Pineapple Rice Recipe

A nice platter of greens and brown rice doused in a spicy-salty-sweet pineapple dressing flecked with seitan. It's good hot or at room temperature.

Pineapple Rice

I've been to Hawaii two times. Once when I was sixteen, and again when I was twenty. Once to Maui, once to Kona. I remember it being lush and vibrant, achingly beautiful. The more miles you put between yourself and the resort areas, the better it got. I think I'd like to go back at some point, so when I realized there was an Edible Hawaiian Islands publication I subscribed to it with the hope that I'd discover farms, producers, markets and restaurants to seek out when we finally get around to going. The latest issue arrived in the mail the other night, and while flipping through it, I came across a recipe for a pineapple rice salad. I rarely cook with Hawaiian flavor profiles, but this looked too good to pass up. I had a good number of the ingredients on-hand, and ended up building on the basic concept to make a meal of it. No canned water chestnuts or peas, but I had a single can of organic canned pineapple at the back of one of my cupboards - I must have bought it with some baking endeavor in mind? Not sure. Anyhow, I'm glad I had it. In the end I had a nice platter of spicy greens and brown rice doused in a spicy-salty-sweet pineapple dressing flecked with seitan. It's good hot or at room temperature.

I used canned pineapple here along with the juice from the can, if you have access to good, fresh pineapple I encourage you to use that in the dressing. Like all fruit, pineapples have varying degrees of sweetness, so keep that in mind as you are making the dressing. Tweak it a bit here and there until it is to your liking. I like dressings for starchy salads to have a bit of strength and assertiveness - they get absorbed, and you don't want their flavors to get lost in the rice (or say, pasta).

If you're looking for alternate ways to play with these ingredients, I should also mention I did an egg-fried rice version of this with the leftovers that really hit the spot. Whipped up an extra thin two-egg omelette, chopped and added it to the skillet of pineapple rice that was re-heating. My kind of lunch.

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Pineapple Rice Recipe

You can use extra-virgin coconut oil in the dressing instead of the macadamia, olive or sunflower oils if you like. In fact, it's a great choice, particularly if you'll be serving the rice hot. It solidifies at room temperature. Follow the same instructions, just don't be alarmed by the white flecks in the dressing after you puree it. They will disappear upon heating.

1/3 cup macadamia oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup (fresh or canned) all-natural 100% pineapple juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or shoyu)
1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

4 handfuls of mizuna, watercress, or arugula

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cashews, roasted/toasted and chopped
1/2 small serrano chile, seeded and deveined, and minced (optional)
4 ounces seitan, cut into little bits and pan-fried (optional)

Start by making the dressing. Combine the oil, sesame oil, pineapple juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, fresh pineapple, ginger, and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, and gently warm just before serving, don't simmer or boil.

In an extra-large bowl toss the mizuna with a generous splash of the dressing. Arrange it on a platter (as a bed for the rice)

You can serve the rice portion of this recipe room temperature or hot - Wayne really loved the hot version, and so did I. In the same bowl you used to toss the greens, or in an extra large skillet over medium heat, combine the rice, most of the onions, shallots, cashews and serrano chile, and seitan. Add about half of the dressing and toss well. If you are serving the rice hot, saute it in the pan until it is heated throughout. Taste, and adjust with more dressing if needed. Spoon the rice over the greens and finish with any remaining onions, shallots, cashews, and seitan.

Serves 2- 4, main vs. side.

Inspired by and (heavily) adapted from a recipe in the Summer 2009 Edible Hawaiian Islands publication.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Thanks again for another great recipe!

Edward Mootoo

I made this about 2 weeks ago and it was hit! I actually made it as a fried rice with tofu. I am making it again today. I made mine a little spicier and added a bit of nutmeg, garam masala and a bit of sugar.


I just came across this recipe in my inbox - I'd saved it for just a day like tomorrow. Do you think I can use pecan oil instead of macadamia? Thanks!


I felt like this was a refreshing change from a lot of the recipes I make everyday and it may have been my favorite from this site! Though I am quite partial to anything with pineapple. Thanks for a great meal!


