Brighten up your life - or at least your mouth - with this easy homemade pineapple salsa fresca! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo and summer recipes, this sweet and spicy pineapple pico de gallo goes great with Mexican dishes like tacos and also pairs well with pork, fish, shrimp, chicken, and more! Additionally, this pineapple salsa recipe is low FODMAP as well as Paleo and Whole30 compliant. Instructions for how to make it more quickly in a food processor are also included.
What is salsa fresca?
Salsa fresca is another name for pico de gallo, which is made and consumed fresh and raw. Regular salsa (without the fresca) is cooked and then canned. Homemade salsas that are fresh are deemed salsa fresca.
Why pineapple salsa?
Some might find the thought of eating fruit like pineapple in salsa kind of gross. I may have agreed at one point in my life. Can something sweet like pineapple that typically goes on savoury dishes taste delicious? I wondered. I found that the answer is YES!
Like the Homemade Chipotle Mayo recipe I posted last week, his pineapple salsa fresca is a component of my Air Fryer Shrimp Taco Bowl recipe. The bowl was inspired by the best fish tacos I've ever had, which come from a BC-based restaurant chain called White Spot. I talk more about this in my post about the shrimp taco bowl, but the White Spot's fish tacos contain strawberry salsa, so I first started developing this recipe using strawberries as the star component of the salsa.
During one of my many tests, the strawberries I had purchased went bad before I could make the recipe. I had a perfectly fine pineapple just sitting there, so I decided to use it in place of chopped strawberries. Talk about a "happy accident" as the flavour of the pineapple marries perfectly with the air fried shrimp! While the strawberries are still incredibly yummy as a salsa and still can be used in place of pineapple in this recipe, the flavour combination of pineapple and shrimp is just amazing.
The equipment I use when making this pineapple salsa fresca recipe include:
- Sharp chopping knife
- Sharp paring knife
- Cutting board
- Large bowl
- Fine mesh sieve
- Stirring spoon
- Food processor, if using (optional)
Pineapple Salsa Fresca: Ingredients and Success Tips
Clearly, pineapple is the star of this salsa fresca. The Monash Univerity's Low FODMAP Diet App lists pineapple as tolerable for most persons with IBS in quantities of up to one cup. A serving size for this salsa is ⅓ cup, which keeps the pineapple quantity well within the tolerable amount.
I usually chop up a large pineapple for this recipe, and 1 lb of a large pineapple consumes about ¾ of the pineapple. I chop up the rest for my son to eat as a snack.
Skipping to the lime juice: lime juice contains the same FODMAP type as pineapple (fructans), but Monash considers it tolerable for quantities of up to one cup. This recipe only calls for two tablespoons, which keeps the level of fructans still well below the tolerable amount.
The salsa's spicyness comes from the minced jalapeño. Even though jalapeños are low in FODMAPs, some people still react poorly to spicy food for reasons having nothing to do with FODMAPs. Be mindful of how your body reacts to spicy food and consult your doctor or dietitian before making and consuming this recipe if you have concerns about how your body might react.
I use the green tops of scallions (a.k.a. green onions) instead of any other type of onion as they are FODMAP free. If you aren't concerned with FODMAPs or can tolerate other types of onions, you can subsitute ½ cup of chopped red onion for the scallions. The salsa will have a lot stronger of an onion flavour and be more colourful.
Attention Cilantro Haters
Some people have very strong, negative feelings about cilantro. If this is the case for you or someone you cook for, try substituting freshly chopped basil for the cilantro. I haven't tried it personally, but if I was making this for a cilantro hater, that's what I'd try first.
Season and Mix
If you're making the salsa fresca without a food processor, prepare the ingredients and follow the instructions per the recipe card below. If the salsa is too juicy after you add the pineapple, scallions, jalapeño and cilantro to a bowl, drain the mixture with a fine mesh sieve before adding the lime juice and seasonings. Leaving excessive amount of juice in the salsa can taste very unpalatable in certain dishes but may work for others.
Making Pineapple Salsa Fresca in the Food Processor
The pineapple salsa fresca in the pictures is entirely hand chopped, so if you're in a hurry, you can easily whip up this salsa fresca in a food processor. However, keep in mind that it will not look as pretty and neat as the salsa pictured. There is also the risk of processing it too much so that it is more of a liquid than a robust, solid salsa, so be careful.
To make the salsa in food processor, ignore the prep instructions I have for the ingredients in the recipe card below. Instead, start by peeling and coring the pineapple and roughly chopping it into large chunks, about 2-3" long/wide. Add the pineapple to the large bowl of your food processor.
Then, remove the stem, ribs and seeds from a large jalapeno and add it to the food processor. Removing the stem, ribs and seeds usually requires me to slice the jalapeno into four long, narrow strips using a sharp paring knife.
Remove the stems from cilantro leaves and add to the food processor. Roughly chop the green tops of scallions into thirds and add to a food processor. Putting the entire green top in without chopping it usually results in it evading the food processor blade, so I chop it into three pieces.
Cover and pulse the food processor until the contents are chopped into small pieces. Be careful not to chop it too much or it will turn into liquid. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and drain the excess juice into the sink. If you don't drain it, I it will be quite liquidy even if your pieces are still large enough.
Once drained, add to mixture to a large bowl. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir. Alternatively, you can add the mixture back to the food processor, add the lime and seasonings, and then pulse until the mixture is coated. I choose to stir them in in a large bowl to avoid over processing the salsa.Print
Brighten up tacos, fish, pork, chicken and more with this easy homemade pineapple salsa fresca! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo and summer recipes, this homemade pineapple pico de gallo will add some sweet and spicy flavour to your dishes. Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP. Food processor instructions also included!
FOR NON-FOOD PROCESSOR PREP:
- 1 lb fresh pineapple (about 2 ¼ cups), peeled, cored and chopped into ¼" cubes
- ½ cup scallions, green tops only, chopped*
- 1 large jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped**
- ¼ cup cilantro (lightly packed), finely chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, add the chopped pineapple, scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro and mix with a spoon. If the mixture looks juicy, strain and discard juice by adding the mixture to a fine mesh sieve. Put the strained mixture back into the bowl. Then, add the lime juice, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir to coat.
- Add the pineapple salsa fresca to tacos (such as my Air Fryer Shrimp Taco Bowl), fish, chicken, burgers or other dishes you’d like to brighten up with some sweet and spicy flavour.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- FOOD PROCESSOR INSTRUCTIONS: Ignore the ingredient prep instructions above and do the following: peel and core the pineapple, roughly chop it into large chunks, and add it to the large bowl of a food processor. Remove the ribs and seeds from a large jalapeño and add to the food processor. Remove the stems from cilantro leaves and add to the food processor. Roughly chop the green tops of scallions into thirds and add to a food processor. Cover and pulse the food processor until the contents are chopped into small pieces (do not over process). Pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and drain the juice into the sink. Add mixture to a large bowl.*** Add lime juice, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir. Follow instructions #2 and 3 above and enjoy.
- *If you're not concerned with FODMAPs, you can add ½ cup chopped red onion instead of the scallions. It makes the salsa prettier, too!
- **Please note: Jalapeños are low in FODMAPs, but some people react poorly to spicy food regardless of the amount of FODMAPs. Be mindful of how your body reacts to spicy food and consult your doctor or dietitian before making and consuming this recipe if you have concerns about how your body might react.
- ***If you are averse to stirring it by hand, you can add the mixture back to the food processor, add the lime juice, salt and pepper, and pulse a bit more until coated. I put it in a bowl and stir in the juice and seasonings to prevent over processing.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: By hand or food processor
- Cuisine: Mexican
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