Southern Summer Squash Casserole
I had never seen a yellow crookneck squash until I moved to Alabama. Yellow squash, like zucchini, is very prolific here in the South, so I quickly learned to cook it and in lots of different ways. We enjoy it sautéed with onions, grilled with a little salt, pepper and garlic or halved and broiled with butter and parmesan cheese. Squash casseroles present a delicious way to use up all that extra summer squash from the garden. They freeze well and are perfect for colder winter months. I have served squash casseroles for brunch alongside lox and bagels and brought them to potluck suppers. They make a perfect light meal with soup, salad and a great veggie side dish for any dairy meal. This recipe is a compilation of several recipes that I have modified over the years in search of the perfect squash casserole. It comes out different every time based on the quantities and types of ingredients I have in the house. I have made a variety of substitutions to make it a little healthier, but I love it best when it has lots of butter and aged cheddar cheese topped with seasoned breadcrumbs. For a gluten-free casserole, leave off the breadcrumbs, and top with extra cheese or make a topping with your favorite nuts and cheese.
- 3-4 pounds yellow crookneck squash
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- ½ cup sour cream (Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1½ cups aged cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs or crackers, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, and put in the oven to heat the dish. Wash and cut squash, onion and carrots into chunks and cook in salted water until vegetables are cooked through and soft, about 15 minutes. Drain vegetables well, put in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or stick blender. (The broth from cooked veggies is great saved and used for a soup base.) While mashed vegetables are still hot, add 3 tablespoons butter, sour cream or yogurt. garlic, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup grated aged cheddar, setting aside remaining ½ cup cheese for topping. Adjust seasonings to taste. Lightly beat 2 eggs and blend into squash mixture. Melt remaining tablespoon butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Pour squash mixture into preheated dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake until top browns, and casserole is bubbly and slightly browned on sides, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.