Add one full can of Coconut Milk (13.5 oz) when cooking the rice, it will really enhance the dish. I just finished a Hawaiian BBQ for the retirement community that I live in. Everyone just loved it!! Served 165 people. Chef Bear

ET Bear

Made this last night! I used egg instead of seitan, but followed the rest pretty faithfully -- using the suggested coconut oil. It was great. The coconut oil added a real richness. Not only tasty, but pretty to look at. I used arugula.this time. Next time, I think I might try some wilted kale with it; something about the sweetness of the pineapple is calling out for the bitterness of the kale. Always love your website, and I agree with the commenter above that I love one-dish meals!


sorry.. i take offense to this! i love pineapple, and i love rice. and i'm sure if you were to serve this dish to me it would taste wonderful. but why does adding pineapple to something automatically make it hawaiian? pineapples aren't even originally from hawaii. (same thing annoys me when adding peanuts or fish sauce automatically make something 'thai') sorry but as someone with thai and hawaiian blood.. this just makes me sad every time. HS; Hi - I'm not sure I get that sense here. I think it was likely included in Edible Hawaiian Islands because fresh pineapples are actually grown there. In contrast to say, the Bay Area, where there are no fresh, local pineapple.


Heidi, I really enjoy your site and having lived in Hawaii for over 14yrs I can say it is a Foodie paradise! I am on the mainland now for a few years and the best award winning cookbook I've found for all of the local recipes you miss when you're gone is called The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage by Rachel's your kind of book. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even post a recipe! Mahalo for all you share here!


yummy! esp with grilled pineapple.


Heidi, Love your style and your way of life. I am big on a healthy lifestyle as well and have recently cut all fish and meat out of my diet. I am loving your site for it's feel good food. You are helping many people. Thanks, Rae-Leen

Rae-Leen Remenda

All hail to Queen Heidi! I'm eating this dish right now and it is heavenly. Subbed macadamia nuts for the cashews, and instead of seitan I took the leftover dressing, added some water, and poured it over a little cubed tempeh, which I sauteed in a skillet until most of the liquid disappeared. Glad I made enough for lunch tomorrow.


I made this last night for supper and had it with a baked sweet potato that I squeezed lime juice on. It made for a very nice combination. I like crushed pineapple better than chunks, so I used that instead. I especially liked the sesame oil in the dressing. This was great.


they have this better one at a place called opals which is by the shrimp trucks in hale'iwa right before you turn to go to waialua thats SOOOOOOOOOO good


Hey, this sounds delicious! Re Jessie's question about the difference between soy sauce and shoyu, shoyu is Japanese soy sauce - it's less strong and salty than the Chinese version, and is slightly sweeter. Just about all brands of soy sauce taste a bit different anyway, though, regardless of their origin, so probably best to experiment and find the one that tastes best to you.


I am going to make this tomorrow, I have my brown rice already done and in the fridge! I think I'll add a little fried egg and go with the hot version. Maybe some pan fried tofu in there too?


I really interest in cooking and keep in search for other recipe to do and taste it. I try and learn some recipe I get from other magazine I try to make it myself and have a taste. I'll find a time and try your recipe Heidi. Good on U to share what U get comment on your clients ah ah ah hey I really love cooking and tasting different kinds of food. Bye and have a nice time.


I made the dressing over the weekend. I used canned pineapple and it just didn't have that pineapple zing, so I livened it up with the juice from 1/2 a lime. Yum! Used it hot last night - heated brown rice, a small amount of pre-cooked ground beef, and some dressing in a skillet. Stirred in tons of spinach just to wilt it and cranked on lots of black pepper. Fabulous! This is the second recipe I've tried (first was broccoli pesto) and they've both been accessible, delicious, and very adaptable to whatever I have on hand to mix in. Thank you!


Wow! Never tried this one. It looks good. I might tried it tomorrow. Hmm..I am excited..My husband loves to eat rice because his half Filipino. So, he usually eat rice.. But me, I am more on pasta and pizza...

Chef @

This was fantastic! made it last night for dinner and everyone loved it! the pineapple dressing was delicious and the final product was perfectly well-balanced - not too much pineapple flavour. I guess if you want a stronger pineapple flavour you could add some grilled pineapple chunks to the dish, but I loved it the way it was! Thanks Heidi


Loved this recipe. Made a big batch and had it for leftovers and lunch--it gets better and better!


