Jump to recipe
Squash casserole is a classic Southern comfort dish. Nearly every community cookbook south of the Mason-Dixon line has a version—most with mayonnaise in them and many telling you to boil the squash, which can easily overcook it. So, I was delighted to see the New York Times’ give it a go. Their recipe mixed the traditional cracker crumb topping right in with the squash—a great way to soak up the excess liquid rather than having to strain it out. But, theirs also had you boil and puree the squash, for a result that was disappointingly pudding-like. For ours, we kept the lovely squash texture by cutting the veg into small cubes. We left out the old-school mayonnaise, included some home-pickled cherry peppers, and gilded the dish with a toasted brioche crumb topper. It is SO good!
We keep a bottle of hot sauce handy when we serve this—along with more of the pickled peppers. You may like some at table, too. And if you can’t get yellow squash, you can make the casserole with zucchini or Cousa squash. It goes very well as a side for Fall poultry dinners, or, serve it with a salad for a simple lunch.
Southern Squash Casserole
1 hour, 10 minutes
- 3 to 4 unpeeled yellow Straightneck squash, washed, trimmed, and cut into small cubes (skin on) to make 4 cups cubed
- 1 yellow or white onion, peeled, cored and chopped in small dice to make 1 cup
- 7 Tbsp butter, softened (you will use 1 Tbsp to grease the casserole dish, 4 to sauté the veg, and melt 2 to mix with the toast crumbs)
- 3 thick slices brioche bread, toasted
- 3 Tbsp diced pickled red pepper (I used home-made pickled cherry peppers)
- 3 Tbsp diced canned mild green chiles (I used Hatch chiles)
- 1 sleeve round butter crackers (Ritz or similar brand)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- A few grinds of black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1, 8-oz block sharp or medium cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease an ovenable, 2 ½-quart casserole dish with 1 Tbsp of the butter. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp of the remaining butter. Add diced onion to the pan. Stir, cooking for two minutes. Add squash cubes and 2 Tbsp water. Cover. Continue cooking until onions are translucent, squash is fork tender. Remove lid. Cook a minute or two more until most of the water has cooked off. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, melt remaining 2 Tbsp of butter in microwave for 20 seconds. Set aside. Toast bread well. Using a food processor, pulse toast into crumbs OR tear and crumble toast into crumbs by hand. Mix crumbs into the bowl with the melted butter. Set aside. Place crackers from sleeve into food processor and pulse into crumbs OR use a rolling pin to crush crackers into crumbs. Stir cracker crumbs into pan of squash/onion mixture; add pickled red and canned diced green peppers. Whisk eggs with cream, salt, sugar and black and cayenne pepper. Stir cream/egg mixture into squash mixture. Fold in grated cheddar. Turn all into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle brioche toast crumbs over all. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until casserole is bubbling at the edges and crumbs are browned.
© 2023 2017 Copyright