I haven’t done any real cooking in our Austin kitchen yet, but this homemade Thai pineapple dish is looking pretty tempting after all the tacos I ate yesterday! I’m determined to eat all the tacos in Austin.
Back to Thai food. This pineapple fried rice recipe was inspired by a meal at Sweet Basil in Norman, Oklahoma over the holidays. I really loved the combination of sweet, caramelized pineapple with Thai spices.
I can’t claim that my version is traditional, but it does taste very close to my memories of that dish. I used some leftover bell pepper instead of tomato and thought it was pretty great that way.
The cooking method for this fried rice is a riff on my spicy kale and coconut fried rice. If you’re a fan of that recipe, I think you’ll love this one, too, as well as my veggie fried rice and the coconut fried rice in my cookbook. Please let me know how it turns out for you in the comments!
Before you get started
A couple of quick notes:
- This meal comes together very quickly, so make sure your ingredients are ready to go before you get started.
- Chilled leftover rice works best in stir fries because it doesn’t clump together, so cook the rice in advance if time allows (see recipe notes).
How to Make Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 4 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Asian
Thai-style sweet and spicy pineapple fried rice with red bell pepper, cashews and cilantro. This is a healthy and quick, vegetarian weeknight dinner! This dish comes together very quickly, so be sure to have your ingredients (including chilled leftover rice) prepped in advance. Recipe yields 2 large, restaurant-sized portions or 4 more modest portions.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or quality vegetable oil, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten with a dash of salt
- 1 ½ cups chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- ¾ cup chopped green onions (about ½ bunch)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ cup chopped raw, unsalted cashews
- 2 cups cooked and chilled brown rice*, preferably long-grain brown jasmine rice
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha
- 1 small lime, halved
- Salt, to taste
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, torn into little pieces, for garnishing
- Heat a large wok, cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and place an empty serving bowl nearby. Once the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact, add 1 teaspoon oil. Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs are scrambled and lightly set, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the eggs to the empty bowl. Wipe out the pan if necessary with a paper towel (be careful, it’s hot!).
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and add the pineapple and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated and the pineapple is caramelized on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the green onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Transfer the contents of the pan to your bowl of eggs.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Pour in the cashews and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the rice is hot, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pan and stir to combine, breaking up the scrambled eggs with your spoon. Cook until the contents are warmed through, then remove the pan from heat. Add the tamari and chili garlic sauce, to taste. Squeeze the juice of ½ lime over the dish and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- Slice the remaining ½ lime into 4 wedges. Transfer the stir-fry to individual serving bowls and garnish each bowl with a lime wedge and a light sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with bottles of tamari and chili garlic sauce or sriracha on the side, for those who might want to add more to their bowls.
Recipe adapted from my spicy kale and coconut fried rice.
*Rice notes: For 2 cups cooked rice, you’ll need to cook up about ⅔ cup dry rice. To cook the rice, rinse it well in a fine mesh colander, then bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rice and let it boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain off the remaining cooking water, then return the rice to the pot. Cover the pot and let the rice steam, off the heat, for 10 minutes. To chill the rice ASAP, spread it across a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and let it cool in the refrigerator.
MAKE IT VEGAN/EGG FREE: Skip the eggs by heating the pan and then start cooking with step 2. This fried rice would be great with crispy baked tofu, which you could toss in during step 4.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Make sure to use a certified gluten-free soy sauce (tamari is usually gluten free, but check to be sure).
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: The dish tastes great the next day, whether reheated or served at room temperature.
If you love this recipe: Be sure to check out my other Thai-inspired recipes here!
▸ Nutrition Information
This was easy and delicious! It went great with Costco’s teriyaki/Polynesian meatballs. Thank you for the recipe!
Added more pineapple and cashew for personal preference but this was the best pineapple cashew fried rice I have come across on the internet!! Made it as a late night pregnancy craving!
Absolutely fabulous meatless meal! Had some chopped peanuts instead of cashews but it was still a great spicy dish
Absolutely amazing! I added a bit of butter, but otherwise per the recipe!
Thank you, Laurie!
I made it, and we loved it. I did add a bag of mixed veggies for more nutrition!
I’ve made the Thai Pineapple Fried Rice twice and look forward to many more! It’s so nice to find a full-bodied vegetarian entree that doesn’t depend on cheese or tomato.
The first recipe I came upon of yours was the best granola – my family has it most every morning!
I love to hear that, Kat!
So good. Everyone loved it.
Wonderful to hear, Rae!
This dish is soooo delicious and easy to make! I don’t eat eggs so I make the recipe without the eggs but add teriyaki grilled chicken to it to make it a meal!! YUMMMM!!!!
Thank you, Lee! I’m glad you loved it.
Flavorful, easy recipe… I added baby corn and diced carrots to get more veggies in. Thanks for a great weeknight dinner recipe!
You’re welcome, Veena! I appreciate your review.
Lovely recipe, thanks! I made it with the baked tofu and stir-fry vegetables.
You’re welcome, Erica!
Your website is my go-to for yummy veg recipes! Thank you!! I’m excited to try this, but I’m living on my own and usually freeze a lot of the food I make. Do you think this is freezable?
My family and I love your recipes. I have introduced your recipes to my children and they too make them and love them.
Simply love your red, green and Penang curries and made the pineapple fried rice for the first time last week. Everyone just loved it. Your spices are spot on and when I see that it is a recipe posted by you, I am 100% sure that it will be a total hit.
Great to hear, Nila!
I made this recipe and as others had said it… It’s fabulous!!! I followed some additional ideas, like adding some more veggies. This recipe is a keeper thank you!
You’re welcome, Anali!
Great recipe, family loved it! I replaced soy sauce with a tsp of tamarind, sriracha with homemade schechuan chili oil, and garlic with hing and fenugreek (garlic intolerance here). I also used coconut rice and canned pineapple. Loved having your recipe to riff off of, thanks!
You’re welcome, Kaitrin!