12 Cheap Pineapple Recipes
How do I know summer’s coming? The pineapple prices at my local grocery stores have started to drop. Available for $1.89 at the nearest Save-A-Lot, these things make great eye candy when displayed in a fruit bowl. They also provide material for multiple meals from a single piece of produce. Here are several pineapple recipes to get you through the week, all for a purchase that will sink you less than two bucks.
1. Tropical pico de gallo
Put a spin on a traditional favorite the next time you’re hosting a tropical backyard event, and whip up a zippy batch of pineapple pico de gallo. It will pair nicely with grilled fish, chicken tacos and more.
2. Pineapple steaks with peanut-lime coleslaw
Once you’ve cut the skin and top off of your pineapple, and before you begin cutting off the sides of flesh, slice off two round steaks approximately half an inch thick. I know the standard is to take the core out due to toughness, but honestly we’ve found that once they are grilled for a while, this is less of an issue. They are also easier to flip this way. We baste these with Japanese BBQ sauce and pair them with a hearty peanut-lime coleslaw (listed in my cabbage recipes article) for Meatless Mondays in the summer. In addition to being a jazzy summer menu plan, this pairing works for gatherings where you need to accommodate a mixed crowd by preparing vegetarian dishes the meat and potatoes crowd will also enjoy.
3. Hawaiian pizza
Mix it up on the next family movie night by topping your homemade crust with some diced ham (or smoked low-fat turkey sausage), green pepper slices and chopped pieces of fresh pineapple. Great for a summer pizza on the grill!
4. Polynesian chicken
Got some boneless chicken breast and a green pepper or two? Dice, slice and toss in with some chunks of fresh pineapple. Here’s a simple recipe for Polynesian chicken that’s very affordable. It calls for canned pineapple, but you can easily toss in some wedges from the fresh one on your counter. Pair with a pot of rice and the tropical cocktail of your choice.
5. Sweet and sour skewers
Using wooden or steel skewers, thread chunks of pineapple, green pepper, meat and red onion. Baste and cook on the grill using your favorite sweet and sour sauce recipe. You could do this with shrimp or chicken, but a favorite budget option of mine is to use the packages of smoked turkey sausage available from my local Walmart. (I believe the brand is Oscar Mayer.) They are lower in fat, and $1.69 for a fourteen-ounce package. One package can get our family of two through multiple meals. They are a great way to stretch your meat money.
6. Fruit kabobs
Using toothpicks, thread chunks of pineapple along with other fruits such as seedless grapes and bits of kiwi. These are super fun on a plate served with a healthy fruit dip. Those challenged with cooking for kids should find this idea helpful.
7. Tropical cheese ball
Substitute fresh pineapple for canned in your favorite island-style cheese appetizer. Here’s a fairly simple tropical cheese ball recipe that works well for events when you want a bit of casual elegance. Pair it with cocktail bread or whole grain crackers and serve on a cheese board.
When you want to serve a more refined dessert at your dinner party, but don’t want to overdo it on calories or cost, homemade sorbets are a great way to go. Here’s a super simple pineapple sorbet recipe from the Fat Free Vegan that I’m looking forward to trying with coconut rum.
Use a wedge to stylishly garnish the glass of any tropical drink, or theme it up with a batch of pina coladas or pineapple daiquiris.
Enjoy the flavor of pineapple well into the winter months by preserving it into a yummy fruit spread or jam. Here’s a recipe for pineapple-lime jam that’s short on ingredients and tall on flavor.
11. Pasta sauce
Who knew? Here’s a phenomenal sounding recipe for a pineapple pasta sauce made with heirloom tomatoes and served over goat cheese ravioli. Pair it with a salad of organic mixed greens and sparkling water. Definitely out of the ordinary.
Searching for an out-of-the-ordinary confection? This pineapple fudge recipe sounds fantastic for summer gatherings, or a holiday hostess gift when spending Christmas in the tropics. Wrap it up in a banana leaf for an affordable, eco-friendly presentation.
Do you have an affordable, unique pineapple recipe idea you’d like to share? Sound off in the comment section below. On a related note, here’s a post from Hammock in Paradise that gives the skinny on exactly how to cut a pineapple, for those who’ve never handled a fresh one.