typically think of layering pineapple between two slices of bread, but when you're creating a sweet and savory grilled sandwich, pineapple adds a sweet tang that can offset the savory flavor of proteins like chicken, ham, and cheese. And with the crunchy, crusty bread to help seal in the pineapple's juices, you end up with the type of flavorful sandwich you'll want to eat for lunch every chance you get.

BBQ Chicken Pineapple Panini

Brush 2 slices of fresh, cored pineapple with barbecue sauce and grill them in a panini press until grill marks appear. Set aside. Spread a tablespoon of butter on a single side of two pieces of hearty bread. With the butter sides facing out, build a sandwich by layering 2 slices of cheddar cheese, 2 slices of pineapple, 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken, another drizzle of barbecue sauce, and 3 slices of red onion between the slices of bread. Grill using a panini press or a stovetop grill pan for roughly three minutes on each side, or until the bread gets crispy and the cheese melts.

Nutrition per serving: 873 calories, total fat 46 g, saturated fat 22 g, carbs 82 g, fiber 8 g, sugar 43 g

Pineapple S'Mores

S'mores are practically a requirement when you go camping, but this sweet treat doesn't have to be the basic chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. Adding fruit to your s'mores helps give it a sweet and juicy flavor (and a few extra nutrients).

Because pineapple has a way of taking on a caramelized exterior when it's roasted, layering a slice with the chocolate and marshmallows will give your standard camping dessert a little extra zip. You can even skip the chocolate altogether and keep it simple by leaning into the fruity element.

At-Home Sweet Grilled Pineapple S'Mores

Use a grill pan and grill two slices of pineapple (each cut in half, so you'll have 4 pieces) over medium-high heat on your stove. "Toast" two marshmallows in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Break two graham crackers in half (you'll have 4 square pieces). Layer the marshmallows on two of the graham cracker pieces and top them each with two half-slices of pineapple. Top with the other graham cracker piece to make two pineapple s'mores.

Nutrition per serving: 333 calories, total fat 3 g, saturated fat 0 g, carbs 77 g, fiber 6 g, sugar 48 g

Pineapple Pancakes

There's nothing like a big pancake breakfast on the weekends, but a basic flapjack is sometimes lacking in the ability to give you a nutritional boost. By adding pieces of pineapple to your favorite pancake batter, you're enjoying extra vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavor!

Pineapple Pancakes

Using an "add water only" pancake mix, follow the instructions to make the batter. One cup of pancake mix will usually make three servings of two pancakes each, so you'll need six slices of pineapple. Heat a skillet over medium heat and place a slice of pineapple in the skillet. Pour a pancake's-worth of batter (about a quarter cup) over the center of the pineapple ring. Wait for bubbles to form and pop in the batter and for the bottom edges of the pancake batter to start to turn golden. Flip the pancake and cook it on the other side. Continue with the rest of the batter and pineapple rings. Enjoy each serving with butter and syrup. Add 1/3 cup of crushed pineapple as a topping.

Nutrition per serving: 418 calories, total fat 12 g, saturated fat 7 g, carbs 74 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 34 g

Roasted Pineapple

You may be familiar with roasting vegetables, but there's no reason you can't roast pineapple, as well. Cooking the fruit at high temperatures gives it an extra sweet caramelized flavor that's great as a tasty dessert on its own, or layered as a garnish on meats, salads, or even sweet potatoes.

Easy Roasted Cinnamon Pineapple

Slice a freshly cored pineapple into bite-sized chunks. Toss the pieces of the fruit in 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the pieces over a parchment paper-lined pan in a single layer and roast the pineapple at 450 F for 15-20 minutes. This makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 168 calories, total fat 4 g, saturated fat 0 g, carbs 34 g, fiber 3 g, sugar 27 g

Pineapple Popsicles

Sliced and chilled pineapple slices make for a refreshing afternoon snack, but in the dog days of summer, nothing beats a cool, tropical popsicle. When you make your own pops at home, you can mix the flavor and benefits of pineapples with other fruity flavors.

Easy Coconut Pineapple Popsicles

Blend 4 cups of frozen pineapple with 1 cup of vanilla-flavored coconut milk until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold — depending on the size of your molds, this recipe makes about 10 popsicles. Freeze until solid, about four hours.

Nutrition per serving: 77 calories, total fat 5 g, saturated fat 4 g, carbs 9 g, fiber 4 g, sugar 7 g

Pineapple Salsa

The sweet citrus flavor of pineapple pairs well with lime, cilantro, onions, and jalapenos, making it the perfect sweet alternative to a more savory, tomato-based salsa. Whether you want to make a homemade dip for tortilla chips or you plan to add a dollop of fresh salsa to your favorite fish tacos, it's worth trying a simple, homemade pineapple version.

