With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, our favorite pineapple recipes with vibrant tropical taste.
A perfectly ripe pineapple is a pure taste of the tropics, but as good as it is by itself, we love it in drinks, desserts, and savory dishes too. Hence, this pineapple recipe collection to come back to all summer.
Pineapple Corer and Slicer, $19.95 from Sur La Table
There's always one of these if your knife skills are rusty.
Fresh is generally best, but you can use canned in a lot of cases if you’re unable to find nice ripe pineapples in the fresh produce section.
A perfectly ripe pineapple doesn’t need a lot of dressing up. Here, it’s pureed with a little bit of sugar, lime juice, water, and rum for a thirst-quenching summer drink that you can also make non-alcoholic if you prefer. Get our Spiked Pineapple Agua Fresca recipe.
Then again, if you want to bring on the booze, rum is a perfect partner to pineapple. They join forces in this frozen dessert for a sophisticated sweet that’s barely any harder to make than Dole Whip (meaning you don’t need an ice cream machine). Get our Pineapple Rum Sorbet recipe.
Grilled fruit is great, and charred pineapple pairs especially well with plump, tender shrimp. Serve with rice and grilled vegetables (like bell peppers, onions, and broccoli) brushed with the same simple, sweet-tangy, soy-based glaze. Get our Pineapple Glazed Shrimp Skewers recipe.
Grilled again, but this time turned into a refreshing drink perfect for hot summer days. It’s worth seeking out the Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb liqueur (made with orange peel, spices, and rhum agricole, a Martinique-style rum made from sugarcane juice instead of molasses). There’s not really a good substitute for it, but grilling your pineapple would still add a nice smoky dimension to all your standard tiki drinks. Get our Grilled Pineapple Daiquiri recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Pineapple Drinks Besides Piña Coladas
Make guacamole more interesting and extra-refreshing by adding diced crunchy cucumber and soft, juicy pineapple to the mix. Its chunky texture makes it just as good for using to top fish tacos as it is for scooping up with chips. Get our Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole recipe.
Why waste your time on wimpy salads when you can eat a chunky, main meal-worthy combo of fruit and veggies? Our Bok Choy and Pineapple Salad recipe is packed with flavor and texture, and is an unexpectedly amazing assemblage of ingredients even before you get to the peanut dressing that tops it off.
Soy sauce and pineapple juice lend a lot of salty-sweet flavor to slow-braised pork shoulder, which you can use in all sorts of ways. We like shredding it for sliders on sweet Hawaiian buns, with fresh pineapple slices and a bit of crisp jicama on top. Get our Pineapple Braised Pork Sandwiches recipe.
Frozen puff pastry makes these chewy mini tarts with fresh pineapple and shredded coconut easy to achieve. The sweet tropical flavor is accented with a little warmth from ginger. Get our Pineapple-Coconut Tartlets recipe.
This Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe from Toni Tipton-Martin’s “Jubilee” uses crushed pineapple so you get sweet, caramelized fruit in every bite. A little dark rum and toasted pecans make it even better (but you can use extra pineapple juice in place of rum if you prefer).
Roasting pineapple with warm spices (cinnamon, cloves, and star anise), vanilla bean, and dark rum makes for a delicious compote that you’ll want to spoon on everything from french toast and pancakes to ice cream. This Spiced French Toast with Roasted Pineapple recipe adds orange zest, nutmeg, and more cinnamon and vanilla to the custard for even more delectable flavor.
This might be the lightest, brightest summer dessert you could possibly hope for—just pureed fresh pineapple with a little fresh orange juice and zest, plus enough sugar and water to help it freeze to the right fluffy, icy consistency. Get our Pineapple Granité recipe.
12. Pineapple Salsa
Pineapple is a prime pick to star in a fruit salsa; this one brings in bell pepper for crunch, but you can add minced jalapeño too if you like a little heat with your sweet. Get the Pineapple Salsa recipe.
A Thai takeout favorite, this is super easy to make at home, and you can use whatever protein you like (or keep it vegetarian). Get the Pineapple Fried Rice recipe—and by all means, serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple half to really sell the vacation vibe.
15. Tacos al Pastor
In addition to tasting delicious paired with various kinds of meat, pineapple also helps tenderize it. Pair it with pork and smoky chiles for classic tacos al pastor, an unbeatable flavor combo that we’ve adapted for the home grill. Get our Tacos al Pastor recipe.