Looking for a side dish to serve at your next holiday party? This incredible casserole has an astonishing harmony of sweet, zesty, and savory flavors. With shredded cheese, tangy pineapple, and a buttery cracker topping, you won't be able to get enough.
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Pineapple Cheese Casserole with Ritz Crackers
Although the exact origins are murky, this incredible pineapple cheese casserole recipe was likely invented sometime around the 1950s. During that time, casseroles became popular because of their convenience and pleasant presentation.
Additionally, using pre-chopped pineapple out of a can was beneficial for busy home cooks. Although there are many variations of this casserole, this recipe is everything you need to amaze your loved ones.
Why This is the Best Recipe for Pineapple and Cheese Casserole
Sometimes simplicity is sophistication! Why change a famous and delicious pineapple casserole recipe by adding unnecessary ingredients? This recipe is incredibly effortless. It has a simple ingredient list, and it doesn't take long at all to assemble.
Moreover, it bakes quickly, too. Using traditional ingredients, this casserole will take your guests down memory lane with comforting textures and flavors that taste exactly like the first time they tried it, no matter how many years ago it was.
- Canned pineapple chunks or tidbits
- All-purpose flour
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Ritz crackers
The reserved pineapple juice helps to hydrate the flour and bind the ingredients in the filling, so don’t toss it.
You can easily modify this recipe to make it gluten-free or vegan-friendly. For example, you can use gluten-free flour in the filling and crushed gluten-free crackers in the topping.
To make it vegan, you will need to use a butter substitute such as margarine and a dairy-free cheese substitute. Surprisingly, although Ritz crackers have a buttery taste and mouthfeel, they are typically vegan if you purchase the original Ritz.
How to Make Pineapple Cheese Casserole
- To prepare the mixture, you need to combine the sugar, flour, and 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice in a large bowl.
- Add the cheese and drained pineapple chunks to the filling mixture, and stir to thoroughly incorporate it.
- Spoon the pineapple mixture into a buttered 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle crushed crackers.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the cracker crumbs before baking it at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Once you remove it from the oven, allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
If you have a food processor, it can come in handy for crushing the Ritz crackers into breadcrumbs. Just use the pulse setting so that you don't overdo it because it doesn't take much time. If not, you can always put the crackers into a large Ziploc bag and smash them with a cooking pan or rolling pin.
- Panko Breadcrumbs. The cherished and classic version of this dish is made with Ritz crackers. However, you can experiment with other toppings if you wish. For example, Panko breadcrumbs taste fantastic and give the dish a nice crunch.
- Extra Cheese. If you like your food extra cheesy, add more cheese on top near the end of cooking so it can brown and turn bubbly. You can also do a combination of white and sharp cheddar cheese, making it extra delicious.
How to Serve This Pineapple Casserole Recipe with Cheese
There is a reason why this dish is considered a delicacy in the South! You can serve it in both sweet or savory ways. Most importantly, serve it when it is fresh! It does need 10 minutes to rest, but after that, you should dig in because it tastes best when it's warm.
Keep this southern pineapple casserole in the dish and serve it family style. If you are enjoying it as a dessert, sprinkle some chopped pecans or walnuts, coconut, whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream on top when you plate it. If you are enjoying it with savory foods, simply garnish it with fresh herbs to give it a nice pop of color.
What Goes Well With Pineapple Cheese Ritz Cracker Casserole
Serve this side dish with other comfort foods such as baked ham, pork tenderloin, grilled sweet onions, deviled eggs, or potato salad. The options are truly endless! You’ll be surprised how the sweet and savory dish complements many holiday foods at Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.
How to Store Pineapple Ritz Cracker Casserole
I doubt you’ll have any leftovers, but if you do, make sure to correctly store them. Transfer the remaining casserole to a fresh container with an airtight lid. Or, if you plan to reheat it in the same dish, wrap it tightly with foil when you store it in the refrigerator. It maintains its excellent quality for up to four days.
How to Freeze Cheesy Pineapple Casserole
This casserole isn’t the best candidate for freezing because the crackers get soggy, but it is certainly possible. Tightly wrap it and keep it in the freezer for two months. To thaw it, put it in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in the oven. You might have to add more breadcrumbs to give it that nice crunchy top layer that everyone loves.
How to Reheat Pineapple Casserole with Cheese
You can reheat a portion of this casserole in the microwave! Make sure to cover it and cook it in short increments until it is heated through.
If you have a lot left over, you can stick the whole dish in a 350°F oven and heat it that way. Just make sure to cover it so the topping doesn’t burn!
More Vintage Casserole and Side Dish Recipes
Check out these Fall Retro Casserole Recipes.
Pineapple Cheese Casserole
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 12-ounce cans pineapple chunks or tidbits drained (save the juice)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
- ½ cup butter melted
- Combine the sugar, flour, and 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. Add the cheese and pineapple tidbits and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Spread the crushed crackers on top and drizzle with melted butter.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.