Are you in the mood for a classic, comforting southern dish? Look no further than this delicious and easy-to-make squash casserole recipe! This dish has been a staple in my family for generations and is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
This is the perfect recipe for those who want a side dish that is both creamy and savory, with just the right amount of crunch on top. You’ll love the combination of tender yellow squash mixed with creamy Velveeta cheese, sour cream, and buttery stove top stuffing. The fresh thyme adds a pop of herbaceous flavor that perfectly complements the other ingredients.
This recipe takes just under an hour to make from start to finish, but feels like it’s been slow-cooking all day. It’s also versatile in terms of substitutions and variations, making it easy to use whatever ingredients you have on hand or tailor it to your preferences.
Trust me, once you try this classic Southern squash casserole recipe, it will become a go-to dish for years to come. So let’s get started on this delicious journey!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you tired of the same old side dishes at your family gatherings or potlucks? Look no further than the Classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe. This dish is sure to add some southern charm and deliciousness to any meal.
One of the many reasons this recipe stands out is its versatility. It can be served as a side dish for a barbecue, Thanksgiving, or for any other special occasion. It’s also great for brunches and even as a main course for vegetarians!
Another reason to love this recipe is its unbeatable taste. With crispy squash, onions, and savory cheddar cheese blended with a creamy cheese sauce, this casserole will quickly become your new favorite dish. The buttery crackers on top add the perfect crunch to every bite.
Not only is the flavor exceptional, but it’s also an easy recipe to prepare. The ingredients are simple and easy to find, and the method of making it is quite straightforward. Even if you’re not an experienced cook in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to come out perfectly.
Lastly, this dish can be easily adapted based on your preferences or dietary restrictions. You can use gluten-free crackers or substitute almond milk for half-and-half. You can even add some chicken or turkey into the mixture, if desired.
In summary, once you try this Classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe, you’ll quickly realize why it’s a staple in southern cuisine. With its delicious taste, versatility, ease of preparation and customizability – it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that nobody can resist!
The ingredient list for this Classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe is simple and easy to follow, you won’t have to make an extra trip to the grocery store unless you’re running low on cheese. Gather the following casserole ingredients:
- 2 pounds yellow squash, thinly sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 medium Vidalia onion or yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
Base of the Casserole
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
The Toppings and Fillings
- ½ cup Velveeta cheese or cheddar cheese, grated
- Chicken Stove Top stuffing mix or buttery crackers, crushed
For Make-Ahead Option
- 2 cups chicken soup
Tip: Do not use pre-shredded cheese as it contains cellulose which can prevent the cheese from melting properly.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, you are ready to start cooking! Remember, cooking is like an art – it requires patience, attention to detail and lots of love. In this section, I will walk you through the process of making this classic Southern Squash Casserole step-by-step.
Preparing the Squash and Onions
First, you need to preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then slice 2 pounds of yellow squash thinly, around ¼ inch thick. Do the same for 2 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced squash and onions and sauté them until they become tender and slightly browned, which should take around 10-12 minutes.
Making the Casserole Batter
In a large bowl, combine the cooked squash and onions with 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of half-and-half cream, 1 cup of chicken stove top stuffing mix, half a stick of unsalted butter, 1 cup of diced Velveeta cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh thyme for flavor. Mix them well until everything is well incorporated.
Assembling the Casserole
Before assembling our casserole, we need to grease a baking dish or casserole with some butter or cooking spray. Pour our batter into the greased baking dish or casserole evenly.
Topping the Casserole
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of crushed buttery crackers with ½ cup of melted unsalted butter. Mix it until it resembles coarse sand. Spread this mixture on top of your casserole batter evenly.
Now that your casserole is fully assembled, it’s time to bake it in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crispy and golden brown.
After waiting patiently for 30 minutes, it’s time to take our casserole out of the oven! Let it cool down for around 5-10 minutes before serving.
Congratulations! You have made your very own Southern Squash Casserole, a perfect side dish for any occasion. Enjoy this savory dish with some grilled chicken or steak, or simply on its own.
Substitutions and Variations
Are you ready to spice up your classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe? If so, substitutions and variations are a great way to switch things up! Below are some ideas that you can use to make your casserole even more delicious and unique:
– Butternut Squash Casserole: If you’re feeling adventurous, try swapping the yellow squash with butternut squash. You’ll love the nutty and sweet flavor it brings to the dish.
