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This brown sugar grilled pineapple is bound to be one of the most amazing sides that you grill this year.
The naturally sweet pineapple gets an extra boost from the brown sugar glaze, and the addition of the cayenne pepper helps balance the sweetness with a touch of smoky heat.
Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple
Marinated in a simple mixture of brown sugar and smoky cayenne pepper, this brown sugar grilled pineapple is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook this tropical fruit.
This juicy pineapple is the perfect addition to any grilled meal.
Brown sugar grilled pineapple is best served warm or at room temperature. However, this pineapple can also be served cold on top of a salad.
Sweetened with a delicious brown sugar glaze, you will love how easy it is to make and how well the amazing pineapple flavor comes through once grilled.
This brown sugar grilled pineapple is a sweet side dish for all your grilled meals.
Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple Ingredients
- Pineapple - fresh pineapple
- Sugar - light brown sugar
- Cayenne pepper
- Vanilla - vanilla extract
- Salt - kosher salt
- Oil - vegetable oil spray, for the grill
PINEAPPLE: You can buy a pre-peeled and cored whole ripe pineapple from your grocery store's produce department. This will significantly reduce your prep time as the pineapple prep time.
Choose ripe and juicy pineapples for the best flavor and texture.
You can cut the pineapple into rings instead of spears. Just be sure not to cut the slices of pineapple too thinly, or they will fall apart when grilling.
If you don’t have an indoor grill pan, you can grill this outdoors. Use grill plates if your grill grates are too far apart for the small pineapple spears.
SUGAR: Dark brown sugar can be substituted for light brown sugar for a deeper molasses-like flavor on your grilled pineapple.
SPICE: For a bigger kick, you can use a dash of sriracha or regular hot sauce.
You could also use guajillo or ancho chili powder instead of the cayenne pepper. If you don’t like spice, you can leave out the cayenne pepper entirely.
CINNAMON: Add a dash of cinnamon for more flavor.
HONEY: Before serving add a drizzle of honey or hot honey.
How to Make Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple
FIRST STEP: Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the brown sugar, cayenne, vanilla extract, and salt. Toss to combine.
SECOND STEP: Cover the pineapple with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. You can also place the pineapple in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
You will have a few tablespoons of liquid in the bottom of your bowl. Do not discard it.
THIRD STEP: Preheat your grill pan over high heat and spray with cooking spray just before adding the pineapple.
FOURTH STEP: Grill the pineapple for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Keep a close eye on the pineapple while grilling to avoid burning. Flip the slices once they develop grill marks and become golden brown.
FIFTH STEP: While the pineapple is grilling, place the excess marinade liquid in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 90 seconds or until bubbly and syrupy. Set aside.
SIXTH STEP: Remove the grilled pineapple to the serving platter and drizzle it with the excess marinade syrup just before serving.
How to Store Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple
MAKE AHEAD: If you want to get a head start on your meal preparation, you can certainly make this recipe ahead of time.
Simply follow the grilling instructions as usual, allowing the pineapple slices to cool completely.
Once cooled, transfer the grilled pineapple to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.
When you're ready to enjoy, you can serve the grilled pineapple cold or bring it to room temperature, depending on your preference.
IN THE FRIDGE: To store your brown sugar grilled pineapple in the refrigerator, allow it to cool down completely after grilling.
Once cooled, transfer the slices to an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.
Properly stored, the grilled pineapple will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
However, keep in mind that the texture and flavor may slightly change over time, so it's best to enjoy it within the first couple of days for optimal taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to peel the pineapple before grilling?
Yes, it is recommended to peel the pineapple before grilling. Removing the tough outer skin will make it easier to eat and enjoy the sweet, caramelized flavor.
Can I use canned pineapple instead of fresh pineapple?
Yes, you can use canned pineapple in this recipe. However, the texture and taste of grilled fresh pineapple will be different and more pronounced. If using canned pineapple, make sure to drain the juice before grilling.
Can I use a grill pan or stovetop instead of an outdoor grill?
Absolutely! If you don't have access to an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan or even a regular non-stick skillet on the stovetop. The pineapple will still develop delicious grill marks and caramelization.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Grilled pineapple is best enjoyed fresh off the grill for optimal flavor and texture. However, if you need to prepare it ahead of time, you can store the grilled pineapple slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat briefly on the grill or in a hot skillet before serving.
Can I freeze grilled pineapple?
This recipe is best served fresh. We don’t recommend freezing it, or the pineapple will become mushy. Leftover pineapple can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Serve Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple
Brown sugar grilled pineapple is not only a delicious and refreshing treat on its own, but it can also be a versatile ingredient that adds a burst of flavor to a variety of dishes.
Here are some creative ways to serve this delectable grilled fruit, as well as some recommended pairings and presentations that will elevate your dining experience.
Serve as a Dessert Topping: One of the simplest and most satisfying ways to enjoy grilled pineapple is by using it as a topping for desserts.
Slice the grilled pineapple into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle them over vanilla ice cream or creamy yogurt.
The warm and caramelized flavor of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the cool and creamy textures, creating a delightful contrast that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Incorporate into Salads: Grilled pineapple can add a unique twist to your favorite salads.
Cut the grilled pineapple into smaller chunks and toss them into a fresh green salad with arugula, baby spinach, or mixed greens.
The tangy and slightly smoky taste of the pineapple complements the crispness of the greens, while its natural sweetness balances out the acidity of the dressing.
For an extra burst of flavor, add some grilled chicken or shrimp to create a hearty and satisfying meal.
Make Grilled Pineapple Salsa: Transform your grilled pineapple into a vibrant and zesty salsa.
Chop the grilled pineapple into smaller pieces and combine it with diced red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt.
This tropical salsa is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or shrimp tacos, adding a refreshing and tangy element that cuts through the richness of the seafood.
It also works well as a dip for tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled chicken or pork.
Serve as a Side Dish for Savory Meals: Grilled pineapple can serve as a delightful side dish for a variety of savory meals.
Slice the grilled pineapple into rings or spears and serve alongside grilled meats such as chicken, pork chops, or steak. The natural sweetness of the pineapple complements the savory flavors of the meat, creating a balance of flavors that is both satisfying and refreshing.
You can also brush the grilled pineapple with a glaze made from honey, soy sauce, and a touch of ginger for an extra layer of complexity.
Pair with Cocktails or Mocktails: When it comes to pairing beverages with grilled pineapple, the options are endless.
The sweetness and tropical flavors of the pineapple lend themselves well to both alcoholic cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails.
For a refreshing twist, muddle grilled pineapple with fresh mint and lime juice, then add sparkling water and a splash of rum for a tropical mojito.
Alternatively, blend grilled pineapple with coconut milk, ice, and a squeeze of lime to create a creamy and refreshing mocktail.
Remember, these serving suggestions and pairings are just a starting point. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your own favorite ways to enjoy grilled pineapple.
Whether you're serving brown sugar grilled pineapple as a dessert, incorporating it into savory dishes, or pairing it with your favorite beverages, the versatility of this grilled fruit will become a favorite.
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Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 spears
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- vegetable oil spray, for the grill
- Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the brown sugar, cayenne, vanilla extract, and salt. Toss to combine.
- Cover the pineapple with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. You can also place the pineapple in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. You will have a few tablespoons of liquid in the bottom of your bowl. Do not discard it.
- Preheat your grill pan over high heat and spray with cooking spray just before adding the pineapple.
- Grill the pineapple for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- While the pineapple is grilling, place the excess marinade liquid in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 90 seconds or until bubbly and syrupy. Set aside.
- Remove the grilled pineapple to the serving platter and drizzle it with the excess marinade syrup just before serving.