Pineapple Salsa

published May 22, 2023
Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Diced ripe pineapple, jalapeño and serrano peppers, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, lime juice, and chopped cilantro make this spicy-sweet pineapple salsa excellent.

Serves6 to 8

Makes6 cups

Prep30 minutes

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pineapple salsa in a blue bowl on a patterned cloth
Credit: Amelia Rampe

There is a whole spectrum of salsa that exists in the world — no matter your culinary need, you’ll be able to find a salsa to match. Sometimes you need a more savory option like this easy blender salsa, while some days call for a creamy avocado salsa, and then there will be days you need a little sweet heat — that’s where pineapple salsa comes in.

Ingredients You Need for Pineapple Salsa

Ripe pineapple is combined with mild peppers like jalapeño and serrano, which provide a subtle combination of sweet heat. Diced red bell pepper adds crunch and a pop of color. Red onion and a little bit of garlic help balance the savory flavor profile, while the addition of lime juice brightens the flavor. To finish, chopped cilantro leaves are folded into the salsa, imbuing it with an herbaceous quality. 

For those who don’t like cilantro, you can substitute with fresh oregano. As for the fresh chiles, you can swap in a fresno chile or habanero pepper, as well as use more or less depending on how much heat you like. 

How to Pick the Perfect Pineapple

One of the most important things to consider when making pineapple salsa is the ripeness of the fruit — you want a very ripe pineapple. If you are purchasing your pineapple from the grocery store, a place where pineapples are notoriously underripe, it may require a little planning ahead to execute this salsa. 

There are a few indicators to look for when choosing the best pineapple for your salsa. First, look at the color of the fruit. If the flesh appears yellow under the tough outer layer, that is a good sign your fruit will be sweeter. If it looks brown or even greenish, you’ll need a few days for the fruit to come to full ripeness, but it’ll be worth the wait. Another good indicator of ripeness is to tug on a frond; it’s a good sign if it easily releases. Lastly, use your nose and give the fruit a big whiff. Does it smell sweet? If so, then it’s ready.

When cutting into the pineapple, remove the tough outer layer to reveal the juicy yellow flesh. Be sure to remove any bits of the outer layer, as well as the seed pockets that exist just below the surface. Doing this will eliminate any seeds from landing in your salsa and potentially cracking a tooth. 

How to Serve Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa is a great addition to any salsa spread or taco bar. Try serving it with grilled swordfish or alongside a salt-baked fish. For a delicious cold appetizer, work some into ceviche or a crudo dish.

Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Diced ripe pineapple, jalapeño and serrano peppers, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, lime juice, and chopped cilantro make this spicy-sweet pineapple salsa excellent.

Prep time 30 minutes

Makes6 cups

Serves6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium ripe pineapple

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper

  • 1

    small red onion

  • 1

    medium jalapeño

  • 1

    medium serrano pepper

  • 1

    small clove garlic

  • 1 to 2

    medium limes

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4

    medium bunch fresh cilantro


  1. Trim and peel the skin from 1 medium ripe pineapple, making sure to peel underneath the eyes (seed indentations) on the surface. Working around the core, cut the fruit off the core in 4 slabs. Cut each slab into small dice until you have 4 cups. Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of pineapple as it is completed: Trim and cut 1 medium red bell pepper into small dice (about 1 1/2 cups). Finely chop 1 small red onion until you have 1/2 cup. Trim 1 medium jalapeño and halve lengthwise. Remove the seeds and white membranes, then finely chop the jalapeño (3 to 4 tablespoons). Trim the stem and remove the seeds from 1 medium serrano pepper and finely chop (about 2 tablespoons). Mince 1 small garlic clove. Juice 1 to 2 limes until you have 2 tablespoons.

  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld. Meanwhile, pick the leaves and tender stems from 1/4 medium bunch fresh cilantro and coarsely chop until you have 1/4 cup.

  4. Add the cilantro to the salsa and stir to combine.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Make ahead: The salsa can be made up to 1 day ahead without the cilantro and refrigerated in an airtight container. Stir in the cilantro right before serving.