The Best Pineapple Salsa

from 11 votes

Slice and dice your way to a flavor-packed recipe for The Best Pineapple Salsa made simply with fresh ingredients – no dry seasonings or heavy dressings required! It’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, seafood, chicken or pork tacos, or simply enjoyed with tortilla chips.

A white bowl containing pineapple salsa garnished with fresh cilantro.

If I’ve learned it once, I’ve learned it a million times: There’s just something about pineapple bowls that make my mouth water and the Interwebs go wild.

I discovered this quite quickly with one of the most popular and 5-star rated recipes of the past decade on Just a Taste (looking at you, Sticky Pineapple Chicken!), and I figured it was about time to bring back the boats (keep reading to learn how to make a pineapple bowl). This time, as an edible vessel for what will be the best Hawaiian salsa to ever hit your lips. 

Serve this pineapple salsa as a dip with chips, as a salad addition, or as a topping for a wide range of proteins, from chicken and pork to flank steak and glazed honey garlic shrimp. It lends a healthy spoonful of flavor to every bite!

Why It’s The Best

It’s sweet. It’s tangy. It’s super-crunchy. And to sum it all up in a single word, it is refreshing.

Many pineapple salsa recipes call for roasted peppers, dry seasonings or heavy dressings. You won’t find any of those here! Every taste is light, fresh and juicy, and the versatility can’t be beat.

Best of all, it can be made up to three days in advance.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

A top-down view of the fresh ingredients needed to make pineapple salsa, including red bell pepper, pineapple, cilantro, orange bell pepper, limes and red onion.
  • Pineapple: Fresh pineapple works best, but you can also use canned pineapple chunks in their natural juice if fresh pineapple is not available.
  • Onion: While red onion provides a mild pungent flavor, you can substitute it with sweet onion or shallots for a milder taste.
  • Lime zest and juice: Lime zest and juice are crucial for the tangy and citrusy flavor of the salsa. The zest provides fragrant oils from the lime peel, while the juice adds the necessary acidity. You can adjust the amount of lime zest and juice based on your preference for tartness.
  • Salt: A touch of salt helps to enhance the flavors of all the ingredients and bring them together harmoniously. Adjust the salt according to your taste.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Add-Ins

  • Mango: Add diced mango for a sweeter and more tropical twist. It pairs wonderfully with pineapple and adds an extra layer of richness to the salsa.
  • Cucumber: Incorporate small diced cucumber for a cool and refreshing crunch. It complements the tropical flavors and adds a contrasting texture.
  • Jalapeño pepper: For those who enjoy some heat, finely chop and add a jalapeño pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes to spice up the salsa.
A large clear bowl containing chopped orange and red bell peppers, diced red onion, minced cilantro, lime zest and small pieces of pineapple.

How to Make Pineapple Salsa

Making salsa is incredibly straightforward. The key is to use a sharp chef’s knife.

  1. Prepare the ingredients. Dice the pineapple and peppers into small, evenly sized-pieces. Finely dice the red onion to balance the sweetness of the pineapple and peppers. Mince the cilantro leaves, discarding the stems. Zest the lime, being careful not to grate the bitter white pith beneath the zest. Juice the lime to extract its tangy flavor.
  2. Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. 
  3. Serve and enjoy!
A clear bowl with a spoon containing pineapple salsa with bell peppers and fresh cilantro.

Recipe Tips

  • Choose a Ripe Pineapple: Look for a pineapple that is ripe and sweet. Sniff the bottom of the pineapple — a sweet aroma indicates ripeness. Additionally, the pineapple should have a slightly soft texture when gently squeezed.
  • Dice Ingredients Uniformly: Aim for small and uniform dices when chopping the pineapple, peppers, and onions. This ensures even distribution of flavors and textures throughout the salsa.
  • Adjust Heat Level: If you prefer a spicier salsa, consider adding a small diced jalapeño pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.
  • Balance the Flavors: Taste your salsa and adjust the ingredients to achieve the desired balance. Add more lime juice for tanginess, salt for seasoning, or cilantro for freshness. Don’t be afraid to customize it to suit your taste.

How to Make a Pineapple Bowl

A hollowed out pineapple bowl next to it's other half on a wooden cutting board.

Creating a pineapple bowl is a fun and creative way to serve various dishes, from coconut pineapple smoothies to this salsa recipe. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • Sharp knife
  • Spoon
  • Cutting board

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Prepare the pineapple. Place the pineapple on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice off the crown (the leafy top) and the base (the rough, flat bottom) of the pineapple.
  2. Cut the pineapple in half: Stand the pineapple upright on its base and carefully slice it in half lengthwise, starting from the crown end and cutting all the way through the bottom. Take your time and use a gentle sawing motion to cut through the tough skin and flesh of the pineapple.
  3. Spoon out the flesh: Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh of each pineapple half, creating a hollowed-out bowl shape. Start at the base and work your way toward the top, ensuring that you remove all the fruit while keeping the integrity of the pineapple shell intact. 
  4. Your pineapple bowl is now ready to be filled with your favorite dishes!

What to Serve with Pineapple Salsa

This versatile and flavorful condiment pairs well with a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas for what to serve with pineapple salsa:

  • Grilled meats: Such as chicken, pork or steak. The sweetness and tanginess of the salsa complement the smoky flavors from the grill. Serve the salsa on top of the grilled meat or as a side condiment. It would be delicious atop my favorite pork tenderloin or honey soy chicken thighs
  • Seafood: It adds a burst of tropical freshness to grilled fish like salmon, mahi-mahi or shrimp. You can spoon the salsa over the seafood or serve it alongside as a dipping sauce.
  • Tacos and burritos: Whether it’s fish tacos or chicken burritos, the salsa will provide a refreshing contrast to the savory fillings.
  • Nachos: Take your nachos to the next level by adding a generous serving of this salsa on top. 
  • Rice and grain bowls: The salsa will provide a burst of flavor and freshness, particularly in bowls with ingredients like black beans, avocado and grilled chicken. Try it alongside my favorite coconut rice.
  • Tortilla chips: Pineapple salsa is delicious as a standalone dip with tortilla chips. 
  • Summer salads: Toss it with mixed greens, avocado, grilled chicken or shrimp for a refreshing and vibrant salad option.
A white bowl filled to the top with fresh pineapple salsa with a small bowl in the background filled with tortilla chips.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does pineapple salsa last in the fridge?

Pineapple salsa will last up to three days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What goes with pineapple salsa?

Pineapple salsa can be served as a dip with tortilla chips, as a topping for grilled meats or seafood, in tacos or burritos or even as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps. Its versatility allows you to get creative and pair it with various dishes to add a tropical twist.

Can I omit the cilantro if I don’t like it?

If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it from the recipe. Cilantro adds a distinct flavor, but if it’s not to your liking, you can simply exclude it. You can also experiment with substituting it with other herbs like parsley.

Can I use canned pineapple instead of fresh pineapple?

Yes, you can use canned pineapple in pineapple salsa. However, fresh pineapple generally provides a more vibrant and pronounced flavor. If using canned pineapple, make sure to drain it well before using in the salsa.

Can I adjust the heat level of the salsa?

Absolutely! You can adjust the heat level of the salsa by adding jalapeño peppers or crushed red pepper flakes.

More Pineapple Recipes You’ll Love

Pineapple salsa in a white bowl.

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Appetizer

The Best Pineapple Salsa

Slice and dice your way to a flavor-packed recipe for The Best Pineapple Salsa made simply with fresh ingredients – no dry seasonings or heavy dressings required! It’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, seafood, chicken or pork tacos, or simply enjoyed with tortilla chips.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.91 from 11 votes
A white bowl filled to the top with fresh pineapple salsa with a small bowl in the background filled with tortilla chips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups small diced pineapple
  • 3/4 cup small diced orange pepper
  • 3/4 cup small diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. 
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Kelly’s Notes

  • Look for a pineapple that is ripe and sweet. Sniff the bottom of the pineapple — a sweet aroma indicates ripeness. Additionally, the pineapple should have a slightly soft texture when gently squeezed.
  • Aim for small and uniform pieces when chopping the pineapple, peppers, and onions. This ensures an even distribution of flavors and textures throughout the salsa.
  • If you prefer a spicier salsa, consider adding a small diced jalapeño pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.
  • Taste your salsa and adjust the ingredients to achieve the desired balance. Add more lime juice for tanginess, salt for seasoning, or cilantro for freshness. Don’t be afraid to customize it to suit your taste.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 28kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.02g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 147mg, Potassium: 115mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 903IU, Vitamin C: 53mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.2mg

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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4.91 from 11 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Comments

  1. This is the best recipe! Fresh and flavorful. Every time I make it people rave. Perfect for summer barbecues!

  2. do you use the center stalk of the pineapple or do you discard it when scooping out the pineapple contents?

    do you use a pineapple straight from the store or do you “pretreat” it? as in, ive learned to let it sit upside down for a few days to let the sweetness spread throughout the pineapple, and for extra ripeness, before cutting it up, but i wonder if that might make the end result different than you intend.

    i plan to use this recipe for a party coming up in a month or so.

  3. 5 stars
    This salsa got raving reviews at the adult get together tonight! We had a Hawaiian theme – I won for the most presentable. I had never cut out the pineapple like this recipe called for so went to YouTube to find the how to. Turned out great! Will use this salsa again as a topping to grilled chicken or just for chips. But it did take me longer than 15 minutes to small dice the ingredients.

  4. 5 stars
    The Best Pineapple Salsa (first time I ever made salsa) was delicious! I served it with Caramel Hickory Chicken cooked on the grill. I got raves about the salsa, so fresh tasting!

  5. Love this. We had it with breakfast-for-dinner. It is great on ham steaks. I did add a little chopped, jarred jalapenos for a bit of a kick. Unfortunately, I can’t give it any stars because I can’t click on them but I would give it a 5+. Thank you.

    1. Halve it then score all around the edges and then make cuts inside the pineapple and use a spoon to pop them out!

  6. 5 stars
    CookingClassy recommended your salsa recipe to serve with her pork tenderloin recipe. Both recipes were excellent. She speaks highly of yours too.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Brenda! And I’m thrilled you enjoyed the salsa recipe! :)

  7. 4 stars
    I haven’t tried it as yet. I cut my fresh pineapple up, sprinkled sugar on it and freezed most of it. I’ll try it June 7th, Sunday. It sounds yummy though.

  8. 5 stars
    This was great! It was nice to have a recipe without jalapeño since my husband doesn’t like spicy foods.

  9. 5 stars
    5 stars. I have made this before it’s wonderful, I am having visitors this Saturday so this is on the menu to go with smoked chicken and salad as a nice refreshing starter. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    I made three batches of this salsa today and it is incredible!!! Making that much took some time, but well worth it Sharing it with my daughter’s family tomorrow. Yummy!!!