– Cheddar Cheese Casserole: A classic substitution is swapping out Velveeta cheese for cheddar cheese. It adds a sharp and tangy taste that’s hard to resist.
– Chicken Soup Substitution: If you’re looking for a different casserole base, try using cream of chicken soup instead of half-and-half. It provides a rich and savory flavor that’s perfect for fall evenings.
– Bread Crumbs Topping: For those who love a crispy topping, buttery crackers can be exchanged with seasoned bread crumbs for added flavor.
– Different Herbs: Fresh thyme is commonly used in southern squash casseroles, but other herbs like basil or rosemary could also make interesting substitutes.
If you decide to make any of these substitutions or variations, remember to adjust your spices and seasoning as necessary. Experimenting with recipe substitutions can be fun and rewarding but do not forget the essence of Southern-style cuisine in the process.
Serving and Pairing
Once you’ve made this classic Southern Squash Casserole, it’s time to savor and enjoy every moment with family, friends or on your own. This casserole is already a delicious and satisfying dish on its own, but I like to serve it as a side dish with a grilled or roasted meat like chicken, beef or pork. This pairing lets you have the best of both worlds, the savory protein flavor paired with the creamy and cheesy texture of the casserole.
For those who prefer a lighter meal, you can pair this flavorful casserole with a fresh salad like classic Caesar salad or summer tomato salad. The contrast between the crunchy textures of the salad and the smoothness of this squash casserole will create a perfect balance in every bite.
If you’re looking to bring more southern-style dishes to your table, consider adding some fried okra or collard greens as well. These classic southern sides will complement your squash casserole nicely and make for an even more impressive meal.
Don’t forget about drinks! A glass of sweet tea or lemonade would be an excellent pairing with this scrumptious Southern Squash Casserole. The sweetness will balance out the saltiness of the dish.
With its creamy texture and cheesy goodness, this squash casserole recipe is just what you need for a heartwarming meal that tastes like home. So grab a fork (or spoon) and dig in!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
There’s nothing better than having a delicious and comforting meal at the end of a busy day, and this classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe is just the perfect dish for that. One great thing about this dish is that you can easily make it in advance, store it properly, and reheat it whenever you’re ready to serve.
To make ahead this squash casserole, prepare the recipe up until the baking step. Once you’ve combined all of the ingredients in a large bowl, transfer them to a buttered casserole dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate for up to two days. You can take it out of the fridge and bake it when you’re ready.
If you have leftovers or want to store the casserole for later use, allow it to cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The casserole will last for up to three days in the fridge. You can also freeze the cooked casserole for longer storage but ensure to let it cool down first before freezing.
Reheating this dish is easy too. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), remove plastic wrap or foil from the casserole dish and bake it in the preheated oven until heated through, about 25-30 minutes. If microwaving, transfer desired portion to a microwave-safe container and heat on high until heated through ensuring to stir occasionally.
Keep in mind that reheating may affect the texture and flavor of some ingredients like topping that could lose their crispiness if reheated in the oven. You can refresh them by crisping again under broiler or in a skillet on medium-high heat.
By following these storage and reheating tips, you can ensure your Southern Squash Casserole will taste just as good as when you first made it. Enjoy!
Tips for Perfect Results
Making a classic Southern Squash Casserole is a delicious experience. However, there are some tips that can help you achieve the perfect casserole. Here are some recommendations to ensure the best results:
Use fresh ingredients: When making a squash casserole, it’s essential to use fresh ingredients. The yellow squash and onion must be firm, and the buttery crackers should have a crisp texture.
Slice the squash evenly: Slicing the squash uniformly ensures even cooking of all the vegetables in the casserole. It is recommended to slice it about ¼ inch thick.
Pre-cook the squash and onions: Pre-cooking the squash and onions before layering them into the casserole dish helps to speed up the baking time, resulting in a perfectly cooked casserole.
Season properly: Seasoning is key to making a tasty squash casserole. Add pepper and seasoning salt to taste, and don’t be afraid to add extra thyme or other herbs for added flavor.
Choose high-quality cheese: For melt-in-your-mouth cheese goodness, choose high-quality cheeses like Velveeta or cheddar cheese. The higher quality cheese will result in a creamier and more delicious casserole.
