Meatless Monday Challenge

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa

on July 6, 2020
last updated July 21, 2022
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5 from 1 vote
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This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa is a vibrant addition of fresh flavor to enhance your fish tacos, tasty rice bowl, or just eat on it's own with chips.
Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa - Featured Image

This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa is a vibrant addition of fresh flavor to enhance your fish tacos, tasty rice bowl, or just eat on it’s own with chips.

I know pineapple in savory dishes is controversial (people seriously get really passionate about their stance on pineapple as a pizza topping), but pineapple salsa is a crowd-pleaser for obvious reasons.

It’s vibrant, it’s fresh, and it hits ALL the right notes—sweet, spicy, acidic, and just slightly bitter.

The depth of flavor is undeniable.

Remember that scene in Ratatouille where Remy found a strawberry and a piece of cheese in the kitchen and the combination of the complex flavors basically set off fireworks in his taste buds?

Yeah. This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa is kinda like that.

And it all comes down to the marriage of contrasting tastes from 5 main ingredients.

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa - Dipping Chip

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa Main Ingredients

  • The pineapple brings sweetness. I highly recommend using fresh pineapple, as it’s the star of this dish.

    It allows you to have more control over the size of the pieces to keep them uniform with the rest of the ingredients, as opposed to canned pineapple that is already chunked.

    Plus, you can serve your salsa in a hollowed-out pineapple, which, I mean, c’mon… how cute is that?

  • The tomato brings acidity. You can use vine ripe, beefsteak, Roma. Honestly, whatever you have around.

    I’ve tried it with several different varieties with success. Just note that serrated knives are best for dicing tomatoes, because of their skin. I also tend to leave out some of the seeds, just for texture’s sake.

    Don’t worry too much about it, though. Seeding tomatoes is unnecessarily tedious, as it won’t change the flavor here.

  • The red onion brings the crunch. I’m big on texture and I always try to add some element of crunch in my dips. It gives a much better mouthfeel and makes each bite overall more satisfying. It also brings out the more savory side of this dish.

  • The cilantro brings bitterness. It’s subtle, but that’s what you want. Fresh herbs are ALWAYS the best way to elevate any dish, so if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute parsley or basil.

    I love cilantro and think it plays really well with the cayenne, cumin, and lime. However, I know several people who think cilantro tastes like soap 🤣 and I don’t want cilantro-haters to feel they have to shy away from this amazing salsa!
Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa - Portrait in Pineapple

This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa was first created when I had a small dinner party and wanted to start my guests off with a dip trio.

I knew I wanted to serve my Perfect Creamy Restaurant-Quality Guacamole, and Tex-Mex Queso Blanco, but needed a third and felt something light and fresh would balance the other creamy dips perfectly.

It is now a staple in our house and my absolute favorite topping for Fish Tacos.

Green tip: Eating seasonally is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to support local farmers and decrease your carbon footprint. Local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions.

Simply put, eating seasonally = less environmental impact. Check when pineapple is in season in your state with this Seasonal Eating Guide.

Why You Should Make This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa

  • It’s fresh. Fresh fruit and fresh herbs are all it’s comprised of. How could it not be fresh?
  • It’s healthy. All-natural fresh fruits and no added sugar, carbs, fat, etc.
  • It’s complex. The contrasting flavors of sweet, savory, acidic, and spicy blend beautifully for a complex finish.
  • It’s vibrant. Look at all the beautiful colors!
  • It’s quick and easy. Just dice and mix,. No cooking or baking necessary.

If you’re loving this Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa and are looking for other dips, check out this Perfect Creamy Guacamole and this Basic Beer Cheese Dip! And if by some miracle you have leftovers, make these Fresh Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa next!

Pineapple salsa served inside a pineapple

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa

5 from 1 vote
Marley Goldin
This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Salsa is a vibrant addition of fresh flavor to enhance your fish tacos, tasty rice bowl, or just eat on its own with chips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • ½ cup tomato, diced
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice (1 tbsp usually = ½ a lime)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prep all your ingredients by dicing tomato, pineapple, and onion and chopping your fresh cilantro.
  • Mix all ingredients together with the cayenne pepper and cumin, and squeeze fresh lime juice on top.
  • Garnish with a little bit of fresh cilantro and serve at room temperature.

Pro Tips

  • Using fresh pineapple in this dish goes a long way!
  • Any tomato variation will do. I’ve made this salsa with Roma, Beefsteak, and Vine Ripe tomatoes with equal success.
  • Parsley can be substituted for the cilantro if you’re not a cilantro fan.
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Mexican
Diet Vegan
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, Healthy, One-Bowl, Pineapple Salsa, Summer, Sweet Salsa, Taco Salsa
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @marleysmenu on Instagram.


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