Try this recipe for a classic pineapple casserole and enjoy the flavors of the South! With just a few simple ingredients, you can create an easy, delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
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I know what you’re thinking—pineapple casserole?! Well, at least that’s what you’re probably thinking if you didn’t grow up in the South!
Pineapple casserole is a popular dish that originated in the Southern United States. It’s a sweet-and-savory combination of canned pineapple, shredded cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter mixed together and baked until golden brown—with Ritz crackers on top! Trust me, once you try it, you’ll get it. It’s so good.
You can serve pineapple casserole as a side dish or as a dessert—it really works for both. You know how sometimes apple pie is served with sharp cheddar? It’s the same idea here.
(Psst—love pineapple? Try this Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake too!)
Southern Pineapple Casserole Recipe
The ingredients that make up pineapple casserole are simple, but the results are always delicious. The sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with savory melted cheese, while the buttery Ritz topping add a richness that makes it hard to resist. It’s also a great way to use up the can of pineapple that’s been sitting in your pantry for the past year!
Ingredients for Pineapple Casserole
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Nonstick cooking spray – Alternatively, you can butter the baking dish.
- Light brown sugar – Dark brown sugar works too, but it has a more pronounced molasses flavor.
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- Crushed pineapple – You can use tidbits instead, but don’t substitute chunks or rings! It won’t work out the same.
- Shredded cheddar cheese – A mild cheddar will melt best, while a sharp cheddar will have a stronger flavor.
- Ritz crackers – Or another variety of buttery cracker.
- Unsalted butter – Melt this in a small saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl.
- For a little bit more crunch, try adding ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the mix.
- Switch up the cheese by using Monterey Jack or Colby Jack instead of cheddar.
- Use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
How to Make Pineapple Casserole
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF, then coat an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make the pineapple mixture: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the pineapple and reserved juice.
- Assemble: Spread the pineapple mixture in the baking dish, then top with the cheddar cheese.
- Make the topping: In a small bowl, gently stir together the crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle this over the cheese.
- Bake: Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is warm throughout.
If the cracker topping starts to brown too quickly, you can cover the top with aluminum foil towards the end of the baking.
For a main dish, try pairing pineapple casserole with Air Fryer Chicken-Fried Steak or Baked Breaded Pork Chops. Serve it alongside other classic Southern sides like Super Simple Southern Green Beans and Classic Buttermilk Biscuits. For a dessert, it pairs wonderfully with ice cream for an extra special treat.
How to Store Leftover Pineapple Casserole
Pineapple casserole can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a 350ºF oven. Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 3 months; just make sure to thaw overnight before reheating.
Cheddar cheese is the most common cheese used when making pineapple casserole. However, other cheeses, such as Monterey Jack or Colby Jack, can also be used.
Pineapple casserole is a classic Southern dish that has been enjoyed for decades. No one knows the exact origin, but it first started popping up in cookbooks and magazines in the 1950s.
Pineapple casserole has a sweet, salty, savory flavor thanks to the combination of crushed pineapple, cheddar cheese, brown sugar, and buttery Ritz crackers. It’s totally irresistible!
Yes! Pineapple casserole can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before baking for best results.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 20 oz cans crushed pineapple, drained (reserve ⅓ cup of the juice)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- Preheat an oven to 350 F. Coat an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the pineapple and reserved juice and stir together. Add to the baking dish and spread to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top.
- In a small bowl, gently mix together the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Spread over the surface of the pineapples and cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and warm throughout. If the crust starts to brown too quickly, you can cover the top with aluminum foil towards the end of the baking.