Use eggs and dairy products in moderation: Eggs, sour cream, half-and-half or heavy cream are excellent binding agents for casseroles but don’t overdo it as they can also make the casserole too dense.
Avoid using too much liquid: Keep the liquid proportions on point; adding too much cream or broth can turn your casserole into a soupy mess. Instead, follow the recipe carefully and add just enough liquid as required.
Top with cracker crumbs: For an extra crispy texture, top your squash casserole with buttery cracker crumbs like chicken stove top stuffing mix or bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese. It adds crunchiness to every bite!
Let it rest for a while: Allow the casserole to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes after baking to set completely. This casserole can be served warm or at room temperature and is perfect as a side dish.
These tips guarantee your squash casserole recipe turns out delicious and mouth-watering every time, just like Paula Deen makes it!
Now that we have covered all the important aspects of this classic Southern Squash Casserole recipe, let’s dive into some of the most common questions around it. Whether you are a novice cook or a kitchen enthusiast, these frequently asked questions will surely help you get the most out of this timeless dish. So, let’s learn how to tackle some of the potential roadblocks when it comes to preparing and preserving the perfect squash casserole!
How do you make Paula Deen’s squash casserole?
To add some flavor and texture to your squash casserole, start by cooking sliced onions in a skillet with some butter for about five minutes. Once they are golden, take them out of the pan and transfer them to a large bowl, along with your sliced squash, sour cream, a generous sprinkle of Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, and some sharp cheddar cheese. Mix everything well and pour it into a buttered casserole dish, then sprinkle cracker crumbs on top. Bake the casserole for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
How do you keep squash casserole from getting watery?
To prevent watery squash casserole, it’s essential to take certain steps while preparing it. Start by salting, par-cooking, and draining the squash before assembling it. Doing so helps eliminate any excess water that may make the casserole watery. Additionally, the combination of eggs, sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheese used in the recipe can function as a binder to thicken the casserole.
How to make the best tasting squash?
Are you looking for a tasty side dish? Try slicing some yellow squash and seasoning it with garlic or rosemary. Sauté it in some olive oil over medium heat until it’s tender and then add some parmesan cheese. To make it extra crispy, lay the slices on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven. The roasted squash can be used in different recipes such as salads, pizza, or pasta.
What is squash casserole made of?
For my old-school squash casserole, we will need some unsalted butter, yellow squash (around 3 pounds), yellow onion, eggs, sour cream, a mix of Parmesan, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses, mayonnaise, fresh thyme, and some buttery round crackers (such as Ritz). Don’t forget some kosher salt and pepper to give our dish some flavor!
In conclusion, this classic Southern squash casserole recipe is the perfect addition to any dinner table. With its savory and hearty flavors, it’s the ideal side dish for a variety of main courses, from roasted chicken to grilled steak. This is an easy and budget-friendly recipe that can serve a large crowd without taking too much time in your kitchen.
By following the detailed instructions provided here, you will be able to make the best squash casserole ever. Remember to use fresh ingredients and take advantage of some substitutions and variations to customize the recipe according to your taste preferences.
Moreover, keep in mind that with proper make-ahead, storing, and reheating techniques, you can enjoy leftovers for a few days without worrying about losing the unique texture and flavors of this dish.
Lastly, always keep in mind essential tips that can guarantee your casserole comes out perfect every time. Try adding some different seasonings like fresh thyme or parmesan cheese to give it a new twist or consider using butternut squash instead of yellow squash for a variation on this classic recipe.
Overall, this Southern-style squash casserole is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re cooking for family gatherings, potlucks or just as a comforting side dish for weeknight dinners; this casserole is always a hit. So go ahead and enjoy the delicious flavors of this traditional southern dish!
Classic Southern Squash Casserole Recipe
- 2 lbs squash, grated
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Velveeta cheese
- 1 (6 ounce) box chicken stove top stuffing mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- optional 1 cup buttered crushed cracker
- Cook onion in butter until translucent.
- Add grated squash and cook until softened, about 5 minute.
- Drain squash of excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, add the eggs, half and half, and seasonings. Whisk well.
- Temper in the squash, then add the rest of the squash plus the stovetop stuffing mix. Mix well.
- Mix in the shredded Velveeta cheese.
- Pour into a prepared 13x9 casserole dish. Top with buttered crushed crackers. Bake at 350 for 25 minute.