Quick and easy pineapple fried rice comes together in minutes using leftover rice, red bell peppers, and pineapple chunks pan fried in a sweet and savory sauce. Add a little spice for a kick, and you’ve got a flavorful side dish ready for all your grilled meats and Asian-inspired recipes!
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Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe
Pineapple fried rice is a traditional Thai rice dish that is much the same idea as Chinese-inspired fried rice or ham fried rice. Like the others, it’s made with cooked rice fried with whisked eggs, and whatever veggies you want to toss in the mix.
What makes this one special is that it has chunks of fresh juicy pineapple in it that give every bite a sweet and savory flavor combination. If you’ve ever had my pineapple salsa or Hawaiian meatballs, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
When all this is combined with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, this Thai pineapple fried rice is nothing short of mouthwatering!
We love this as a quick and easy side dish for things like grilled chicken, BBQ ribs, or honey garlic chicken! It also works as a main dish when you add on some protein like grilled shrimp, diced ham or chicken, and even bacon.
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s customizable. Use whatever vegetables you’ve got in your fridge and prepare a fantastic rice dish everyone will rave about. The only thing you can’t leave out in this fried rice with pineapple recipe is the pineapple!
- Quick and easy. This dish is ready in 20 minutes. There’s nothing complicated in the ingredients list and most of it you probably have on hand and then all of it gets fried in a single skillet.
- So much flavor. Who would have thought fruit in your rice would be a thing, but it is and we are here for it. There’s something about the sweet pineapple with the salty savory soy sauce and sesame oil that works.
Ingredients in Pineapple Fried Rice
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Rice: The type of rice used here is pretty flexible as long as it’s either cold or leftovers of day-old rice. Jasmine rice is a great choice as it’s what is used in authentic pineapple fried rice, but use whatever short or long-grain you have. If you need a recap on how to cook rice, I’ve got you covered.
- Unsalted butter: You can substitute coconut oil for butter if preferred. It’s for frying everything up, so whether you like that buttery flavor or the taste of coconut oil, it’s up to you.
- Mix-ins: Onion, red bell pepper, and fresh ginger are sauteed and fried first to lay the foundation of flavors before adding anything else.
- Eggs: You’ll need to eggs whisked before adding them to the skillet.
- Fresh pineapple: I do prefer to use fresh pineapple chunks because, in my opinion, it just tastes better, so I will show you how to cut a pineapple to make things easy and convenient, but if you want to use canned pineapple you certainly can.
- Light soy sauce: This is the salty, savory, umami flavor very popular in stir fries and fried rice, among many other recipes. You can replace it with oyster sauce or fish sauce, or use a bit of both if desired.
- Sesame oil: The secret to the nutty robust and earthy notes that for whatever reason pair so well with sweet pineapples!
- Salt & pepper: To taste.
- Sliced green onions: An optional garnish.
As with any type of fried rice, the options for mix-ins are endless. Here are just a few ideas for you:
- You can use leftover coconut rice for a bit of a different flavor. The pineapple-coconut combo would be incredible. Brown rice would be another way to go.
- Some other mix-ins to add could be peas, carrots, or unsalted raw or roasted cashews for crunch.
- When I’m serving a crowd or going all out with my dinner theme, I’ll serve this Thai fried pineapple rice in a pineapple bowl!
How to Make Pineapple Fried Rice
- Saute veggies and aromatics. Make sure the rice is chilling until you need it. Then, in a large skillet or wok, saute the onions and bell peppers in melted butter over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the egg and rice. Push the contents of the skillet to one side and gently pour in the whisked eggs to the other side. Scramble in a circular motion and then stir everything together. Gently stir in cooked rice so that everything is combined.
- Time to add the pineapple. Then, mix in the pineapple, soy sauce, and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- It’s ready! Serve warm on a plate or in a fun pineapple boat and if desired, top with sliced green onions. Enjoy!
- If you’ve just cooked your rice, to chill it quickly, spread it across a parchment lined baking sheet so that it isn’t all clumped together and place it in the fridge to get nice and cold.
- Work quickly. Like any stir fry or fried rice, it’s important to be prepared to move to the next task without anything burning! Have your ingredients chopped and ready to go.
- Only use a wok if you know how. Otherwise use a skillet. A wok is designed for quick tossing stir fry in high heat and requires fast hands!
- Make it gluten-free by using tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Leftover rice, vibrant veggies and sweet pineapple are pan fried with eggs and then tossed with a savory Thai fried rice sauce. It’s a delicious and quick dish with the perfect balance of flavors.
This is because freshly cooked, hot rice is soft, and fluffy, and will become mushy as it cooks all over again in the pineapple fried rice (or any fried rice). Cold leftover rice will stay separated, not clump together, and won’t absorb as much liquid.
To make it a meal, add a cooked protein like diced chicken, pork, steak, or grilled shrimp.
To make 4 cups of cooked rice you will need 1 1/4 cups of uncooked rice. The rule of thumb for cooking rice is a 2 :1 ratio of water to rice. You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of water.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Allow it to cool completely before covering it that way you’re not trapping heat and excess moisture in the container. This can cause it to become soggy.
Freeze it for up to 3 months, just be sure it’s in a freezer-friendly bag or container first. Thaw in the fridge overnight and enjoy.
Honestly, I love pineapple fried rice straight out of the fridge! It’s so good cold on a hot day. However, to reheat it you can just put your bowl or plate of it in the microwave to heat up.
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Pineapple Fried Rice
- 4 cups cooked rice , long or short grain
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , or coconut oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 large eggs , whisked
- 1 ½ cups diced fresh pineapple
- 3 Tablespoons lite soy sauce , plus more if desired
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil , or oyster sauce
- Kosher salt , to taste
- Ground black pepper , to taste
- Sliced green onions , optional
- Chill the cooked rice until ready to use.
- In a large skillet or wok, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in onion and bell peppers. Cook 2 minutes. Add ginger. Push mixture to one side and add the eggs to the other side. Scramble and then stir everything together. Gently stir in cooked rice.
- Mix in the pineapple, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve while warm. Top with sliced green onions, if desired.
- To make a meal, add in cooked protein like diced chicken, pork, steak or shrimp.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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