Juicy, warm and meltingly sweet, this Tequila Grilled Pineapple gets a mouthwatering char from grilling, and a complex flavor boost from tequila, cilantro and Southwestern spices!
Easy Grilled Pineapple with a Grown Up Twist
You may already be familiar with my old friend, grilled pineapple, but have you met TEQUILA Grilled Pineapple?! Gurrrl. You’re going to love this mature (and boozy) update. Let me tell you!
The flavor of fresh grilled pineapple is just quintessentially summer, and I like to get started on those vibes as soon as the weather gets warm. This one’s perfect for celebrating Memorial Day with some grilling in the backyard.
To make it special, I’m complementing the tropical-paradise flavor of juicy, ripe pineapple with the earthy, agave notes of tequila! The combination is truly special, and grilling brings out all of the natural sweetness of both, along with some beautiful sweet-smoky char.
You can serve this grilled pineapple any number of ways, and it’s equally at home, whether in sweet or savory settings. The cilantro, chili powder, and paprika really make it a gourmet experience. You’re going to devour it, I promise! My neighbor is still talking about them two weeks later.
What You’ll Need
I love grilling pineapple, and this simple recipe with just a few easy ingredients makes it a side I’ll be cooking all summer! Try it, and I’m sure you’ll agree!
- Skewers: Soak your bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling.
- Pineapple: Peel and core one large pineapple, and cut it into wedges.
- Tequila: I used about ¾ cup of tequila for this recipe.
- Cilantro: You’ll need to chop up about half a cup of fresh cilantro.
- Brown Sugar: This recipe uses ⅓ cup of light brown sugar for sweetness; feel free to substitute your favorite raw or organic sugar.
- Paprika & Chili Powder: Season the dish with ¼ teaspoon of each.
How to Choose the Best Pineapple
The first thing I look for in a pineapple is the color. For me, a good pineapple should be turning golden, with a hint of green here and there. A pineapple with too much green is most likely (but not always) unripe; a pineapple with withered leaves and brown areas is probably over-ripe.
Next, I give it a little squeeze! Like many fruits, we’re going for firm, but not rock-hard. A pineapple with no give is probably not ripe enough; a pineapple that’s very soft is probably too far gone.
Finally, pay attention to the fragrance: the base of a ripe pineapple should have a nice, fruity fragrance if you smell it. If there’s little to no fragrance, it’s probably not quite ripe. If there’s any kind of bitter or unpleasant smell, skip it! 😊
How to Cut a Pineapple
- To cut up your pineapple, you should first remove the top and bottom. Lay the pineapple on its side, and cut them off.
- Next, stand the pineapple back up, and cut away the outer rind in strips, top top bottom. Finally, cut away any “eyes” that are left (the brown spiky bits).
- Now you’re ready to cut the pineapple into chunks, slices or wedges. Cut away the tough inner core from each piece. If you slice your pineapple, you can use a small cookie cutter to cut the core out of the center!
How to Grill Pineapple
This is such a fast dish to throw together and grill alongside your favorite entree. They only take about ten minutes to finish, too!
- Prep Grill & Skewers: First, preheat the grill to medium heat. Then, cut the pineapple wedges into cubes, about 2 inches square. Spike the pineapple pieces onto the bamboo skewers; you’ll need 6 to 8 skewers. Set aside.
- Mix Tequila Sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine your tequila, cilantro, brown sugar, paprika and chili powder; whisk until completely combined.
- Grill: Brush the grill grates with a little bit of oil. Put the pineapple skewers on the grill and brush the pineapples all over with the tequila mixture; cook for 10 minutes, occasionally turning and basting from time to time.
- Enjoy! Transfer your grilled pineapple to a plate and serve, or use as a topping/side for other dishes (see below for ideas!).
Tips for Making Tequila Grilled Pineapple
Before you get grilling, have a look at these handy tips! I’ve collected a few easy hints to help you make this dish spectacular.
- Grill Pan: If you want to make this easy dish inside, you can always reach for a grill pan! Grill pans are usually made of cast-iron, and they work wonderfully for a quick indoor grill. No grill pan? A sturdy cast-iron skillet does the job too!
- Try Another Spirit: If you’re not into tequila, you could also use your favorite rum or whiskey in this dish.
- Under-Ripe Works, Too: Because grilling helps to accentuate the sugars in this recipe, you can actually use a less-than-perfectly ripe pineapple and still have it turn out great.
There are as many ways to rock this dish as you can imagine! Here are some great variations on the grilled pineapple theme.
- Back to Basics: Want the short and sweet (literally) version? All you need is a good, ripe pineapple and a little bit of your favorite raw sugar. Sprinkle the sugar over the pineapple while it grills, and serve warm. Mmmm. 😋
- Honey Butter & Cinnamon: Think of pineapple upside down cake and take this super-sweet version for a spin! Grill your pineapple with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and then drizzle the finished dish with a mixture of honey and melted butter.
- Spicy Sriracha: Grill the pineapple according to the recipe. While the pineapple is grilling, mix a tablespoon of sriracha with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Drizzle the finished pineapple with the sriracha mayo.
What to Serve with Grilled Pineapple
I like to serve this pineapple simply, as a side dish. It looks amazing on a pretty platter, or piled into a serving bowl with a pair of tongs. But you can also use it to garnish or top some of your favorite summery dishes, like these!
- With Ice Cream: Warm, grilled tequila pineapple makes a wonderful boozy accompaniment for your favorite ice cream. Try my Homemade 2-Ingredient Ice Cream for an extra special version!
- With Steak or Chicken: If you’re grilling already, make this yummy pineapple as a sweet, fruity side dish to complement the flavors of your entree. Grilled Flank Steak with Bleu Cheese Butter is a fantastic choice, or you could try Mojo Grilled Chicken. Yum!
- With Margaritas: What a perfect topping for a refreshing margarita, am I right? Add a piece to my Frozen Pineapple Margaritas for a pineapple party in your mouth!
Tequila Grilled Pineapple
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- Cut the pineapple wedges into about 2×2 cubes.
- Thread the pineapple pieces onto the bamboo skewers; you’ll need 6 to 8 skewers. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine tequila, cilantro, brown sugar, paprika, and chili powder; whisk until completely combined.
- Brush the grill grates with a little bit of oil.
- Put the pineapple skewers on the grill and start to brush and baste the pineapples all over with the tequila mixture.Cook for 10 minutes, turning and basting from time to time.
- Remove skewers from grill.
More Recipes with Fruit
Fruity recipes are a must-have for summer, and these ones are mega delicious. Try them and see for yourself!