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The 11 Best Pineapple Juice Substitutes

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Pineapple juice is incredibly refreshing and has naturally well-balanced flavors. However, it isn’t always possible to use it.

Whether it is because of a dietary restriction, budgeting concerns, or simply because you cannot get your hands on any, we have the best alternatives for you!

So then, how can you substitute pineapple juice? We highly recommend using an alternative that is close in flavor, color, and consistency. This can be challenging, but options like grapefruit juice, orange juice, and mango juice, will work well. If you are looking for a color alternative, your options will be different from a tropical flavor alternative.

But fear not, we will have a much more in-depth look at exactly how to choose the best alternative, and which ones will work for which purpose. We have even included how to substitute some of the more difficult options!

What Is Real Pineapple Juice? 

Finding real pineapple juice can be very hard. At the best, you can find a juice with only a portion of real pineapple juice. Most juices today are made with either apple or grape juice, which is then infused with pineapple flavor.

Naturally, this can lead to a ton of disappointment when the flavor isn’t up to standard, especially if you were wanting to use real pineapple juice in other items like marinades, baked goods, glazes, and sauces.

According to the law, when a product is labeled as “real” or “100%” for juice, the actual juice should only contain that one specific ingredient.

It may still contain some preservatives and stabilizers, but even that is frowned upon in the culinary community.

These juices, because they cost a lot more than their cheaply-made alternatives, are often hard to find. Not to mention a lot more expensive. So naturally, many people have started looking for alternatives. Luckily, there are many!

Characteristics Of Pineapple Juice

Real pineapple juice cannot be matched by any other substitute—not even pineapple-flavored juice.

It often has a thick consistency and should never be watery. Pineapple juice generally also contains a ton of pulp because it is high in fiber. But, the pulp can be completely removed if you’d want to.

The color of the juice will vary greatly depending on the type of pineapple chosen, the maturity of the fruit, and how long the juice has stood out.

Generally, the color is a deep yellow with orange hues. It can also have a slightly burnt undertone.

Pineapple juice has a very authentic and unmistakable pineapple flavor. It is extremely fruity with underlying vegetable-like notes. Some people also pick up hints of beans.

Other very distinctive flavors that come through are vanilla and an overwhelming sweetness, followed by a slight acidity.

Choosing The Best Substitute For Pineapple Juice

Choosing an alternative to real pineapple juice can be quite challenging. The most important factor to consider when choosing a substitute is what you’re trying to substitute!

If it is a flavor, you may lean more towards a neutrally flavored semi-sweet and tart juice. And, adding some pineapple extract, concentrate, or essence may be needed.

However, if you are substituting the color, your options don’t necessarily have to be anything like that of pineapple juice. Furthermore, substituting the tropical flavor profile also gives you a broad list of alternatives to choose from.

So, let’s have a look at exactly how you can substitute pineapple juice taking into consideration how you are using the pineapple juice.

Substituting The Exact Pineapple Flavor

The flavor is arguably the most important factor to consider. If you want a pineapple-flavored item, even if that is just plain juice, there aren’t many options. It is such a unique fruit with a rare flavor profile.

If you are using the juice as a flavoring item, you can choose to substitute it with a combination of grape or apple juice and pineapple extract.

The apple and grape juice has some of the most neutral flavors and is easily manipulated.

You can also substitute pineapple juice with pineapple puree if you can find any. Otherwise, you can make your own at home.

Other than that, arguably the closest fruit flavor to pineapple is grapefruit. But, there is still a wide range of differences.


Now, if you aren’t too worried about an exact pineapple flavor, you can think about what it is you want to replace.

If you are looking for a sweet and acidic flavor, then options like grapefruit juice, orange juice, and passion fruit juice are great options.

If you want to substitute the tropical flavor (or just add some tropical flavors to a dish), then any other tropical fruit juice will do. This can be mango, passion fruit, pomegranate, papaya, or guava to name a few.

And, if you aren’t looking for any specific flavor, you can use virtually any juice that you’d like. As long as it works with the flavor profile of the recipe.


The texture is another thing to consider but isn’t always relative. If the recipe calls for pineapple juice with pulp, the pulp likely acts as a binding ingredient. So, your substitute juice should also be pulpy.

Not all juices have pulp, so it is important to choose an option with a lot of fiber, like citrus juices or most tropical juice options.


As we have mentioned, pineapple juice has a very deep yellow color with notes of orange in it.

If you are using pineapple juice in lightly colored dishes (like a white pudding), then it is most likely the juice will have added yellow colors to the dish.

If you still want similar colors, you will need to add a juice that is similar in color. This can be mango juice, orange juice, papaya juice, or guava juice. While they aren’t the same, they fall into the same color scheme.


Nutrition naturally plays a very important role in choosing substitutions. If you have specific dietary needs or restrictions, you have to look at an appropriate substitute.

Pineapple contains high amounts of vitamins C and B6. It also contains large quantities of manganese, copped, thiamine, folate, and potassium.

They are high in fiber and carbs, while still being relatively low in calories, fat, and protein.

So, make sure to research the alternative you have in mind to see if it has a similar nutritional profile.

Availability And Price

Last, and not forgettable, you have to consider the price. Some juices are hard to come by or are made with expensive and rare fruits.

Before simply pulling the trigger on an option, make sure it is within your budget and that you will be able to easily use any leftover juice. 

The 11 Best Pineapple Juice Substitutes

Below we have compiled an in-depth list of the best substitutes for pineapple juice. You can either use their 100% real products, or a flavored alternative.

The flavored juices will be a lot easier to find and more affordable. But, the real juices will have a better flavor, color, and consistency. So, let’s have a look at the best options out there!

1. Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit is a bitter-sweet type of citrus fruit. While its flavor may not be precisely like that of pineapples’, it is potentially your best option.

Depending on the type of grapefruit juice you choose, the flavor can be very sweet with some acidity. To tone down the sour flavors (if they are too overwhelming) simply add some more sweetener to the substitute.

This juice also has a similar color scheme, albeit a lot more orange-like or pink. Some are even red, depending on the varietal they are made from.

Grapefruit juice can also have varying consistencies that are easily adjustable. You can strain all of the pulp from the juice, or add the perfect amount that you need.

2. Orange Juice

Orange juice is very similar to grapefruit juice, but is much less acidic and has a different color profile.

This juice is also more fruity and floral, with overwhelmingly sweet flavors. You can add more acidity by adding a bit of lemon or lime juice (which is mainly acidic) or by adding a pinch of citric acid.

You can find a very similar orange color in this juice, making it a great color substitution option.

3. Mango Juice

Mango juice will naturally have a completely different flavor from a pineapple. However, if you simply want a tropical flavor and don’t mind what it is, this is your number one choice.

It also has a very thick consistency that can be used to substitute pulpy pineapple juice. And, it even has a similar yellow-orange color.

Most mango juices, especially the 100% real ones, lean more towards orange than a yellow hue.

4. Lemon Juice

We know what you’re thinking—lemon juice?! But hear us out! This isn’t meant to necessarily be a one-to-one substitution. Instead, lemon juice should be used to add that acidity to a recipe that pineapple also has.

If you simply want to add a bit of acidity to a sauce or marinade recipe, use a smaller quantity on its own.

But, if you need to substitute a larger amount of pineapple juice, pair it with something like water, grape juice, or apple juice. 

5. Apple Juice

If you have no idea what exactly you want to substitute, then using apple juice is the safest option.

It has a very sweet flavor and can easily be adjusted with acidity. And, it even has a neutral color to which you can add some food coloring if you’d like.

Furthermore, apple juice can be used as a neutral base liquid. You can add sour and sweet flavors to it, or even some extracts and essences.

The only downside to this option is that the consistency is almost always completely pulp-free.

6. Passion Fruit Juice

We love the passion fruit flavor! It will also make a great substitute for the tropical flavors and has a sweet and tart taste. It also is similar in color but leans more towards orange.

It is however a hard juice to find. You will mostly find passion fruit-flavored options, and even those will be more expensive.

Do not use passion fruit pulp as an alternative in baked items and recipes. The seeds will alter the consistency, and not always in a good way. You can use passion fruit pulp when making sauces, marinades, dressings, or glazes.

7. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is an expensive and hard-to-find alternative. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fantastic option. Pomegranate juice is mostly found in flavored form, and finding real pomegranate juice is almost impossible.

That being said, you can also use pomegranate syrup or concentrate. And, to add some acidity to an overly sweet substitute add lemon juice, lime juice, or citric acid.

Just note that this alternative also doesn’t have a pulpy consistency and has a bright pink or purple color. So, don’t use it if any of these factors matter.

8. Grape Juice

Grape juice is another option that works similarly to apple juice. It has a very neutral flavor profile, is easy to find, and is very affordable. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have any color of pulpy textures, but this isn’t necessarily a problem!

You can also add some acidity if you’d like. And, adding an extract or pineapple essence will give you a more flavor-accurate alternative

There are also two grape juice options to choose from. Red grape juice is fruitier and has a reddish color to it. White grape juice will work best as a neutral option.

9. Lime juice

We also decided to add lime juice to our list, seeing as it works better than lemon juice as an acidic substitute or additive.

Lime juice is a type of citric that almost looks like immature lemons. However, their acidic flavor is much more potent. You can add much less for the same effect.

But again, do not use this as a complete substitute for pineapple juice, unless it is only in small quantities. You can also balance the acidity with sweeteners.

10. Papaya Juice

Papaya juice is lower on our list because it is only found in some areas and the flavor is very unique. Not all people like it. Some even claim it tastes like vomit.

But, to those who aren’t super sensitive to these flavors (or don’t pick it up as much), papaya is a fantastic option. It has very sweet flavors and is definitively a very tropical option. Plus, it is easy to add some acidity to it.

The juice also has a lot of fiber and thick consistency. Furthermore, it has an orange-yellow like color.

The color however varies depending on the maturity of the papaya. You also get green papaya, which is immature and much more bitter in flavor.

11. Guava Juice

Finally, we have included guava juice to finish off our list today. It is a great option that is easy to find. But, it has a very thick pulpy consistency that isn’t changeable

The flavor of this option however is very tropical, floral, and sweet. And like most of our very sweet options on this list, it is easy to add some acidity to the juice too.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the best substitutes for pineapple juice, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Can you make your own pineapple juice at home?

If you don’t necessarily want to use any of these substitutions, you can make pineapple juice at home.

However, you cannot juice pineapple by hand. You would need a juicer or blender.

Can you use pineapple extract to add a pineapple flavor to juice?

As we have mentioned before, you can add a pineapple extract or essence to add a pineapple flavor to the substitute.

And, you don’t have to add much either! A drop or two will be enough to add a hint of pineapple. Naturally, add more for a stronger flavor.

Can you use vinegar and sugar as a substitute for pineapple juice?

Vinegar and sugar will help substitute the sweet and tart flavor that pineapple has. However, it won’t add any fruity tropical flavors.

So, rather use these as additives for specific flavors instead of an entire substitute.

If you’re curious about how to juice a pineapple you have on hand, here’s a great video on the subject!

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