Salsa de Piña Tatemada (Grilled Pineapple Salsa)


This sweet and spicy salsa gets its punch from a combination of grilled pineapple, red onion, and habaneros.

Salsa de Pina Tatemada

Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 to 8 servings

Grilled pineapple is mixed with a pungent, garlicky habanero paste and fresh lime juice for this balanced, bold salsa. Use a molcajete to grind the chiles and garlic into a paste. If you don’t have a molcajete, use a chef’s knife to chop the garlic and chiles on a cutting board, and then sprinkle with salt and smash into a smooth paste using the side of the knife. The salt acts as an abrasive and helps to break down the fibrous ingredients. Grill the pineapple in large rounds that won’t slip through the grill grates, and then let it cool and chop it before tossing with the other salsa ingredients.


  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 medium (about 3-pound) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices

  • 2 fresh habanero chiles, stemmed

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Place garlic cloves and onion on 2 separate pieces of aluminum foil; fold each to create sealed packets. Place packets directly on grill grate; cook, uncovered, turning occasionally, until garlic and onion have softened, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place pineapple slices and chiles on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until pineapple is well marked, flipping once, 3 to 5 minutes per side, and skin on chiles is evenly charred, flipping often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and let cool 5 minutes.

  3. Chop pineapple into 1/4-inch pieces, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in grilled onion and lime juice. Set aside.

  4. Add salt and grilled garlic to a molcajete (see Note), and grind garlic to a smooth paste. Gradually add chiles and olive oil, grinding until mixture forms a mostly smooth paste.

  5. Add chile paste to bowl with pineapple mixture. Stir in parsley, and season with additional salt to taste.

To make ahead

Salsa can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


If you don’t have a molcajete, finely chop garlic and chiles on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt, and use the side of a chef’s knife to smash the mixture into a mostly smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl, and slowly whisk in oil.


This recipe is adapted from Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez with Javier Cabral

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