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 Laudan…it’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.

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…


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


I have been workin allday on-line and manana to..
self imposed deadline and drinking 2 buck chuck and checkin my e-mails and your pineapple rice makes me hungry..I will make it this week-end
big beach show this weekend and CSN at the sb bowl next tues..thanks for your good tasting e-mails…bedtime Duncan got any good 420 browney receipes..tis the season…


For those of you interested in knowing a bit more about seitan, it comes in a number of forms, but you can likely find it in markets near the tofu and tempeh. Very broadly speaking, it is made by rinsing dough. Everything washes way (all the starch) leaving the protein-rich mass of gluten. For people who avoid soy it is often used in place of tofu or tempeh, and it appears quite a bit in macrobiotic meals. I like to cut it into little chunks and saute it, or bake it until it gets crispy. Here’s a wikipedia page with more info about all the different kinds of seitan.


Can I add the same question as a few others – what’s seitan? I love finding a new ingredient (or one that has a different name in UK English). Thanks


Definitely a “must try” recipes especially as we are moving towards summer here – but what is seitan,please?

Margaret Weston

What a fab recipe! This particular combination of ingredients has me salivating. I plan on opting for the fried rice version to make it a little more substantial for my growing daughter. Thank you so much for sharing.


I haven’t had pineapple rice in so long and your version sounds especially good. Thanks!

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

i just ate a huge dinner but this sounds deliicious enough to have made me hungry all over again!

nithya at hungrydesi

Just another day I’m so happy to be subscribed to your blog — the email came in my inbox, I picked up some ginger, pineapple, and cashews on my way home and enjoyed an easy, healthy, DELICIOUS meal tonight, after a relaxing yoga class. Thank you so much for sharing with us!!
I used arugula as my green base and added some sliced bell pepper and fresh mint from my CSA.
Enjoyed the dish hot.
Thought about blogging it myself, but didn’t want to take the minutes to get the camera before I dug in! 🙂


…ok, I am a little puzzled by the idea of a “vanilla themed meal” the Nutmeg Nanny refers to. Just having fun…I love this blog.


I’m with “anniem,” what’s seitan (even spell-checker is upset by the word) for us who are new to all things vegitarian/vegan.


This rice looks delicious! I was in Hawaii a couple of years ago and visited a lot of great local farms. I went to the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, Hawaiian Chocolate Plantation and the Blue Sky Kona Coffee Estate. It was great and I even enjoyed a fantastic vanilla themed meal…delicious:)

Nutmeg Nanny

yes Alice, but what is it please?


I love pineapple with rice, and rice with any kind of fruit in general.
The seitan option is great!


What’s seitan?


I can’t wait to try this recipe. Please contact me if you do decide to go back to Hawaii. We did a 6 day trip to the Big Island and have a great itinerary of seeing some amazing spots and tasting some great food on the island.


This sounds very flavorful! For those not vegetarian, I think that shredded rotisserie chicken or pork roast added to the rice would work well.

The Faithful Foodie

Oh, this looks like a fantastic version of Pineapple Rice! I’ll have to try it for sure.
However, I think I’m most in love with the actual plate this is served on! How beautiful!

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

I love Pineapple rice. I’ve had a few meals in Asia where they serve the rice in the scooped out pineapple that always looks so impressive.
Have to admit I’ve never really considered rice with a salad, but this looks great!


I really love this dish. Simple but full of flavor. I made a vegetarian pineapple fried rice recently, adding an egg like you did, and it was great. I’ll have to save this one to try.

lisa (dandysugar)

So I’ve just moved to Budapest, but thankfully there is this fantastic produce market–imagine an enormous building the size of a railway station filled to the brim with fresh produce at ridiculously reasonable prices, fresh meat (not my thing) and fish (occasionally)–3 blocks from my place. In the basement is an Asian market with spices, produce, and canned goods that I have had a hard time finding in most European countries–fresh cilantro, lemon grass, tofu, seitan, sriracha, etc. Am just getting settled in, but have guests coming this weekend and can’t wait to make this.
How do you feel about seasonal cooking? It’s very hard in the winter to find anything other than root-vegetables in the more Central/Eastern European countries. Anyway, thank you for all you do. I love your recipes and your cookbook is my new staple birthday gift for my friends!


Strangely enough, I just made a very similar dish on my trip to Mozambique. The basic criteria was to include some fruits/vegetables without using anything that didn’t have a peel. Result was rice with onions, pineapple, and cashews. Yum!


A friend of mine recently made Pineapple Rice — I’ll have to send her your take on it!


I was on Maui in July and can highly recommend O’O Farm. It is an organic farm which supplies the Pacific’O and I’O restaurants in Lahaina. We toured the farm and had a wonderful lunch. The farm is in the upcountry Maui on the way to Haleakala.
Here is their website:
HS: Thanks for the recommendation Patricia!

