Pickled Pineapple: A Tangy Twist for Tacos, Salads, and More

Imagine diving into a jar of pickled pineapple, where sweet meets tangy in a delightful dance of flavors. This unique twist on traditional pickling ventures beyond the usual cucumbers and carrots, embracing the tropical zest of pineapple. Originating from the creative corners of culinary enthusiasts who love to experiment, pickled pineapple is a vibrant addition to any meal, enhancing dishes with its bold, refreshing taste.


To embark on your pickled pineapple journey, gather the following ingredients. Ensure each item is fresh to maximize the vibrant flavors that will develop in your pickle:

  • Fresh Pineapple: 1 medium size, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • White Vinegar: 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Water: 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup (100 grams)
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon (5 grams)
  • Red Pepper Flakes: 1/2 teaspoon (optional for a spicy kick)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Ginger: 1 tablespoon, finely grated
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, thinly sliced

These ingredients will blend beautifully to create a pickled masterpiece that is not only delightful to your taste buds but also a bright, colorful addition to your meals. Make sure to follow the upcoming steps carefully to ensure your pickled pineapple turns out perfectly tangy and irresistibly tasty.

Tools and Equipment

To successfully create your pickled pineapple, you’ll need some specific tools and equipment. Ensuring you have everything on hand before you begin will make the pickling process smoother and more enjoyable.

Glass Jars with Lids

Make sure you have clean, airtight glass jars. These will be used to store the pickled pineapple, ensuring it stays fresh and contaminant-free. A quart-sized jar or several smaller jars will be suitable, depending on how much you plan to make.

Large Non-Reactive Pot

You’ll need a large pot for boiling the pickling solution. Opt for non-reactive materials like stainless steel or enameled cast iron. Avoid aluminum or copper pots as they can react with the acidity of the vinegar, altering the flavor of your pickle.

Wooden Spoon

A wooden spoon is ideal for stirring the pickling mixture. It’s sturdy and won’t react with the vinegar in the pot, ensuring the pure taste of your pickled pineapple.


Using a funnel will help you transfer the vinegar solution into the jars without spilling. This keeps the process clean and efficient.


A ladle will be necessary for pouring the hot pickling liquid over the pineapple chunks in the jars. It offers better control and helps distribute the liquid evenly.

Sharp Knife and Cutting Board

Prepare your pineapple easily with a sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board. Ensure your knife is sharp enough to cut through the pineapple smoothly, making clean, even chunks.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial in pickling to balance the flavors correctly. Have a set of measuring cups and spoons ready for the water, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Gather these tools before you start with the recipe to streamline your pickling process. With everything prepped and positioned within reach, you can focus on creating a delicious batch of pickled pineapple that’s sure to impress.


Now that you have your ingredients and equipment ready, let’s start the exciting process of making your pickled pineapple.

Cleaning and Cutting the Pineapple

Begin by thoroughly washing the pineapple under cold running water to remove any dirt or potential residues. Then, place the pineapple on a clean cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice off the top and bottom of the fruit to create a stable base for peeling.

Carefully remove the skin by standing the pineapple upright and slicing downward, following the natural curve of the fruit. Remove any remaining brown “eyes” or tough bits to ensure your pineapple chunks are purely fleshy and enjoyable. Next, slice the pineapple in half lengthwise, and then in half again to create quarters. Remove the tough core from each quarter by making a diagonal cut.

Finally, chop the pineapple into bite-sized chunks, about 1-inch in thickness, which is perfect for even pickling. Set aside the chunks while you prepare the pickling solution.

Making the Pickling Solution

To create your pickling solution, gather a large non-reactive pot. Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of sea salt in the pot. Stir this mixture gently with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar and salt thoroughly.

Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, a few thin slices of fresh ginger, and 2 cloves of minced garlic to infuse flavors into the solution. If you enjoy a bit of heat, also add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, ensuring that everything dissolves completely.

Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to meld all the flavors together beautifully. Your pickling solution is now ready to transform the prepared pineapple chunks into a tangy, sweet delight.

Pickling Process

Now that you’ve prepared your pineapple and pickling solution, it’s time to combine them to create your tangy and sweet pickled pineapple.

