My mom has been making sure it was on the menu especially for her for as long as I can remember.
The unusual but delicious conglomeration of tangy, sweet pineapple pieces, sharp cheddar cheese, and buttery cracker crumbs satisfies that sweet and salty craving with perfection. And it’s the perfect complement to an Easter ham, a Thanksgiving feast, or a regular weeknight supper – regardless of whatever else is on the table.
It might sound a little crazy, but it’s crazy delicious. I promise.
While there are quite a few variations on the recipe out there, this one is our version with a few tweaks to get it just like we like it (that happens after you make something a couple hundred times!)
I bet you’ll like it too! Y’all enjoy!
Pineapple Cheese Casserole
- 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve buttery round crackers, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups crushed) I used Ritz.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Drain the pineapple very well and reserve 6 tablespoons of the juice for the recipe.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and 6 tablespoons of the juice. Add the pineapple and mix well. Pour it into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- In a medium bowl, add the melted butter to the crushed cracker crumbs and stir to coat them in the butter. Sprinkle them evenly over the cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes and then allow the casserole to rest for about 10 minutes and thicken before serving.
Fantastic ….. first dish to disappear on Thanksgiving so I doubled the recipe for Christmas!
So glad to hear everyone enjoyed it!
This is such a weird recipe. I can’t understand why we think it is so good, but we do.
Right! And we do think it is goo-ood!
Very good recipe. My granddaughter and I are the only ones who liked it. Today I’m making it to take to my sister’s house for Christmas Dinner. Hopefully they will like it.
I’m glad it turned out great for you!
Kay Lynn Cartwright
My questions is some recipes call for mixing the pineapple mixture and the cheese together. Your recipe has them in layers with pineapple first then cheese. This is a family favorite and I have always mixed it together. Is there a difference in the taste or is it just in how it looks when served?
It will work either way, I just prefer it layered like this.
My family and friends love this, easy and delicious
Has anyone ever used peaches?? I forgot the pineapple! Lol help!
I’ve not done that, bit it sounds delicious to me! Let me know if you try it!
I have been making this for 40 years and make it every Thanksgiving
It’s definitely good enough to have in the regular rotation!
For me this was more like a dessert casserole, than a side dish…..and it was good y’all
Sure! I think there are many folks who feel that way. It’s great regardless. 🙂
Made it. Ate it. Loved it.
My husband loves this casserole. I use 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of flour so it’s not quite so sweet. I also use pineapple tidbits instead of chuck. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Of course, Brenda!
Is this recipe in your cookbook, which I have and love.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The version in my cookbook is from one of my loyal readers, Susan Hatcher. They are a little different, but equally delicious!
Your site provides a comfy great addition to my recipes!!
Thanks so much, Estelle!
Bravo great site!
Delightful Match to holiday meal
YES. A friend of a friend makes this, usually for funerals, and I have loved it so much. Never got the recipe from her and had it recently so I thought I would check the internet. And Wow-I found it! I’m not very tech-Savvy so I never thought to look it up before..
So glad I have it now. Thank you!
Sure hope you’ll enjoy it!
Jill, I personally would absolutely try panko crumbs in a pinch for pineapple casserole. Maybe use a full stick of butter instead of just a half stick/ quarter cup because the crackers do have a lot of butter in them even before the extra in the topping. I think it will still be a winner. I have swapped buttered panko for breadcrumbs or butter crackers on baked mac and cheese, and I don’t see why you couldn’t do the same here. As far as how the crackers contribute to the recipe, panko should give you the same crunchy, textural contrast and a nice, neutral taste as a vehicle for the butter. Sigh. Why can’t everything be a vehicle for butter? 😂
Do y’all think buttery panko can work as a topping? I forgot the ritz at the store, everything is closed ☹️
I don’t see why not. Let us know how it went!
I don’t think the Panko would give you the wonderful crunch of the crackers.
Any nutritional information available?
When it comes to nutritional content, I don’t include that because many of the ingredients my recipes frequently call for can vary in nutrition based on the brand. I wouldn’t want to include the nutritional facts for one brand and folks use a different one and it have vastly different ingredients. With that being said, it’s super easy to pick your favorite brands and plug them into a nutritional calculator like the one on myfitnesspal.com to get accurate info. Hope that helps!
For the lady that her DIL is allergic to pineapple, try it with canned pears. It’s delicious!! Southerners also love Pear Salad and that has sharp cheddar cheese on top and so it is great combination for the casserole.
That is a BRILLIANT idea! Thank you!
