Nothing says summer like a sweet and tangy salsa, and this Grilled Pineapple Salsa is one for the ages. The sweet, caramelly, smoky flavor of grilled pineapple combined with fiery jalapeños, piquant red onions, and zesty lime juice creates a burst of crunchy flavor that is sure to tantalize your tastebuds in all the right spots.

closeup shot of grilled pineapple salsa with red onions and jalapeños.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

With grilling season upon us, I’m revisiting all of my summer standbys. This recipe for grilled pineapple salsa is the perfect addition to any summer gathering. 

With succulent chunks of caramelized pineapple, spicy jalapeños, and zippy citrus, this salsa is sure to become your new go-to for spooning over all your favorite grilled meats and fish. It’s also delectable straight from the bowl!

So, whether you’re a fan of traditional tomato salsa or are just looking to mix things up, this fresh pineapple salsa will have you craving more with every bite. Aside from being wickedly delicious and the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, this homemade pineapple salsa is also:

  • Quick & Easy – Grill the pineapple (which takes mere minutes), then chop and mix everything up in a bowl. You’ll be done with just 10 minutes of active prep time or less.
  • Made With Just 5 Simple Ingredients – And they’re somehow so much more than the sum of their parts in this sunshiny, slightly spicy pineapple salsa recipe!
  • Bright, Fresh, and Downright Crave-Worthy – When peak summer hits, I crave tons of bright, colorful, juicy produce, especially sweet fruit. This pineapple jalapeño salsa takes one of my favorite fruits and takes it to the savory side, meaning I can sneak it into every meal from breakfast and lunch to dinner and dessert.
  • Super Versatile – Whether you use it in my super delicioso tacos al pastor, spoon it over your favorite grilled pork, steak, chicken, or fish, or simply eat it straight from the bowl with crunchy tortilla chips (or a spoon — I don’t judge!), just trust me. Once you whip up a batch of this charred pineapple salsa, you’re going to want to put it on EVERYTHING.
ingredients needed to make grilled pineapple salsa on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients & Substitutions

As promised, you only need a handful of fresh ingredients to make this recipe for pineapple salsa:

  • Fresh Pineapple – This is the crown jewel of this recipe, adding a sweet, tangy, juicy flavor to the salsa. If fresh pineapple is not available, you can substitute canned pineapple rings (packed in juice, not syrup) or even fresh grilled mangoes for a similar taste and texture.
  • Red Onion – For a mild onion flavor and a pretty pop of color. If you don’t have red onion on hand, you can substitute white or yellow onions.
  • Jalapenos – For a spicy kick. Feel free to add more or less depending on how hot you like your salsas. Also, remember that most of the spicy capsaicin lives in the seeds and membranes, so carefully remove them first for a milder experience. If you like spicy, you can use spicier hot peppers like serrano peppers.
  • Lime Juice – For a tart and zesty flavor, and to help balance out the sweetness of the pineapple. If you don’t have lime juice, you can substitute lemon juice or even orange juice for a slightly sweeter taste.
  • Kosher Salt – This kitchen staple enhances the flavors of the other ingredients in the salsa, plus its large flakes make it easier to season things without overdoing it. If you don’t have kosher salt, you can use regular table salt or sea salt instead. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt used based on the type of salt you are using, as the level of saltiness may differ.
Latina blogger using a pineapple corer to remove fresh pineapple from the skin.

How To Make Pineapple Salsa

This roasted pineapple salsa comes together in just a few simple steps:

Step 1: Grill Pineapple. Cut a pineapple into rings or use this handy dandy pineapple corer. Lightly brush both sides of the pineapple rings with vegetable oil. Grill turning once, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side.

Step 2: Chop the grilled pineapple, red onion, and jalapeno, then mix together with lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Step 3: Serve with tortilla chips or your choice of grilled meat. Enjoy!

Optional Variations

There are plenty of ways to add some fun, creative twists to this classic grilled pineapple salsa recipe. Here are a few optional variations to consider:

  • Mango-Pineapple Salsa – Substitute half of the pineapple for fresh mango to create a tropical twist on the recipe.
  • Consider Add-Ins – While the charred salsa is lovely just the way it is written in the recipe card, there are tons of opportunities for you to put your own spin on it. Try mixing and matching any of the following for a seriously delectable dip:
    • Diced avocado adds a creamy and buttery texture that complements the sweetness of the pineapple. 
    • Diced cucumber gives the salsa a refreshing crunch and a cool contrast to the spicy jalapenos.
    • Mix in some drained and rinsed black beans for added protein and fiber. 
    • Mix in some fresh or canned corn for a pop of sweetness and texture that complements the other ingredients.
    • Finely chop fresh cilantro and mix it in with the other ingredients for a burst of freshness and flavor.
    • Add diced red bell pepper to the salsa for a vibrant pop of color, slightly sweet flavor, and delicious crunch. 
    • Substitute the jalapeños with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy variation on the classic recipe.

Expert Tips

  • Want to know the best way to peel & cut a pineapple? Lucky for you, I wrote a whole post about it, complete with a video to make it easy to follow along.
  • Preheat & oil the grill grates to prevent the pineapple from sticking. Also, make sure to clean the grates with a stiff-bristled brush before starting to grill.
  • Be careful when handling fresh chile peppers. They’re not just spicy on your tongue! Protect any cuts on your hands by wearing gloves, then carefully wash your hands, the knife, and the cutting board after prepping the jalapeño. Seriously, folks. You don’t want to accidentally rub your eyes or use the bathroom when you still have jalapeño on your hands!

