Om-nom-nom! That’s the sound of me devouring these sweet, savory, indulgent, and super easy Pineapple Pork Hawaiian Burgers. Seriously, this is the type of meal that makes you unconsciously make noises of glee while you’re eating. They’ll make you do that happy chair wiggle, you know the one (see the Shaq shimmy).
Ground pork is an awesome budget-friendly sub for ground beef (and just happened to also be on sale this week!). Its mild flavor makes it really flexible and because it’s usually a bit higher in fat, it’s always going to make a super rich and juicy burger.
To keep things light and summery, I used sweet pineapple, tangy teriyaki sauce, and savory green onions to flavor these Hawaiian Burgers, plus a little Monterey Jack to make them even more rich. ;) But there are a LOT of options with these amazing burgers, so check out some ideas for substitutions and add-ins below.
Substitutions and Add-Ins
The Meat: While ground pork goes along with the Hawaiian theme the best, you can definitely go with a leaner ground turkey or chicken, if preferred. Beef will also work, but I feel like the flavor might slightly over power the other ingredients.
The Sauce: I made a half batch of my Homemade Teriyaki Sauce to use in and on these burgers, but there are a lot of other options. In addition to just using a bottle teriyaki sauce instead of homemade, you can substitute BBQ sauce, or even hoisin sauce in its place.
The Buns: My options for buns at the grocery store were a bit limited, but I think the best options to go along with the Hawaiian theme are Hawaiian King rolls (obvi), brioche rolls, or sweet onion rolls (which is what I used).
Toppings: I kept my Hawaiian Burgers pretty simple, but there are a LOT of fun options for add-ins or add-ons, if you happen to have these items on hand: bacon, avocado, jalapeño, French fried onions (or jalapeños), or even coleslaw.
- 20 oz. can pineapple slices in juice ($1.19)
- 2 green onions, sliced ($0.17)
- 2 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded ($0.55)
- 1 lb. ground pork ($2.50)
- 6 Tbsp teriyaki sauce, divided ($0.29)
- 1/2 red onion ($0.41)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil, divided ($0.04)
- 4 Onion Rolls ($2.99)
Sriracha Mayo (optional)
- 4 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.41)
- 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.09)
- Take one of the pineapple slices from the can, and chop it into very small pieces. Slice the green onions and shred the Monterey Jack cheese. Place the ground pork, chopped pineapple, sliced green onions, shredded cheese, and 2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together by hand until they are evenly incorporated.
- Shape the pork mixture into four burger patties. Make the patties flatter and thinner than you’d like the finished burgers to be, as they do contract and shrink inward as they cook. Set the patties aside.
- Thinly slice the red onion. Add 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the red onion slices and allow them to cook until browned and caramelized on the bottom. Stir the onions and then let them brown again. Avoid stirring too often, as this will prevent the browning and caramelization on the edges. When the onions are mostly browned, transfer them to a bowl and set them aside.
- Turn the heat under the skillet down to medium, add another 1/2 Tbsp oil to the skillet, swirl to coat the surface, then add the burger patties. Cook the patties until browned on one side, then carefully flip and cook until browned on the second side and cooked through (about 5 minutes per side – cooking time may vary due to cookware and size and shape of burgers).
- While the burgers are cooking, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl.
- Transfer the cooked burgers to a clean plate or cutting board. Pat four more pineapple rings dry with a paper towel, then add them to the skillet. Continue to cook the pineapple slices over medium until they’re hot and some of the browned bits from the skillet have dissolved off the skillet and onto the pineapple (about 2-3 minutes each side).
- To build the burgers, smear a tablespoon or so of the sriracha mayo onto a bun, add a cooked burger, and drizzle another tablespoon of teriyaki sauce over the burger. Top with one of the cooked pineapple slices and a few of the caramelized red onion.
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How to Make Hawaiian Burgers – Step by Step Photos
Take one pineapple ring out of a 20 oz. can of pineapple slices in juice, and chop it into very fine pieces. Slice two green onions, and shred about 2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese.