I am in my 50’s and long ago when I was in elementary school one of my teachers made this for us. I never forgot how tasty it was and finally looked for the recipe for a New Year’s Eve treat. OMG! It is as good as I remember.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
Mark Josefsberg Arnold
I’m from New York City, NEW YORK CITY?! Lol…now I live in Alabama and I tried this at a meat and three restaurant…and I am in love. I put a little cinnamon in with the ritz crackers…and use light brown sugar instead of granulated…I also use both crushed and tidbits. I am going to try dried cranberries as a mix-in…fingers crossed.
Well, hey there, city slicker! Gosh, I’m so glad we don’t really talk like that! 🙂 It’s certainly a favorite at our house! Love the varying pineapple types! I think I’ll try that this year.
If I want to double the recipe, do I still double the sugar and flour? Making for 20 people.
Yes, you’d double it all. Enjoy!!
Omg this was AMAZING! Never had anything like it before. We used Ritz Everything crackers just because there was nothing else. Absolute hit!
Awesome! So glad to hear y’all enjoyed it!
Stacey, are you in Prattville? When we lived in Montgomery, the senior adults from our church would go to a place called the Guest House in Prattville. I was on staff at the church and my wife and I would go with them at times. I had never had pineapple casserole until we went there. I loved it! Just curious?
Yes! While I never had the chance to experience the Guest House myself before it closed, it is certainly something of legend! I’ve had quite a few of the recipes from there. That Doritos Salad is quite the experience!
This is just like my Pineapple Casserole and it is a must have when having ham. So delicious!
It’s perfect with ham! 🙂
Can this recipe be made and warmed up later? i love it but can not always eat it all in one meal. How would i warm it up if i could?
It can be rewarmed. I find it is best fresh, but usually just zap elftovers in the microwave.
I’ve made this before it’s a great accompaniment to ham!
I agree! So good!
This is a common dish in my house…I learned how to make it in my high school Home EC class! (Way back in the 80’s! Yes, I’m old). The first time I made this at my Mother-in-law’s, she “tsked,tsked” and thought I was insane!???? (I was in my 20’s then). Well, of course , everyone loved it! She had to have recipe and made it regularly afterwards. Even after her son and I got divorced ????
LOL! Love that story!
Oh-My-Goodness! The absolute best! I will be making this any time I have company. They won’t know what’s coming to them! I have a 9×13 casserole dish. I would think to double layer it would be also fantastic! Bake time would probably be the same?
Thanks, DeAnna! Yes, I would think so.
Penelope H .
This southern girl has had fruit casserole and was looking for that recipe when I found this. So today Thanksgiving 2020 I am going to make it for my family, some of the very picky. Cross your fingers I do not mess it up! 🙂 I’ll let you know if they loved it. I love anything pineapple.
Sure hope everyone enjoyed it!
i want to use fresh pineapple…how should i alter the recipe? we have lots of pineapples as we raise them. waiting to hear from you
You’ll need about 4 cups of fresh pineapple chunks and 6 tablespoons of pineapple juice.
Hi this looks great!
I was wondering, is the cheese amount 8 ounces total?
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded cheese typically equals about 2 cups. Does that help?
As soon as I saw this recipe I had to make it, so I did last night. It’s really good. I didn’t add any sugar as the (fresh) pineapple I had was sweet enough, and I added a splash of liquid smoke. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
So glad to hear you enjoyed it!
I made this and it was absolutely delicious! The only thing I would be interested in seeing is the nutrition information. Thank you for a delicious dish.
Hi Barbara! I don’t track nutritional information as the exact content can vary between brands of products. I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and using a site like myfitnesspal.com to quickly figure up the info.
Can this casserole be reheated?
I want to take some to my son.
Absolutely! The microwave and oven both work great to reheat it.
I have to say I was really skeptical when I first heard of this recipe after moving to NC from NJ a few years ago. I love sweet & salty but refused to try this for ages. So glad I finally did! We make this all the time now, and it’s so unique to the area! I love convincing my family to try things like this when they visit.
So glad you gave it a try and loved it!!
Can you use club crackers instead of Ritz? Thanks
I certainly don’t see why not.
This sounds interesting to me. My southern mother used to make a salad with canned half pears with grated cheese. Pears might be a good substitute for pineapple if you must.
I hadn’t thought about pears, but that’s a great idea!
Hi! I just made this dish, but trying to figure out if it needs to be refrigerated after making it…or is it ok to sit out until dinner time? Thank you!
It should be fine for a few hours.
I made p/a cass. for thanksgiving now I have to make it for Christmas,, EVERYONE fell in love.. When I first told them what it was, of course they went ugh,,,, after one small taste, they started raving… Thank you Stacy.
