If you’re looking for a unique and delicious side dish to add to your repertoire, look no further than pineapple casserole. This delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors is a crowd-pleaser at any gathering. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of pineapple cheese casserole, exploring its history, the perfect recipe, and some handy tips for making it ahead of time.

The Origins of Pineapple Casserole

Before we delve into the recipe and all its scrumptious details, let’s take a moment to appreciate the history of Pineapple Casserole. This dish has Southern roots and is often associated with comfort food and family gatherings. It’s the kind of dish that warms your heart as much as it tantalizes your taste buds.

While the exact origin of Pineapple Casserole is unclear, it’s believed to have been a popular dish in the Southern United States for generations. Some people credit Paula Deen, a well-known Southern chef, for popularizing the dish. Regardless of its origins, one thing is certain: Pineapple Casserole has earned its place on the table as a beloved side dish.

How to Make Pineapple Casserole

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – how to make the perfect Pineapple Casserole. This recipe will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Pineapple Cheese Casserole Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated or shredded very fine
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers (20 crackers), crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
pineapple bake

Instructions:

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that your Pineapple Casserole bakes to perfection.

Combine Sugar and Flour: In a large bowl, combine ¾ cup of granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. This mixture will form the sweet and savory base of your casserole.

Add Pineapple and Cheese: Stir in both the drained pineapple chunks and tidbits into the sugar and flour mixture. Along with the pineapple, add 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated or shredded very fine. This combination creates a harmonious blend of flavors.

Spread in Baking Dish: Transfer the pineapple and cheese mixture into a 1 ½-quart baking dish, ensuring an even distribution.

Prepare the Topping: In a separate medium bowl, combine 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. This buttery cracker topping will add a delightful crunch to your casserole.

Sprinkle the Topping: Sprinkle the buttery cracker mixture evenly over the top of the pineapple mixture in the baking dish. This is the crowning touch that will make your Pineapple Casserole irresistible.

Bake to Perfection: Place your casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top turns a beautiful golden brown. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

Serve Warm: Once your Pineapple Casserole is out of the oven, let it cool slightly, and then serve it warm. Watch as your family and friends savor every bite.

Paula Deen and Pineapple Casserole

You all know Paula Deen, the celebrity chef known for her delicious Southern cooking. Paula Deen’s recipes often showcase the rich flavors and comfort food traditions of the American South, and pineapple casserole is no exception.

While Paula Deen didn’t invent the dish, her popularity certainly contributed to its widespread recognition.

Paula Deen’s version of pineapple casserole closely resembles the recipe we’ve shared here, with its sweet pineapple, savory cheese, and buttery cracker topping. Her influence has undoubtedly helped this dish become a staple at Southern family gatherings and beyond.

easy pineapple casserole

Baked Pineapple Casserole: A Versatile Side Dish

One of the great things about pineapple casserole is its versatility. It can be enjoyed in various settings, from holiday dinners to potluck parties. Here are a few occasions where this delightful casserole shines:

Holiday Gatherings

Pineapple casserole is a perfect addition to your holiday menu. Its sweet and savory notes complement traditional holiday dishes like ham and turkey beautifully. The golden, bubbling casserole also adds a vibrant pop of color to your holiday table.

Potluck Parties

When you’re invited to a potluck, pineapple casserole is your go-to dish. It’s easy to transport, always a crowd-pleaser, and can be served as a side dish or even as a dessert. Plus, it’s an excellent conversation starter, as many people are curious to try it for the first time.

Weeknight Dinners

Surprise your family with a pineapple casserole on a regular weeknight. It’s a comforting dish that will bring smiles to your loved ones’ faces, and leftovers are just as tasty the next day.

BBQs and Picnics

Pineapple casserole pairs wonderfully with grilled meats at summer BBQs or as a unique addition to your picnic spread. The combination of flavors will have your guests asking for seconds.

cheese pineapple bake

Can You Make Pineapple Casserole Ahead of Time?

The answer is yes! pineapple casserole can be made ahead of time, which is especially handy for busy cooks or when you’re preparing for a special occasion. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Prepare the Casserole: Follow the recipe instructions up to the point where you sprinkle the cracker topping over the pineapple mixture. Stop before baking.
  2. Cover and Refrigerate: Instead of baking, cover your pineapple casserole dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours in advance. This step allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time.
  3. Bake When Ready: When it’s time to serve, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Bake as Usual: Once the casserole has warmed slightly, place it in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time since the dish is starting from a cooler temperature.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Your pineapple casserole will be just as delicious as if you’d prepared it all at once. Serve it warm, and watch your guests savor every bite.

Pineapple casserole is a delightful dish that combines the sweetness of pineapple with the savory richness of cheese and the crunch of buttery crackers. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a comforting weeknight meal, this casserole fits the bill. Paula Deen may have helped popularize it, but its origins in Southern cuisine

My Best Recipe Tips

  • I use both pineapple chunks and tidbits, but if you only have one, either will work in the recipe.
  • While you can use other types of cheese, I do believe sharp cheddar does a nice job working against the sweetness of the pineapple to create a delicious flavor.

Looking for more easy side dishes? Try my Jiffy corn casserole, spaghetti salad, or green bean casserole.

Best Casserole Recipes

Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Sweet and savory pineapple casserole with cheese is a unique side dish or dessert.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated or shredded very fine
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers (20 crackers), crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the flour, stir in the pineapple, and the cheese. Spread evenly into a 1 ½  quart baking dish. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the crushed crackers and the melted butter until evenly coated.
  4. Sprinkle the crackers over the top of the pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 8g

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