Pineapple Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat

A healthy take on fried rice, this pineapple “fried” quinoa is delicious and super fun served in a pineapple boat. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

HEALTHY Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat // Vegan + Gluten-Free

Remember my shrimp fried quinoa recipe? I’m sure many of you do because it’s an easy weeknight meal that everyone seems to love. Well today I have a fruity take on that recipe. It’s a spruced up version with fresh pineapple, lots of veggies and edamame. This version also skips the eggs so it’s perfect for all my vegan friends who want to get in on the fried quinoa action.

HEALTHY Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat // Vegan + Gluten-Free

To make the presentation super fun I served this pineapple fried quinoa in a pineapple boat!!

Obviously serving the dish in a pineapple boat isn’t 100% necessary, but it does make the dining experience just a tiny bit more enjoyable. There’s really nothing better than eating food out of a fruit bowl. Am I right?

This whole idea was inspired by a local Thai restaurant, Sabai, that serves their pineapple fried rice in a pineapple bowl. I’ve actually never ordered this dish at the restaurant — I usually go for the Papaya Salad and Massaman Curry — but I’ve seen it being served to other diners and and it always looks so fun.

HEALTHY Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat // Vegan + Gluten-Free

The flavor of this fried quinoa is very similar to that of pineapple fried rice. You still get all that grainy goodness and the sweet, fresh pineapple combined with the salty, spicy sauce is perfection.

On the health front, this dish is loaded with fresh veggies and has a good source of protein from the quinoa and edamame. Plus the sauce, which is just a simple mixture of reduced sodium tamari, sambal oelek and lime juice, is quite light in comparison to most sauces you’ll find at restaurants.

If you’re new to tamari, it’s just a gluten-free soy sauce. You can use coconut aminos or soy sauce instead. And the sambal oelek is just a spicy chili paste, similar to sriracha but without any added sugar. We have both because I like using sambal oelek for cooking and sriracha for adding spice to finished dishes.

HEALTHY Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat // Vegan + Gluten-Free

Added bonus, this dish shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes or so to whip up. Once the quinoa is cooked and the pineapple boats are ready, everything is simply tossed in a large skillet and heated. Quick and easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. Enjoy!

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Pineapple fried quinoa topped with red pepper, green onion, and cashews, in a pineapple half, on a blue serving platter.

Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4


A healthy take on Thai fried rice, this pineapple fried quinoa is bursting with flavor and super fun served in a pineapple boat. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.


  • 1 cup dry uncooked quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 whole pineapple (for bowl)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped in bite-size chunks
  • 1 cup cooked edamame beans
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 12 teaspoons sambal oelek or homemade garlic chili sauce
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • green onion, sliced thin, green part only
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped


  1. Prepare quinoa if you haven’t already: Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes; fluff quinoa with a fork. Allow to cool. This step can be done the day before.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, prep pineapple by cutting it in half lengthwise. Scoop out pineapple flesh using a knife and a spoon so you’re left with two pineapple boats for serving. Chop the fruit and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until mixture is fragrant and onions are translucent.
  4. Add fresh pineapple, edamame, tamari, sambal oelek, edamame, lime juice and cooked quinoa to the pan. Stir to combine.
  5. Cook mixture on medium-high for 5-7 minutes or until everything is heated through. I like turning the up the heat quite a bit so that all the sauce is soaked up or evaporated and the quinoa starts to crisp up a little in certain spots.
  6. Transfer cooked quinoa mixture into pineapple bowls, top with cashews and green onion and serve. Add extra sambal oelek or sriracha if you need more spice.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 357 |
  • Sugar: 4g |
  • Fat: 15g |
  • Carbohydrates: 42g |
  • Fiber: 7g |
  • Protein: 13g


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Recipe rating

    1. LR
      January 4, 2021 AT 5:42 pm

      This is the best! It’s on the regular dinner rotation with salmon or tofu and is the greatest way to use up random vegetables in the fridge (I just toss in whatever we have)! Thank you for this!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 5, 2021 AT 9:45 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe!! Thanks for the review, I so appreciate it. 🙂

    2. Katie
      October 28, 2020 AT 8:33 pm

      Love this recipe!!! I added shrimp and next time will add carrots as well. This will be a regular meal at our house!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 29, 2020 AT 1:48 pm

        Ahh yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Katie. I’m so glad this recipe is a hit. 🙂

    3. Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah’s Cucina Bella)
      June 14, 2016 AT 6:38 am

      This sounds incredible, and I love, love, love the serving idea!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 14, 2016 AT 8:40 am

        Thank you, Sarah!!

    4. alexandracaspero
      June 9, 2016 AT 12:36 pm

      My favorite thai restaurant does this with their fried rice, and it’s one of my favorite dishes. Love the addition of quinoa instead of rice.

    5. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
      June 8, 2016 AT 3:40 pm

      Nothing beats fried rice in a pineapple bowl…unless maybe it’s fried quinoa 🙂

    6. Taylor Kiser
      June 8, 2016 AT 12:13 pm

      Love this idea! Looks so easy and delicious!

    7. Erin
      June 8, 2016 AT 5:43 am

      Such a great party serving idea! I actually just got back from a Hawaiian vacation and had the best pineapple fried rice of my life- so much juicy pineapple!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:06 am

        Thank you, Erin! Gah, I bet the fruit in Hawaii is AMAZING. I’ve never been, but would love to go someday.

    8. Emilie @ Emilie Eats
      June 7, 2016 AT 10:14 pm

      Such a fun idea!! I have yet to make fried quinoa (what is wrong with me??) but I love the addition of pineapple for a sweet/salty flavor. This is perfect for serving in the summer!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:06 am

        Oh girl, you have to get on the quinoa fried “rice” train. It’s so good!

    9. Christine @ Run Plant Based
      June 7, 2016 AT 6:39 pm

      This is such a beautiful and festive recipe, thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:07 am

        Thanks Christine!!

    10. Allison – Celebrating Sweets
      June 7, 2016 AT 5:38 pm

      Gorgeous photos! This sounds scrumptious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:07 am

        Thank you Allison. It really is scrumptious. 🙂

    11. Marye Audet-White
      June 7, 2016 AT 12:08 pm

      This looks amazing! I love that you served it in a pineapple half!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:08 am

        Thanks Marye. I’ve been loving fruit bowls lately. They’re so fun.

    12. shashi at runninsrilankan
      June 7, 2016 AT 11:21 am

      Such a cool serving idea! I love it – and this pineapple fried quinoa sounds so delicious – love the hint of sambal oelek in there too!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:09 am

        Sambal oelek is so awesome. I use it on just about everything. And it’s funny because I used to dislike spicy food. 🙂

    13. Melissa Falk
      June 7, 2016 AT 9:53 am

      Where’s the luau? I love this presentation. How festive!

    14. amindfullmom
      June 7, 2016 AT 9:28 am

      Brittany–this is pure deliciousness! I love the pineapple addition and how you served it is just too cute!!

    15. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
      June 6, 2016 AT 10:21 pm

      I was JUST at restaurant earlier this week that had a chicken fried rice in a pineapple but I didn’t get a chance to try it since it wasn’t vegetarian. This looks EPIC! I’m totally making this!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:15 am

        Was it Sabai?!?

    16. Dani @ Dani California Cooks
      June 6, 2016 AT 6:18 pm

      This is too cute! Fun idea 🙂

    17. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
      June 6, 2016 AT 4:37 pm

      I love quinoa, but it has not occurred to me to use it in place of fried rice. Great recipe. Thanks. Have a wonderful week. xo Lauren

    18. Alyssa @ Life of bLyss
      June 6, 2016 AT 3:12 pm

      Alex’s favorite Sabai dish! He’s going to make me make it for him now. 😉

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2016 AT 9:16 am

        Sorry, not sorry. 🙂

    19. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
      June 6, 2016 AT 10:31 am

      What a delicious fun idea! I can’t get enough of pineapple and love that you made fried quinoa with it. The combination of flavors is perfect. I love the addition of the crunchy cashews!

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