How To Choose A Good Pineapple

To choose a perfect pineapple, first give the fruit a good sniff. A ripe pineapple should have a sweet and fruity aroma, with no sour or musty smell.

Next, look for a pineapple that has a bright, golden yellow color on the skin. Avoid pineapples with a lot of green on the skin, as they may not be fully ripe yet.

When you pick up the pineapple, give it a gentle squeeze to make sure it’s firm but not too hard. If it feels too soft or mushy, it may be overripe.

Another thing to look for is the crown of the pineapple. If the crown is green and healthy-looking, it’s a good sign that the pineapple is fresh and has been harvested recently.

When it comes to choosing a good pineapple, trust your senses and use these tips as a general guide. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to spot a ripe and delicious pineapple from a mile away!

Storage Instructions

​​Any leftover grilled pineapple salsa should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is best when consumed within a few days of being made. While pineapple salsa will still be safe to eat after a few days (so long as there is no visible mold), the texture and flavor may begin to deteriorate over time.

When you’re ready to enjoy the salsa, be sure to give it a good stir first. This will help to redistribute the flavors and ensure that you’re getting a good mix of all the ingredients.

Grilled pineapple salsa should not be frozen, as this can cause the texture to become mushy and the flavors to become bland.

Serving Suggestions

No matter how you decide to enjoy it, this grilled pineapple salsa is a tasty and vibrant addition to any meal or gathering. So go ahead and get creative – the possibilities are endless! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Serve the salsa with tortilla chips or crackers for a tasty and colorful appetizer.
  • Spoon the salsa over grilled chicken, fish, or pork for a sweet and spicy topping.
  • Add it to tacos. I actually first came up with this pineapple salsa for pork tacos al pastor, but I’ve found it to be equally delicious in fish tacos, grilled chicken tacos, and carne asada tacos. Use the salsa as a filling for soft or hard-shell tacos, along with some shredded lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.
  • Serve it alongside grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers for a plate full of healthy, colorful goodness.
  • Spread some cream cheese or goat cheese on a slice of toasted bread, and top it with a generous spoonful of the salsa for the best dang midday treat you’ve ever tasted.
  • Toss the salsa with some mixed greens, avocado, and grilled shrimp or chicken for a fresh and flavorful salad.
  • Or, use it as a condiment for burgers, sandwiches, or quesadillas, or any time your meal is in need of an extra burst of flavor.
overhead shot of an oval earthenware serving bowl filled with grilled pineapple jalapeño salsa.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if salsa has gone bad?

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard your pineapple salsa:

Foul odor: If you notice a sour, rancid or off-putting smell coming from your salsa, it’s a clear sign that it has gone bad and should be thrown away.
Mold: If you see mold growing on the surface of the salsa or around the edges of the container, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Toss it directly in the compost. 
Discoloration: If the color of the salsa has changed, becoming darker or more opaque, it may be an indication of spoilage. Note that some ingredients like avocado will oxidize and become discolored without going bad, so use your best judgement.
Bubbling or fizzing: If you open the container and notice that the salsa is bubbling or fizzing, this is a sign that some bacteria are hosting a heck of a party and you’re not invited.
Taste: If the salsa tastes different from what you’re used to or has a funky or off-flavor, it’s a good indication that it has passed its prime.

Eating spoiled salsa can cause food poisoning and other health problems, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

More Salsa Recipes

closeup shot of grilled pineapple salsa with red onions and jalapeños.

Roasted Pineapple Salsa

5 (1 rating)
Nothing says summer like a sweet and tangy salsa, and this Grilled Pineapple Salsa is one for the ages. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo or for zhuzhing up your favorite healthy summer dinner recipes!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a medium pineapple, sliced 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Cut a pineapple into rings. Lightly brush both sides of the pineapple rings with vegetable oil. Grill turning once, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Chop it up and mix with red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt and pepper.
  • Add the salsa to the pork and toss everything together.
  • Serve with tortillas and salsa for your guests to make soft tacos.

Notes

Optional Variations:
  • Mango-Pineapple Salsa – Substitute half of the pineapple for fresh mango to create a tropical twist on the recipe.
  • Consider Add-Ins – While the charred salsa is lovely just the way it is written in the recipe card, there are tons of opportunities for you to put your own spin on it. Try mixing and matching any of the following for a seriously delectable dip:
    • Diced avocado adds a creamy and buttery texture that complements the sweetness of the pineapple. 
    • Diced cucumber gives the salsa a refreshing crunch and a cool contrast to the spicy jalapenos.
    • Mix in some drained and rinsed black beans for added protein and fiber. 
    • Mix in some fresh or canned corn for a pop of sweetness and texture that complements the other ingredients.
    • Finely chop fresh cilantro and mix it in with the other ingredients for a burst of freshness and flavor.
    • Add diced red bell pepper to the salsa for a vibrant pop of color, slightly sweet flavor, and delicious crunch. 
    • Substitute the jalapeños with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy variation on the classic recipe.
Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 477mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 299IU, Vitamin C: 142mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography: Jenna Sparks