Friday, January 29, 2010

Butternut Squash Casserole


This casserole is by far one of the best casseroles I've ever made and probably one of the best in existence period. I wish there was a really awesome vegetarian casseroles cookbook out there because it's so great to find something that's tasty and makes lots of leftovers for the week. (If you know of such a cookbook, please let me know!) I loved this casserole so much - it was so flavourful and satisfying. It has tons of yummy stuff in it (butternut squash, onions, thyme, pumpkin seeds or pecans, cheese, spinach) and is pretty healthy too. The only thing I'd do differently next time is to use pecans instead of pumpkin seeds, and really you could just leave them out altogether and it would still be amazing.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Tomato and Corn Pie
Feta and Ricotta Cheese Pie
Squash & Aged White Cheddar Tart with Sage and Roasted Garlic Custard

Butternut Squash Casserole
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake who adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

Serves 8 to 10 people

3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces (about 6 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan (you could easily reduce this by at least half)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (toasted if you want, I didn't toast them)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pecans, toasted
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 bunch of spinach, washed (add to the same water as the squash in step 2 during the last minute of boiling)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place 3 quarts water in a large pot 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.

3. 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 milk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.

4. Spread the mixture evenly in a 9x13" baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 2/3 cup cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

45 comments:

L-Burt said...

This looks fantastic! I would love a cookbook like that as well.

Joanne said...

I can totally see why this was so fantastic. Butternut squash is perhaps one of my most favorite things out there. I love it just about any way, but covered in cheesy deliciousness is a definite winner.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Looks amazing - How do you think it would taste with sweet potato's??

Cheryl said...

The picture of the butternut casserole has my mouth watering. It makes me want to dig in. I'll be making it very soon.

Johanna GGG said...

I'd love to hear of that vegetarian casserole book too if you ever find it - casseroles are so good in winter - i have a few on my blog under oven bakes in the index - as soon as I saw your photo I knew I wanted to this once the weather cools

kimberleyblue said...

Sounds perfect! I've made a butternut squash lasagna that was fairly similar, and it used pecans. I'm sure you'd love it!
This is great for when you don't want all those extra carbs though...definitely gonna have to try it.

Steph said...

Ashley, that looks soooo good! I'm obsessed with butternut squash and spinach.

grace said...

i like casseroles. i love cheesy casseroles. the fact that this is vegetarian-friendly is quite appealing, and your picture shows something that must be 88 kinds of delicious.

Elena B. said...

This looks delicious! I just came across your blog and can't wait to look through all these fabulous recipes! Growing up, my mom never cooked casseroles much, but I really like them so I've got to give this a try!

Rachel said...

This is incredibly similar to what I made for dinner last night (coincidentally!), except I didn't do pumpkin seeds, I'll have to add that next time. http://thechefdeplunge.blogspot.com/2010/01/butternut-squash-swiss-chard-and.html

sally said...

Sounds delicious! I definitely appreciate a good veggie casserole (especially one with butternut squash and melted cheese)!

Amedy said...

good recipe I cant wait to try this one

Jacqueline said...

Mmmmmm, I see what you mean! That sounds bloomin' delicious, all lovely and cheesy :P

Catherine said...

I stumbled across your blog a few months ago. I made this this morning and it was delicious! I found that even just using what I had on had (basil and fresh coriander instead of thyme, swiss cheese instead of cheddar, random bread heels), it still came out delicious, warm, spinach-y and cheesy. It is also great on toast.

kickpleat said...

This looks fabulous! I'm definitely interested in a squash casserole. And with lots of cheese, how can you go wrong?

Katrina said...

This sounds de-licious! I have a butternut squash just a waitin' for me to use it!

Spiele said...

I love this one I' have to try it

Mark Scarbrough said...

Delicious. I am so into vegetarian casseroles. Write that book!

CookiePie said...

YUM - that looks really delicious!!!

Natalie... said...

Ooh this looks so yummy! I loveeee butternut squash! Its such a great vegetable.

Teanna said...

That casserole looks so good! I wouldn't even miss the meat! Delicious!

Juliana said...

Yummie, this casserole looks so tasty, like the idea of the spinach in it, not only give a nice color as well as taste :-)

Candice said...

your food fotos have gotten AMAZING! That looks so delicious :o I must try to make it for the newly-hatched vegetarians in my house

Carolyn Jung said...

Butternut squash with cheese is divine just right there -- but add my fave pecans and crunchy bread crumbs and it's heaven on a whole new level. ;)

Kevin said...

That casserole looks really good! A really nice way to enjoy some squash!

Carla said...

I have a butternut squash sitting in the fridge right now. Kinda tired of making soup all the time, so maybe I'll try this casserole.

Haley said...

I tried this and it was delicious! You can even make it a few days ahead and leave in the fridge until it's ready to bake.

I used lower-fat cheese - still totally good.

Also, I can't wait until Passover - I'm going to make it with matzah meal and it'll be a perfect dinner + leftovers!

Chef Fresco said...

This looks so good! I love anything butternut squash.

Whitney said...

I am making this tonight. I can't wait. I'm already obsessed with your blueberry muffins and the lentil soup so I have no doubt this will be fabulous too!

Vegetation said...

Hi Ashley, I just wanted to tell you I made this night before last for dinner. I swapped the time for sage becauce when I opened my spices I didn't have any thyme, but wow! I just love it and I'll definitely be dishing it up a whole lot this winter! It was sensational!

Vegetation said...

Oh great. Typo, how embarrassing (sorry I could leave it be). Of course when I typed "time" I meant "thyme" *blush*

Beverly said...

I made it and my husband who is a lacto-veg and my meat eating daughter, who by the way never likes any type of casserole really loved it! Will definatley make this for Thanksgiving dinner

eatme_delicious said...

Beverly: I'm so happy to hear your family loved it. :)

Eat more avocados said...

Hey there, I'm a Canadian (from BC!) mom in Kenya. I made this last week and not only did it look identical to the photo, it was fantastic. We'll be making it again...and I'll be trying more of your recipes. Thanks~!

Kristen said...

This dish was absolutely delicious! I used walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds because that's what I had on hand, and it still turned out amazing. This is a dish I would make again. I haven't really cooked much with butternut squash so this is a great start to using this ingredient.

eatme_delicious said...

Eat more avocadoes & Kristen: Yaey glad you both liked this. Great idea to use walnuts Kristen!

Mary said...

I'm going to be making it this week, but I'm just going to roast the seeds that are inside of the squash instead of having to hunt down pumpkin seeds.

Is there a reason pumpkin seeds were chosen in particular when squash seeds would presumably (unless you buy pre-cut) be right there for the using?

Mary said...

I made this today and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

eatme_delicious said...

Mary: Glad you liked it! :) There's no reason pumpkin seeds were chosen, that was just the way the recipe was written. Using the seeds from the squash is a great idea.

quiltyascharged said...

This dish is soooo ymmmy!! We all went back for secnds when I made it!!

Anonymous said...

This was a bit time-consuming to make, but well worth the effort! Delicious.

LGeraghty said...

I notice the ingredients call for milk, but the instructions say, "add the buttermilk". Which does it actually call for - milk or buttermilk? Thanks! Looking forward to making this, but want to make sure I get the ingredients correct the first time.

eatme_delicious said...

LGeraghty: The original recipe called for buttermilk but I used milk and forgot to change it in both places in the recipe - sorry for the confusion! I've fixed it now.

Anonymous said...

Made this last night. It was excellent and easy! I used dumplings squash and pecans. I added 2 sweet Italian sausage links broken up with the onions. It made a great comfort food!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm going to make this this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

If you're still looking for a good veggie casserole cookbook, we use "The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever." It has every kind of casserole you can imagine and a fairly lengthy chapter on vegetarian casseroles.

It is my go-to fall cookbook.