Combining Ingredients

  1. Begin by ensuring that your pineapple chunks are evenly distributed in a clean, sterilized jar.
  2. Carefully pour the hot pickling solution over the pineapple, making sure all pieces are submerged. The liquid should come just to the rim of the jar.
  3. Use a spoon or a skewer to gently press down the pineapple pieces to release any trapped air bubbles. This step is important as it ensures the brine covers the pineapple completely, allowing it to pickle uniformly.
  4. Once all the pineapple pieces are submerged and air bubbles have been removed, tightly seal the jar with its lid.

Storing the Pickled Pineapple

  1. Let the sealed jar of pickled pineapple cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This gradual cooling process helps in developing the flavors.
  2. Store the jar in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before consuming. This waiting period allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste of the pickled pineapple.
  3. The pickled pineapple will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a month, ensuring you have a delicious, tangy treat ready to enjoy anytime or to add a zesty twist to dishes.

Serving Suggestions

Once your jar of pickled pineapple is chilled and ready, you’ll find it’s a versatile addition to many dishes. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy this tangy treat:

As a Topping

  • On Tacos: Elevate your taco night by adding a spoonful of pickled pineapple. Its vibrant acidity cuts through the richness of meats like pork or fish tacos.
  • Over Burgers: Add a tropical twist to your burgers by topping them with a layer of pickled pineapple. It pairs wonderfully with spicy or savory burger sauces.

In Salads

  • Tropical Salad: Mix pickled pineapple chunks into a salad of mixed greens, avocado, and cooked shrimp or chicken for a refreshing lunch.
  • Fruit Salad: Combine your pickled pineapple with other fruits such as mango, kiwi, and strawberries. Drizzle a bit of the pickling liquid over the top for an extra zing.

As a Condiment

  • With Cheese: Create a unique cheese platter by pairing pickled pineapple with creamy cheeses like brie or camembert.
  • In Salsas: Chop the pineapple into smaller bits and mix with red onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime to make a fresh salsa.
  • In Stir-Fries: Add pickled pineapple in the last few minutes of cooking a vegetable or seafood stir-fry to infuse the dish with its sweet and sour flavors.
  • With Roasted Meats: Use the pineapple as a side or a glaze for roasted pork or chicken. The tangy flavor is a perfect complement to the savory notes of the meat.

Each of these suggestions allows the unique flavor of pickled pineapple to shine, turning ordinary dishes into extraordinary culinary creations.

Make-Ahead Tips

Prepping your pickled pineapple in advance is a brilliant move, especially if you’re planning a menu for a special occasion or just want to have a delightful condiment on hand. With the right approach, you can easily enhance the flavors and maintain the freshness of your pickled pineapple. Here’s how you can maximize the longevity and taste of this tangy treat:

Picking the Right Containers

Select glass containers with airtight seals for storing your pickled pineapple. This choice will prevent air from entering and ensure the brine remains potent, keeping your pineapple chunks vibrant and crisp. Ensure the containers are clean and dry before use to avoid contamination.

Perfect Pickling Time

Although your pickled pineapple can be ready to eat after a few hours, allowing it to sit for one to two days enhances its flavors remarkably. This longer marination period allows the pineapple chunks to absorb the full spectrum of flavors from the spices and vinegar, leading to a more profound taste experience.

Storage for Optimal Freshness

Once jarred, store your pickled pineapple in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness and extend its shelf life. Properly stored, your pickled pineapple should maintain peak quality for up to a month. Always use a clean fork or spoon to remove the pineapple from the jar to keep the rest uncontaminated.

Serving Preparations

If you plan to serve the pickled pineapple at an event, consider transferring it to a serving dish a few hours beforehand. This allows the pineapple to come to a mild temperature, which can enhance the flavors and make the dish more appealing.


So there you have it! You’re now ready to elevate your culinary game with pickled pineapple. Whether you’re spicing up your next taco night or adding a zesty twist to your salads this vibrant condiment is sure to impress. Remember the key is in the preparation—take your time to select the best ingredients and let the pineapple marinate to perfection. Get ready to enjoy the burst of flavors that pickled pineapple brings to your table. Happy pickling!

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