If you have a family gathering coming up, Paula Deen's Pineapple Casserole Recipe with Cheese is the perfect side dish for a ham, turkey or chicken dinner. The sweet and savory combination of the sweet pineapple mixture with the salty cheese and buttery crackers is a delicious combination!
What is pineapple casserole?
The origin of pineapple casserole seems to be a bit of a mystery, however it is believed to be a southern dish that likely orginated in the 1950's, while other popular casserole recipes popped up all over the country.
If this is your first time hearing about pineapple casserole, you'll want to save this recipe, AND it may just become a new family favorite like it did with our family! It's one of our favorite things to enjoy with holiday ham for Easter.
Unique flavors combine together with the cheese and pineapple combination and buttery cracker crumbs on top of the pineapple mixture. All this is just the right amount of crunch to this tasty side dish.
Sometimes known as scalloped pineapple or southern pineapple casserole, whatever you decide to name this casserole recipe, it's a winner in our books!
Other side dish recipes to try
When you're making one side dish, you're likely making a few more. Here are a few of our family favorites that we simply can't live without at holiday gatherings:
Why you'll love this Pineapple Cheese Casserole
- this easy casserole recipe has basic ingredients and requires no fancy equipment.
- when it's served, everyone loves it at family dinners.
- great for making ahead of time which will make the day of the family gathering so much more relaxing for you!
Is Pineapple casserole a dessert or a side dish?
Whether you like to enjoy hot pineapple casserole or cold from the fridge, it's traditionally served hot as a side dish for a meal, but it could certainly pass as a dessert!
What's in a Pineapple Casserole?
Pineapple - We used canned pineapple chunks as the base of this dish, but I have great news....you can also use crushed pineapple (drained), pineapple tidbits or sliced pineapple cut into pieces. The only thing I don't recommend is fresh pineapple. This is one recipe where canned is better!
Pineapple juice - save a little pineapple juice from the canned pineapple to drizzle on top of the casserole right before it goes into the oven. This is optional and 1 to 2 Tablespoons would be plenty.
Ritz crackers - we like to use Ritz cracker or buttery round crackers if you can't find Ritz.
Unsalted butter - The crackers are salty and you won't need the extra salt in salted butter. In a pinch, you could still use it.
All purpose flour - is used to thicken and bind the ingredients together
Granulated sugar - Just a bit of white sugar is what we added to this recipe. I tested it with the full recommended amount of 1 cup and found it quite sweet. I reduced the sugar to ½ cup and it was still sweet and oh-so-delicious.
Cheddar cheese - I recommend that you use shredded sharp cheddar for this recipe. Sharp cheddar cheese creates the perfect balance with the sweet pineapple. Use shredded cheddar cheese that you shred at home from a block (for best melting) or a mild melting cheese.
If you're thinking about changing up the recipe a little, these options all add flavor and texture to this pineapple casserole.
Add some flaked coconut to the pineapple mixture. About ⅓ cup would be perfect.
Sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts on top of the casserole before baking
Stir in ½ cup maraschino cherries with the pineapple mixture.
Mix in ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg (if you're a fan)
Do you use fresh pineapple in this recipe?
No. I tested this recipe with fresh pineapple and it just wasn't the same great flavor and texture. There is something about the pineapple sitting in the juice from a can that softens and sweetens the pineapple to perfection.
Can you make cheddar pineapple casserole ahead of time?
Yes. To make pineapple casserole ahead of time unbaked, prepare the pineapple mixture and store in casserole dish with the crushed crackers and butter mixture separated in a small container or ziplock bag. Bring to room temperature and continue to bake as directed.
If you simply would like to cook the casserole ahead of time and reheat before your meal, cook as directed and reheat in 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
How to make pineapple casserole
This recipe comes together quickly, so preheat your oven to 350°F before you assemble the ingredients!
Grease an 8x12-inch baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour together. Stir in the cheese a little at a time.
Drain the pineapple, saving a few Tablespoons of juice and add the pineapples to the flour mixture. Save the juice for later.
Pour the pineapple mixture into prepared casserole dish. I like mine a little chunky, like in the photo, or you can smooth out the top of the mixture with a rubber spatula.
In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the crumbled Ritz crackers with melted butter, and 1 Tablespoon reserved pineapple juice, stirring until evenly blended.
Sprinkle the top of the pineapple mixture with the buttered cracker crumb topping.
Bake in 350 degrees oven for 25 - 30 minutes light golden brown
if you would like to brown the crackers a bit more, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.
How to serve pineapple casserole
If you're wondering what to serve with Grandma's pineapple casserole, it's delicious with ham or ribs.
Tips for making pineapple casserole
Drain pineapple chunks completely. This will stop the casserole from being too watery.
You might also enjoy these side dishes
If you make this pineapple casserole recipe with Ritz crackers, I would appreciate your feeback! Please submit a 5-star rating and leave a comment below.Print