For Thanksgiving this year, the fam and I packed up the car and headed north to go camping in a quaint and beautiful little town named Quitman, Georgia (Well that’s north for us since we live in Orlando, Florida). My sister asked me to bring a side dish to for the multi-family Thanksgiving feast, which is held around the campfire each year. This squash and cheddar casserole was a winner, winner, turkey dinner! A big hit for all.
I happened to overhear a couple of our Georgian friends talking about how delicious the squash casserole is. This spin on a traditional southern dish has a key ingredient: cheese. Lots of sharp cheddar, parmesan, and Romano cheese. These southern ladies (and talented home cooks) said they had never tried a squash casserole with cheese. They loved it. Try it (trust me) and taste for yourself how the sharpness of the cheese takes this squash bake to another (super rich and delicious) level.
This recipe was adapted from Paula Deen’s recipe at the Food Network. Here’s how I make it:
First, prep your veggies by slicing (thinly) your squash and onion. Also chop a couple of garlic cloves.
Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in an extra large skillet. I ended up using two large skillets to hold all the squash and also to cut down on the cooking time.
Once the oil is hot, add your onion, squash, butter, and a touch of salt and pepper. Saute until tender, about 5-10 minutes or so.
Push the squash and onions aside and add the chopped garlic. Stir it around for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Once you begin to smell the (so-dang-delish) aroma of the garlic, go ahead and stir it in with the other veggies and remove from heat.
Transfer the cooked veggies to a large bowl.
At this point, the (not-so) hard work is done. All that’s left is adding a few more ingredients to the mix, and bake!
Like I said, so simple. Add to your squash mixture the following: sharp cheddar, Parmesan Romano, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
Be sure to taste the mixture at this point and get it well-seasoned by adding enough salt and pepper. I love my salt, so a dash is usually more of a DASH for me.
Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, and pour in your squash mixture.
Crush up some Ritz crackers and crumble all over the top. I recently discovered the Ritz Garlic Butter flavor. A-mazing.
Some pieces can be larger or smaller than others. The various sizes just give the dish more texture.
Pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until the crackers are golden and the dish is bubbling throughout.
If you’d like to brown the top a little more like I did here, turn on the broiler for a minute or two, and that will do the trick. Please be sure to not take your eyes off the dish while broiling (as to not burn your precious creation).
This cheesy, buttery, tender, and crunchy squash casserole will be piping hot, so allow it to cool for a bit before devouring!
Here’s the complete, printable recipe:
If you’re looking for another great holiday side dish that can hold its own against the Squash and Cheddar Casserole, try my 7-Up Salad with Lime Jello and Marshmallows. It takes no time to whip up, and it screams holiday.
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