Fresh Tropical Pineapple Salsa

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 2 cups fresh diced pineapple, 1/4 cup dice red onion, 1/2 diced jalapeno (or more if you like spice), juice from 1 lime, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, salt, and garlic powder, to taste. Chill until you're ready to serve. This makes 4 servings of salsa.

Nutrition per serving: 51 calories, total fat 0 g, saturated fat 0 g, carbs 14 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 9 g

Pineapple Oatmeal

Adding raisins or berries to oatmeal isn't all that unusual, but there's no reason you can't give your morning meal a tropical twist by mixing in chunks of pineapple. In fact, serving oatmeal with coconut milk, some fresh pineapple, and a sprinkling of coconut chips on top makes for a filling way to start your day.

Pineapple Coconut Vanilla Oatmeal

Bring 1 cup of coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats and cook until the oats are soft and creamy. Add 1/2 cup diced pineapple, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cook until the pineapple heats through, then serve topped with 2 tablespoons coconut chips and 1 tablespoon diced pineapple.

Nutrition per serving: 681 calories, total fat 54 g, saturated fat 46 g, carbs 48 g, fiber 6 g, sugar 11 g

Pineapple Cocktails

Whether you're opting for an alcoholic beverage or a virgin version of a happy hour special, a freshly made pineapple cocktail can help lift your spirits at the end of a long day.

Spicy Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita

To make two margaritas, place 1 cup freshly-cut pineapple chunks, 3 slices jalapenos, 4 ounces tequila, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 2 ounces lime juice, 1 ounce triple sec, and 1 ounce agave syrup in a blender with 3 cups ice. Blend until smooth. Pour evenly between two salt-rimmed margarita glasses. Garnish with chunks of pineapple and slices of jalapeno.

Nutrition per serving: 283 calories, total fat 0 g, saturated fat 0 g, carbs 33 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 26 g

A Word From Verywell

While fruits like pineapple sometimes get a bad rap for being higher in sugar, finding ways to add a "rainbow" of fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to bolster overall nutrition. Aiming for one to two servings of fruit per day from a wide variety of sources, including pineapple, can help you reach your daily needs for nutrient intake. Speak with a doctor or a registered dietitian if you have any questions regarding nutrients you may need to incorporate into your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it true that pineapple eats your tongue?

    While it's true that eating pineapple may make your tongue experience a burning sensation, indulging in pineapple doesn't actually "eat" your tongue in any sort of manner that could be considered dangerous. That said, due to pineapple's acidic pH and bromelain, an enzymatic protein found in the fruit, some people may experience a burning or sore sensation in the mouth and tongue. This occurs because bromelain is a protease designed to break down other proteins. Your mouth contains proteins in its mucous lining, and when you eat pineapple, the bromelain may start to break down these proteins, causing a burning sensation. That said, unless you have an allergy to bromelain or to pineapple, in general, any burning you feel will be short-lived and your mouth will re-build its protective mucous lining quickly.

    You can try to avoid the sensation by rubbing the fruit with a little salt, eating it with dairy products, or cooking it. These all help activate and expend the bromelain before it reaches your mouth

  • Is pineapple good for skin?

    The bromelain and vitamin C found in pineapple are both powerful substances that appear to have skin-related health benefits. Bromelain, specifically, has shown some promise in calming the effects of Pityriasis lichenoides chornica (PLC), a skin disease that is defined by scaly raised bumps on the surface of the skin. Bromelain is thought to help relieve symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anti-viral properties.

    Vitamin C, due to its powerful antioxidant properties, has also been strongly linked to skin health. Some of the known benefits of vitamin C include improved collagen synthesis and thickness, less wrinkle depth, and improved wound healing.

    While using pineapple extracts or applying pineapple directly to the skin may or may not result in healthier skin (more studies are needed), consuming pineapple on a regular basis may provide an overall benefit to your skin's well-being due to its bromelain and vitamin C content.

  • What are the side effects of pineapple?

    Generally speaking, pineapple is a nutritious fruit that most people can consume in moderation without strong or noticeable side effects. That said, some people may experience burning of the mouth or tongue due to the presence of bromelain in the fruit, as well as its high acidity.

    While it's considered more unusual, some individuals may have an oral allergy to pineapple that results in itching and swelling of the lips and tongue. And in even rarer incidences, a person may experience allergic anaphylaxis due to a pineapple-specific allergy. For those with pineapple-specific anaphylaxis, strict avoidance of the fruit is necessary.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Pineapple, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  2. National Academies of Sciences. Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, elements,

  3. National Academies of Sciences. Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, vitamins,

  4. Knox S, Lang D, Hoyt A. The many flavors of pineapple reactionsAnnals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2019;123(5):519-521. doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2019.08.001

  5. Massimiliano R, Pietro R, Paolo S, Sara P, Michele F. Role of bromelain in the treatment of patients with pityriasis lichenoides chronicaJ Dermatolog Treat. 2007;18(4):219-222. doi.org/10.1080/09546630701299147

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By Laura Williams
Laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine.