Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce uses only 5 basic ingredients and is so versatile, you will want a batch on hand at all times!
I'm a sauce fan, for sure. It doesn't matter what I'm making, I like a sauce. It can be a butter sauce for veggies, which is really my fancy way of saying I put butter and salt on my veggies, or a complex red wine reduction for a steak. Whatever it is I'm making, I want a sauce!
Needless-to-say, I make a fair amount of sauces for various dishes. I usually just whip them up on the fly just before serving the meal. Some are okay and some are GREAT! This Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce is GREAT! Better than great, it's fantastic, do-flips-over superb!
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The best news of all is: it only takes about 5 minutes to make! YAY!
The fact that it is super easy to make is a real bonus here. I even used canned pineapple... which is not something I usually do, but, hey, I had a can and my fresh pineapple had seen better days. It is what it is. The next time I pick up a fresh pineapple, I'm going to use that instead and I'll update the post with directions. For now, it's the canned variety!
Do I have to have the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender to make Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce?
Nope! It sure does make it easy, but there are several ways you can make it without the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender. The reason I love to use the Cold & Hot Blender is because I can cook and blend the sauce right in the same appliance AND it has a clean cycle, which makes clean-up a breeze.
If you don't have a blender that can cook and blend, no worries! You might want to think about getting one, though. They are super fun to use! Here are directions for making the Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce without the blender.
Combine ingredients per instructions in a regular blender or food processor and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium size saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
You can also dump all the ingredients into the saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce to a smooth consistency.
Ninja Foodi PC & AC Instructions:
Combine ingredients per instructions in the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi and bring to a boil using the sear/sauté function on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend the pineapple sweet & sour sauce to a smooth consistency. Make sure to let the mixture cool some before adding to a blender or food processor.
What can I use the Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce for?
Tons of ideas come to mind! I created this sauce on the fly to use as a dipping sauce for an Air Fryer Crab Rangoon recipe I was working on and it was so good, I just had to write it up as a recipe for you! It is the perfect dipping sauce for Crab Rangoon, but, also has many other uses. So many, in fact, that you will probably want a batch made up at all times!
Grilled Chicken: You can either use it as a marinade for chicken or pour the sauce over your grilled chicken.
Grilled or Broiled Salmon: This sauce is perfect for your grilled salmon! Just brush it over the top before grilling or broiling.
Chicken Wings: YES! Use this Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce as a wing sauce! It will be perfect!
Rice: Give your rice a nice boost of flavor by adding some sauce. You can even make a complete meal by adding cooked chicken and veggies!
Pork: Pineapple and Pork go great together, so give it a try the next time you make pork chops, a pork tenderloin, or a pork loin!
Crab Rangoon: This sauce is perfect for dipping your homemade crab rangoon in and the recipe I have is so easy to make in your air fryer!
Egg Rolls: This sauce will be heavenly as a dipping sauce for Homemade Egg Rolls. You can make your own anytime you want with this easy recipe: Homemade Egg Rolls in the Ninja Foodi
Coconut Shrimp: YES! This sauce is PERFECT for dipping coconut shrimp into. How do I know? Because I've been working on a yummy recipe that will be released soon.
I know there are many more uses for it that are eluding me right now, so, please be sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you are going to use the Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce on!
Is the Sauce Spicy?
It can be or it doesn't have to be! That is the beauty of making your own sauces. You have complete control over the ingredients. I used a touch of red pepper flakes to give the sauce a little kick and I would consider it a moderately spicy sauce.
If you don't like any spice, simply omit the red pepper flakes and you will be good to go.
You can also decrease the red pepper flakes to bring the spiciness down some.
Although vinegar is not spicy, it is a strong flavor and if you want your pineapple sweet & sour sauce a little milder, then decrease the rice vinegar to 1 Tbsp. A friend of mine tested the recipe and she suggested decreasing the vinegar a touch. I have made it both ways and love it either way, so, as always... make the changes that best suit you!
Can I use a Sugar Substitute?
Yes, absolutely. Simply replace the sugar with your favorite substitute, but make sure to pay attention to how much you use. Some sugar substitutes are a 1:1 replacement for sugar and some aren't, so follow the package instructions.
I would also increase the cornstarch to 1 Tablespoon because the sugar does help to thicken the sauce some.
Can I use Fresh Pineapple to make Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce
I'm sure you can, but I haven't tested the recipe with fresh pineapple, yet. I will do that soon and give instructions, but, until then, here are my suggestions.
I would use 1 to 1½ cups of fresh pineapple, cut into chunks. Add about ¼ cup of water and increase the sugar to ½ cup. Pulse blend the ingredients, then proceed with cooking and finish using the smoothie function of the Ninja Foodi Hot & Cold Blender.
If you don't have the blender, then use a food processor to process the fresh pineapple and other ingredients into a smooth sauce before cooking.
How to make Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender
All you need are the ingredients and about 5 minutes to make this delicious sauce!
Open the can of crushed pineapple. I used the kind packaged in natural juices. Measure out 2 tsp of cornstarch and put into a small bowl. Remove 1 Tbsp of the pineapple juice and mix with the cornstarch until it dissolves and is smooth. This is called a cornstarch slurry. The slurry won't be thick and that is fine.
Add the ingredients to the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender in this order: Add the pineapple chunks with remaining juice, then the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and the cornstarch slurry on top.
Put the lid on the blender and select the manual cook mode on high. Do not blend at this time. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then hit the pulse button 2 times, for just a second each time. You don't want a longer blend at this time because, if the sauce gets too thick, it will have a hard time boiling in the blender. The cornstarch is activated as a thickener when it heats up. Continue cooking on high until the mixture comes to a boil. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Once it's boiling, you can cancel the cook by pressing the cook button.
Select the smoothie function and that's it! Pour and serve. The Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce is great hot, especially if you are using it as a sauce for wings or chicken or fish. It will thicken more as it cools, so I recommend letting it cool either on the counter or in the fridge if you are using it as a dipping sauce.
Don't forget about the Crab Rangoon!
Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple with juice
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Put the cornstarch into a small bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of juice from the pineapple. Stir to combine and make a cornstarch slurry. The mixture should be smooth. You can add more pineapple juice if needed.
- Dump the remaining pineapple with juice into the Cold & Hot Blender, add sugar, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Add the cornstarch slurry.
- Put the lid on the blender and select cook on high. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then hit pulse twice. Continue cooking on high until it comes to a boil, this takes about 2-3 minutes.
- Cancel the cook function and select smoothie function. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Ninja Foodi Fresh & Healthy Meals
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
I needed more rice vinegar to balance the sweetness of 1/4 sugar plus the natural sugars from the pineapple. I also added minced garlic and cilantro, which made the flavor profile a little more complex. I also used this a second time by folding into creme fraiche to make a crema. Was amazing with the cool creme!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it and made the changes so that it's perfect for you!