Grilled pineapple is one of the tastiest and easiest summer desserts ever! And lucky for us, pineapple is in season right now.
I don’t know many people who don’t love pineapple. Growing up in Brazil, there would be a traveling farmer’s market (called a “feira”) that would rotate from one major city section to another. When it was close to our neighborhood, my mom would either walk or drive to the feira, and using her little personal shopping pull cart, she would load up on our weekly fruits and veggies.
When pineapple was in season, she’d buy one or two a week. Brazilian pineapples are AMAZING!
Then she would peel them, slice them, and store the pineapple in a large Tupperware in the refrigerator. When we got home from school, we would eat the pineapple as an after-school snack. Well, my sister Karen and my brother Mike would eat it as a snack. I would consume so many slices that it could only really be considered an after-school “pineapple course”. I ate pineapple until the acid created little splits in the corners of my mouth. But it was SO worth it. That’s how much I LOVE pineapple.
Grilled pineapple is a common dessert in Brazil. It’s made in a couple of different ways. Often, they peel then grill a whole pineapple on a spit. Other times they cut wedges down the length of the pineapple and grill the wedges. Occasionally you see it grilled in rings or kabobs like I’ve done here today.
I don’t eat as much pineapple as I used to, but I still love it. And with grilling season in full swing, grilling pineapple is a mind-boggling way to deliver an amazing dessert with no effort at all! We’re talking less than 15 minutes total, people! For this kind of taste? It’s a keeper. You’ll see.
let’s see how Brazilians make grilled pineapple
Right there. See? It doesn’t even take 5 minutes to get your cinnamon and sugar out, and then slice a cored pineapple.
The pineapple must be fresh, not canned.
I bought a peeled and cored pineapple because it is easier. If you buy a whole pineapple and peel it yourself, you will probably get it a little cheaper, and get more pineapple to boot. You can always grill it with the core if you want, and then just eat around it.
I prefer not to grill it whole like they do in Brazil because the cinnamon and sugar are only on the outside layer. They often slice off and serve cuts from the outside of the grilled pineapple, leaving the inside layers with no seasoning. Grilling it in rings or kabobs lets you taste a little more of the cinnamon and sugar.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle both sides of the pineapple rings.
For the kabobs, cut the cored pineapple into wedges, and then the wedges into 1-inch chunks. I then tossed them in the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Finally, I skewer 5 per kabob stick. Careful not to overdo the seasoning on the chunks. They are smaller than the rings. You don’t want the cinnamon to overpower the flavor f the pineapple.
Preheat a grill to medium, then turn it down to low. Sugar burns easily. You want to develop nice grill marks, and the grilled pineapple needs to cook just a bit to get a little warm and a bit more tender. But you definitely don’t want to burn it.
You will only need to grill the pineapple for about 1-2 minutes per side.
And then you get this.
You can eat these plain for dessert, or with vanilla yogurt…anyway you like, really.
But my preference is like this, warm and topped with a creamy vanilla ice cream, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top.
I know it probably looks too simple, everyone. But don’t be fooled. This is one of those flavor profiles where the whole SO far exceeds the sum of the parts!
A super sweet and tangy bite of pineapple, with the warmth of cinnamon, lightly softened and slightly smoky from the grill. It’s heaven on a plate all on its own! Top that off with some luscious vanilla ice cream and it’s that much-touted party in your mouth, with the volume turned up!
In under 15 minutes? Your BBQ planning, with a dessert course, just got a lot simpler!
- 1 fresh pineapple, ripe but not too soft, cored if preferred
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat a grill to medium heat, then lower it to low heat.
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together until fully incorporated.
- Slice the pineapple into ½-inch rings or chop into 1-inch chunks for kabobs.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar on both sides.
- If making kabobs, skewer the pineapple.
- Place the pineapple directly on the grill slats and grill for about 1 or 2 minutes per side. Do not burn.
- Flip when the pineapple has defined grill marks.
- Grill the second side for 1 or 2 minutes, then remove from the grill.
- Serve plain, with vanilla or pineapple yogurt, or with vanilla ice cream, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.