This spicy grilled pineapple recipe can be served as an easy appetizer or as a refreshing BBQ side dish. Fresh pineapple spears are coated with a curry and chilli spice mix making them a sweet, spicy and juicy delight. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and can be grilled on the stovetop indoors or outdoors on the BBQ.

long image of spicy pineapple spears on a blue plate and white wooden table

Skewered pineapple spears are such a fun appetizer to serve for a summer BBQ or as an easy party snack. Grilled pineapple pairs really well as a side dish with grilled chicken, fish or any red meat. Spicy grilled pineapple skewers are perfect if you want to serve something original and to get it on the table in no time.

Which ingredients to use

The taste of fresh pineapple is a combination of sweet, zesty and slightly tart. Grilling alone elevates the sweet flavour of this exotic fruit so you don’t need many other ingredients to make it a great appetizer or side dish.

This is all you need:

  • Fresh pineapple: Use a ripe fresh pineapple to get the best flavour for this dish.
  • Olive oil: Only use a little olive oil when grilling in a pan. Three is no need to add olive oil when grilling on the BBQ over coals.
  • Skewers: Insert wooden or metal skewers for a better grip while grilling, and it makes it easier to serve and eat as an appetizer. You don’t have to use them if you run out of skewers.
  • Spices: For this spicy grilled pineapple recipe I have used curry powder, paprika powder, chilli flakes and salt. These spices complement the sweet and tart taste after grilling. If you just want to give the fruit a more gentle spice, you don’t have to add the chilli flakes and can just use a mild curry powder instead.
curried pineapple skewers grilled on a blue plate

How to cut a pineapple into spears

A pineapple can be cut into spears, rings or cubes, but using pineapple spears on a stick makes it easier for grilling and to serve afterwards as an individual appetizer. You could cut the pineapple into bite-size pieces and put these on a skewer, but I personally prefer spears.

  1. Remove the crown and the base: Start by cutting off the green leafy crown and the hard base of the pineapple.
  2. Remove the skin: Stand the pineapple upright and slice off the skin with a sharp knife, cutting from top to bottom. Cut out the ‘eyes’ or the hard brown spots with a smaller knife.
  3. Slice the pineapple into spears: Lay the fruit on its side and cut lengthwise in half from top to bottom. Cut each half again lengthwise into various spears or wedges. I cut the spears into 1 inch or 2 cm thickness at the outer side.
  4. Remove the core: Remove the hard inner centre core of each spear.
top view of spicy pineapple spears on a blue plate and white wooden table

How to grill pineapple spears

Pineapple can be grilled on medium heat either on the BBQ over coals, on a gas BBQ, or in a grill pan on the stove. Just make sure not to grill the pineapple with too much heat to avoid burning.

  1. Preheat the grill. Either prepare the BBQ outside or place a grill pan on medium heat.
  2. Make spears on a stick. Inserting a skewer in the centre of the pineapple spears makes it easier to handle while grilling and easier to eat afterwards. You can just hold the stick in your hand while eating.
  3. Season the pineapple. When grilling the pineapple on the BBQ, just sprinkle the spices over both sides of the spear. When grilling the pineapple in the grill pan, first mix the spices with some olive oil and coat both sides with a brush.
  4. Grill pineapple spears. Place the skewers in the pan or on the BBQ and grill each side for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness. They are ready when the outside of the pineapple is soft, lightly golden brown and has grill marks.

How to serve grilled pineapple

Grilled pineapple kabobs can be served either hot or cold, so they can easily be prepared ahead of time. Place all the skewers on a large serving plate. Add a small bowl with extra chilli flakes for those who like it hotter.

Serve in advance as an appetizer or serve as a side dish with meat, fish or vegetables.

picking up pineapple spears from a plate with curry and chilli powder

Interesting tips and tricks

Can you make this recipe in advance?

Yes, you can. The grilled pineapple can be served hot or cold. Perfect to make ahead of time as an appetizer for a dinner party.

Can you use canned pineapple instead of fresh?

You can grill canned pineapple however, I would not recommend it for this recipe. The flavour combination for this dish is all about the natural sweetness and slight tart combined with curry and chilli powder. Canned pineapple is often stored in a type of fruit juice making it quite sweet.

Can I use other spices for seasoning?

Yes, of course. You can experiment with different flavour combinations. Try adding ground cinnamon, ground cumin, smoked paprika, all spice or cardamom.

Interested in other recipes featuring fruit?

curried pineapple skewers grilled on a blue plate
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Spicy grilled pineapple spears

This spicy grilled pineapple recipe can be served as an easy appetizer or as a refreshing BBQ side dish. Fresh pineapple spears are coated with a curry and chilli spice mix making them a sweet, spicy and juicy delight. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and can be grilled on the stove top indoors or outdoors on the BBQ.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: African
Servings: 4
Author: Sabine


  • 1 medium pineapple cut into spears
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • sea salt to taste


  • Cut off the leafy crown and bottom of the pineapple. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin. Cut the pineapple lengthwise from top to bottom in half. Cut each half lengthwise again into various wedges or spears of around 1 inch (or 2 cm) thickness. Cut off the hard inner core from each of the spears.
    1 medium pineapple
  • Insert a skewer into the centre of each spear.
  • In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the spices. Brush the spice mix on both sides of each pineapple spear.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon paprika powder, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, sea salt
  • Heat a grill pan on the stove over medium heat and add the pineapple spears. Leave each side to grill for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears, until each side has cross hatch marks and is slightly golden brown.
  • Serve warm or cold.


  • Remove the peel: The skin can also be removed after the pineapple has been cut into spears. Use a sharp knife to trim off the peel from each section. 
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Spicy grilled pineapple spears with curry powder and chilli
Curried grilled pineapple spears on skewers as an appetizer or side dish
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