Canned pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping make up the esteemed Sweet And Savory Pineapple Casserole!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Sweet And Savory Pineapple Casserole
It’s a Southern thing! The combination of canned pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, and a crispy Ritz cracker crust may sound questionable, but it’s surprisingly tasty! In fact, classic pineapple casserole was described to me as being as important, if not more important, than America’s esteemed cranberry sauce.
I’m not sure who first thought to slap all of these otherwise unrelated ingredients together and call it a casserole, but it works…very, very well!
Arriving to South Carolina from New Jersey sixteen years ago, no one was as clueless to the origins and attributes of southern food as me. I mean, it was easily a year or better before I mustered the courage to merely shovel a spoonful of grits into my mouth.
Today, I am a food blogger who is quick to brag about southern cuisine, and am fortunate enough to be sitting in the midst of the south’s “Mecca” for food, Charleston. And while I do not claim to know the origins of the casserole I am sharing today, I do know that while the ingredient list may seem a bit weird, the combination is entirely soooo damn good together!
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make This Southern Pineapple Casserole Recipe? Check The List!
buttery round crackers such as Ritz crackers
shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
canned pineapple chucks, pineapple tidbits, or crushed pineapple (and reserved pineapple juice)
all purpose flour
How This Recipe Came About…
If you’d told me that one day, I’d be sitting here typing out a glorious magnum opus of a baked pineapple cheese casserole, I’d have called you crazy. C’mon – pineapple with cheese??? Well, as I sit here today, I am doing just that – writing about how the idea of combining pineapple with cheese is nothing short of genius.
Pineapple and cheese, Cheddar to be precise, may sound like the unlikeliest of partners. But something happens to that sweet tropical fruit when it’s baked. And combined with the sharp tanginess of Cheddar, the two throw a party for the mouth.
The south seems to have a casserole for every occasion. Seriously, wedding, funeral, anniversary, birthday, you name it – there’s a casserole for it. And you can pretty much count on this hot pineapple casserole with Ritz crackers adorning its top to grace southern holiday tables at Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What Is Pineapple Casserole?
A pineapple casserole is a sweet, baked side dish made with pineapple, cheese, and crackers or bread. It seems the tendency is to serve this sweet casserole as a side dish to ham, although I have also seen it served as a dessert.
Since many a southern table features both a turkey AND a ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas, pineapple casserole recipes seem to pop up during the holiday season in great numbers.
What Does Pineapple Casserole Taste Like?
Pineapple casserole with cheese is a wonderful blend of savory Cheddar cheese and sweet pineapple. It is a most excellent side dish in my opinion, and costs very little money to assemble if you are requiring one more ‘thing’ on your buffet. I embrace it because it’s not too sweet.
Serve it hot, warm, or even room temperature. The texture and flavors remain largely the same despite the temperature it is served at.
What To Serve With Pineapple Casserole?
I advocate a ham here. Or any type of pork dish really, but it compliments ham AMAZINGLY. Turkey, too. And because a baked pineapple casserole is both sweet and savory, it can be served alongside any number of other side dishes, and really rounds out a holiday spread.
Can Pineapple Casserole Be Made Ahead?
Yes, Pineapple Casserole can be made ahead by one day. Honestly though, it takes all but five minutes to prep. Assembling ahead of time is frankly a bit more cumbersome, as there are additional steps involved.
If it becomes necessary to assemble the casserole ahead, mix the ONLY the pineapple filling. Spread it out in the prepared baking dish and cover to store in the refrigerator.
Just before baking, combine the topping ingredients and spread evenly over the pineapple mixture. Do NOT add the crushed crackers prior to baking, as you risk them becoming to damp and soggy to crisp up.
Can Pineapple Casserole Be Frozen?
The answer to this question is yes…but no. It absolutely CAN be frozen. In freezing however, the casserole loses its flavor, its texture, and the integrity of the individual ingredients.
For this reason, I do not advise freezing. If you are unsure about people’s reaction to the casserole, try cutting the recipe down in size using the handy ruler in the recipe card. Just hover over the ‘amount’ and change it to suit your needs.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- Best Creamy And Easy Squash Casserole
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Casserole
- Best Southern Corn Pudding
- Crock Pot Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- 9 x 13 inch casserole dish
- cooking spray
Ingredients For Sweet And Savory Pineapple Casserole
- 1 sleeve (about 35 crackers) Ritz crackers crushed
- 1/4 cup salted butter melted
- 7 ounces white Cheddar cheese grated from a large block
- 1 (20) ounce can pineapple chunks drained, juice reserved (you'll need 6 tablespoons)
- 1 (20) ounce can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple drained
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and reserved 6 tablespoons pineapple juice. Add pineapple chunks and pineapple tidbits (or crushed pineapple), and toss well to combine. Spoon pineapple mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with shredded cheese.
- Combine crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Spread Ritz cracker topping evenly on top of pineapple mixture.
- Bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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