If you crave a warm, autumnal bake, our butternut squash casserole recipe might be the answer. Make a huge batch of it, and it’ll be scooped up before you can take a second glance.
What Is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash belongs to the winter squash family and grows on vines. It’s classified as a fruit, but when it comes to cooking, it’s treated as a vegetable.
In terms of shape, it has an elliptical shape with a bell-bottom compartment filled with seeds. Slice it in half and you’ll find a vibrant orange flesh hidden within the hard, yellow-orange outer skin.
Butternut squash is often harvested in late autumn or early winter. However, you can have it any time of the year, as it can be stored for a very long time.
Calories in Butternut Squash
Since butternut squash contains fiber, it is considered a clean source of carbohydrates. With a taste similar to pumpkins, butternut squash can be used to make delicious, “clean,” healthy pies.
For more casserole recipe ideas, this healthy casserole roundup might be of help.
Is Butternut Squash Casserole Healthy?
Not only is it tasty, but our butternut squash casserole also packs an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Butternut squash is rich in vitamin A. This is crucial for healthy eyes, and enhances your immune system as an antioxidant.
Besides vitamin A, butternut squash contains a vast amount of other vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C: Can relieve common colds and boosts the immune system in general. Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant.
- Vitamin E: Functions like an antioxidant and can prevent severe diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Magnesium: Plays a part in many reactions in the body and maintains normal muscle function.
- Manganese: Considered an antioxidant that boosts the immune system as well as prevents diseases related to cell inflammation.
Our recipe also has white mushrooms, a great source of vitamin D2. Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium in the body and keeps our bones healthy.
For more casserole recipe ideas, have a look at our best healthy casserole recipes.
How to Cut Butternut Squash
If you just want plain baked butternut squash, simply slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, season, and slide it into a preheated oven, skin side down.
For this casserole, you first need to peel the skin with a peeler. Then, slice it in half, empty its belly, and cut it into cubes.
Since squash can take a long time to cook, it’s crucial to cut it into bite-sized pieces. We cut ours like so:
Tips to Make a Perfect Butternut Squash Casserole
Simply spread your ingredients in a baking dish, cover with foil, put it in the oven, and voilà! A tasty bake is born.
But to make it the most flavorful dish, we found these tips to be useful:
1. Cook Your Ingredients First
In this recipe, we slightly stir-fry our ingredients before pouring them all into the baking dish. It may sound like extra work, but it really helps your ingredients to mellow and brings out the flavors.
Then, when you add the stock, it will slowly cook your squash and mushrooms, giving you delicious, savory bites!
2. To Foil or Not to Foil
By skipping the foil, the moisture you add at the beginning evaporates quickly, leaving you with a dry bake. Unless that’s more to your liking, we suggest using the foil for a juicy batch of baked squash.
Want a melted cheese topping? Simply remove the foil after baking, add cheese, and torch or broil it for about 3-5 minutes.
This will give you a satisfying squash casserole with a fantastic melted cheese topping.
How to Make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Cook the mushrooms:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sauté the onions and garlic for 2 minutes.
Set the heat to low. Add mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes or until they turn golden.
Cook the squash:
Add butternut squash and season with the remaining ingredients (except for the cheeses). Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Tip the cooked vegetables into a baking dish (rectangular, 6 inches wide and 8 inches long). Add chicken stock. Spread evenly and cover with foil.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Melt the cheese:
Once it’s cooked, add cheese and broil the top for about 1-2 minutes.
Serve: Take it out of the oven and serve warm. Decorate with parsley on top.
What Goes with Butternut Squash Casserole?
Adding extras to a recipe is always a win-win. Sometimes it makes the dish better, sometimes you learn something new.
Here are our recommendations to take your butternut squash casserole to another level:
The tender umami pieces of squash will be even more flavorful if coated in a salty, creamy, melted cheese. It even adds an interesting texture that could turn many heads.
In this recipe, we used cheddar and mozzarella, for a total of 2 ounces for 4 servings. If you prefer other types of cheese, that’s totally okay, but be sure to use 2 ounces only.
2. Sweet Potato
Having a similar texture to butternut squash, sweet potatoes can add non-artificial sweetness to your bake.
Since sweet potatoes take longer to cook, you may want to boil them skin-on first for around 5 minutes. When they’re partially cooked, cut them into pieces, then add them to the pan along with the squash.
On a side note, now that the ingredients have increased, you should consider switching to a larger pot.
For a healthy source of lean protein, chicken breasts are the best choice among the types of meat.
Simply cut the chicken breast into cubes, and add them to the pan along with the mushrooms. You also want the chicken to be browned a little bit.
Bacon adds tons of flavor and crispy, chewy bites to just about anything. No wonder it’s among the most beloved foods in the country!
You can cook the bacon in a non-greased pan until crisp, discard its grease, and use it in our recipe. This helps you to avoid any unwanted, unhealthy saturated fat from the bacon.
To keep the saturated fat within recommended levels, we suggest using less than 2 ounces of bacon. You may want to skip the cheese as well, since it also contains saturated fat.
How Long Does Butternut Squash Casserole Last?
A casserole is the kind of dish that you want to make a lot of. It’s always great to have leftovers you can reheat and enjoy within 5 minutes.
When it comes to reheating your refrigerated meals, the oven and microwave are two common options. While microwaving your food may seem convenient, it can affect the food’s flavor and texture, making it less appetizing.
The oven is the better option. Simply preheat the oven to 375°F, and then slide in your refrigerated casserole (covered with foil) for 10 minutes.
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Casserole?
Yes, you can. And here’s how you do it:
First, leave your casserole to cool completely before freezing. After that, remove it from the baking dish and transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container.
Frozen butternut squash casserole can last up to one month.
When you want to eat it, take it out of the freezer and thaw it slowly in the fridge. Once it’s thawed, transfer to a baking tray and reheat it in the oven as instructed above.
Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe
- 24 oz butternut squash
- 3 oz onion chopped
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 3 oz button mushrooms sliced
- 1 tbsp parsley minced
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted chicken broth
- 1 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sauté the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Set the heat to low. Add mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and season with the remaining ingredients (except for the cheeses). Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
- Tip the cooked squash and mushrooms into a baking dish (rectangular, 6 inches wide and 8 inches long). Add chicken stock. Spread evenly and cover with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Once it’s cooked, sprinkle cheese on top and broil for about 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Take it out of the oven and serve warm. Decorate with parsley on top.