20 Delicious Ways to Use Pineapple
Those strange, spiky fruits that we know and love have a lot more to them than meets the eye. If you're cooking on a budget, it can be especially fun to involve the pineapple in different recipes, flavor profiles, and contexts. Here are 20 recipes for any season that you can whip up on the cheap. Bon appetit! (See also: Fresh Fruits and Veggies By the Month)
1. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
This classic dish (when made well!) is one of my favorite desserts. It's much better with fresh pineapple, but canned can also do the trick. Also, the ingredients required are fairly basic, making it easy on the wallet. To make an extra fun Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, try this recipe from Martha Stewart, which includes mango in the recipe.
2. Grilled Pineapple
Simply grilling some cut pieces of pineapple makes a great, simple snack or side. Pair with some coconut sorbet for dessert, or some protein for an entree. The versatile pineapple will sate every palate and taste. (See also: Vegan Grill Recipes)
3. Acorn Squash (and Pineapple)
This sweet acorn squash recipe from the Food Network is especially delicious because it includes pineapple. Use canned or fresh pineapple with some sugar, butter, and squash for a simple fall meal that incorporates some lovely tropical flare.
4. Pico De Gallo
Put a sweet spin on a traditional with this great recipe for pineapple pico de gallo. It pairs nicely with grilled fish, chicken, or pork — or grab a chip and dig in.
5. Pineapple Casserole
Looking for a sweet, offbeat dessert that's hot and includes pineapple? Look no further! This pineapple casserole is great if you want to infuse some tropical zing at the end of a wintry meal. And, it's cheap — the recipe calls for sugar, butter, cheese, pineapple, and cracker crumbs. That's it!
6. Polynesian Chicken
If you have some chicken waiting for a zesty dressing, try this simple, affordable recipe for Polynesian chicken. It calls for canned pineapple, but you can easily toss in some fresh wedges to make the dish sing. Pair with a pot of rice and the tropical cocktail of your choice, and you have yourself an innovative summer meal.
7. Pineapple Sorbet
It seems difficult to make, but it really isn't. Don't tell dinner party guests, though- they'll think you're a culinary whiz with this super simple pineapple sorbet recipe from the Fat Free Vegan. Enjoy.
8. Pineapple Jam
Preserve that delicious pineapple flavor in a yummy fruit spread or jam. Here's a recipe for pineapple-lime jam that will keep pineapple in your life well into those cold winter months. (See also: Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Eats)
9. Pineapple Fudge
This out-of-the-ordinary confection brings my two passions together — pineapple and chocolate. Try out a pineapple fudge recipe for winter gifts or summer gatherings, or even slice a chunk off to pair with a fresh fruit salad.
10. Sweet and Sour Vegetables
For a flavorful meal on a budget, try this classic Chinese dish. This sweet and sour recipe uses chicken, but you can use any protein or none at all. Pair with white or brown rice, and you'll have yourself a satisfying meal.
11. Hawaiian Pizza
Pizza's a family favorite, but often pineapple is overlooked in the vast array of toppings. Don't cheat delicious pineapple out of its cheesy, saucy glory! Make your own Hawaiian pizza or order one for delivery. You won't be disappointed.
If you have a grill and some stray veggies, you can make yourself a mighty fine kabob! This recipe is for veggie kabobs, but you can get creative with it, using not only pineapple but also mushrooms, tofu, shrimp, even strawberries.
13. Pineapple Popsicles
For a fun treat for kids and adults alike, try these simple pineapple popsicles. They only have three ingredients — milk, pineapple, and sugar, but this cool treat is loaded with flavor.
14. Pineapple Cheese Ball
This Southern favorite is great for parties. The ingredients are cheap and the prep is around five minutes, but the end result seems much more involved. When it's done, dig into this recipe with your favorite cracker.
15. Tropical Fruit Salad
Yes, the pineapple does play well with others. Give it a place in a great, seasonal, or tropical fruit salad for a healthy spin on dessert. This tropical fruit salad recipe has honey and lime juice for added flavor.
16. Pineapple Marshmallow Salad
If you want to try something a little different, go for a pineapple marshmallow salad, which takes mayo, marshmallows, and pineapple to new heights of innovation. Ten minutes, and you'll have a salad that screams sweet, light, and delicious.
17. Squid With Garlic and Pineapple
This Vietnamese dish is inexpensive, simple, and very exotic! Fried squid are paired with luscious pieces of pineapple and toasted garlic to create a great (and fairly healthy!) plate of delicious food.
18. Pork and Pineapples
Pork and pineapples are natural complements to each other — the pork being low fat and saltier and the pineapple providing the sweet. Any way you cook these two ingredients you'll get a delicious flavorful interplay, so don't be shy. To start, try this great grilled Pork and pineapple recipe.
19. Honey Roasted Pineapple
Orange juice, honey, and pineapples make up this lovely little dessert recipe, which roasts the pineapple into tender, warm little treats. Eat with some vanilla, coconut, or chocolate ice cream for added deliciousness.
Obviously, pineapple goes great in a vast array of cocktails, adding sweetness and texture to cut the flavor of the alcohol. Here's a great recipe for a pineapple cocktail, if you want to keep your pineapple center stage. (See also: 20 Two-Ingredient Cocktails)
Remember — pineapples don't keep well, so use them within 2-3 days after they get ripe. It shouldn't be hard to put a delicious pineapple to use, with all of these creative recipes to choose from!
What's your favorite way to prepare delicious pineapple?
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