This vibrant and zingy pineapple chicken marinade is made with sweet pineapple, zesty lime and spicy jalapeño. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, perfect for marinating chicken or as a dressing for salads.
This sweet and spicy pineapple chicken marinade with jalapeños is our new favourite sauce to add flavour to whatever we're grilling. It's quick to whip up, stores well and gives you that kick of flavour that keeps you going back for more.
It's peak grilling/barbecue season right now and we're so ready for it! There are few things better than dining al fresco at this time of year. It just feels so luxurious and relaxing! Grilling season is all about phenomenal turkey burgers, making the most of beautiful seasonal vegetables, incredible kabobs and of course, marinated grilled chicken.
We know you'll love using this marinade for your grilling sessions. Be sure to use the links below to get to where you need and leave a comment and rating on the recipe as we love hearing from you.
Why you'll love this marinade
Here are some reasons you'll love this pineapple chicken marinade:
Versatility - this marinade can be used for any protein from chicken to tofu, on vegetables or even fish. It can also be used as a dressing or even as a dipping sauce.
Vegan - despite its name this marinade is completely vegan if you wish, just use maple syrup instead of honey.
Flavour - with all the pineapple, jalapeño and lime juice, this marinade packs a punch and certainly adds to any grilling you do.
Make ahead - this is so quick and easy to prepare ,you can whip it up in minutes and store it in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
What ingredients do I need?
You'll need just a few simple ingredients to make this zingy pineapple chicken marinade:
Pineapple chunks - fresh pineapple makes up the base of this marinade. It adds lots of sweetness and that characteristic tropical pineapple flavour.
Jalapeños - jalapeños add a subtle heat and their incredible green and grassy flavour.
Aromatics - garlic is always welcome in a marinade along with cilantro or coriander leaf to give you that citrusy freshness and finished with a splash of lime juice.
Honey or maple syrup - we use this to add a touch of sweetness and to help the marinade caramelise.
How to make pineapple chicken marinade?
It couldn't be easier to make this fresh and vibrant pineapple jalapeño marinade:
- Simply gather together your ingredients and place them into a high-powered blender. Blend on high speed until the marinade is bright green and smooth. It will be pourable so there's no need to add any extra liquid to help it blend.
- Store the marinade in a sealed jar or other container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use as a marinade for chicken or other meat or drizzle over grain bowls or salad.
Ways to use this marinade
Here are some suggestions on how to best utilise this pineapple marinade:
Kabobs - this marinade is perfect for chicken kabobs, giving you a great sauce to baste the skewers whilst cooking them to give them extra bark and flavour.
Dressings - you could use this as a dressing for a chopped salad like this Sweet Potato Kale Salad and maybe switch up the apples and other add ins to something more seasonal like peaches or pineapple.
Vegetables - Brush some of this pineapple jalapeño marinade over your vegetables before you grill them, you won't regret it!
Meat - despite this being called pineapple chicken marinade, this will also work perfectly well with beef, pork or shrimp. We're particularly fond of it on a skirt steak for a taco.
Dipping - use this as a dipping sauce for some vegetable crudités, chips, crisps or crackers. It's super tasty and vibrant for summer!
Follow these tips to ensure complete success every time using this marinade:
Marinade time - leave meat proteins to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but preferably longer, up to about 8 hours, or overnight if using thick whole muscles or a maximum 1-2 hours if doing cubes of meat. Pineapple contains enzymes that will break down the protein and tenderise meat but too long will affect the final texture. If using with fish, don't marinate for more than 30 minutes.
Spiciness - depending on how hot you like your food you can adjust the heat by removing the seeds from the chillies before blending them if you prefer.
Storage - this marinade keeps once made for up to 5 days in a jar or air tight container in the fridge ready for whenever you want to use it.
Pineapple contains bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that break down the collagen fibres in chicken whilst marinating. It is a wonderful way to tenderise and make the chicken breast more succulent. However, if you over marinate the chicken, it will produce an unpleasant texture in the final product. Stick to 1-8 hours of marinating to be safe. These enzymes only work from fresh pineapple, not canned or pasteurised juice.
If you love this pineapple jalapeño marinade for your grilling this summer you need to check out our other grilling recipes, here are some to get you started:
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Pineapple Chicken Marinade
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust lime juice, honey and salt to taste.1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, 2 jalapeños, 2 cloves garlic, ½ cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Use to marinate chicken and meat, brush on vegetables or drizzle onto grain bowls and salads.
- Marinate whole chicken breasts from 1-8 hours, if doing diced chicken or a protein, marinate for a maximum of 30 minutes to an hour.
- Pineapple chicken marinade can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days before using. Stir or shake well before using.
Such a wonderful combination of flavours. Made for a beautifully light and tasty chicken. The leftover chicken was delicious in fajitas the next day!
I've been holding onto summer this year :'( I love this vibrant marinade it was so zingy and perfect over chicken I had last weekend