Tropical, sweet, savory, spicy, and absolutely delicious. That’s what this pineapple rice is all about. It’s the best combo of sweet and spicy!

Try pairing this delicious combo of flavors with Spicy Honey Chicken and Sweet Potato Kebabs for the ultimate summer meal!

Pineapple Rice

If you’re not a fan of rice wait till you try this Hawaiian rice. It’s packed with simple fresh ingredients of the summer that give old boring rice so much flavor with a nice spicy kick!

The combination of crushed pineapple combined with spicy red chili flakes and refreshing lime juice make this rice truly the best. Crushed pineapple adds sweetness and texture, while the red pepper flakes balance out the sweetness, and lime juice adds freshness.

It’s very easy to make too! You literally add everything into a small saucepan and let it do its thing. 

You can’t go wrong with this side dish.

Pineapple Rice Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Water: Cold tap water is fine here for cooking the rice.
  • Crushed pineapple: It normally comes in 8-ounce and 20-ounce cans. You will need one 8-ounce can or 1 cup of crushed pineapple for this recipe. 
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar and cane sugar both work for this recipe. I personally love cane sugar since it’s minimally processed than granulated sugar.
  • Butter: Butter adds richness and prevents the rice from clumping together. Go with unsalted butter.
  • Kosher salt: You’ll need 1/2 teaspoon of salt for this recipe. Since salt varies, I recommend you taste the rice before serving and add more if desired.
  • Red chili flakes: Chili flakes add the heat to the rice. You only need a little to taste it too. But if you like it spicier, add a little more.
  • Rice: Basmati rice or jasmine rice both work. Just make sure it’s not quick-cooking rice.
  • Lime: You’ll need the juice of half a lime, which is about 1 tablespoon.
  • Cilantro: Chopped cilantro adds a burst of fresh flavor. It’s not complete without it. Use as much as you like!
ingredients for hawaiian rice

How to Make Pineapple Rice Recipe

This Hawaiian rice recipe comes together pretty simple. I used basmati rice (jasmine works well too!) Both are aromatic varieties that make a great alternative to plain long-grain white rice.

Sometimes I rinse the basmati to wash off any dust and excess starch and sometimes I do not. Either way is fine. I do not notice a big difference.

  • Step 1: To a small saucepan, add water, pineapple, sugar, butter, salt, and chili flakes. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir in rice and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered, until all of the water is absorbed. The rice will have a slight bite to it after 15 minutes and that’s what you want.
how to make pineapple rice recipe
  • Step 2: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the rice steam another 5 minutes, completely covered. 
cooked tropical rice in saucepan
  • Step 3: Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro, to taste. 
fluffed pineapple rice recipe in saucepan

Serve as a Side Dish

Pineapple rice is the perfect side dish. Here are some entrées that would go well:

hawaiian rice recipe

Video: How to Make Pineapple Rice

Love rice side dishes? Try our Mexican Beans and Rice, Cilantro Rice, Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, or Mexican White Rice.

Print
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overhead pineapple rice

Pineapple Rice

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Tropical, sweet, savory, spicy, and absolutely delicious. That’s what this pineapple rice is all about. It’s the best combo of sweet and spicy!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/41/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice, not quick-cooking
  • Juice 1/2 lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine water, pineapple, sugar, butter, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in rice and bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. The rice will be almost done with a slight bite to it.
  2. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the rice steam another 5 minutes, covered. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro. (I love cilantro so I usually go heavy but you can add as much as you like).

Notes

  • Pineapple: For best results, use canned crushed pineapple in pineapple juice. I do not recommend fresh pineapple.
  • Sugar: Both granulated sugar and cane sugar work for this recipe. Cane sugar is minimally processed so I personally like to use that more.
  • Leftovers: Leftover rice will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It reheats very well too. To reheat the rice, add the rice to a non-stick skillet with little fat, such as butter or swirl of oil and heat, stirring occasionally, over medium heat.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 115
  • Sugar: 6.2 g
  • Sodium: 4.4 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.8 g
  • Protein: 1.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.6 mg

Keywords: seasonal, hawaiian, easy, tropical

Recipe published in June 2015. Updated in June 2020.

Sweet and spicy rice with crushed pineapple and red pepper flakes. Easy and delicious side dish to any entree | littlebroken.com @littlebroken
Sweet and spicy rice with crushed pineapple and red pepper flakes. Easy and delicious side dish to any entree | littlebroken.com @littlebroken