Home Casseroles Pineapple Cheese Casserole Recipe

Pineapple Cheese Casserole Recipe

Looking for a unique and delicious side dish to wow your family and friends? This classic Southern pineapple cheese casserole is just the thing!

It combines sweet, juicy pineapple with sharp cheddar cheese and a buttery Ritz cracker topping.

The result? A warm, gooey, sweet-and-savory side perfect for holiday meals and potlucks. 

Spoonful of pineapple cheese casserole with crushed crackers toppings.
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Why You’ll Love This Pineapple Cheese Casserole

Don’t let the unusual combination in this casserole fool you – one bite, and you’ll be hooked! 

This retro side dish is always a hit at holiday gatherings, potlucks, and Sunday suppers in my house.

Unique Flavor: If you like pineapple on pizza, this should be right up your alley. It’s a fun sweet-n-salty dish that pairs well with a bunch of mains. 

Super Easy: With only six simple ingredients and minimal prep work, pineapple cheese casserole is a breeze to make.

Customizable Recipe: While the core ingredients remain the same, there are plenty of ways to tweak this to suit your tastes. Try different cheeses, experiment with crushed pineapple vs. chunks, or add a dash of cinnamon for a unique twist. 

Pineapple cheese casserole in white plate with fork, baking in the background.

Ingredients

The story goes that this delightfully quirky casserole originated in the 1950s. 

Home cooks got creative with canned pineapple and processed cheese, and it soon became a social staple. 

And the recipe really hasn’t changed. Here’s what you’ll need;

  • Pineapple Chunks: Juicy, sweet pineapple chunks create the fruity base of this unique casserole. You’ll also need some of the juices. 
  • Sugar: Some recipes call for a whole cup, but I find 1/2 cup is more than sweet enough. It strikes just the right balance with the cheese and buttery topping.
  • All-Purpose Flour: A few tablespoons of trusty all-purpose flour thickens the pineapple mixture so it’s not watery.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: For a bold, tangy flavor that perfectly complements the sweet pineapple. 
  • Ritz Crackers: Buttery, crispy crackers create an unbelievably delicious crunchy topping. 
  • Butter: Melted butter is the key to that addictively rich, crunchy topping. Use salted or unsalted, depending on your tastes.

How to Make Pineapple Cheese Casserole

I made this over Easter, and it was a lifesaver. It’s so quick, and everyone loved it.

Here are the steps:

1. PREP. Preheat the oven and grease a baking dish.

2. DRAIN the pineapple, but save some of the juices. Pat the fruit dry to prevent a watery dish.

3. MIX the filling ingredients and transfer them to the baking dish.

4. BAKE. Top the filling with the cracker crumbs and bake until bubbly.

5. SERVE. Let the dish cool and set for 10 minutes, then serve as a side with ham, chicken, pork, and more.

Serving of pineapple cheese casserole in a white plate with baking dish and plates in the background.

Tips For the Best Pineapple Cheese Casserole

As far as retro casseroles go, this might just be the easiest.

But I do still have a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Dry the fruit. Drain the canned pineapple through a fine mesh sieve for at least 10 minutes. Then, lay it on a paper towel and pat dry. This prevents the casserole from getting too soupy.
  • Shred the cheese yourself rather than using pre-shredded. It will melt more smoothly and has better flavor.
  • Assemble ahead. The casserole filling can be prepared and transferred to the baking dish up to 1 day in advance. Add the cracker topping just before baking.
  • Broil the top. If needed, broil the casserole for a minute or two at the end of baking to get the cracker topping golden brown. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Dice small. If using fresh pineapple, dice it into small pieces. This will allow it to cook more evenly and make the casserole easier to eat.
  • Variations. Mix things up with shredded coconut in the filling, pecans in the topping, or brown sugar instead of white sugar. Different cheeses and crackers can also be used.

What to Serve with Cheesy Pineapple Casserole 

In my opinion, pineapple and cheese casserole works best as a side dish. Though I know plenty of people who serve it as a dessert.

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Whether you think of this as sweet or savory, here are a few great ways to serve it:

  • As a side to Easter ham
  • With shrimp and grits
  • With fall off the bone ribs
  • As a side to almost any pork dish
  • With BBQ chicken
Spoonful of pineapple cheese casserole from a baking dish.

How to Store

Since this cheesy pineapple casserole is so quick, I suggest making it fresh the day you need it. 

And since it’s so good, I doubt you’ll have to worry about leftovers.

But, in case you have some, here’s what you need to know:

To Store: Transfer cold leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

To Freeze: Wrap the cooled casserole tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To Reheat: Warm individual portions in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Reheat the entire casserole in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the top is crunchy. 

Note: While it’s possible to freeze pineapple cheese casserole, it’s not ideal. The texture of the pineapple and the cracker topping may become soggy after thawing and reheating.

More Sweet and Salty Recipes You’ll Love

Monte Cristo Sandwich
Grilled Watermelon with Feta
Brown Sugar Pork Chops
Honey Butter Skillet Corn

Pineapple Cheese Casserole

Course: Side DishCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes
Calories

366

kcal

This Southern pineapple cheese casserole combines sweet pineapple with cheddar cheese and Ritz crackers. It’s warm, gooey, and perfect for potlucks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple chunks, well drained (reserve 1/3 cup juice)

  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (about 30 crackers)

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8×8-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix 1 cup cheddar cheese with the sugar and flour.
  • Drain the pineapple through a fine mesh sieve (saving 1/3 cup of the juice). Pat the fruit dry with paper towels, then add them and the juice to the bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour the filling into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter until the cracker crumbs are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the topping over the pineapple filling.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the pineapple mixture is hot and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving warm. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Dry the fruit. Drain the canned pineapple through a fine mesh sieve for at least 10 minutes. Then, lay it on a paper towel and pat dry.
  • Broil the top. If needed, broil the casserole for a minute or two at the end of baking to get the cracker topping golden brown. Watch closely to avoid burning.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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