Now I’m a big hit…
Fantastic! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!!
Can this be made the day before then baked? Sounds amazing
Sure! I just wouldn’t mix up the topping or put it on until right before baking.
A 2qt dish is an 8 x 8? I’d need to make this in a 9 x 13 dish to have enough for a church luncheon so do I double the recipe? Can’t wait to try this out as it sounds delicious! Thanks for your help.
An 8x8x2-inch dish will hold roughly 8 cups. A 9x13x2-inch dish will hold roughly 15 cups. But being that you’re not filling the 8×8 full, you should have enough room to double the recipe in the 9×13.
I grew up eating this and I make it all of the time. I use fresh pineapple instead of canned and I reduce the amount of sugar because the fresh pineapple is already very sweet.
Thank you for sharing with us . My granddaughter loves pineapple in any form . She is having a fit to make this when my daughter comes home , but we have to make it now just to see if we can do it.
I sure hope it turns out great for you!!
This makes me want to lay down and scream! Thank you. I love your site and look forward to it every week. Thank you.
LOL! So glad you’ve enjoyed the site!
Thank you for sharing this delicious sounding recipe. I love pineapple about any way it is served. This recipe came to me just at the right time as we are having a family reunion September 14, 1019. I am temped to make two dishes just in case…… We have fruit salads all the time but our favorite is pineapple slices with cheese and mayonnaise topped with a cherry.
Well, awesome! I hope it turns out great for you and everyone at the reunion enjoys it!
Looks wonderful & can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
Could this be made with fresh pineapple instead of canned?
I made this recipe last night and it was delicious. I only made half of the recipe for one person. It turned out so well! Thank you for sharing. I might try the adding pecans next time as someone suggested. ????
So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Susie! I do think adding the pecans sounds great!
Southerner born and reared, but I’d never heard of this recipe until a few days ago. (Followed the link on “It’s a Southern Thing” https://www.southernthing.com/pineapple-casserole-2639340029.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1) Pulled the ingredients together and whipped it up. Oh.My.GOD! This is beyond “good” or even “delicious”! I’ll be taking this to every potluck we’re invited to in the future! (Discovered it’s good hot, warm or refrigerator-cold!) My new favorite recipe! 😉
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sheron! We sure love it. I’ll be sure to tell my friends over at “It’s A Southern Thing” thanks for sending you my way!
Can this recipe be halved?
I am a type 1 diabetic and am wondering if you can use the pineapple packed in pineapple juice instead of syrup to cut down on sugar?
Yep! The recipe actually calls for the pineapple packed in juice.
I decrease the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup and it is sweet enough!
I have also served this on a slice of pound cake with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for dessert.
JOYCE LeMASTER PIERCE
I prefer 1 can of crushed pineapple and 1 can pineapple tid bits combined. Makes more delish casserole. I also add lightly sprinkle chopped toasted pecans before baking.
Love the addition of pecans!
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving. It’s very sweet and got rave reviews.
So glad y’all enjoyed it!!
Stacey: I made your Pineapple Cheese Casserole to go with my slice of air fried ham for TG. I made 1/2 of a batch because there’s only me, I’d never had it, didn’t know if I’d like it, and yes, it does sound weird. 8) However, it’s darn good, and as several people have said, Heather is right.
Since you said your family tweaked it, I was interested to see how others do it-some of them had WAY more butter, and I like your version. One website did say that you could make it with peaches, so Lynda could do this for her d-i-l who is allergic to pineapple. I don’t know how it’d be with those, or how much you’d use, but it might be worth trying some time. Thanks for the recipe!
Great ideas, Kathy! Thanks for the research and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
Hi there! I’m making this for the first time. Do I bake it covered or uncovered? Thanks!
You should bake it uncovered. Enjoy!
My question is the type of cheese does it have to be sharp cheddar?
No, mild will work also. It’s just that the sharp cheddar helps to balance the sweetness out a bit.
My Mother used to serve this. Glad to get the recipe. Thanks for posting.
Hope you’ll enjoy!!
I was thinking some finely chopped pecans would be good in this! Anyone ever tried it?
I think it sounds like a GREAT addition!
Just had to give this a try and I’m so glad I did – It truly is delicious! Didn’t try to match it with any specific main course and still can’t think of anything in particular to serve it with, but might try grilled pork chops.
Pork always works well with sweet sides, so I think that sounds great! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
It’s great as a side dish with ham
I couldn’t agree more!
Do you mean six servings or six people who pile it on? If you make it in a deeper and overall larger dish what are the changes of inside ingredients and toppings to alter the dish?
i.e. instead of an 8×8 I would use a 9×13 lasagna pan that is twice as deep as the 8×8 pan.