My boyfriend's family lives in Hawaii, so I've gotten to visit the islands a couple of times. One thing that always strikes me is how much great fruit there is. Almost every fruit can be grown in Hawaii, and so the grocery stores are full of fresh local food (at really cheap prices, since it's expensive to export food from Hawaii). Definitely eat Hawaiian pineapple if you ever get the chance (instead of Mexican, which is what's usually available on the mainland). It's much sweeter and juicier, and worth the extra dollars at the grocery store.


oh my... love your virtual image!! amazing blog!! regards from sweden & agneta


This looks SO yummy! I make a healthy version of a pineapple fried rice but I like the idea of using the pineapple juice as a dressing for the rice. Can't wait to try it :)

Heather Alt

I don't usually cook with Hawaiian profiles either. It's not familiar to me and I wouldn't seek it out, either, but I do love the sweet and savory combo going on in this dish. Must say I love your plate and the slightly tarnished spoon - looks like something I would buy when I'm antiquing.

Amy Green (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free)

I don't usually cook with Hawaiian profiles either. It's not familiar to me and I wouldn't seek it out, either, but I do love the sweet and savory combo going on in this dish. Must say I love your plate and the slightly tarnished spoon - looks like something I would buy when I'm antiquing.

Amy Green (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free)

Fantastic recipe. I will try this out next week.

Parker Lloyd Lim

I'm just not loving the end result. I tried adding additional salt, golden raisins and fresh pineapple bits and it helped. I don't think I'd go to all the work again because it didn't wow me.


Yum! This sounds so good...a great Summer dish. :)


I made this tonight for dinner and it was awesome. I didn't use seitan since I didn't have any and I don't know much about it. I was going to try tofu instead but didn't think of it soon enough and couldn't wait to eat it. It's definitely great to serve hot. I also added pineapple chunks because I used a 20-oz can and had half left over, and I thought it would be appropriate since it is pineapple rice, after all. Really delicious though. if you are thinking about making it, go do it now!!!


This looks like a perfect recipe for me to whip up with the kids. Might have to go a little lighter on the shallots for them, but other than that I think it'll be a hit. Thanks!


Thanks for this recipe! We just got back from Maui and had some great meals! I too enjoyed reading Edible Hawaii while visiting and now I am inspired by this dish, as well as an amazing tropical fruit salsa we had! I think I might make a Hawaiin feast now!


I made this last night. It was delicious! I didn't have any sesame oil on hand so I did without, and it was still delicious. I added fresh red bell pepper and used toasted peanuts instead of cashews. I will make it again next week. Thanks for the great recipe!

Ali S

What a great mix of flavors and textures! I must try this one. By the way, recently I made a Japanese inspired vegetarian dish using tofu and hijiki and thought you might be interested. If you are, please check out my blog! ;)

Kitchen M

We had something similar in Maui, and I'd forgotten about it until I saw this. We're on a diabetic diet at home, so the brown rice and pineapple would add up to our carbs for a meal...but what delicious, healthy carbs. I think I might also use the Hawaiian baked tofu in place of seitan, but mostly...can't wait to try this! Thanks!!


I don't know if it would be overkill, but I think grilled pineapple could be a great addition to this! I love the way grilling fruit imparts a great smokey flavor and helps cut the sweetness. I added pineapple juice to chipotle tofu and it was a great contrast. I think I might add it to this salad and see what happens! thanks for the rec!


I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! Even my girlfriend like it! This is only the second recipe of yours that I have made, and both have been delicious. As a future dietitian, I really appreciate all the healthy food you're making.


Sounds awesome! I have never been to Hawaii...seems like something you have to do at least once though.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I just got back from a 10 day vacation on Maui, and this recipe is a "must make" for this weekend. I wanted to bring back EVERY flavor I encountered in Hawai'i but especially the fruit! Fresh pineapple! Yum. Fresh coconut! Oh my! And the lilikoi!!! I'm now on a mission to find yellow passion fruit here on the mainland! :)


Thanks for the info on seitan! I was wondering what in the world it was. It doesn't sound too appealing, unfortunately. The dish sounds wonderful though!


what do you mean by "soy sauce (or shoyu)"? Is there a difference? I thought that shoyu was just the Japanese word for soy sauce.




love it... I will be trying this for dinner tonight... thanks


Hey, that is me...not anonymous..:))

vijayalakshmi sisodia

Hi, Heidi.... lovely recipe that Pineapple Rice is! We in India have lots of rice recipes..specially south of India where I come from. This recipe reminds me of Kashmiri Pulao. Very similar and full of nuts and fruits. This is the first time i logged in to your blog. It is very interesting. I will be in touch. Thanks, god bless!!


Heidi your the best Thank-you for all you tasty information..The world is a better place thanks 2u


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