Pineapple Fried Rice

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Sweet and savory pineapple rice is filled with veggies, crispy bacon, roasted cashews, and crushed pineapple. This recipe makes the perfect quick, easy dinner when you need a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes. Serve in a fresh pineapple for a festive twist.

Fried Rice served in a half pineapple on a white plate

You will love this pineapple rice because it’s so delicious, but you’ll want to make it again and again because it’s so easy, uses ingredients you probably have on hand, and is ready in about 20 minutes – including prep time. When you cook the rice with the sweet pineapple juice and savory bacon fat, the rice becomes so flavorful it really is hard to resist.

Just how does a recipe like this come together so quickly? Start by using leftover rice as your base (it actually tastes better than freshly cooked rice), grab whatever veggies you have in the freezer, and use canned pineapple instead of fresh. This way, the only thing you need to do is cook the bacon, saute the frozen veggies, and slice a few green onions. Cooking takes just 15 minutes.

Serve as a side dish, or as a quick, easy dinner when you need a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes. 

How to Make A Pineapple “Bowl”

Pineapples may look a little intimidating if you’ve never used fresh pineapple before, but they are actually really easy to work with. Filling a hollowed out pineapple with sweet and savory fried rice gives this dish the most beautiful presentation. There’s just so much color on the plate.

If you ever find yourself throwing a fun, Hawaiian-themed evening, serving this fried rice dish in a pineapple bowl is certain to ‘wow’ your guests! Making a pineapple bowl is super easy.

Bangkok street food cart

But back to the pineapple bowl. It’s super easy!

1. Slice the pineapple in half.

Slice lengthwise for the perfect sized pineapple bowl.

a pineapple sliced in half on a grey countertop

2. Scoop out the flesh.

The easiest way to scoop out a pineapple is with a strong ice cream scoop. The core of the pineapple will be a little tough, so toss that, but save the other juicy pieces. 

scooping out inside of half of pineapple with an ice cream scoop

3. Fill with fried rice and serve!

You’ll only need half of the pineapple you scoop out for the fried rice. Save the rest for a sweet snack!

Pineapple Fried Rice in a half pineapple

How to Make

  1. Cook the bacon in a preheated wok or skillet until crisp, then transfer to a plate.
  2. In the same pan, saute the vegetables and garlic, then add the cooked rice, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir to combine. 
  3. Let the rice cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until the rice gets a little brown and crisp on the bottom and around the edges.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the pineapple, cashews, bacon, and green onions.
  5. Divide between serving bowls. Squeeze lime wedges over top and garnish with cilantro.
stirring fried rice in a wok

Ingredients

  • Bacon – Chopped bacon fat coats the skillet to prevent the rice from sticking, and adds a deep savoriness. You could also use pancetta.
  • Frozen Vegetables – Any mixture of frozen veggies will work. Diced carrots and peas are traditionally added to fried rice, but you could add whatever you have available in the freezer. Defrost them first for the best results. 
  • Garlic Cloves – Aromatic minced garlic cloves add depth to this fried rice dish.
  • Cooked Rice – Any type of rice works in this recipe. Long grain white rice such as jasmine or basmati are great. You could also use healthy brown rice.   
  • Soy Sauce – A splash of umami-rich soy sauce really elevates fried rice. For gluten-free pineapple fried rice, use Tamari. 
  • Rice Vinegar – Zippy and acidic rice vinegar helps to bring all of the flavors together.
  • Diced Pineapple – You can use fresh or canned pineapple here. If you use a fresh pineapple, look for fruit that is firm to the touch, and is just a touch tender. The leaves should be bright green, and the skin should be a yellowish color. If the skin of the pineapple is green, that means it’s underripe. 
  • Roasted Cashews – Cashews add a nutty crunch, roasting them builds extra flavor.
  • Green Onions – We’re just using the stalks of the onions in this recipe. Finely chop them to release their aromatics.
  • Lime wedges and / or cilantro, for garnish – A squeeze of lime juice adds such a wonderful zing to fried rice. Garnish with cilantro for extra brightness.
cooked Rice in a clear glass bowl

Use leftover rice – Pre-cooked rice is the absolute best type of rice to use in fried rice. Chilled rice is less likely to stick to the skillet or wok, and because it can be a touch drier than freshly cooked rice, it’s great for absorbing all of the juices in the pan. If you make rice during the week for one dish, make a little extra to use in this Thai-inspired rice dish.

Variations

  • Add protein – For a heartier version of this recipe, add chicken or firm tofu. Chicken’s mild flavor is a tasty addition to pineapple fried rice. 
  • Make it vegetarian – Omit the bacon to make vegetarian pineapple rice.
  • Make it spicy – Cooking this Thai pineapple rice with red pepper flakes will give you sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.

How to store 

Pineapple rice tastes so good the next day. It’s even great as a savory breakfast. You can store this dish for 3-4 days in an airtight container, and reheating takes minutes. All you will need to do is preheat a skillet, add a drizzle of cooking oil, and cook until warm.

FAQs

Is pineapple fried rice gluten-free?

Making gluten-free pineapple fried rice with this recipe requires one simple ingredient swap. Use Tamari in place of soy sauce and you will have the most delicious, gluten-free pineapple rice. Most Tamari sauces are gluten-free, but check the label to be sure.

Can I make it in advance?

Fried rice tastes best when it is served directly from a sizzling wok while all of the juices are freshly coating the rice. To save some time in the kitchen, make the rice the night before, and chop the bacon strips and green onion ahead of time.

Pineapple Fried Rice served in half of a pineapple

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Pineapple Fried Rice on a white plate
4.20 from 5 votes

Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe

Sweet and savory pineapple rice is filled with veggies, crispy bacon, roasted cashews, and crushed pineapple. This recipe makes the perfect quick, easy dinner when you need a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes. Serve in a fresh pineapple for a festive twist.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Wok or Large Skillet

Ingredients 

  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables (defrost them first; I use diced carrots and peas)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked rice, any type (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup diced pineapple (fresh or canned; drain well if using canned)
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 3 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges and / or cilantro, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Place a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain off all but about 1 Tablespoons of the bacon grease (no need to measure – just eyeball it) and return pan to heat.
  • To the heated pan add frozen vegetables and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are warmed through, 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir to combine everything. Let the rice sit, without stirring, for about 2 minutes to let the rice get a little brown and crisp on the bottom.
  • Move the pan off the heat and gently fold in the pineapple, cashews, bacon, and green onions.
  • Divide between serving bowls. Squeeze lime wedges over top and garnish with cilantro.

Notes

Rice – Fried rice is always best with rice that has been made ahead and refrigerated. Pre-cooked rice holds up GREAT to a hot wok and won’t turn soggy. Whenever I make rice during the week, I just make extra and save it in the fridge to make fried rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4755IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 494
Keyword: easy dinner, fried rice, stir fry, weeknight-friendly
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.20 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

  1. I love fried rice, and this version just plain out sounds so delicious! so creative carving out the pineapple to serve this rice in..bravo!!