Delightful Tropical Green Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette Recipe

Tropical Green Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette
Dairy Free Kid Friendly 

Nutrition: 478 Calories | 48.9g Net Carbs | 11.7g Protein | 22.4g Total Fat

Enjoy a refreshing tropical green salad with pineapple vinaigrette and coconut shrimp, caramelized pineapple, strawberries, and oranges perfect for summer.

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I’m so excited to share this salad with you. It has all the tropical vibes that make you feel like you’re on vacation. So perfect with summer!! For me, this recipe started with coconut shrimp. Coconut shrimp are one of my favorite special treats, and I wanted to create an entree with the tasty shrimp, instead of just an appetizer. This recipe is designed as an entree salad, but you could easily adapt it to be a side with your favorite meal. To amp up that summer feeling, there’s lots of fresh fruit: juicy strawberries, citrusy mandarin oranges, refreshing cucumber and caramelized pineapple. And, there’s a tangy pineapple lime dressing to finish off the salad. This tropical green salad has all the flavors to whisk you away to paradise any night of the week.

Cut Some Fresh Pineapple

The first step to create this easy tropical salad is to cut up some fresh pineapple. You’ll only need half a pineapple for this recipe. After cutting the pineapple in half, trim all the thorny parts off the outside and throw them away. Next remove the core, and cut the pineapple into long strips. Finally, cut the strips of pineapple into small pieces.

This is also a good time to start preheating your oven and cooking the coconut shrimp. To keep this recipe quick and easy, I like to use frozen coconut shrimp. Just follow the package directions.

If you don’t have a fresh pineapple, you could use canned pineapple instead. The canned pineapple tidbits are the best size for this recipe. If you use canned, drain the pineapple and reserve the juice for making the pineapple vinaigrette.

Cutting a whole pineapple in 1 MINUTE like a PRO

Check out this video to see how to quickly clean, core, and cut a fresh pineapple. For this salad recipe, cut the pineapple pieces smaller than shown in the video.

Caramelize the Pineapple Tidbits

A quick way to enhance the pineapple flavor and bring out its natural sweetness is to caramelize it. There are many ways to do this. You could grill pineapple slices or add pineapple chunks to you kabobs. You can also roast them in the oven as part of a sheet pan meal.

For this recipe, we’re going to caramelize the pineapple on the stove. All you need is a non-stick sauté pan and a little coconut oil. First, add the oil to the pan, and turn the heat on to medium-high. Then, add the pineapple tidbits to the pan toss them in oil. Cook the pineapple, stirring regularly, until they are all golden brown. It takes 8-9 minutes. Once the pineapple starts to caramelize, they will all go quickly, so keep stirring them.

Slice Fresh Strawberries

Our next summer ingredient is strawberries. These are easy to prep and bring beautiful color and flavor to the tropical salad. After washing your strawberries, cut off the tops and throw them away. Then, place the cut side down on your cutting board, and cut the juicy berries into thin slices. Once, they are all sliced, save the slices for later.

Peel and Cut Mandarin Oranges

For a burst of sweet summer citrus, we’ll add fresh mandarin oranges to the salad. We usually have mandarin oranges in our fridge because they’re a great size for a quick snack. They’re also perfect for this recipe. First, peel the mandarins. Next, cut the oranges in half through the center of the sections. Then, all you have to do is separate the segment pieces, and they’re ready to add to your tropical green salad.

Slice Cucumbers

Another refreshing summer produce is cucumbers. They’re on easy addition to any salad, and this one is no exception. We’ve been enjoying the mini cucumbers a lot lately. They are perfect for snacking and also salads because they are thin skinned and have edible seeds. All you need to do is trim and discard the ends. Then, cut them in very thin slices and they’re ready for the salad. I like cutting the cucumbers into thin slices so they don’t all fall to the bottom of the bowl when you toss the salad.

