Pineapple is a sweet and delicious tropical fruit that many people enjoy. It has a vibrant yellow flesh and a mix of sweet and tart flavors that pair well in fruit salads, smoothies, desserts, and more.
Pineapples are available year-round, but sometimes you may find yourself with more fresh pineapple than you can eat before it goes bad. This leads to the common question: can you freeze pineapple to extend its shelf life?
How to Freeze Pineapple
Freezing pineapple is easy to do at home with minimal preparation. Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing pineapple successfully:
- Choose ripe, fresh pineapples that are heavy for their size and free of bruises or soft spots. Overripe or damaged pineapples will not freeze well.
- Remove the rind, crown, eyes, and core from the pineapple using a sharp knife. Discard any bruised or damaged portions.
- Cut the pineapple flesh into 1-inch chunks or slices. Smaller pieces will freeze faster and be easier to use when thawed later on.
- Arrange the pineapple chunks or slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 2–3 hours.
- Transfer the frozen pineapple pieces to labeled, airtight freezer bags or containers. Squeeze out any excess air before sealing.
- Store frozen pineapple for up to 6 months in a freezer set at 0°F or below.
Freezing pineapple in individual pieces makes it easy to remove only what you need from the freezer at a time. It also prevents clumping when frozen.
Selecting Pineapples to Freeze
- Choose pineapples that are heavy for their size and have a nice golden color. Avoid greenish pineapples, which are underripe.
- Give them a sniff; fresh, ripe pineapples should have a sweet, tropical fragrance.
- The leaves should pull out easily. Avoid pineapples with dried-out or brittle leaves.
Freezing Pineapple Core and Peel
- The core of the pineapple is edible and can be frozen too. Just cut into small chunks.
- The peel can also be frozen. Try pureeing it with a bit of the fruit for use in smoothies.
Other Ways to Prepare Pineapples
- Slice into rounds to use for pineapple upside-down cake later.
- Dice or crush for use in piña coladas.
- Puree into pineapple sauce or sorbet.
Blending frozen pineapple into smoothies
- Let it thaw for 5–10 minutes before blending for the easiest mixing.
- Add a bit of pineapple juice or milk to facilitate blending.
- Use other frozen fruits like mangos, bananas, or berries.
Tips for Freezing Pineapple Juice
- Freeze juice in ice cube trays for easy portioning.
- Leave headspace in containers as juice expands when frozen.
- Mix flavors by freezing juice blended with mango, strawberry, or citrus juices.
Quality of Frozen Pineapples
- Properly frozen pineapple retains its flavor and vitamin C content well.
- The texture may soften slightly when frozen compared to fresh.
Tips for Freezing Pineapples Successfully
Follow these handy tips for the best results with frozen pineapple:
- Choose pineapple that is ripe but not overripe. Overripe fruit will become mushy when thawed.
- Cut away any brown spots or damaged portions before freezing.
- Freeze pieces in a single layer on a pan before transferring them to bags or containers. This prevents clumping.
- Use freezer bags or airtight containers to prevent freezer burn. Squeeze out excess air before sealing.
- Label bags or containers with the contents and freeze date for easy identification later.
- Avoid storing frozen pineapple any longer than 6 months for the best flavor and texture.
- Thaw frozen pineapple in the refrigerator overnight before using. Or defrost smaller amounts in the microwave.
- Use thawed pineapple within a few days. Refreeze any unused portions.
Proper preparation and storage methods help maintain the flavor and texture of frozen pineapple.
Best Ways to Use Frozen Pineapples
Frozen pineapple works beautifully in all kinds of recipes, including:
- Smoothies: Add chunks or slices to fruit smoothies for a tropical flavor boost. It blends up to be creamy.
- Yogurt: Mix thawed pineapple into yogurt parfaits or use as a healthy topper for yogurt bowls.
- Oatmeal: Stir diced pineapple into oatmeal along with coconut, almond milk, and granola for a delicious breakfast.
- Baking: Use frozen pineapple chunks in muffins, cakes, breads, and other baked goods in place of fresh pineapple.
- Sauces: Puree thawed pineapple in the blender to make flavorful sauces for chicken, pork, or fish.
- Cocktails: Blend frozen pineapple with rum and citrus juice to create chilled pina colada cocktails.
- Salads: Toss tropical fruit salads with thawed pineapple chunks or pineapple salsa.
- Kebabs: Thread diced pineapple onto skewers with chicken, shrimp, and veggies to grill kabobs.
- Desserts: Make pineapple ice cream, sorbet, or pineapple upside-down cake using frozen fruit.
Frozen pineapple adds sweet flavor and texture to both savory dishes and sweet treats.
Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Pineapples
Freezing pineapple may be new to you. Here are answers to some common questions about the process:
Should you peel the pineapple before freezing?
You can freeze pineapple, peeled or unpeeled. Peeling it first makes it ready to use when thawed. Leaving the peel on protects the flesh from freezing. Both methods work well.
Can you freeze pineapple juice or pineapple rings?
Yes, you can freeze pineapple juice or canned pineapple rings. Pour juice into ice cube trays or muffin tins before freezing. Drain the pineapple rings and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze solid.
What is the best way to thaw frozen pineapple?
Thaw frozen pineapple overnight in the refrigerator. This prevents moisture loss. Or defrost smaller amounts in the microwave.
Can you refreeze pineapple once it’s been thawed?
Yes, you can safely refreeze thawed pineapple if it was thawed in the refrigerator and has not been left at room temperature for over 1-2 hours. Refreeze promptly for the best quality.
How do you store frozen pineapple?
Store frozen pineapple in airtight freezer bags or containers at 0°F or below. Leave some headspace for expansion if using containers. Avoid storing it longer than 6 months.
How can you tell if frozen pineapple has gone bad?
Discard frozen pineapple if it develops ice crystals, tastes sour, or has an off odor when thawed. Using it within the 6-month recommended storage time prevents this.
Freezing lets you enjoy fresh pineapple flavor at any time. Follow these tips and answers to freeze pineapple like a pro.
Freezing is an easy way to preserve fresh pineapple at its peak of ripeness so you can enjoy it year-round. To successfully freeze pineapple at home, select fresh, ripe fruit. Prepare it by coring, peeling, and cutting into pieces.
Arrange in a single layer on a pan and freeze until solid before transferring to bags or containers. Store frozen pineapple properly and use it within 6 months for the best quality and taste.
Thaw in the refrigerator before using in smoothies, oatmeal, baking, and other dishes calling for a taste of the tropics.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.