Patricia E

Great recipe. I love pineapple. I made up the double broccoli pesto quinoa dish, and it was really good. I especially loved the garlic flavor in the pesto and popping quinoa grains as I gobbled it down. The red pepper oil was yummy on it, too. I’m wondering if I want to experiment with different greens in this recipe…


Looks and sounds great. I love anything with salty and sweet components. And, I think I have that platter, too … thanks!


Well it’s lunchtime and I’m reading your post. This looks lovely–nice flavor combinations and textures. Now…time for a lunch break!

Megan Gordon

this is such a refreshing sounding recipe. I can’t wait to try these flavors together. thanks as always!

dana joy altman

I love these flavors. This would be a great lunch dish.

The Italian Dish

The sweet and spicy is what we love. That’s always one of those invigorating combos.

The Duo Dishes

Love the way you’ve combined these flavors. They sound delicious! I could eat a huge bowl of this for lunch.


Pineapple rice aye? It sure sounds absolutely amazing! I’m always trying to find new… unique ingredients to add to my meals and you just gave me another one 🙂

Food Man

This may be my new go-to comfort food: sweet and salty, with all of that lovely belly-settling that rice can offer. I love the idea of putting some cashews in there. Thank you!


Very nice indeed. Sweet and tangy…pineapples are a perfect addition and with the onion, peppers and cashew mixed in…whewie that sounds good!


Hi Heidi – A friend and fellow foodie let me know you were coming to Paris – I’m not sure if you are still in town – I wanted to recommend a market visit for you. Wed and Sat morning on the Boulevard de la Vilette – Metro Belleville. It’s off the tourist track and full of wonderful products and colorful vendeurs. I’m a Paris based author and cook – relatively new to the blogosphere “Lunch in Paris”- if you have a moment:
Take care and enjoy Paris!

Lunch in Paris

what an unusual dish! i think i have to give it a shot…


Thanks for sharing – this looks refreshing and so tasty!


I just came across edible Boston. I had no idea how many other places there were! I would love to see Hawaii. I the meantime, I will certainly make this salad!


Our favorite Thai place does a pineapple rice that is VERY similar and I’m kind of obsessed with it. So this recipe makes me very happy indeed.
And the fried rice variation? You’re really speaking my food language there….

chatty cricket

Thank you Heidi.
I loved traveling to Hawaii, and when I was right out of college, my husband and I spent winters in Kaui at the edge of the Napali Coast. I love the islands, and have traveled to all of them. Because I love the contrast between steep mountains and sea, I prefer the big island Hawaii with its black sand beaches and Kaui, (Hanalei in particular, and the Napali coast where we lived). I have not seen the Edible Hawaii issue, but I am very fond of the Edibles in general, (including Edible Green Mountains and Edible Boston).
I will try this recipe because it looks fantastic and, more important, you have brought back some lovely memories.
Thank you so much for leaving us with this great post.

The Gardener's Eden

Heidi – that looks amazing. I love pineapple in savory dishes and Hawaii so the marriage of the two is a dream. As far as local producers in Hawaii go, everything I have seen and experienced suggests there is a real renissance going on and that local traditions and ingredients are more valued than ever. One of my favorites was a plate lunch we had. Delicious.


I never really got the pineapple on pizza thing (but I liked it). This sounds just as great! Anything with pineapple, a fruit loaded with digestion aiding wonderful enzymes- well it works for me!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

I adore tropical flavors, so this pineapple rice really appeals to me.
Hawaii is high up on my “10 places to visit” list, as I envision breathtaking vistas, scenic hikes, endless beaches, and of course delicious food!


Heidi! – I love your one-dish recipes! They are perfect for week-nights and in the past have ALWAYS been spectacular. This looks like another great recipe – thanks!


Hello Heidi,
This instantly reminded me of Thai pineapple fried rice. I’m not a biggest fan of pineapple, especially in savory dishes – but I do love that particular Thai dish. And reading the list of ingredients and your descriptions, I don’t see why I shouldn’t like this one!
I hope you’ll get a chance to go back to Hawaii sometime soon. I do miss the islands sometimes.


Thanks for sharing! I love rice and everything that is above it! =)

organic furniture

Oh my what a delicious looking dish! This is a great take on pineapple fried rice, one of my favorite Thai foods. I’ll be sure and give this a try, thanks for sharing this recipe with us!


I like the plate and the recipe. I love your blog too, Heidi. Very neat but informative 🙂
joanie xxx

The Artist Chef

A foodie friend of mine introduced me to your site, and ever since i’ve been hooked. Your recipes have such diverse flavour and use such interesting ingredients, that I can’t help but be inspired. But it’s not only the food, your photography is stunning and adds to the overall site. Thank you for keeping me excited for your recipes, and helping me feel that instead of hating food, I can now love it.


great recipe, i love cashews in rice, my favorite! cashews are definitely my most favorite nut….and so healthy, nuts in rice are like my go to meal so easy to prepare, and so enjoyable and healthful…i am definitely making your recipe soon!


I love the recipe, simple but with ingredients that sure will play along great together. Can´t wait to try it! Thanks Heidi!


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