English cucumbers are a great alternative to the mini cucumbers. They are also thin skinned and easy to use. If you can only find regular cucumbers, it’s best to peel them before adding them to a salad. If the seeds are large, you might want to remove them too.

Make the Pineapple Lime Vinaigrette

This tangy vinaigrette is delicious and so easy to make. You’ll need one lime, pineapple juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. For the pineapple juice you have a couple options. If you’re using fresh pineapple in your salad, then you’ll also want to buy pineapple juice. You’ll need one of the small 6 ounce cans. Or, if you’re using canned pineapple in your recipe instead, save the juice from the pineapple can to use it in your dressing.

To make the dressing, start by zesting the lime into a bowl. Then, cut the lime, and squeeze the juice to the same bowl. Add the pineapple juice and 1/3 cup of olive oil to the bowl, and whisk it all together. Give your dressing a taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. This will be more than enough dressing for the tropical salad, so save the remaining dressing in the refrigerator. It also makes a great marinade for chicken.

Build Your Salad and Enjoy

Putting together this tropical green salad with pineapple vinaigrette is easy. Since this is an entree salad to feed the whole family, I use two heads of romaine lettuce. First, cut or tear the lettuce and add it to a large serving bowl. Then, add all the prepared fruit to the lettuce. Drizzle the salad with the pineapple lime vinaigrette and toss everything until it’s evenly coated in dressing. Lastly add the cooked coconut shrimp on top. Adding the shrimp last instead of tossing them in dressing keeps them crispy and delicious. Now you’re ready to serve this refreshing tropical salad. Yum!!

Prep the Salad Ahead of Time

Do you want to prep this salad early? It’s really simple to do. Most of the work can be done ahead of time. Clean and cut all the fruits, and caramelize the pineapple. Also, clean and cut the lettuce and make the dressing. Store all of these ingredients in the refrigerator separately until you’re ready to build the salad. When it’s almost time to eat, cook the coconut shrimp. Then, put it all together when you’re ready to serve.

Other recipes to check out: Tasty Hawaiian Shish Kabobs, Oven Roasted Hawaiian Vegetables, and Delectable Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos Recipe.

Delightful Tropical Green Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette Recipe

An easy summer recipe for tropical green salad with pineapple vinaigrette, coconut shrimp, caramelized pineapple, strawberries, and oranges.

Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min


  • 2 Heads Romain Lettuce
  • Frozen Coconut Shrimp
  • 1 lb Strawberries
  • 1/2 Pineapple
  • 4 Mandarin Oranges
  • 2 Mini Cucumbers
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • Pineapple Vinaigrette
    • 1 Lime
    • 6 oz Pineapple Juice, 1 small can
    • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Preheat the oven, and cook the shrimp according to the package directions.
  2. Clean and core the pineapple half. Then, cut the pineapple into small pieces about 3/4″ – 1″ in size.
  3. Add the coconut oil to a large nonstick frying pan. Add the pineapple pieces to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat stirring regularly until the pineapple is brown and caramelized, about 8 – 9 minutes. Once the pineapple is caramelized, turn off the heat and let them cool.
  4. While the pineapple is cooking, cut the remaining fruit. Trim the tops off the strawberries, and cut into slices. Remove the ends of the cucumbers, and cut into thin slices. Peel the mandarin oranges, then cut them in half through the middle of the segments. Separate all the segment halves. 
  5. For the dressing, zest and juice the lime and whisk together in a bowl with the pineapple juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cut or tear the romaine lettuce and put it in a large serving bowl. Layer with the cut fruit and caramelized pineapple.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to coat. Add the crispy coconut shrimp on top and enjoy.


*Nutrition varies depending on brand of coconut shrimp.

Yield: 5 servings

Amount Per Serving:  Calories: 478,  Total Fat: 22.4g, Saturated Fat: 6.8g,  Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 562.8mg, Carbohydrates: 60.1g, Fiber 11.2g, Sugars: 32.2g, Protein 11.7g

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5/5 (2 Reviews)

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