The flavors in this pineapple salsa will wow you. It’s sweet and spicy, perfect for serving with your favorite chips. It’s great on salmon or chicken, too.
Love pineapple? Try this pineapple jalapeno jam.
Easy Pineapple Pico de Gallo
The most traditional pico de gallo recipes are made with a base of tomatoes. There are plenty of variations, though, all using fresh ingredients. In this case, I’m using freshly diced pineapple for a sweet and somewhat spicy (and totally non-traditional) pineapple pico de gallo. For an easy appetizer, this pineapple salsa can’t be beat.
What’s the Difference Between Salsa and Pico de Gallo?
Pico de Gallo is always fresh. Really, my garden fresh salsa recipe is a pico de gallo, since it’s chopped and served immediately. Salsa is sometimes cooked, and often has more liquids than pico.
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Pineapple — The main ingredient of this delicious recipe, fresh pineapple is key. The peak growing season, when you’ll get the best, most flavorful pineapple, runs from March to July. Perfect for summertime grill parties. Scroll down to learn how to cut a pineapple. (Of course, you could use canned pineapple if you’re really craving a sweet and spicy salsa.)
Fresh peppers — You’ll use both sweet red peppers and hot jalapeño peppers in this recipe. The former provides sweetness while the latter provides spice. A green bell pepper will not be a good replacement for the red, but you can experiment with the type of hot pepper you use. Habanero peppers will offer a bit more heat than jalapeño peppers, letting you achieve and the heat level you desire.
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Onion — I like sweet red onion for this recipe, but you can use any kind of bulb onion you have on hand.
Garlic — Finely chopped garlic adds that spicy zing we all love so much.
Lime — The bright flavor of fresh lime juice makes the ingredients in this salsa shine. No lime? Give lemon a try.
Salt — Use your favorite table salt or sea salt.
Whey — If you intend to ferment this salsa, whey will help the process along. It’s not entirely necessary; fermentation will just take a bit longer without it.
Cilantro — I love the flavor of cilantro. Not everyone does. It’s optional.
How to Choose a Ripe Pineapple
- Look for an exterior that is more yellow and brown than green.
- Try pulling a leaf from the center of its crown; you’ll be able to remove one easily if the fruit is ripe.
- Give it a sniff. A ripe pineapple will have a sweet and fruity fragrance.
Set partially ripe pineapples out on the counter at room temperature to let them ripen further before using them.
How to Peel a Pineapple
Fresh pineapples can be a little bit daunting, especially if you’ve never cut one open before. Start by cutting off the green crown and the bottom of the pineapple. Set the crown aside; plant it to grow your own pineapple!
Set the pineapple on one of the cut edges and use a sharp knife to trim just under the rough skin, from top to bottom. Repeat until all of the pineapple peel is removed. Save the skins and core to make pineapple tepache.
If there are any hard “eyes” remaining, trim those away.
Cut pineapple vertically into quarters. Trim off the hard core. Dice the remaining pieces of pineapple for salsa.
One Bowl Pineapple Salsa
Chop all of the ingredients, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and stir. How easy can it get?
Making this pineapple salsa an hour or so in advance of serving allows the flavors to meld a bit, but it’s not entirely necessary.
Store leftover salsa in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Using this Pico de Gallo Recipe
Serve this delicious fresh salsa with tortilla chips for an easy appetizer, spoon over fish tacos, or serve with grilled chicken.
Fermenting this pineapple salsa
If you’d like to ferment this salsa, it’s easy. Just stir in some whey to help the fermentation process along and allow the salsa to sit at room temperature for several days.
You can get whey from yogurt with live cultures — it’s that liquid that floats on top. You can also use some brine from another one of your ferments, if you’ve got it. If you don’t have either, double the amount of salt.
The fermentation process will take several days, or as long as a week, depending somewhat on the temperature in your kitchen. Warmer days are conducive to faster fermentation.
It’s a good idea to set the jar of pineapple salsa on a tray to capture any potential overflow. If the jar overflows a lot, keep an eye on the level of the liquid. The salsa need to remain completely submerged under liquid. Add a splash of filtered water to top it off if you see the brine level drop too low.
When you start to notice that the pineapple salsa has taken on a bit of a tangy odor, it’s ready to taste. Sample a little spoonful; if it tastes suitably tangy to you, eat up. If you’d prefer it to have a bit more tang, let it ferment for another day or two.
Either way — fresh or fermented — this salsa recipe is a nice addition to a summer barbecue. How to serve it:
- With chips as a summer fresh dip!
- Pineapple salsa is great with fish like salmon.
- Use it to top grilled chicken.
More fresh salsa recipes to try:
★ Did you make this pineapple salsa? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
- 1 small pineapple
- 2/3 cup red pepper, finely diced
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup whey (optional, for fermenting)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- Peel and core pineapple.
- Chop pineapple into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces and place in mixing bowl.
- Stir in diced red pepper, red onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Add lime juice and salt.
- Serve with chips, chicken, or fish.
To ferment this pineapple salsa:
- Transfer salsa to wide mouth canning jars. Allowing for a 1" headspace, this recipe makes about 3 pints of fermented salsa.
- Add about a tablespoon of whey (or brine from another ferment) to each jar. This helps kickstart the fermentation process. If you don't have either, add a teaspoon of salt to each jar.
- Press salsa into jar until the chopped ingredients are submerged in juice. Place a glass weight on top of salsa, again pressing to make sure the juice covers the chopped ingredients. (If you don't have enough natural juice, add a few tablespoons of distilled water to cover the ingredients.)
- Place a lid on the jar (loosely) or use a fermentation airlock.
- Let the salsa sit at room temperature for three or four days, then serve. It's great with fish, chicken, chips -- or dare I say it -- even just on a spoon!
A green bell pepper will not be a good replacement for the red, but you can experiment with the type of hot pepper you use, and the heat level you desire.
Whey can help the fermentation process along a little bit faster, If you don't have whey, add an extra teaspoon of salt to each one-pint jar.
Making this pineapple salsa an hour or so in advance of serving allows the flavors to meld a bit, but it’s not entirely necessary. Store leftover salsa in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you plan to ferment this salsa, it’s a good idea to set the jar of pineapple salsa on a tray to capture any potential overflow when the ferment gets active.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 403mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
Originally published February 2015; this post has been updated.