No, it’s not a typo; sweet pineapple, gooey cheese, and crisp, salty crackers make for one tasty side dish. What’s the key to combining these ingredients into a pineapple casserole? Use canned, instead of fresh, pineapple as it blends more easily and the juice creates a sweet sauce. Learn how to make Jeanette’s easy pineapple casserole recipe for an unexpected side dish so delicious, it will become a household staple.
Need a Side Dish Surprise? Pineapple Casserole Is All That and More.
Though it may sound unusual, pineapple casserole is a delightful mashup of classic flavors and textures. From the salty cracker topping to the sweet pineapple and gooey cheddar, this dish hits every note. Best of all, it’s done in under 30 minutes and pairs well with multiple main courses. But pineapple is more than just a sweet treat; the following health benefits deliver enough nutrients to make it a dietary powerhouse.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
This versatile fruit is not only packed with vitamins and antioxidants but contains helpful digestive and disease-fighting aids.
Here are just a few of the health benefits of pineapple:
- High in nutrients: Though they contain nutrients like B6, copper, and thiamin, pineapples are rich in vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is a known immune system booster, while manganese amps your metabolism and aids growth.
- Rich in antioxidants: Pineapples are rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risk of some cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Contains digestive enzymes: This tropical fruit is high in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food particles into protein molecules for easy absorption. This enzyme can also help ease inflammation, making it helpful in easing the pain of arthritis and surgical recoveries.
What Goes Well With Pineapple Casserole?
Pineapple is a classic accompaniment to a variety of chicken and pork dishes and this dish is no exception. Plus, it can be easily made in advance and packed up for a potluck or picnic.
Pair pineapple casserole with the following main courses:
- Baked ham: Though typically used as a topping, a pineapple side dish provides the same complementary sweetness to the salty ham.
- Baked pork tenderloin: The mild pork gets a flavor boost from a sweet and salty baked pineapple casserole with Ritz crackers.
- Grilled chicken breast: Savory grilled chicken pairs perfectly with sweet pineapple and gooey cheese.
- Roasted chicken: The mellow, comforting flavors of roasted chicken are complemented by this equally-heartening casserole and its crunchy topping.
Pineapple Casserole Recipe
This pineapple casserole with cheese and Ritz crackers has just 5 ingredients that create the sweet and savory combo you didn’t know you were missing!
- 2 (20 oz.) cans pineapple chunks, drained (reserve 6 Tbsps of juice)
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 5 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
- ¼ cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set it aside. Combine sugar, flour, and pineapple juice in a medium bowl and mix well. Add pineapple chunks and stir to combine. Spoon pineapple mixture into the casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese. Combine the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter and spread the topping evenly over the pineapple and cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top. The casserole can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, adding the melted butter and cracker mixture just before baking.
Our appliance service team knows all about the importance of a quick but nourishing meal at the end of a long day. Use this pineapple casserole with Jeanette’s baked pork tenderloin recipe or crockpot ranch pork chops and potatoes for a warm and comforting winter dinner.