|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||44%|
|Total Carbohydrate 40g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 27g|
|Vitamin C 12mg||60%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Southerners love their casseroles, and they particularly like creating something both delicious and unique, much to the delight of friends and family. This casserole reminds me of my mother-in-law, a Mississippi home cook who loved serving dishes with unusual or "secret" ingredients.
If you've never eaten pineapple casserole, you're in for a treat! Pineapple, cheese, and crackers might sound like a strange combination, but a pineapple casserole is surprisingly good! The unlikely combination of sweet, salty, and savory is an Easter dinner staple in many areas of the South, and the pineapple flavor compliments ham, lamb, and pork roasts beautifully.
What Ingredients Are In Pineapple Casserole?
Pineapple: Fresh is best in many cases, but canned pineapple in its natural juice is the usual choice for a classic pineapple casserole. If you do choose to use fresh pineapple, you'll need 4 cups of chunks along with 1/3 cup of juice.
Cheese: Use sharp or mild cheddar cheese, and freshly shredded is best. Pre-shredded cheese is frequently coated with cellulose, which is an anti-caking agent that is added to keep the cheese from sticking together. While this is harmless, treated cheese tends to be drier than cheese shredded at home. If possible, skip the pre-shredded cheese and shred it by hand or with a food processor.
Crackers: The topping is typically made with Ritz crackers or buttery round crackers.
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
With only six ingredients, this pineapple casserole is a breeze to throw together. It starts with canned pineapple chunks or tidbits in 100% pineapple juice. The pineapple is drained and the juices are reserved. Some of the juice is combined with sugar and flour, then the cheese and pineapple are added. The filling is spooned into an 8-inch square baking dish.
The crushed crackers are a snap, too. A sleeve of Ritz crackers or 32 round butter crackers are crushed and tossed with melted butter. The cracker crumb topping is sprinkled over the pineapple filling for a crisp finish.
How to Serve Pineapple Casserole
The casserole is usually served as a side dish, but it is sweet enough to serve as a dessert. It's an excellent casserole to serve alongside baked ham, a pork roast, or lamb. Pineapple also pairs well with some types of fish, such as mahi mahi, tuna, and salmon. Or serve the warm casserole with a scoop of ice cream for an uncommon dessert.
Tips for Making Pineapple Casserole
- To crush the crackers quickly, put them in a food storage bag and use a rolling pin to crush them until they are the size of coarse breadcrumbs or panko crumbs. Alternatively, pulse the crackers in your food processor.
- Ensure the cracker crumbs are thoroughly mixed with the melted butter for uniform browning.
- Drain the pineapple thoroughly to avoid a soggy casserole.
- Use the extra pineapple juice to make smoothies or cocktails, or add some to a fruity salsa or sauce.
- If using a metal baking pan, grease it lightly with butter or cooking spray before adding the filling.
To make the casserole up to 2 days ahead, prepare the pineapple filling and cracker crumb topping but keep them separated. Transfer the filling to the baking dish, cover it with foil or plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator. Store the crumb topping mixture in a covered container at room temperature. When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the filling. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes, then bake in the preheated oven as directed.
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks or tidbits in juice
1/3 cup (43 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 sleeve (32 crackers) Ritz crackers, crushed
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
Place a mesh sieve over a bowl and strain both cans of pineapple. Reserve 1/3 cup of the juice. Save the remaining juice for another use or discard it.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, and reserved 1/3 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the pineapple pieces and shredded cheese.
Spoon the pineapple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine the cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl and toss until the crumbs are well coated with the butter. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the pineapple mixture.
Bake the casserole in the preheated oven until the topping is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
How to Store
- Refrigerate leftover pineapple casserole, covered, for up to 4 days.
- You may freeze pineapple casserole. Transfer the casserole to an airtight freezer container or individual containers. Label the container with the name and date and freeze it for up to 2 months. Defrost the casserole in the refrigerator overnight.
- To reheat the pineapple casserole, place it in a baking dish and cover it with foil. Heat in a preheated 350 F oven until it reaches 165 F on a food thermometer, about 15 minutes.
- Replace 1 can of the pineapple chunks with a well-drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple.
- Swap out the granulated sugar with brown sugar.
- Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the cracker crumb topping.