It's Just Not Easter Without Pineapple Casserole

Are you baking one this year?

Pineapple casserole is a quintessential Southern dish, and at Easter, you'll always find it in the lunch spread, on the table between the sliced ham and buttery cornbread, with a serving spoon at the ready. The pineapple is a symbol for hospitality, so what better way to welcome guests?

My family's Pineapple Casserole is the stuff of legend. At any potluck get-together, there are sure to be four or five 9x13 dishes of Pineapple Casserole. They're all a little different, but they're guaranteed to be creamy and bubbly, a perfect mix of pineapple and cheese.

For Southerners, this dish is usually so popular that leftovers are hard to come by. One place that you're sure to find Pineapple Casserole is at Easter lunch.

Pineapple Casserole in a square casserole pan
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle,Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Easter lunch is a production in the South. We unpack the fancy china, iron the good linens, and dust off the dainty glasses that have been hibernating in the cabinets since Christmas. A beautiful table calls for delicious Easter dishes, too—and none are as beloved as Pineapple Casserole. It's one of the most Southern side dishes you can make for Easter.

Some say Pineapple Casserole is retro; some say it's just as fresh now as it was when we enjoyed it as kids. Our editors make Pineapple Casserole with quite a few variations, but none are quite as beloved as this family recipe.

This classic Pineapple Casserole recipe calls for just six ingredients—including pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, sugar, flour, butter, and Ritz crackers—most of which you probably already have on hand in the pantry. With just a few steps in the kitchen, you'll find that this Easter side is oh-so easy to whip up for your lunch spread.

If you've never tried the dish before, the intriguing list of ingredients might not sound too appetizing. We've had more than one incredulous guest inspect their plate, saying "Pineapple and Cheddar cheese…really?" Yes, really. For those in the know, Pineapple Casserole simply can't be beat. One bite is all you need to fall for this dish.

Our tips for best-ever Pineapple Casserole are few and far between, because it's really hard to mess up this simple recipe. Our Test Kitchen pros do recommend using pineapple chunks packed in juice, not syrup. And to lighten the recipe, you can use reduced-fat cheese and cracker options. No matter the variation, it's sure to be the hit of Easter lunch. (You may want to make two batches.)

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