It’s a secret holiday favorite.

By Kaitlyn Yarborough
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Pineapple Casserole
Credit: Southern Living

It shouldn’t be too weird of a thought to include pineapple casserole in a Southern holiday celebration. We serve all sorts of sweet oddities like congealed cranberry molds and citrusy ambrosia salads, for crying out loud. Nevertheless, some have come to the opinion that pineapple casserole should be reserved only for Easter to go with baked ham and pastel eggs. However, there’s a reason that interest and Internet search around classic pineapple casserole recipes seriously spikes right around the holiday season: Southerners are secretly making it for Christmas, too. 

Be it out of shame or fear of embarrassment, many seem to sadly keep the inclusion of pineapple casserole on their holidays menus hush-hush, but it’s actually become quite the regular on Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. Why the appeal? Firstly, it’s delicious. (If you’ve never tried it, read this.) The combination of sweet pineapple, Cheddar cheese, and buttery crackers come together to form the perfectly balanced bite. Secondly, there is never a need to worry about what’s in season. Because classic pineapple casserole calls for canned, of course. All the ingredients can be kept on hand. Lastly, it adds the appropriate amount of sweet to offset the insanely rich, savory, salty dishes that make up a Southern feast. Many even scoop up a bite alongside the turkey, ham, or beef at the same time. You've never known such culinary heaven. 

If it weren’t for all of those Judgy Janes out there, more might know that it goes with Christmas in the South just as much as Easter. And if you’ve been scared to slide that baking dish onto the sideboard—despite it being your favorite holiday side dish—now’s the time to buck off the shame and own your truth. Pineapple casserole is special and should be treated as such. No more hiding it away from the haters. Just make sure to try our reader-loved, retro-inspired Pineapple Casserole recipe and walk with confidence. 

WATCH: Pineapple Casserole

This holiday season, there are no rules. Serve what you want, however you want. But maybe hold off on the celery-chicken Jello salad.