The 9 Best Substitutes For Fresh Pineapple

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Who doesn’t love snacking on slices of juicy and vitamin-packed pineapple? Pineapple is also a great fruit to bake with and use in various dessert recipes.

This tropical fruit also shines in savory dishes. But what if a recipe calls for pineapple and you don’t have it at home or it’s just not ripe yet?

What are the best substitutes for pineapple? Luckily, there is a range of other fruits you can use instead of pineapple, including mangoes, nectarine, green apple, apricots, papaya, and guava. The best substitutes for fresh pineapple are its canned and frozen varieties. For certain recipes, pineapple extract may come in handy. 

Keep reading to learn how and when to use these pineapple substitutes. As a bonus, we will also tell you what are some substitutes for pineapple juice in case you are working with a recipe that calls for it and you don’t have any at hand. 

Can You Substitute Pineapple?

Pineapple is one of those fruits that is equally as delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. This tropical fruit is perfect for baked goods and desserts, smoothies, and various drinks.

Pineapple, if paired well, is also a great ingredient in savory dishes containing seafood, poultry, and pork

This juicy tropical fruit is a mouth-watering treat not only as is but also when roasted, grilled, or sautéed. 

In short, pineapple is a good addition to any dish that would benefit from its sweet and tangy flavor notes

You can certainly find a pineapple substitute for nearly any dish you are making. While it is hard to achieve the exact same flavor using other fruit varieties, there are certain fruits and fruit combinations that can provide similar flavor notes. 

Knowing what can be used instead of pineapple is especially important for people who are allergic to this tropical fruit or have a hard time finding fresh pineapple in their local stores. 

The Best Substitutes For Pineapple 

There are multiple substitutes for fresh pineapple, from its canned and frozen varieties to other tropical and temperate fruits.

If you want to get as close as possible to the flavor of fresh pineapple, you might need to go for fruit combinations. 

Here are the best pineapple substitutes. Choose one that will work best for the particular dish you are making. 

RankSubstituteBest for
1.Canned pineapple All sweet and savory dishes 
2.Frozen pineapple chunks Fruit salads, smoothies, sauces
3.Mangoes Smoothies, chutneys, salads, savory dishes with pork and fish
4.Nectarine Desserts, chicken and pork dishes, salads, salsas
5.Pineapple extract Baked goods, desserts, smoothies 
6.Green apple Baked goods, smoothies, salads
7.Apricots Fruit salads, chutneys, savory dishes with poultry and lamb
8.Papaya Desserts, smoothies, dips
9.Guava Barbecue sauce, desserts, savory dishes with meat 

1. Canned Pineapple

Canned pineapple is the best substitute for fresh pineapple. It can replace fresh pineapple in nearly all recipes. 

You can use canned pineapple for baking, making various desserts, as well as grilling and roasting.

If you are planning to use canned pineapple slices instead of fresh pineapple, note that there are more sugar, carbs, and calories in canned pineapple.

But the good thing about canned pineapple is that it is shelf-stable and can be stored in the pantry for 2 years and longer. 

2. Frozen Pineapple Chunks 

Frozen pineapple chunks are readily available in many stores. You can buy a few bags of frozen pineapple and have it in your fridge all year round. 

As frozen and thawed pineapple is mushier than fresh pineapple, it is best not to use it to make smoothies or sauces. Frozen pineapple chunks are also good for cooked recipes where the texture of pineapple is not of central importance. 

If you take your time to thaw frozen pineapple chunks properly, you can also use them to make fruit salads or eat the chunks as is as a snack. 

When it comes to substituting fresh pineapple with pineapple chunks, use 3 cups of pineapple chunks instead of one medium-sized fresh pineapple. 

3. Mangoes

Pineapples surely channel strong tropical vibes. If you don’t have pineapples at home and need another tropical fruit to substitute it, then mangoes might be your best bet. 

You can use mangoes in both sweet and savory dishes. Use mangoes instead of pineapple in chutneys, salads, savory dishes with pork and fish, etc

When it comes to texture, ripe mangoes are softer than pineapples. Mangoes also lack the tanginess that pineapple has. To compensate for the tangy notes, we recommend adding a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to the mangoes. 

4. Nectarine 

If you are allergic to pineapple, nectarines are another tropical fruit you can use instead. Ripe nectarines are sweet. If the sweetness of pineapples is what the recipe needs, nectarines alone can do it for you. 

