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With your Christmas or Easter ham, alongside a Thanksgiving turkey, on a bridal shower buffet, at a funeral, or for your next Sunday dinner, this Pineapple Casserole is a Southern staple on just about any celebratory table. The sweet and savory combination of pineapple, cheese, and a buttery crumb topping makes this an absolutely irresistible easy side dish recipe!

Overhead shot of hand serving a spoonful of southern pineapple casserole

Pineapple Cheese Casserole

If you’re looking for a simple, quick-prep side dish that will knock the socks off of your guests, then this golden pineapple casserole recipe is just the ticket! It’s sweet, salty, buttery, cheesy, and oh-so-decadent! Best of all, it pairs nicely with almost any entrée. From a holiday ham or turkey, to grilled steak, roasted chicken, or a cozy meatloaf, you can serve this delicious casserole alongside just about any meal.

Stirring together ritz cracker crumbs and melted butter

What is Pineapple Casserole?

Grandma’s pineapple casserole recipe is an addicting combination of canned pineapple, sharp cheddar cheese, and buttery Ritz cracker crumbs. It’s a great option to pair with a holiday ham, a roast turkey, or just your casual Sunday night roast chicken!

Draining canned pineapple over a bowl

Is it a dessert?

We serve this casserole as a side dish, but it’s certainly sweet enough and rich enough to qualify as a dessert! It’s a lot like a pineapple crisp, and would be delicious served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Adding grated cheddar cheese to a mixing bowl

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a classic pineapple casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ritz crackers and butter: the melted butter and the cracker crumbs come together to form the rich, crunchy topping.
  • Crushed pineapple and pineapple tidbits: the canned pineapple (well drained) creates the base of the casserole filling.
  • Sugar: to sweeten the filling.
  • Flour: acts as a thickener so that the filling isn’t too watery.
  • Cheese: we love a classic grated cheddar cheese, but you can substitute with other good melting cheeses, such as Colby, Monterey Jack, Colby-Jack, or even diced cream cheese.
Sprinkling ritz cracker crumb topping on a casserole dish

How To Make Pineapple Casserole

This easy side dish comes together with just 10 minutes of prep!

  1. Combine the Ritz cracker crumbs and the melted butter in a medium bowl. This is the crumb mixture that you’ll use to top your casserole.
  2. Drain the canned pineapple over a bowl to catch the juice (you’ll need some of the juice for the filling).
  3. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and pineapple juice in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Stir in the grated cheese and the drained pineapple.
  5. Spoon pineapple mixture into a greased 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the buttery cracker crumbs over top.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is toasted and golden brown.
Overhead shot of pineapple casserole served with baked ham on a holiday table
Plate of baked ham and southern pineapple casserole

Storage and Preparation Tips

  • Prep ahead! To prepare the casserole in advance, simply assemble the filling and place it in the baking dish. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Prepare the crumb topping in advance as well, and leave it (covered) on your countertop. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole right before baking.
  • Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Leftovers can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat the casserole: Allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter. Reheat the casserole in a 300°F oven, just until warmed through. If the topping starts to get too dark before the rest of the casserole is warm, loosely cover the top with foil to prevent additional browning.
Overhead shot of hands holding a pineapple casserole on a wooden table

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of enjoying this casserole as a side dish, try serving it for dessert — like a pineapple crisp! It’s delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers? While the Ritz are definitely my preference, you can also make a pineapple casserole with Cheez-Its or other favorite salty, buttery crackers.
  • Cut the amount of sugar if you prefer a less-sweet filling. Blog readers have had success with using as little as ½ cup of sugar.
  • Instead of grated cheddar cheese, try making a pineapple casserole with cream cheese. Just use 8 ounces of diced, room temperature cream cheese in lieu of the cheddar. You can also use other grated cheeses, such as Colby, Monterey Jack, or Colby-Jack.
  • For a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. You may need to add about 5-10 minutes to the total baking time.

tips for the best pineapple casserole recipe

  • Drain the pineapple really well so that the filling isn’t too watery. Don’t forget to reserve the juice in a bowl so that you can use some of it in the filling.
  • I like the smaller texture of the pineapple tidbits, but pineapple chunks will also work.
  • Keep an eye on the casserole during the final 5-10 minutes of baking. The cracker crumbs can burn quickly!
  • Add a bit of color to the finished dish by garnishing with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or thyme.
  • Make it an entrée by preparing a pineapple and ham casserole. Simply add a cup or two of diced, cooked ham to the filling.
Overhead shot of the best pineapple casserole recipe on a wooden dinner table with a side of ham
Square overhead shot of a dish of southern pineapple casserole

Southern Pineapple Casserole

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 8 – 10 people
Calories 372 kcal
With your Christmas or Easter ham, on a bridal shower buffet, at a funeral, or for your next Sunday dinner, this pineapple casserole is a Southern staple on just about any celebratory table!

Ingredients
  

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups lightly crushed Ritz crackers (about 50 whole crackers before crushing)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits (or chunks)
  • 1 cup sugar (or decrease the amount of sugar for a less-sweet filling)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine melted butter and cracker crumbs. Set aside.
  • Drain both cans of the pineapple over a bowl to catch the juice.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and 6 tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Stir in the grated cheese and drained pineapple. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the buttered cracker crumbs in an even layer on top.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is toasted and golden brown.

Notes

  • Drain the pineapple really well so that the filling isn’t too watery. Don’t forget to reserve the juice in a bowl so that you can use some of it in the filling.
  • I like the smaller texture of the pineapple tidbits, but pineapple chunks will also work.
  • Keep an eye on the casserole during the final 5-10 minutes of baking. The cracker crumbs can burn quickly!
  • Add a bit of color to the finished dish by garnishing with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or thyme.
  • Make it an entrée by preparing a pineapple and ham casserole. Simply add a cup or two of diced, cooked ham to the filling.
  • Instead of enjoying this casserole as a side dish, try serving it for dessert — like a pineapple crisp! It’s delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers? While the Ritz are definitely my preference, you can also make a pineapple casserole with Cheez-Its or other favorite salty, buttery crackers.
  • Cut the amount of sugar if you prefer a less-sweet filling. Blog readers have had success with using as little as ½ cup of sugar.
  • Instead of grated cheddar cheese, try making a pineapple casserole with cream cheese. Just use 8 ounces of diced, room temperature cream cheese in lieu of the cheddar. You can also use other grated cheeses, such as Colby, Monterey Jack, or Colby-Jack.
  • For a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. You may need to add about 5-10 minutes to the total baking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/10 of the casseroleCalories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 8gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 308mgPotassium: 184mgFiber: 2gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 493IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 202mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: pineapple casserole, pineapple casserole recipe, pineapple cheese casserole, southern pineapple casserole
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in March, 2019. The photos were updated in March, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been making this dish for years and it is always a big hit! I use 2 cans of pineapple tidbits and 1/2 cup of sugar.

  2. My Momo would make this. I was too young when she past away to appreciate collecting recipes. Thank you so much for posting!

  3. 5 stars
    This is superb! I’ve tried several recipes over many years (I’m 60) but this is best one! I do usually use pineapple tidbits in place of the chunks as recipe calls for.
    Just a personal tastes thing. Never tried with the chunks yet.