A sweet-and-savory mashup of juicy pineapple chunks and sharp cheese with a buttery, crunchy topping, Pineapple Casserole sounds bizarre but is absolutely delicious, especially with turkey and ham!
The first time someone passed me pineapple casserole was the first holiday I spent with my in-laws.
I was horrified.
Cheese and warm PINEAPPLE?! What was this abomination?
Already feeling homesick for our family’s traditional holiday recipes, like Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, I was now going to have to pretend to like this absurd dish.
I took a tiny, toddler-sized bite, and…oh my heavens, pineapple casserole is wonderful.
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I later learned that pineapple casserole is a traditional dish in the South (like Squash Casserole
I thought the combination of pineapple and cheese sounded too weird to be true, but it doesn’t just work—it triumphs.
Warm pineapple and cheese create a surprisingly scrumptious pairing that goes incredibly well with meat. (Think pineapple glazed ham, Hawaiian pizza, or pairing apples with cheese).
Topped with buttery cracker crumbs, this pineapple dish tastes rich, lightly sweet and savory, and comforting.
In other words, it is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and any upcoming holiday that gives you a reason to serve it (with your favorite Healthy Green Bean Casserole perhaps?).
This simple pineapple casserole is also SO EASY.
You stir the filling in one bowl, the topping in another, then combine and bake.This casserole can be in your oven in about 15 minutes!
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
Traditional recipes call for a hefty amount of sugar, so much so that they may make you wonder if pineapple casserole is a dessert or a side dish.
Opting to make this a healthy pineapple casserole (or healthy-ish), I prefer to add crushed pineapple for its natural sweetness and a moderate amount of honey.
Pineapple Chunks. Pineapple is sweet and refreshing, and the chunks add texture to this casserole. With vitamin C and antioxidants, it’s the star of this healthy pineapple casserole. Crushed Pineapple. Smaller, juicier versions of pineapple chunks make the filling lush and provide texture (like in this Pineapple Cheese Ball).
Honey. Naturally sweetens the casserole along with the pineapple. Flour. Helps thicken the filling.Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I find sharp cheddar to be the best cheese for pineapple casserole. It offers plenty of flavor and punch to contrast the sweetness of the pineapple. Plus, it melts like a dream.Cracker Breadcrumb Topping. Buttery round crackers (like Ritz crackers) and panko breadcrumbs are mixed with melted butter and pineapple juice for a topping that’s sweet, buttery, and crisp.
Stir the drained pineapple chunks, crushed pineapple, and honey together.
Add the flour and part of the cheese to the large bowl.
Stir the pineapple mixture.
Transfer the filling to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Stir the crumb topping ingredients together, then sprinkle it over the filling.
Bake pineapple casserole at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. ENJOY!
To Store. Refrigerate baked pineapple casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. To Reheat. Rewarm leftover pineapple casserole in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 week in advance, crush the crackers and store them in an airtight storage container or ziptop bag. Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the casserole filling and transfer it to the baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to finish the recipe, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator, add the topping mixture, and bake as directed. You also can fully bake this recipe 1 day in advance. Refrigerate, then reheat, covered, in a 350-degree F. oven.
What to Serve with Pineapple Casserole
Baked Chicken Breast
Crock Pot Pork Chops
Dry Brine Turkey
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
Casserole Dish. Perfect for making this pineapple cheese casserole. Mixing Bowls. This set has every size you need. Cheese Grater. You can use either a box grater or a microplane grater.
The Best Baking Dish
A beautiful, high-quality baking dish will help you make delicious casseroles or desserts. It will last a lifetime!
I recently made southern pineapple casserole to go along with Crockpot Ribs at a party. My friends were skeptical, then delighted once they tried it.
Take one bite, and pineapple casserole will make a believer out of you too!
Frequently Asked Questions
While I haven’t tried it myself, you could try making this into a pineapple casserole with 4 ounces of cream cheese. Dice the cream cheese into small pieces and stir it in with the pineapple. Only use half of the cheddar.
For gluten free pineapple casserole, use gluten free crackers, breadcrumbs, and a 1:1 gluten free baking flour instead of all-purpose flour.
While nobody knows exactly who made the first pineapple casserole, the dish likely first came into existence in the southern United States where it remains most popular today. The dish’s creation was likely spurred by the new, widespread availability of convenience foods like canned fruit, packaged crackers, and canned soups that came about in the 1950s.
Pineapple Casserole Video
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FOR THE TOPPING:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted20 buttery round crackers crushed, such as Ritz (about 3/4 cup)1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or additional crushed crackers2 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved from one of the cans above
TO STORE: Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
TO FREEZE: Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The texture of the casserole will change once thawed, but it will still taste delicious.
More Easy Holiday Sides
Butternut Squash Casserole
Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
READ: Pineapple Casserole