Updated date:

Perfectly Sweet and Savory Southern Pineapple Casserole

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.

Pineapple casserole

Pineapple casserole

Perfectly Sweet and Savory Southern Pineapple Casserole

I love the very idea of this dish—it shouldn't make any sense, but it does. It comes together perfectly—delightfully sweet with a hint of savory and a tiny touch of salty. It checks all the boxes.

Now, I don't know the history of this recipe. I've heard it called several things—hot pineapple dish, pineapple casserole, pineapple and cheese dessert—not all of which are actually rather appealing now that I think of it. But I do know that I've seen slight variations on this dish in community, Junior League, and church cookbooks going back as early as the great depression. And it certainly feels like a depression-era recipe, doesn't it? Sugar, canned fruit, cheese, and crackers? As far as I'm concerned, it took the particular genius of Depression Era cooks to figure out how to make that work—and make it work so deliciously.

Ingredients

  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks in juice, drained with juice reserved
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1 sleeve round butter crackers, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Butter a 7x11 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, 1/3 cup of flour, and 1 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir in the drained pineapple chunks, tossing well to combine. Pour pineapple mixture into the buttered casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the pineapple mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and crushed cracker crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the cheese.
  5. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly throughout.
Super simple ingredients combine to form the base of the sauce in this casserole. Pineapple juice, all-purpose flour, and sugar are all it takes.

Super simple ingredients combine to form the base of the sauce in this casserole. Pineapple juice, all-purpose flour, and sugar are all it takes.

You could use any type of pineapple you like, but I prefer to use pineapple chunks. Make sure you look for the ones packed in juice, not syrup. The syrup is too thick and cloying sweet for this recipe.

You could use any type of pineapple you like, but I prefer to use pineapple chunks. Make sure you look for the ones packed in juice, not syrup. The syrup is too thick and cloying sweet for this recipe.

You can use whatever type of cheddar you like. I personally like the extra sharp cheddar for this dish. It's a great contrast against the sweetness of the sauce and the zing of the pineapple.

You can use whatever type of cheddar you like. I personally like the extra sharp cheddar for this dish. It's a great contrast against the sweetness of the sauce and the zing of the pineapple.

Use a 7x11 casserole dish. Be generous when rubbing it with butter - not only does the flavor enhance the finished dish, but it seriously prevents sticking - the sugary base can stick hard!

Use a 7x11 casserole dish. Be generous when rubbing it with butter - not only does the flavor enhance the finished dish, but it seriously prevents sticking - the sugary base can stick hard!

Zap the butter in the microwave for just a few seconds to melt it completely. This makes tossing with the cracker crumbs much easier.

Zap the butter in the microwave for just a few seconds to melt it completely. This makes tossing with the cracker crumbs much easier.

The finished pineapple casserole - the sauce bubbles up around the buttery cracker topping, creating a finished dish that's very much like a traditional cobbler, with a savory and salty touch.

The finished pineapple casserole - the sauce bubbles up around the buttery cracker topping, creating a finished dish that's very much like a traditional cobbler, with a savory and salty touch.

© 2019 Jan Charles

Related Articles