Pineapple and cheese – should this bizarre combination ever be together? In the South, a pineapple casserole is a staple of the Easter table and super easy to make.
The casserole is the staple of Southern eating. No matter how you’re feeling or what day it is, there’s a casserole fit for every purpose, including dessert.
This Southern pineapple casserole uses everyday ingredients you’ve already got in the pantry, is friendly on your wallet, and is versatile enough to be used as a dessert or a side dish at a potluck or party.
The pineapple side dish is long overdue for a comeback – and despite the slightly odd ingredient list for this one, this pineapple casserole recipe is so good you’ll be coming back for seconds (and probably thirds).
Pineapple Casserole Ingredients
- Canned pineapple chunks: Yes, I said canned! No fresh pineapple in sight here; you want canned pineapple in that delicious syrupy reserved pineapple juice, which we’ll use in the baked pineapple casserole later.
- Crackers: Ritz buttery crackers are traditional and easily available at the grocery store. You can use a gluten-free alternative or other crackers if you’re stuck.
- Cheddar Cheese: I like to use a combination of sharp and white, but you can use just sharp cheddar cheese or any kind of cheddar you prefer.
- Sugar: White works best for this. You need a couple of tablespoons to cut the acidity from the pineapple.
- Flour: Just plain/all-purpose flour works fine. You can also use gluten-free, though it will change the texture of the pineapple cheese casserole.
- Butter: You can use dairy-free if you prefer.
Can I Use Fresh Pineapple Instead of Canned Pineapple
In an absolute pinch. But not only is canned pineapple better for your wallet, but its juice also helps bind the pineapple casserole with cheddar cheese and gives it a sweeter flavor. So, for me, it’s canned every time!
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175ºC.
Crush the Ritz crackers. Great for getting out some stress or frustration, I do this directly in a medium bowl.
However, you can also add them to a large Ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass to crush them. You want to get the crackers into a chunky consistency – not powder, but not whole. This will give the pineapple cheese casserole crunch.
Melt the butter, then combine it with the cracker crumbs. Toss to completely coat.
Drain pineapple chunks. Then mix the sugar and flour with the pineapple tidbits in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
Butter or grease a casserole dish/baking dish – you want around 8×8 inches or 9.5×6.5 inches.
Pour the pineapple mixture and top with the shredded cheese (you can mix this if you want), then sprinkle the crushed Ritz mixture on top.
Bake the pineapple casserole at 350ºF/175ºC for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and the crackers have turned golden brown.
Pineapple casserole dessert is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. But leftovers can be stored for up to four days in the fridge once they are completely cold. Reheat in the microwave for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
How to Serve Pineapple Casserole
Pineapple casserole can be served as either a side or a dessert:
- Keeping It Sweet: For a sweet option, you can easily top it with a handful of coconut flakes or pecans. Or, serve it with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a healthy swirl of whipped cream.
- Savory Tastes: The pineapple casserole is the starring side dish at Southern Easter or Thanksgiving tables, so there are plenty of options for serving it. Try it with other extra sharp cheeses (think gouda, any variety of good parmesan like Grana Padano, or provolone). Or, for an authentic experience, serve it with honey-glazed Easter ham or a rack of baked BBQ ribs; the pineapple casserole will bring much-needed sweetness to your dinner table.
Can I Make Pineapple Casserole Ahead of Time
If you’re looking to reduce your holiday workload – or maximize your time with the guests coming to taste your food – you can easily make my pineapple casserole in advance.
Mix the pineapple, sugar, flour, and cheese and refrigerate in a covered container or directly in the baking dish. You’ll want to do this the day before so the ingredients stay fresh. Mix the crumb topping separately and keep it covered. Add the topping before baking the prepared casserole dish.
More Pineapple Recipes
If you try this casserole recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Pineapple Casserole Recipe
- Casserole dish around 8×8 inches or 9.5×6.5 inches
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
- Crush the Ritz crackers directly in a medium bowl. OR add them to a large Ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass to crush them. You want to get the crackers into a chunky consistency – not powder, but not whole either.
- Melt the butter, then combine it with the cracker crumbs. Toss to completely coat.
- Drain pineapple chunks. Then mix them with the sugar and flour in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
- Butter or grease the casserole dish. Then pour the pineapple mixture and top with the shredded cheese (you can mix this if you want), then sprinkle the crushed Ritz mixture on top.
- Bake at 350ºF/175ºC for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and the crackers have turned golden brown. Then enjoy fresh out of the oven as a side dish or dessert.