A sweet-and-savory mashup of juicy pineapple chunks and sharp cheese with a buttery, crunchy topping, Pineapple Casserole sounds bizarre but it’s absolutely delicious, especially with turkey and ham!
Why You’ll Love This Pineapple Cheese Casserole Recipe
- Sweet and Savory. The first time someone passed me pineapple casserole was the first holiday I spent with my in-laws. I was horrified. I took a tiny, toddler-sized bite, and…oh my heavens, pineapple casserole is wonderful. It’s no wonder so many families serve it alongside Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Crockpot Mashed Potatoes for holiday dinners!
- Absurdly Easy. Stir the filling in one bowl, the topping in another, then combine and bake. Pineapple cheese casserole can be in your oven in about 15 minutes! This is always a plus when you’re assembling a holiday dinner and trying to juggle Thanksgiving Turkey, Turkey Gravy, and countless sides. (Not to mention Sweet Potato Pie!)
- A Classic Recipe, With Some Well Plated Tweaks. Naturally, we’re not going to skip the gloriously buttery cracker topping or the cheese, but 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! I prefer to add crushed pineapple for its natural sweetness, along with a moderate amount of honey.
5 Star Review
“We made this for Easter and it was a HUGE hit !! We also really liked your video story !!This recipe is so yummy!”— Laurie —
More About This Pineapple Casserole Recipe
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?).
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
- Combine the Pineapple and Honey. Using both pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple gives you the best of both worlds.
- Add the Remaining Filling Ingredients. Flour helps thicken and cheddar cheese makes it savory.
- Combine. Stir the pineapple mixture.
- Top With More Cheese. Transfer the filling to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Make the Topping. Use a little pineapple juice to make it slightly sweet.
- Cook. 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
- Ribs. 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. Instant Pot Ribs would also be fabulous!
- Chicken. Cheesy pineapple Ritz casserole is a treat with Baked BBQ Chicken, Smoked Chicken Breast, or Crockpot BBQ Chicken.
- Pork. Pork is always delicious with a sweet side, which is why we also love it with Instant Pot Applesauce! Serve Breaded Pork Chops or Crockpot Ham with a side of baked pineapple casserole.
- Other Holiday Sides. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Hash Brown Casserole, Roasted Carrots—they’re perfect on the table alongside pineapple cheese casserole.
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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Drain the Pineapple Well. Reserve the juice needed for the topping, then really drain out the rest of the liquid—pouring the pineapple into a colander helps. The pineapple will release juices as it bakes, so if you start out with extra juice in the baking dish, you’ll end up with a soupy casserole.
- Shred Your Own Cheese. This makes all the difference! Shredding your own cheese will make it melt much more smoothly; I also think cheese off the block is more flavorful. The pre-shredded bags of cheese at the grocery store have an anti-caking agent added to them that keeps them from clumping, but also affects how they melt.
- Broil the Top, If Needed. Ovens are all different! You may get a golden brown crumb without broiling, but if the crackers are looking a bit pale after the casserole has finished cooking, you can turn on the broiler for a minute or two. Keep close watch to make sure the topping doesn’t burn—it can happen fast!
- Change Up the Topping. If you prefer to make pineapple casserole without Ritz, omit the crackers and use extra panko. If you prefer a crisp, chunky topping, try making pineapple casserole with small, fairly dry bread cubes instead (I’d also increase the butter and pineapple juice a bit, as the bread will soak up more moisture).
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°F. Lightly coat a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (an 8×10 dish or deep 9-inch pie plate will work as well).
- Prepare the pineapple casserole filling. Drain the pineapple, then in a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the two pineapples and honey. (Be sure to reserve 2 tablespoons juice for the topping)
- 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°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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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.