Sliced pineapple, in spears or rounds, is brushed with a really easy butter and brown sugar glaze, and on the grill, already delicious pineapple is transformed into something miraculous. I know that feels like hyperbole, but when you taste it, you’ll see. And it gets even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting into it.
Sometimes you think you know what something is going to taste like. And sometimes you’re excited about the prospect of how it’s going to taste. And sometimes, even your high expectations are exceeded, and oh, what a treat that is. This grilled pineapple was exactly such a dish. I am still shaking my head over the simplicity of the way this comes together! If you paired this with a glass of Aqua Fresca, you might have the most perfect moment of the summer. Maybe you should also add some Grilled Watermelon….
Table of Contents
Grilled Pineapple: A simple brown sugar glaze transforms pineapple into a smoky, sweet grilled dessert – delicious on its own and amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting right into it!Tweet This
- Fresh pineapple – Don’t use canned pineapple for this; please use fresh only! You can purchase a peeled pineapple for this, which is often available in the produce sections. This will save you the peeling part, and you can cut the pineapple into slices or spears. You may also be able to find precut circles or spears of fresh pineapple in the produce area as well. It might cost a bit more money, but it is a time saver.
- Butter – For richness and flavor, and also to help create a nice glaze.
- Brown sugar – Adds sweetness and helps the pineapple caramelize on the grill.
- Ground cinnamon – Adds that warm spice flavor and great aroma.
- Cayenne pepper – This is optional, but I love the way a bit of heat contrasts and emphasizes the sweetness of the pineapple and brown sugar.
- Kosher salt – Everything needs salt — even sweet things — to elevate flavors.
How to Grill Pineapple
- Prepare the pineapple: Cut the rind from the pineapple, then core it and cut it into circles or spears. (You can purchase a peeled pineapple for this and save a few steps!)
- Make the glaze: Melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt and stir until everything is smooth. Brush the pineapple with the sauce.
- Grill the pineapple: Grill the pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until the pineapple has nice grill marks.
- Brush with extra sauce: If any sauce is left on the platter or baking sheet, you can brush it onto the pineapple as it is grilling.
- Serve and enjoy: Serve hot or warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
My favorite way to cut pineapple for grilling is to cut off the shell, then core it (you can use a handy pineapple corer for this!), then cut it into thick slices. Spears are also great for grilling, but for dessert, with slices, you can set a ball of ice cream right in the center.
The direct heat from the fire caramelizes the natural sugar in the pineapple, enhancing its sweetness. The brown sugar glaze boosts the sweetness even further.
Pineapple is generally quite healthy, as are all fruits, and filled with nutrients and fiber. The glaze, of course, adds some calories and sugar, but on the whole, grilled fruits are just as good for you as uncooked fruits.
How to Serve Grilled Pineapple
Grilled pineapple is a versatile little dish! Yes, it’s obviously sweet, but that doesn’t mean it can’t appear in different guises at different times.
- Appetizer: Think about pairing grilled pineapple with some soft creamy cheeses, or wrap the spears in a piece of prosciutto. Or chop it up and add it to fruit salsa, like this Pineapple Mint Salsa — use half fresh pineapple and half grilled for a condiment with extra depth of flavor and richness. Or add some to Tropical Fruit Salsa.
- Side Dish: In the same way as candied sweet potatoes appeal as a side dish, so can this rich fruit dish. These would be great alongside baked ham, slow-cooked pork roast, Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin, or Honey Garlic Shrimp. Or, add some to stir-fried rice! Or Sweet and Sour Chicken!
- On a Sandwich: Add thin slices or chopped grilled pineapple to a banh mi, pulled pork sandwich, grilled cheese, or turkey Reuben.
- On a Burger: Lamb burgers, beef burgers, and even salmon or tuna burgers would be amazing with a slice of this pineapple on top.
- Dessert: This is my favorite way to serve grilled pineapple. Serve a slice or two (I like rings best for this vs. spears, but either will work) warm from the grill with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting right into the fruit. This is eye-rollingly good. In fact, I had a group of meat-loving, hungry young men over for dinner one night, and while they were effusive about the steaks and the pork loin, it was the finale of the grilled pineapple that they talked about the most. I couldn’t have agreed more.
What to Serve With Grilled Pineapple
More Grilled Side Dishes
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- Cut the top and bottom from the pineapple. Slice the rind from the pineapple, then core it and cut it into circles or spears. (You can purchase a peeled pineapple for this and save a few steps!)
- Melt the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat, or in the microwave. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt to the butter and stir until the brown sugar has blended into the butter.
- Lay the pineapple spears on a platter or baking sheet. Brush the sauce onto the pineapple, coating all sides.
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Scrub the grill rack with a grill brush. Use grilling tongs to dip a wad of paper towels in some vegetable oil, and use the oil-dipped paper towels to wipe down the grill rack.
- Grill the pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pineapple has nice grill marks on the bottom. Flip the pineapple and continue grilling for another 2 to 3 minutes until there are grill marks on the other side. If any sauce is left on the platter or baking sheet, you can brush it onto the pineapple as it is grilling. Serve hot or warm, with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.