Attention pineapple casserole fans! This revamped version is perfect for the holidays.
My family believes in traditional holiday food, and by “traditional holiday food,” they mean the same things we’ve always had, no exceptions and no TRYING TO BE DIFFICULT. Please ask me about the time I suggested to my mother that twice-baked sweet potatoes might be a delicious alternative to the marshmallow-topped casserole. I defended my honor in vain, because I absolutely wasn’t TRYING TO BE DIFFICULT, but Mom was having none of it, so I made the sweet potatoes with marshmallows and learned my lesson. I mean, they’re good that way, so why rock the boat? But perhaps we could steer the boat in an ever-so- slightly-different direction? Maybe just to keep the sun out of our eyes? I don’t think we’ll capsize, but this metaphor is going too far, so let’s tie the boat to the dock and make some dinner.
During the holiday season, it seems like everyone is scouring their collection of vintage Junior League cookbooks, the family recipe box and, because this is 2017, the Internet for the best holiday dinner recipes. We all want to show up on the big day with the dish that will stand out from the crowd, the one that’s traditional enough not to offend, but still offers an exciting twist. As long as that twist doesn’t shock Great Aunt Lavinia into another stroke!
I love pineapple casserole, which a lot of people call pineapple gratin, and it’s definitely a classic. This sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy side dish complements the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas goose, and the Easter lamb. It goes with everything on the buffet, at least if you’re from around here and you’re used to pineapple casserole. And this classic—starring fresh pineapple, Cheddar cheese, and the ubiquitous buttery breadcrumbs—is only for holidays. You’ll never come across this dish on some random Tuesday.
WATCH: How to Make Old-Fashioned Pineapple Casserole
Almost everyone wants to find the perfect new-but-not-too-new recipe to make and share, and there are some of us who want to invent that recipe. When you’re trying to come up with something revolutionary, it can feel like everything under the sun has already been discovered, but every now and then, you have a novel recipe idea. No matter how hard you search the Internet, the dish is nowhere to be found. And if it isn’t on the internet, it just isn’t a thing—yet.
How pineapple casserole bacon cups haven’t been discovered is a mystery to me. They aren’t that hard to make, they’re an exciting yet safe variation on a classic, and they include bacon. Though bacon may not be quite as hip as it was in 2005, it’s still a solidly delicious choice. These individual pineapple casserole bacon cups make serving a breeze, and they look pretty on the plate.
If you’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with your whole family for your whole life, you know how hard it can be to get them to try new things, but pineapple gratin isn’t new, and no one can resist bacon. This holiday season, here’s to hoping all your relatives stay on their best behavior, avoid talking politics, and behave like adults, which means trying everything on their plates without pitching a fit.
Anne Wolfe Postic is a freelance writer living in South Carolina with her husband, their three sons, and a fluffy white dog. She travels with relish (and often a jar of Duke’s mayonnaise). She cooks her feelings and invites people over to eat them. Anne writes and blogs about parenting, etiquette, healthy eating, home cooking, and traveling. She recommends taking all of her advice with a huge chunk of salt.