Pineapple Casserole is the recipe that almost made me walk out of Thanksgiving. A sweet-and-savory mashup of juicy pineapple chunks and sharp cheese with a buttery, crunchy topping, it 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?
I took a tiny, toddler-sized bite, and…oh my heavens, pineapple casserole is wonderful.
I later learned that pineapple casserole is a traditional side dish in the South.
I thought the combination 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 or pairing apples with cheese).
This pineapple dish tastes rich, lightly sweet and savory, and comforting.
In other words, it is perfect for the holidays.
Pineapple casserole is also EASY. You stir the filling in one bowl, the topping in another, then combine and bake.
This casserole can be in your oven about 15 minutes from right now!
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
Traditional recipes call for a hefty amount of sugar, so much so that it might as well be a pineapple casserole dessert.
To keep it from being too sugary, 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 oodles of vitamin C and antioxidants, it’s also a healthy pineapple casserole ingredient.
- Crushed Pineapple. Smaller, juicier versions of the pineapple chunks that make the filling lush.
- Honey. Naturally sweetens the casserole along with the pineapple.
- Flour. Helps thicken the filling.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. If the thought of cheddar cheese and pineapple makes you cringe, I urge you to give it a chance. The combination of sweet and cheesy is surprising (in a good way) and delightful.
- 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 pineapples and honey together.
- Add the flour and part of the cheese.
- Transfer the filling to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Stir the topping ingredients together, then sprinkle it over the filling.
- Bake pineapple casserole at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. ENJOY!
- To Make Ahead. 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.
- 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.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making this casserole.
- Mixing Bowls. This set has every size you need.
- Cheese Grater. You can use either a box grater or a microplane grater.
I recently made pineapple casserole to go along with Slow Cooker Pulled Pork at a barbecue. 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
Yes, you can make pineapple casserole with fresh pineapple. Cut the fresh pineapple so it mimics both the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth it (save your fresh pineapple for Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs), but feel free to go for it if your feeling ambitious.
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.
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- 20 ounces pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice drained (reserve 2 tablespoons juice for the topping)
- 20 ounces crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice drained
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces freshly grated shredded sharp cheddar cheese about 1 1/2 cups, divided
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 20 buttery round crackers crushed, such as Ritz (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or additional crushed crackers
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved from one of the cans above
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray (an 8×10 dish or deep 9-inch pie plate will work as well).
- Prepare the pineapple casserole filling: In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the two drained pineapples (be sure to reserve 2 tablespoons juice for the topping) and honey.
- Sprinkle the flour and two-thirds of the shredded cheese over the top.
- Stir again gently to combine, until the flour disappears and the cheese appears evenly mixed.
- Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Prepare the topping: in a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, crackers, breadcrumbs, and 2 tablespoons reserved juice with a fork until evenly moistened. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Bake the pineapple casserole for 35 minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the topping is browned. Enjoy warm.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: 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.
- 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.
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