You can use nectarines not only in baking and making desserts but in savory dishes too. Nectarines are great in chicken and pork recipes, salads, and salsas. 

Though nectarines also have tangy flavor notes like pineapples, you may find their tanginess not sufficient for the particular recipe.

In such cases, add some chopped kiwis to the nectarines to achieve an overall flavor closer to that of pineapple. You can also combine nectarines with lemon or lime juice for a closer match. 

If you are using nectarines instead of pineapple in cooked dishes, such as stir-fries, choose slightly underripe nectarines. This way nectarines will maintain their texture even after the cooking process. 

5. Pineapple Extract 

Pineapple is widely used in baking. However, you don’t always have access to fresh or canned pineapple, and substituting pineapple with another fruit is not something you want to do. 

In such cases, pineapple extract is what you need. Use 1 teaspoon of pineapple extract for 3 cups of dry ingredients.

While skipping on the fruit will change the texture and overall look of your sweet treats, a little bit of pineapple extract will give them a wonderful pineapple aroma. 

Pineapple extract is also a good pineapple substitute for smoothies. 

6. Green Apple 

Despite looking very different from pineapple, green apples can substitute it in certain recipes where pineapple is used uncooked.

What makes these two fruits interchangeable in certain recipes is their flavor. Both green apple and pineapple have sweet and tart flavor notes.

So, regardless of the major texture differences, you can use green apples instead of pineapple for certain cooking tasks.

7. Apricots 

Apricots, like peaches, can work as an alternative to pineapple in certain dishes. Being sweet and tart at the same time, apricots seem to be a cross between plums and peaches when it comes to their flavor. 

You can use apricots to make fruit salads, chutneys, savory dishes with chicken, lamb, or duck. Apricots are also a great fruit to bake with. 

Adding lime or lemon juice to the apricots can help make their flavor more similar to the flavor of pineapples. 

8. Papaya 

If you need a pineapple substitute for desserts, shakes, and smoothies, you can go with papaya. While sweet ripe papaya is most commonly used in the making of sweet treats and dishes, it can also go into curries, dips, and kebabs

9. Guava 

If you like cooking with pineapple, you might as well like experimenting with other tropical fruits. 

Whenever you are in the mood for cooking with a tropical fruit but don’t have pineapples at hand, try cooking with guavas. For example, you can make guava barbecue sauce instead of pineapple barbecue sauce.

You can also make guava paste that works well not only in desserts but in savory dishes too, paired with meats and cheese. 

What Are The Best Substitutes For Pineapple Juice? 

Aside from substitutes for actual pineapples, you may also need alternatives for pineapple juice. Pineapple juice, like the fruit, can be used in both sweet and savory dishes as well as drinks. 

Whenever a recipe calls for pineapple juice, you can choose from the following substitutes. 

  • Grapefruit juice. As grapefruit juice has both sweet and sour flavor notes, it can be a good substitute for pineapple juice. Grapefruit juice also has as many health benefits as pineapple juice. 
  • Orange juice. Another juice from the citrus family that can replace pineapple juice in various cooking and baking recipes. Orange juice is something you probably have in the fridge at all times. If not, it can always be found in any store. 

As there is both sweetness and bitterness in orange juice, it can work as a replacement for pineapple juice.

We recommend adding a dash of lemon juice to orange juice as well as a little bit of sugar if you want to enhance the sweetness of the liquid. 

  • Passionfruit juice. With its sweet, sour, yet light flavor, passionfruit juice can substitute pineapple juice in certain recipes. 
  • Mango juice. Just as mangoes can replace pineapples, mango juice can replace pineapple juice. If you have mangoes in syrup, blend the mixture until it’s smooth, with a consistency closer to pineapple juice. Add a dash of lemon juice to the blended mixture to lift the flavor.

Aside from the abovementioned options, you can also use apricot and peach juices with the addition of a few drops of lemon or lime juice.

Papaya and guava juices are also good options if these are what you have at hand. In the case of guava juice, however, use the juice from unripe guavas for a sweet and sour flavor.

Up Next: Best Pineapple Corers

One Comment

  1. Hi, can I use frozen (or thawed) pineapple chunks to make an upside down cake? Thanks very much!

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