If your favorite recipe calls for pineapple, but you don’t want to use it, don’t have any, or are allergic to it, what do you do ? Well then, you look for a pineapple substitute.
Of course, each recipe uses pineapple differently and for different reasons. Sone need the flavor, some need the texture, some just need the juice, and some absolutely need it for decoration.
So we’ve compiled a list of the best pineapple substitutes, while keeping in mind appearance, texture, and flavor.
Best pineapple substitute
The best pineapple substitutes are nectarines with kiwi, mango with lemon or lime, nectarine or apricot with lemon or lime, strawberries with nectarines, or apples with pineapple juice.
The overall flavor won’t be the same as pineapple, but it will get you in the ballpark, especially if you use tropical fruits like mango. Papaya is also an option, but it’s less sweet than mango.
We’ve also added a section for substituting pineapple juice, if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s just past the pineapple substitutes.
Please note that we’re assuming no trace of pineapple can be found in your area, or you cannot touch pineapples at all due to allergies. Otherwise canned pineapple, candied, dried, or powdered would work for various flavor or decorations. There’s also pineapple extract or juice, if all else fails.
Alright, now let’s get to the actual substitutes. Keep in mind that fresh fruit is always the best choice, but if canned or frozen is all you can find, it can work too.
Nectarine + kiwi
Nectarines have that juicy, tropical vibe to them that pineapple has too. Especially if you find them very, very ripe. Combine with kiwi to get a nice tang, and a slight tingle at the back of your tongue as you would from pineapple.
These work great for texture, flavor, and decoration. If you need their juice, the resulting color would be an unappetizing brown, but if you keep them separate and turn them to jello (might work for some recipes) they would look and taste great !
Mango + lemon/lime
This is the next best thing you can make or do, if the above idea isn’t your style or can’t be done. Mangoes resemble nectarines in flavor, but they’ve got more of a musky, fresh flavor in comparison. They provide texture, though they’re softer than pineapples.
Adding lemon or line juice will add some serious tang to the mix. Try to get a bit of lemon or lime oil from the rind, it’ll help thing immensely.
This mix works great for flavor, decoration, and even as a juice. If you’re aiming for texture, know that a ripe mango will be about as soft as a ripe nectarine.
Read also: Is Pineapple A Citrus Fruit?
Nectarine or apricots + lemon/lime
Whether you sue nectarine or apricots doesn’t really matter, as the flavor is the same. We’re just partial to nectarines because we really don’t want the fuzz on apricots. So, combine any or both of those with some lemon or lime juice, like for mango.
You’d get a similar result, and a very beautiful color if you want to puree them. Also great for decoration, and texture too.
Strawberries and nectarines
Strawberries are like milder kiwis, at least in terms of tang. We know this combination is really far from pineapples but it’s definitely summery and will be a great substitute.
And let’s face it, both look damn great as decorations, and a puree made of both of these would look and taste heavenly. In terms of texture it might not be the best idea, since strawberries are soft and ripe nectarines are almost as soft.
Bonus: apples and pineapple juice
Alright, maybe try apples and pineapple juice ? If you’re not allergic to pineapples but just can’t find any actual pineapple, or canned pineapple, you can use pineapple juice. We’re very sure there are cartons of just apple juice, right next to the multifruit ones and the orange juice ones.
Combine the juice with some apples for crunch/texture and you’ve got a very similar result. It would work best with green, tart apples. That being said, you can swap the apples for nectarines and apricots and mangoes, just the same.
This combination works great for texture and flavor, not so much for decoration.
Substituting pineapple juice
Okay, what if you only need the pineapple juice and can’t find it anywhere. Like, all the pineapples in the world have poofed out of existence. Or maybe you just really, really can’t be around pineapples. Here’s a few ideas.
Orange and lemon juice + sugar
We recommend using orange juice with a dash of lemon juice too, and maybe adding a drop of lemon or orange oil as well. This is to bring the tropical, fruity vibe to the forefront and we also recommend adding sugar.
Sugar or any other sweetener you can think of, as long as you’re okay with it. The problem with orange juice is that it’s really disappointing most of the time, so it needs some extra sugar to compare to pineapple.
Any orange-yellow fruit juice like mango, peach, apricot
Other orange fruits will work too, not just orange juice. So you can use apricot, nectarine, mango, papaya, peach, anything of the sort. If you’re using fruit in syrup, we recommend blending the fruit and the syrup until smooth, and adding a dash of lemon juice at the end.
This is to lift the whole flavor, otherwise it’d just be sweet and that’s it.
Read Also: Why Are Pineapples Spiky ?
Pineapple in sweet and sour recipes
We know that most of the time folks look for a pineapple substitute when they have to make a sweet and sour dish. The main reason pineapples are used is because they’re so darn sweet, and it’s the kind of sweetness that carries over even after cooking. And if you like extra sweet, fruity chunks, then pineapple is your friend.
Then an idea would be to use slightly underripe peaches, apricots, nectarines so they keep their texture after being lightly cooked. And if sweetness is an issue, simply add a bit of extra sugar to the mix. Maybe a bit of lemon juice for some tartness.
If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.