This colourful Thai Pineapple Fried Rice recipe is loaded with vibrantly-flavoured vegetables, pineapple and cashews. This recipe is easy to make and comes together in just 20-minutes for an irresistible dish your whole family will love!

Thai pineapple fried rice in a pineapple bowl with green onions on top

Vegetarian Pineapple Fried Rice

You may be familiar with traditional Chinese Fried Rice, but if you’ve never had Thai Pineapple Fried Rice before, you are in for a treat my friend!

This Thai-inspired dish is a take on traditional Thai Fried Rice that is made vegetarian and vegan friendly. Traditionally, Thai fried rice is made with shrimp and often has fish sauce in it. For this version, we’re keeping things simple with just vegetables, pineapple and cashews.

If you wanted to make this recipe higher in protein to serve as a complete meal, you can add in some egg or crumbled tofu to scramble. (Add this in after adding the vegetables to the pan, then sauteé for 2 minutes and continue with the recipe.)

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Ready in 20 minutes. Is there anything better than a recipe that is packed with flavour and comes together in no time? This Fried Rice is quick and easy to make with minimal clean up!
  • Easy to customize. Want to add in more vegetables? Some tofu? other protein? Go right ahead! This Thai Fried Rice is super versatile and can be customized however you like.
  • Flavour city. The sweet, salty, tangy and savoury combination of flavours in this fried rice is seriously packed with flavour. It’s one of those recipes that you just can’t stop eating once you take a bite!

What makes Thai fried rice taste different?

There are a few main differences between Chinese Fried Rice and Thai Fried Rice that make them taste different. Traditionally, Thai Fried Rice is made with fish sauce, a common ingredient in most Thai cuisine. (for this vegetarian version, we use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.)

Another distinction that makes Thai Fried Rice taste different is the addition of ginger, lime juice and pineapple. This gives the fried rice that classic Thai flavour of sweet, salty, tangy and savoury.

What type of rice is best for fried rice?

Typically, fried rice is made with any long-grain white rice like basmati rice. This is because it holds its shape well and won’t become mushy when being stir-fried.

For this recipe, we’re using Jasmine rice, which is Thai long-grain rice. I’ve also tested this recipe with both long-grain and short-grain brown rice, which both come out well too.

pineapple fried rice in two pineapple bowls

Pineapple Fried Rice Ingredients

  • Jasmine rice
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red bell pepper
  • Frozen peas
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Soy sauce
  • Dark Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Chili flakes
  • Cashews
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

How to tell if a pineapple is ripe

It’s important to use a ripe pineapple in this recipe for the best flavour and taste. There are a few key ways to tell if you have a sweet and ripe pineapple.

  1. Check the colour of the skin. The more yellow it is, the riper the pineapple is. If the skin is very green, the pineapple isn’t ripe.
  2. Gently squeeze the pineapple. If it’s very slightly soft, it’s ripe. If the solid, the pineapple isn’t ripe.
  3. Smell the bottom of the pineapple. If it smells sweet, it’s ripe. If it has no smell, it’s not ripe.

How to cut a pineapple bowl

Start by cutting the pineapple in half, lengthwise. Be gentle when cutting the crown so the leaves stay intact. Next, take a sharp knife and make four deep vertical cuts in the pineapple, two on each end, and two on each side of the pineapple core as shown in the photo below.

Now it’s time to make horizontal cuts in the pineapple. Cut four deep horizontal cuts across the pineapple as shown in the photo below. Grab a spoon and use the spoon to gently scoop out and separate the fruit from the skin. You may need to shimmy the spoon into the pineapple to get the fruit to come out. If your knife cuts aren’t deep enough, you may also need to grab your knife again to cut slightly deeper towards the skin of the pineapple.

Repeat this process until all the fruit has been scooped out. Drain out any liquid from the pineapple and give yourself a high five, you just turned a pineapple into a bowl!

How to make Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Step 1

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan on medium-high heat, then add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauteé for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the red bell pepper and peas continue to sauteé for another 2 minutes.

Step 2

Add the pineapple, rice and sauces to the pan and stir everything together. You want the rice to get slightly toasted and crispy on the bottom, let the rice sit for 1-2 minutes without stirring it.

Step 3

Add the roasted cashews and mix together. Serve right away while the Pineapple Fried Rice is hot!

Tip: adding the cashews to the rice at the last minute will ensure that you end up with crunchy cashews in your fried rice! You can add the cashews in with the rest of the ingredients in step 2, however, they will cook and absorb some of the sauce so they will be softer, rather than crunchy.

What to serve with Fried Rice

Fried rice makes a delicious Thai side dish that can be served in so many different ways. Traditionally Thai food is served family-style, with a variety of Thai dishes to enjoy together and pass around the table. Here are some of my favourite recipes to enjoy alongside this Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

How to store and reheat leftovers

Store leftover Thai Pineapple Fried Rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the rice, add it to a heated pan on the stovetop with a touch of vegetable oil and lightly sauteé until warmed through. You can also reheat the rice in a bowl in the microwave until warm.

I don’t recommend freezing fried rice, as I find it makes the rice very mushy and doesn’t taste great.

Tips for making Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

  • Don’t use hot rice to make fried rice! This is what causes mushy fried rice. It’s best to use either day-old rice that has been sitting in the fridge overnight, or freshy make rice that has been completely cooled.
  • Use a ripe pineapple. If the pineapple isn’t ripe, it won’t taste as good in the final dish.
  • Add any of your favourite vegetables, or protein. If you want to make this fried rice into more of a complete meal, add any additional veggies or protein you love.
  • Don’t overcook. Sauteé the rice just until warm and slightly crispy on the bottom. If you cook the rice for too long it can become mushy.

More Thai recipes to try

a bowl of pineapple fried rice with a spoon in it

If you tried this Thai Pineapple Fried Rice or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

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Thai pineapple fried rice in a pineapple bowl with green onions on top

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This colourful Thai Pineapple Fried Rice recipe is loaded with vibrantly-flavoured vegetables, pineapple and cashews and comes together in 20 minutes!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice, completely cooled*
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch cube of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (can sub tamari)
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan on medium-high heat then add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauteé for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the pepper and peas and sauteé for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the pineapple,  rice, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, lime juice, chili flakes and stir-fry everything together for 3-4 minutes until the rice is warmed through.
  4. Add the roasted cashews and mix together. 
  5. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Let the rice cool to room temperature on the counter, or use day-old rice from the fridge.

To quickly cool the rice, spread the rice onto a baking sheet and place it in the fridge until the rice is no longer hot.

Add any of your favourite vegetables, or protein. If you want to make this fried rice into more of a complete meal, add any additional veggies or protein you love.

If you want to serve this in a pineapple bowl, scroll up through the blog post for step-by-step photos and instructions on how to make one.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 350
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 230mg
  • Fat: 11.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 8g

Keywords: fried rice with pineapple, Thai fried rice, Vegan pineapple fried rice, vegetarian pineapple fried rice