Inundated with yellow squash? There are many ways to take advantage of the bounty of yellow squash that’s coming in right now. Boiled or steamed, raw in salads, pasta salads, fried alone or with zucchini or okra. One of my favorite dishes is squash casserole.
I learned to make squash casserole from my grandmother, who was a home extension agent. I’ve made it so many times over many decades that I no longer look at a recipe.
Step 1: Select, wash and slice the squash. The amount of squash you’ll need depends on the number of servings you want. I typically make a casserole that will provide four to six fairly large servings, so I can have leftovers for a couple of days. In this instance, I made an 8-serving size casserole because I had so much squash I needed to use. I used about 2 large squash (much larger than you’d find for sale at the farmer’s market) and about 4-5 medium-sized squash. I tend to use larger squash for the casseroles and save the smallest, tender squash for salads and steaming.
Step 2: Dice a small-to-medium sized onion. White, yellow or red works equally well.
I didn’t think about including this on my blog until I reached the next step so I don’t have pictures of steps one and two. Will add those later, when I’m making another batch.
Step 3: Boil the squash and onions until tender. I typically bring the veggies to a boil then lower the heat and put a lid on the boiler and let them simmer for maybe 15-20 minutes. I add black pepper to flavor the squash while simmering. See additional note added to Step 7 about seasoning with salt.
Step 4: Drain the water from the veggies.
Step 5: Return the veggies to the pan while the veggies are still hot and add about 1/4 cup of butter, maybe 1 T more here because I was making slightly more than usual. I don’t go all Paula Deen when I cook but I use real butter in reasonable quantities. I’m pretty sure my body knows what to do with butter. The chemicals in the fake stuff–not so much.
Step 6: Stir in one egg, about 1/2 cup of milk and about 4 oz. of grated cheese.
Note: I didn’t use all the cheese pictured here. I grated about 6 oz. so I had grated cheese left over.
Step 7: Stir in enough bread crumbs to thicken the mixture somewhat. I used about 1 cup of leftover croutons I’d made the day before from a baguette and a slice of whole wheat bread that I tore into small pieces. [Edited to add this comment: At this point, add salt to taste. I don’t use much salt and I find that the cheese and bread usually have enough sodium that additional salt is rarely needed, beyond a dash.]
Step 8: Pour the mixture into an appropriately-sized casserole dish for baking.
Again, this time I made a larger casserole than I usually do so I used a larger casserole dish. I smeared a tiny bit of butter around the dish to make sure it didn’t stick and would be easy to wash. I usually use the non-stick spray (like Pam® or equivalents) but I’ve found that those often leave an amber-colored residue on glass baking dishes, which can be difficult (or impossible) to remove.
Step 9: Bake at 375° F for about 25-30 minutes or until the casserole is golden brown around the edges. At this lower temperature, the casserole is usually well-done in the middle by the time the top is sufficiently browned. I go by appearance, more than time, when baking my squash casserole.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe distributed by the Auburn University Cooperative Extension Service. This photo comes from the recipe for boiled cookies, which my grandmother also taught me to make at a young age.