Here in Alabama, the days are getting shorter, the air is becoming cooler, and the leaves are starting to turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow...Fall is in the air! What better way to welcome the new season than with a deliciously comforting Butternut Squash Casserole?
I found some beautiful butternut squash at James' produce stand near my house a few weeks ago. James told me about the delicious Butternut Squash Casserole that his wife had made a few nights earlier. That sounded like an amazing idea to me, so I started looking up recipes online. I came across the following recipe over at Ezra Pound Cake, which sounded awesome. I had most of what I needed on-hand, and I improvised the rest. I've marked my changes in bold type below...There were really only a few of them.
I must say that this has earned a spot in the "Home for the Holidays" tab, because it tastes just like Thanksgiving to me! It would be the perfect substitute for Sweet Potato Casserole if you wanted to switch things up a bit this holiday season.
However, don't wait for a special occasion or holiday to try this one...It's WAY too yummy!
Butternut Squash Casserole
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
- 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk (I used regular whole milk)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, toasted (I used whole wheat Ritz crackers, smashed into crumbs)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar)
- Optional: 4 to 6 large handfuls of fresh spinach, washed and stemmed (add to the same water as the squash in step 2 during the last minute of boiling)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking dish or 4-quart casserole.
- Place 3 quarts water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes. The squash will turn a deeper orange. Drain it and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the stockpot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and the buttermilk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup pecans and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup pecans and 2/3 cup cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.