Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hot Pineapple Casserole


If you've never eaten this particular dish before, then chances are, you probably aren't from the South.  It's a Southern thang.  Well, I think. I don't really know the history or heritage of this dish, to be honest.  I suppose it could be a Northern thang as well.  I live in Virginia, so we're kinda middle folks here. Heck, most folks in Southern Virginia consider folks in Northern Virginia to be Yankees. And many folks in the deep south don't really consider Virginia to be southern. But all that is besides the point to this dish. 


If you've never eaten it before, you will probably think it is the weirdest combination of ingredients you ever heard of.  Who knew pineapple and cheese could make such beautiful music together?  Well, they can.  The sweetness of the pineapples and glaze combined with the zing of the sharp cheddar and slight saltiness and crunchiness from the Ritz crackers makes for a surprisingly good flavor combo. You're gonna have to trust me on this is all I can say. And really, you should never trust anyone who says "Trust me".  But ya know, I'm saying it anyway. But not in a sleazy, used car salesman kinda way. Not that all used car salesmen are sleazy, mind you. I'm just sayin'...trust me, it's good.  It is meant to be a side dish. And it goes amazingly well with ham. I could eat this as a side dish or as a dessert really. I think once you've had a bite, you'll be hooked too.
 Ingredients:
1 cup water 
1 cup sugar 
3 tbsp. pineapple gelatin mix (Jell-O)
3 tbsp. corn starch 
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits or chunks (in 100% juice)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together water, sugar, 3 tbsp. pineapple gelatin mix, and 3 tbsp. corn starch until thoroughly combined and you get all the lumps out.
Turn heat up to high and let mixture to come to a boil and thicken. Continue to whisk.
Once thickened take off heat.
Drain pineapple chunks thoroughly, setting aside 1/2 cup of the juice.
Add drained pineapple chunks to pot and stir.
While pineapple mixture is cooling, begin making topping.
In a large Ziploc bag, finely crush Ritz crackers.
Add crackers, melted butter and 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice into a medium bowl and stir until combined.
Add shredded cheese to cooled pineapple mixture and pour into baking dish.
Spread Ritz cracker topping over pineapple mixture.
Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes (until topping is golden brown).
Serve warm.
Enjoy!
Printable Recipe Here

42 comments :

Jennie @themessybakerblog said...

Wow, how creative! It looks so tasty. I love pineapple, so I'm sure this is a winner.

Amy Bailey said...

Yum! My grandma, who is from the South, makes this! It does go amazingly well with ham.

Suzan said...

I just had a flashback to pot luck dinners at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia!

Kayz Gazebo said...

My S-I-L showed up w/ this at some gathering about 15 yrs ago, I thought she was nuts! It's indescribably, dangerously amazing!

GREAT CHEAT recipe I made up for late night snack ....
<<< Ritz cracker, pineapple chunk, topped w/ cheese... make a tray full, toaster oven for a few minutes>>>
my son named them UFO's : ) don't say I didn't warn you! DANGEROUS!

Annie Oakley's Kitchen said...

Yup, I am not a Southerner (even though I want to be one...someday.) This is the first time I've heard of this recipe or combining cheese with pineapple. It works well with apples so it wouldn't be a far stretch to say that it would be good with pineapples too! My Dad considers himself a Southerner even though he's from West Virginia. I wonder if he's heard of this?

MarthaT said...

Texas is pretty far south and I have never had this, but I plan to remedy that soon!

Christy said...

This truly is a southern dish. I absolutely love this side dish. I lived in Texas for a while and none of my friends knew what it was when we went to North Caroline for work. I'm from the Southeast.

Www.lifeofamodernhousewife.com

Julia @The Roasted Root said...

As a west coaster, I always find southern cooking to be so comforting - such a treat! I've never tried the pineapple casserole, but one of my friends from NC is coming to visit this week, so she and I will have to whip up a batch together -there's no doubt in my mind that she's had it before. Thanks for the great recipe!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be making this! I also just looked through your pinterest board. I think I gained 10 lbs just looking at your food!! Keep up the great cooking!

fraurice said...

We are having this today with our Easter ham (with cherry glaze), sweet potato caserole, Brussels sprouts, and buttermilk biscuits. It's in the oven now and smells scrumptious!

Sunshine said...

Wow...I have never heard if this but it sounds awesome. I will be trying this!

www.cancerinthecity.com

ValKahn said...

My husband grilled ham steaks on the grill and I made this casserole. The two went well together. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Kristin said...

I'm from Missouri, and we have this quite a bit. It's amazing! This is even good cold (if you actually have any at all left).

Colette Zabo said...

Oh, wow, that would be so good hot out of the oven on a cold, winter night....

Tiffany Wirth said...

I have to try this one! :)

Anonymous said...

We have been loving the pineapple casserole, for oh maybe 20 years got to tell you never ever used pineapple jello this is very interesting to me. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! This is so darn good!!! I made it last Sunday with ham, green beans, and rolls. Hubby said delish. It was super easy to make and I took some to work and they ate it up and asked for the recipe.

Many thanks, this will be a staple in our house.

Anonymous said...

this is one of the best things to happen to a southern kitchen! can't wait to whip this up tonight for a 30th birthday. i live in colorado now, and i'm pretty excited to share this with my western friends.

Karelle Harris said...

Hi! I was excited to find your version of this idea. I have tried the Paula Deen version and have been frustrated that the cheese didnt melt. I tried this version and the cheese didn't melt either! Am I wrong to think it is supposed to?
Thanks for your feedback!

The Country Cook said...

Hi Karelle. If you aren't real familiar with this kind of recipe (as in having grown up with it), you wouldn't know what to expect from that finished product. But no, I've never had a version of this where the cheese is melted. You should see bits of cheese in it. You want to get in the occasional bite of cheese but it should not be incorporated in the gelatin part of this. I like a finely shredded cheese but I've had versions where folks put in bigger chunks. Hope that helps! ~Brandie :)

Marilyn M said...

Hi Country Cook! I have just spent the last hour looking at your recipes. (Making Taco Bake and Spanish Rice for dinner tonight.)In regards to the pineapple recipe-Here is my version: 2 large cans pineapple chunks-drained, 1 cup sugar, 6 T. flour, 2 cups Velvetta Cheese-shredded, 1 roll Ritz Crackers and 1 stick butter-melted. Combine first four ingredients. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Crush ritz crackers and sprinkle on top. Pour melted butter over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. (Velvetta Cheese melts beautifully.) Hope you try this version.

Anonymous said...

Everyone agrees that this dish pairs well with ham. I'm wondering whether it might be possible to add diced ham to the dish itself?

The Country Cook said...

Anonymous, I guess you kid. Personally, I like to keep it as a separate dish. It's good along with the ham, I'm just not so sure I want it in there. :D ~Brandie

ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.com said...

This is very yummy.... Thanks for sharing :)

PKP said...

I looked for pineapple jello at our local grocery store & they don't have it anymore - they seemed to think Jello doesn't even make that flavor anymore -- any suggestions for a substitute??

Brandie @ The Country Cook said...

Hi PKP - hmmmm, I just bought some at my Wal-Mart yesterday so I could make it for Easter. I guess you could maybe go with a plain gelatin and then add some pineapple juice for flavor. I haven't tried it so I couldn't give you exact amounts but I think it might work.

Anonymous said...

I cannot edit the recipe to increase the type size and make it bold (for aging eyes). Any solution to the problem will be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

From Chicago here and I have never heard of this was before. I have all the ingredients in my pantry already except for the pineapple gelatin I am going to substitute lemon and see what happens!

Anonymous said...

I buy the generic crackers from all do that I like grits you think that is a suitable substitution and if so how many individual crackers are am I going to need Basically asking how many are in a sleeve of Ritz?

Anonymous said...

Can you make this ahead of timme

Anonymous said...

I got the island pineapple jello at walmart yesterday

Jen Robinson said...

Made this as a side dish to accompany our Easter ham. There were no leftovers of this delicious dish! And to think I almost didn't make it! Wonderful recipe! And lemon jello worked just fine. Couldn't find pineapple jello here in Hawaii (go figure!).

Anonymous said...

I just found your recipe again. I'm printing it out this time. I made it for Thanksgiving and we loved it. It was great warm. But guess what. I loved it cold also.

Anonymous said...

My recipe is also a little different but the basics are the same, pineapple, butter, Ritz, and cheese, (no gelatin). Like you, when I first heard this combo I thought, no way! But, we never have ham, or a family gathering, without this dish. It's amazing! This is the first time I've found it anywhere besides my recipe box. I also take this to potlucks and while occasionally I'll get a 'hater' I always take a copy of the recipe, because I get so many requests. Awesome!
BTW, just stumbled onto your site....great recipes! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great recipes..can't wait to try them

Anonymous said...

I love pineapple ! I make a pineapple cobbler . Melt a stick of butter in a baking pan , take two cups of self rising flour , two cups of sugar , and milk not to thick nor runny . I take that mixture put in the baking pan over the butter , the I add two large cans of pineapple juice and all . I use one of crushed pineapple and one of chunked . Bake at 350 til nice and brown .I believe I use a 9x13 pan . Enjoy ! Stacey Burns

nccowboy said...

My mom use to make something like this all the time and "yes" cheese taste great with pineapple.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know also and how much is a stick of butter in cups?

Anonymous said...

1 stick of butter equals 1/2 cup.

Southern Belle in California said...

The first time I had this it was love at first bite. I could see a tiny edge of a Ritz cracker but couldn't taste the cracker. Just the deliciousness. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to make the pineapple/cheese part, refrigerate it overnight, mix up and add the topping before popping it in the oven to bake? We have SO much going on in the kitchen Easter morning that prepping it before-hand would be awesome, if possible!

Caroline said...

I had this recipe at my church for Thanksgiving! It was awesome! I couldn't figure out who's recipe it was! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I love all your recipes and so does my family. Your site is my favorite site.

God gave you a wonderful gift. Cooking and sharing.
thanks so much, Caroline