Place one pound ground pork in a large bowl and add the chopped pineapple, sliced green onion, shredded Monterey jack, and 2 Tbsp of teriyaki sauce. Mix these ingredients together by hand until evenly incorporated.
Divide and shape this mixture into four burger patties. Shaping them larger and thinner than you’d like your finished burger to be is key. This helps them cook quickly and evenly. The burgers will contract and shrink inward as they cook, so you don’t have to worry about the finished burger being really thin. Set the shaped burgers aside.
Thinly slice half of a red onion. Heat 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the sliced onions. Let them cook until browned and caramelized on the bottom before stirring. Stir and let them caramelize again. The key to getting this nice browning action is to make sure the skillet is nice and hot before adding the onions, make sure you use a large enough skillet so they’re not over crowded, and don’t stir too often. Once browned, transfer the onions to a bowl and set them aside.
Turn the heat down to medium, add another 1/2 Tbsp oil to the skillet, swirl to coat, then add the burger patties. Cook the patties on each side until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes each side, although this can vary based on your cookware, the subtle differences in your range top, or the size and shape of your burgers). Transfer the cooked burgers to a clean plate or cutting board.
Pat four more of the pineapple slices dry with paper towel, then add them to the hot skillet. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes each side until they’re hot and some of the browned bits from the burger have dissolved off the pan and onto the pineapple.
While the onions, burgers, or pineapple are cooking, mix together 4 Tbsp mayonnaise and 1 Tbsp sriracha.
To build your burgers, spread a tablespoon or so of the sriracha mayo on a bun, add a cooked burger patty, and top the patty with a tablespoon of teriyaki sauce.
Next, add one of the cooked pineapple rings and some of the caramelized red onions.
And finally, DIG IN! 🤤
The burgers are ok, but using the word “smear” is a turn off as is using a whole red onion in your pan when your recipe calls for a half. Also, what if you want to use fresh pineapple? They’re affordable and tasty this time of year…
That is half red onion in the pan and you can certainly use fresh pineapple if you prefer. ;)
My family loved the flavors! For some reason my patties fell completely apart when trying to flip. Too much fat in the pork? Add an egg? So I just crumbled the patties, finished cooking, and served them like sloppy joes. My family asked me to save the recipe and make them again!
I love making these! I’m invited to a potluck this weekend and was tasked with bringing Hawaiian meatballs and immediately thought back to these. How would you reccomend going about adapting them into meatballs? And cooking method? I was thinking a pork/beef mixture, leaving out the sauce and adding it all after cooking, and baking them in the oven. Any thoughts?
Go for it! Just don’t overwork the meat, or it will become dense. A meatball should be light and airy. XOXO -Monti
I don’t like pork or any burgers much. That said, this recipe is absolutely incredible. I make it for my family at least once a month and it’s usually our go-to recipe when we have guests over as well. A mouth-watering, flavorful, easily customizable meal that leaves everyone happy and full, even my picky eaters. Thank you, Beth!
Not great. I made sure to only add the recommended 2 T teriyaki sauce to the ground pork mixture, but the burgers feel apart, and I did not like the texture or taste.
Mine did the same thing so I crumbled it all up and we had Hawaiian sloppy joes. We loved them and ima making them again this week!
SO good. you guys should do a smash burger recipe
Can these be frozen?
I think these would probably freeze very well.
Do you have any suggestions on how I can adapt this recipe for “Taco Tuesday” (or if that would even be a good idea)?
I would probably cook the ground pork in a skillet, then add the teriyaki sauce and stir that into the meat. Use that teriyaki ground pork mixture as the base for your tacos and then use all the other ingredients as toppings. :)
I made exactly as is with all the toppings and it was so good! Served with oven roasted frozen broccoli and haupia (Hawaiian coconut pudding), which I think would be a good Budget Bytes dessert. :)
These are so yummy and easy to make! I want to make them again and I’m thinking it might be easier to make the patties and leave them in the refrigerator overnight, uncooked. Do you think that would be okay??
That’s a great idea!
Fantastic! A new go-to dinner. Ground pork is regularly on my grocery list now.
Happy to hear it! This is one of our favorites too.