- 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice drained
- 20 oz can pineapple chunks in juice drained reserve 1/4 cup of juice
- 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 22 Ritz crackers crushed I actually used one sleeve of Aldi “Golden Rounds” and crushed them in my hands like the Hulk
- 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 8x8 inch dish, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the pineapple, juice, flour, sugar and cheddar.
- Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crackers.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
This is something I have always wanted to try and never came across in real life. Honestly, it scares me a little. Who would think of this? But I’ve seriously thought about this side dish for at least a decade and what better time to try it out than the year I am putting together a regional foods themed Thanksgiving?
The answer is that there will never be a better time. This is apparently a bit more popular at Easter, which makes sense because of ham but I saw a lot of references to it at Thanksgiving as well. It is an interesting combination and very easy to put together. I was interested to find that not only is this apparently a popular dish there is a rival pineapple-cheese dish, scalloped pineapple, that uses bread cubes instead of crackers. I had crackers leftover from the corn pudding so I went the cracker route but honestly, I’m intrigued by the bread. Maybe I will try that one day?
I did tweak the classic a bit. There was a divide between crushed and chunk pineapples so I used both—I think the chunks give you a better, more interesting texture but the crushed really mix well with the other ingredients and give the dish body rather than it just being melted cheese on a pineapple chunk. I used fake Ritz which I think are buttery enough so I didn’t add butter to the topping. I think I would so it would brown and be toasty if I used saltines I like saw in some real early recipes but we have Ritz now. I also used a little less sugar than some recipes called for, the pineapple was already very sweet.
I wasn’t sure if we’d like it but I thought I like cheddar cheese and apples or pears so why not pineapple? We actually really liked it! It was fun, sort of sweet savory without tasting like dessert. I’m very glad I didn’t add butter to the topping because I think that would have been very heavy and possibly greasy. As it was, it was oddly refreshing.
The picture came out very brown, I think its my choice of dish but it really is more appetizing in person!