* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

10 BEST Pineapple Juice Substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of pineapple juice substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.

Orange juice is the easiest substitute for pineapple juice, and you can add a spirtz of lemon juice to make it more tangy. Try passion fruit or mango juice if you want to keep pineapple juice’s tropical vibes. Lemon juice or papaya juice are good replacements for tenderizing meat.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The experiment

I made some teriyaki sauce to test out various pineapple substitutes. 

Pineapple juice has a naturally sweet flavor with a prominent tartness. Aside from its delightful taste, pineapple juice is prized for its bromelain content, a natural meat tenderizer.

Luckily, there are quite a few easily accessible substitutes you can use instead.

Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:

SubstitutesHow to SubstituteVerdict
Orange JuiceReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Apple juice + acidReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Passion Fruit JuiceReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Mango Juice/NectarReplace with 1/2 the amount9/10
Lime/Lemon JuiceReplace with 1/4 of the amount9/10
Papaya JuiceReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Homemade Pineapple JuiceReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10

Common uses of pineapple juice and their best substitutes

Here are some popular ways to use pineapple juice and the best substitutes for those situations:

  • As a beverage on its own: Try orange juice, passion fruit juice, mango juice, or apple juice. Lime/lemon juice also works, but you must mix it with a sweetener. 
  • For cocktails, shakes, and mocktails: Try orange juice, passion fruit juice, mango juice, or apple juice + acid.  
  • For marinades, glazes, and sauces: Try using orange juice, passion fruit juice, or mango juice/nectar. Lime/lemon juice also works, but you’ll need to mix it with sugar to give it a bit of sweetness. 
  • As a meat tenderizer: Try using passion fruit, lime/lemon, or papaya juice. 

Orange juice

Everyone’s favorite morning drink, orange juice, makes an excellent stand-in for pineapple juice. 

It’s a tad sweeter but still has that vibrant citrusy note that will elevate any dish or drink that calls for pineapple juice.

Plus it’s super accessible – you can find a carton of this anywhere, or you may even have one in your fridge right now! 

And its highly acidic, so works to tenderize meat.

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with orange juice.

Apple juice + acid

When you’re in a pinch and need a quick replacement for pineapple juice, apple juice can be a real lifesaver. 

Apple juice offers a mild sweetness coupled with a hint of tartness, although it falls short of fully mimicking pineapple juice’s tangy flavor profile. 

This is an easy fix though.

Add a splash of acid (from lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) to enhance its tartness and bring it closer to pineapple juice.

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with apple juice, adding a dash of acid to taste.

Passion fruit juice

Passion fruit juice is another substitute you can consider.

It’s slightly tangier than pineapple juice, but still has a background sweetness to round out the flavor. And it’s got that tropical vibe that ties it to pineapple juice.

It’s also a similar color to pineapple juice, so the end result will look the same!

It’s not as common as orange or apple juice, but you can find it in well-stocked grocery stores – Welch’s and Ceres are popular brands that produce it. 

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with passion fruit juice.

Mango juice/nectar 

Not a fan of pineapple juice’s tart notes but still craving that luscious tropical flair? Use mango juice or nectar instead!

This vibrant yellow juice is just pure fruity sweetness that’ll transport you straight to an island getaway in one sip. 

Pssst… if you’re missing that hint of tang, don’t worry – like with apple juice, you can mix it with apple cider vinegar to make it more sour.

I had to add something sour to my teriyaki sauce or it would have been way too sweet.

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe with 1/2 the amount of mango juice.

Lime/lemon juice + sugar

If all you need is the tangy acidity of pineapple juice, lemon or lime juice will do the trick. 

They’re perfect in marinades for tenderizing meat.

Their sour taste can be overwhelming if you add too much, but if this does happen you can add a pinch of sugar (I like adding brown sugar for its caramel notes).

Or you can use honey.

You can also use apple cider vinegar mixed with sugar or honey. This actually makes a great replacement for pineapple juice in sweet and sour sauce.

It will take a few goes to get the right ratio, but once you have it it’ll be perfect!

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe with 1/4 the amount of lemon juice (adding a sweetener as needed).

Papaya juice

Papaya juice is another substitute that’s worth considering.

It has a more subtle sweetness and lacks tartness, but it’s tropical!

And despite not being tangy, papaya juice has an enzyme called papain, which acts similarly to bromelain in pineapple juice. 

So if you’re after soft meat with any of the harsh acids – this this the replacement for you.

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with papaya juice.

Homemade pineapple juice

Creating your own pineapple juice is relatively straightforward if you’ve got fresh pineapples.

All you need is a juicer or a high-powered blender, and you’re halfway there.

Using a juicer is by far the easiest route. It’ll extract the juice, separate the pulp, and do all the heavy lifting for you. 

But if you don’t own a juicer, don’t worry. Your trusty blender can also do the job.

The catch is you’ll need to strain the mixture to get rid of the pulp.

Pssst… don’t toss out the pulp. Alpha Foodie has plenty of suggestions on what you could do with it! My favorite is to make cakes with it.

How to substitute: Replace pineapple juice in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with homemade pineapple juice.

Other substitutes to consider

The options I listed above are my top picks for pineapple juice substitutes, but they’re not the only options. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Other sweet fruit juices – there’s a whole host of different fruit juices you can use in place of pineapple juice! These typically have a milder, sweet flavor than pineapple juice, so you’ll need to tweak them like apple juice with a spritz of lemon or apple cider vinegar to achieve that characteristic tang. Try guava juice, grapefruit juice, white grape juice, or kiwi juice.
  • Pomegranate juice: this bright red juice looks nothing like pineapple juice but has fruity, sweet-tart flavor notes like it. The only catch is it’s guaranteed to alter the color of your dish/cocktail. 
  • Yuzu Juice: this brings a unique blend of tart and tangy flavors. While it’s a bit harder to find, it’s an exciting alternative if you want to add a new flavor profile to your dishes.

Substitutes to avoid

Don’t trust everything you read on the internet!

I came across some substitute suggestions that just didn’t work when I tried them in my teriyaki sauce.

  • Citric acid – this is a sour powder extracted from citrus fruits and it’s typically used to lend a tart flavor to dishes. But there’s no fruity sweetness to make it a decent substitute for pineapple juice. 
  • Apple cider vinegar alone – apple cider vinegar alone won’t work as a substitute for pineapple juice. It has similar tangy notes, but again it’s not sweet enough! Pair this with one of the sweeter suggestions above for a better alternative. 

Read next: best orange juice substitutes

10 Best Pineapple Juice substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I tested loads of pineapple juice substitutes to find the best one. I also included a homemade version you can try.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pineapple juice substitutes, substitutes for pineapple juice
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 117kcal


  • 1 ripe pineapple


  • Remove the skin of the pineapple and cut it into chunks. Transfer the pineapple chunks in your blender and give it a blitz until it has broken down.
  • Using a mesh cloth or strainer over a bowl, separate the pulp from the juice.
  • Transfer the juice into a jug and discard or reuse the pineapple pulp.


other options: orange juice, apple juice + acid, mango juice/nectar, passionfruit juice, lime/lemon juice, papaya juice, homemade pineapple juice 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 117kcal

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating