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.