That’s the thing about serving size – it can mean drastically different things to different people. You can serve 6 to 8 folks with moderate portions. There’s no need to alter the recipe if you’re just making one batch and using a large pan. If you’re wanting to double the recipe, just double everything. Enjoy!
Can tou make this ahead and freeze it?
You can assemble and and freeze it unbaked. I’ve not done it, though so I’m not sure about the end result. You might find this helpful. https://dish.allrecipes.com/best-make-and-freeze-casseroles/
Can you make the night before and leave out on counter or refrigerate ?
My personal opinion is that this is best made fresh.
I have had this recipe for years now. It’s one even my picky hubs will eat. It is just that good! I have a question though. My dil is allergic to pineapple. Do you think apples would be a good substitute, and if so, which do you suggest?
I’m not sure about apples. While I love apples and cheese together, based on texture, I would think another canned fruit like peaches or something soft would be better. That said, I’m just not sure how the flavors would work with something other than pineapple.
I used apple in a similar dish for years and it’s a hit. I use Stouffer’s frozen Harvest Apples and it’s perfect. Never thought to try pineapple, but I’ll have to now!
I’m so glad you shared that! I think using the frozen apples is a GREAT idea! Thanks for chiming in!!
My sister used to make this with pears. And it was delicious!!! She passed away in 2016, and I can’t get her dish off my mind lately. So I’m trying this recipe with her pear twist for Easter this year. I hope I can make her proud!! Happy Easter all!! Thank God, He is risen!!
Hope it turns out well! Let us know!
I wonder if you could use brown sugar or half and half
I always use 1/3 cup brown sugar & 2/3 cup regular sugar. Also one can of pineapple chunks and one can of pineapple chunks. Don’t know about the half and half.
My family’s favorite. Always have to triple the recipe.
DO YOU THINK THIS WOULD WORK IN A CROCK POT? OR BAKE FIRST THEN TRANSFER IT TO A CROCK POT?
That’s a great question! I’m honestly not sure. I’ve not tested it that way, so I can’t say for sure.
Do you recommend shredding your own cheese…. or is the bags of shredded okay?? Thanks! 🙂
You are welcome to shred it yourself, but the thicker shredded bagged stuff works just fine with this one. Enjoy!
I made a receipre similar to this, have been trying for years to find it or one near the same. I am making yours for Christmas. Ttwo neices loved mine. They will be shocked when they eat this. Thanks
Hope it turns out great for you!!
Heather is right! This is a wonderful classic side dish for holidays and all the other days of the year. We love it.
I couldn’t agree more! 🙂
Do you think crushed pineapple would work as a substitute for the chunks?
I haven’t made this yet although I will be! My thought is that the pineapple chunks would add a bit of a crunch in the midst of the cheese, crushed crackers, etc. More texture, if you will. ????
My recipe of fifteen years calls for crushed pineapple, but I prefer the tidbits. Any kind will work…it is always delicious!
Yep! I’ve seen it both ways. We just prefer the chunks.
It will. I’ve seen and had it both ways. We just prefer the chunks for texture variation.
I always put one can of each
Wow! This strange combination sounds incredibly delicious! I bet it would be awesome with a ham dinner! Pinning!
I sure hope you’ll enjoy it!
This is a dish I must try. I love cheese and pineapple together. Thanks for sharing.
Yes! Such a great combo!
We started having Thanksgiving with friends several years ago and this strange dish was on their menu. I thought they were nuts – until i tried it. Now, I look forward to this insanely delicious, but very weird casserole every year. Who knew there were other people making it too? Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’m going to bring it to my office potluck!
It’s crazy sounding, but so good! I hope your coworkers will enjoy it!
What if you only have crushed pineapple, will that work?
Sure! The texture of the casserole will be a bit different, but it will work.
I too was skeptical of this recipe, but since I had the ingredients on hand and needed another side dish, I thought I’d give it a go. Oh my goodness was this GOOD!! It got soooo many raves at my Easter table! This recipe’s a keeper and will be making repeated appearances at our holiday and celebration gatherings. Thanks for contributing!
So glad everyone enjoyed it!
I moved 100 miles away from my big Southern family to get married. Life intervened and we didn’t see each other for 12 years. In that time their potluck dishes changed so I had to find something new to bring. They didn’t even try the risotto and the next year only a few tried my stuffing. I think I’ll try Pineapple Casserole for Memorial Day this year. Worst case scenario: I’ll bring it all home for me (yep, still live 100 miles away).
I hope everyone enjoys it!!