Pineapple Casserole


This pineapple casserole with Cheddar cheese is beloved for its simplicity (and short ingredient list).

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If any region has perfected the art of casserole making, it's the South. There's a casserole for every occasion: weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthdays, you name it. While the pineapple casserole is a little more obscure, it deserves a spot on the dining room table—and you'll find it on Southern Easter tables without fail.

The canned pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, and crispy Ritz cracker crust may sound a little bizarre, but it's surprisingly tasty! The unique flavors are enough to impress even the choosiest casserole connoisseur.

And it's so easy to make—it requires just six ingredients. Eating this dish will give you the ideal sweet and salty fix, and we guarantee your first bite won't be your last. Give the scrumptious pineapple casserole a try; you won't regret it!

Southern Living Pineapple Casserole serving on a plate

Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

What's in a Pineapple Casserole?

Pineapple casserole is made with a surprising mix of ingredients, but most variations include the following:

  • Canned Pineapple: The starring ingredient, pineapple, is the base of this dish. Canned is recommended as it is sweeter and softer than freshly cut fruit. Another benefit is that canned pineapple contains the juice, which will be used in the recipe to help bind the casserole together.
  • Sugar: A little extra sweetness from white sugar heightens the pineapple flavor and creates a flavorful contrast between the salty cheese and crackers.
  • Flour: Flour helps thicken and bind the pineapple and sugar mixture together at the bottom of the dish. If you're gluten-intolerant, feel free to use gluten-free flour here.
  • Cheddar cheese: You can technically use many different kinds of cheese here, but Cheddar—for the brave, sharp Cheddar—seems to match perfectly with the sweetness of the pineapple. Cheddar is also the most traditional choice. This recipe calls for one cup of shredded Cheddar cheese sprinkled on the pineapple. If you are looking for a swap, choose a mild, melting cheese.
  • Butter: My Mama always says, "Butter makes it better." Combine the Ritz crackers with melted butter for a crave-worthy topping. If you find your casserole gets too dark in the oven, cover with tin foil during the first half of baking, and remove at the end to caramelize.
  • Ritz Crackers: Flaky and buttery Ritz crackers act as a salty topping to the pineapple casserole. In a pinch, other crackers (and gluten-free options for those folks who are sensitive) will work. But if you can, stick with the brand name to ensure a rich and crunchy top.
pineapple casserole ingredients

Jen Causey; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Is Pineapple Casserole a Dessert or a Side Dish?

Pineapple casserole can be either a dessert or a side dish. Add toppings like coconut flakes or chopped pecans if you want to play up the sweeter elements of the recipe, or include a mix of sharp cheeses if it's meant to act as a side dish. The play of sweetness from the pineapple and the saltiness from the buttery crackers creates a unique treat.

Do You Use Fresh Pineapple in the Recipe?

While fresh is typically best in most recipes, in this case, canned is better (and easier). Softer and sweeter, canned pineapple works well in this recipe. Essential is the juice or liquid that canned pineapple typically contains, which helps bind the casserole together.

How To Serve Pineapple Casserole

Perfect with Easter ham or barbecued ribs, pineapple casserole is the perfect pairing for savory smoked meats.

Of course, if you want to eat pineapple casserole on its own, the dish can be served with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream for a luxurious dessert.

Southern Living Pineapple Casserole in the dish to serve

Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Can It Be Made Ahead of Time?

Pineapple casserole can be prepared the day before you plan to serve it to lighten the workload, especially on busy holidays, like Easter. Simply mix the pineapple, sugar, and flour together, and add to your casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese.

Cover the casserole dish with cling film, and keep it stored in the refrigerator until baking. Mix the crumb topping together and leave covered on the counter. Before baking, remove the cling film and top with crumb topping.

How To Store Pineapple Casserole

Any leftover pineapple casserole can be kept in the refrigerator, covered for three to four days. We don't recommend freezing pineapple casserole as the crackers lose their crunch.

Editorial Contributions by Alexandra Emanuelli.


  • 2 (20-oz.) cans pineapple chunks in juice, drained (reserve 6 Tbsp. juice)

  • 1/3 cups sugar

  • 5 tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed


  1. Combine casserole ingredients:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium size bowl, combine sugar, flour, and reserved pineapple juice. Add pineapple chunks and toss well to combine. Spoon pineapple mixture into 8x8-inch casserole dish, and top with shredded cheese.

    prepped ingredients for pineapple casserole

    Jen Causey; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

  2. Add cracker topping:

    Combine crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Spread Ritz cracker topping evenly on top of pineapple mixture.

    preparing pineapple casserole

    Jen Causey; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

  3. Bake casserole:

    Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

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

Alexandra Emanuelli is a professional food editor and writer with nine years of experience. She has been published in HuffPost, Clean Eating, AllRecipes, and other publications.

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