This cheesy Pineapple Casserole is a delectable classic Southern side dish that's most often served around the holidays. It's a surprising combination of flavors that form a delicious mash-up of sweet and salty. It's certain to make a stellar accompaniment to a glazed holiday ham.
Easy Pineapple Casserole Recipe with Cheese
This casserole is one that can be met with skepticism by those who haven't had it before. I totally understand, pairing cheese and pineapple isn't one that you would think works, but it does in the most delicious way. Pairing the saltiness of cheese with the sweetness of a fruit works incredibly well. It's a similar concept to pairing cheddar cheese with apples like in this recipe for apple cheddar pie from Sally's Baking Addiction. While pineapple casserole is most often served as a side dish, it's very cobbler-like and could be enjoyed as a dessert, too.
How to Make the Best Southern Pineapple Casserole Recipe
How do you serve Southern pineapple casserole? This casserole often makes an appearance around the holidays. It pairs beautifully with my recipe for baked Bourbon Pineapple Glazed Ham and Slow Cooked Pineapple Brown Sugar Glazed Ham recipes. While this sweet pineapple casserole isn't difficult to make, there are a few things of note.
- This pineapple casserole is often made using only pineapple chunks. My recipe reflects my own preference of using a combination of pineapple tidbits and crushed pineapple. I prefer the size of the tidbits over larger chunks, and find that including crushed pineapple lends a pleasing texture to the sauce overall.
- This casserole can be made with mild, medium or sharp cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar holds up the best when combined with the bold flavor of pineapple.
- Can I use a different cracker for the topping in place of Ritz crackers? Ritz crackers are traditionally used but you could adapt using buttery Club crackers or even breadcrumbs if that's what you have on hand.
- Can I assemble this pineapple casserole in advance? This dish can be assembled in advance, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature, then top with the buttered Ritz crackers just before baking.
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave in single servings. You can also reheat in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes or just until heated through. To prevent over browning lay a piece of foil on top.
- You can use fresh pineapple in the same amount as the tidbits called for in the recipe, if preferred.
- Pineapple casserole also goes well with Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken and Mesquite Pork Tenderloin or this recipe for roasted Chili Rubbed Pork Roast.
Other Pineapple Side Dish Recipes to Enjoy
There are many sweet and savory ways to add pineapple to the menu. Some other recipes to try:
- Chunks of pineapple add a hint of sweetness to a Carrot-Raisin Salad Recipe.
- A popular variation to serve as an appetizer that pairs pineapple with cheese is in this recipe for Pineapple Cheeseball.
- As a main dish, Slow Cooker Pineapple Barbecue Chicken is delightful served over rice to soak up every ounce of the sweet sauce.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 7 tablespoon butter 6 tablespoon melted, 1 tablespoon to butter dish
- 2 20 oz cans pineapple tidbits drained, reserve ⅓ cup juice
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple well drained
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp
- 1 sleeve round buttery crackers i.e. Ritz crushed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
- Add pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple and sugar to a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix together reserved juice, flour and 1 cup cheese. Add to pineapple, mixing until fully combined.
- Pour evenly into baking dish. Sprinkle reserved 1 cup cheese on top.
- In a separate bowl, toss together melted butter with crushed crackers until fully moistened. Sprinkle over cheese.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Let stand 5 minutes then serve.