Squash casserole is one of those staples of a Southern table, be that Sunday supper, holidays, church picnics and everything in between. It’s one of those quintessential Southern dishes. There are so many variations, but this one is mine.
Southern cooks everywhere have a version of this casserole in their repertoire, and the variations are many! The two core ingredients are squash and onion, beyond that it’s just amazin’ what you’ll find in a recipe. When I started making squash casserole, a million years ago, I looked and looked at recipes. So many of them contained cans of soup…which…I cannot stand to use! Also, the toppings vary from corn flakes to Ritz crackers to cornbread crumbs. I set to work to devised one that suited me.
It’s one of those recipes that I’ve never written down. Ever. I’ve just always dumped everything together. Recently however, my friend Amy at Very Culinary sent me a message asking for several Southern recipes for her dinner club, which is having a Southern themed dinner. One of those recipes was squash casserole. So, I wrote out the recipe for her, then figured I’d better make it so I could measure it. Good thing I did! I envisioned every ingredient in my mind’s eye, but I underestimated the amount of squash I normally use.
The following is the accurate recipe, which I have halved, since what I’d make for a crowd is a boat load.
- 4 cups yellow squash, sliced (about ½ inch)
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoons green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced
- ½ carrot, finely grated
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 saltine crackers, crushed
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (I happened to use panko this time…worked great)
- 1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons (half of a stick) butter, melted
- Cook squash and onion together in boiling water until soft (not squishy), drain in colander.
- In a large bowl, combine squash and onion with the next 7 ingredients and stir to combine.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into a large greased casserole dish.
- In a large ziplock bag, crush the saltine crackers, add bread crumbs and parsley.
- Pour melted butter over the mixture in the bag and mix it together to coat all the crumbs with butter.
- Pour the cracker/crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and top is golden brown. About 30 minutes.
I don’t make this very often any more, since it’s so rich! When I made it to measure it for Amy, I ate a normal portion and Mr. Saucy finished the entire rest of it! This? This is why it’s not often served in this household.
But if you’re looking for something simply Southern…this is the side dish for you! Make it your Southern tradition.