Easy-to-Make Southern Squash Casserole for Cozy Nights In
When you think of southern cuisine, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s the savory fried chicken or classic biscuits and gravy. But for me, there’s nothing quite like a delicious and hearty casserole. And when you add fresh, tender yellow squash to the mix, it makes for a truly satisfying Southern Squash Casserole.
This casserole recipe has been passed down from generation to generation in my family, and I am excited to share it with you today. With its zesty blend of flavors and creamy textures, this dish is sure to become a staple in your own recipe collection. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just a weeknight dinner, this Squash Casserole will leave your taste buds yearning for more.
So let’s dive into the recipe ingredients and get started on this Southern Classic!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’re looking to impress your guests with an irresistible dish, look no further than this southern squash casserole recipe. This savory side dish is perfect for any dinner party, family gathering or potluck event. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
To start, the combination of yellow and summer squash cooked to a perfect tenderness creates a texture that is both creamy and crispy on top. The cheesy filling made with cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream provides a sharp and tangy contrast in every bite.
But this recipe is not just all about flavor – it’s also incredibly easy to make! You only need a few ingredients, and the preparation is quite straightforward. Even beginner cooks can pull off this southern-style masterpiece with ease.
What’s more? This squash casserole is versatile! With some simple ingredient substitutions, you can easily prepare a gluten-free or vegetarian variation. You can also add herbs such as basil or thyme to infuse the dish with fresh flavors.
This dish can be served as a complement to grilled chicken or steak or enjoyed simply on its own. The crispy bread crumb topping gives each bite an added layer of texture that makes it enjoyable for both children and adults alike.
In conclusion, if you’re longing for a unique spin on classic Southern fare then why not give Southern Squash Casserole a try? With its simplicity of preparation, versatility and mouth-watering deliciousness, it might just become your new favorite comfort food recipe – one that you’ll be proud to serve up time and again!
- 2 pounds yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 large eggs
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
For your convenience, here is a link to the recipe with every ingredient you will need.
The Recipe How-To
Southern Squash Casserole is a soul food classic that’s just as popular today as ever. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to make this delicious dish from scratch, using fresh ingredients and a few simple steps. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- 2 pounds of yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Fresh basil or parsley (optional)
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Before we start cooking, we need to preheat the oven so it’s ready when we finish preparing the casserole.
Step 2: Cook the Squash
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add yellow squash and sweet onion chopped in small pieces.
Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender but not too soft or watery.
Then reduce heat and add sour cream and mayonnaise to the skillet. Cook for a couple of minutes or until everything is combined.
Step 3: Mix the Ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, eggs, garlic powder, cheddar cheese, and some amount of salt and black pepper just enough for flavor.
Add the cooked squash mixture into this bowl and mix everything until it all comes together.
Step 4: Bake the Casserole
Transfer the mixed casserole mixture to a 9×13 inch casserole dish or any baking dish of your choice.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle it over the top of the casserole mixture evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the Cheese melts and Bread Crumbs turn Golden Brown, about 30-35 minutes.
Take out the casserole from the oven and let it cool for five minutes before serving.
Optionally, garnish with some fresh caps of basil or parsley when serving.
For best results, serve hot right away after resting for 5 minutes. You can garnish it with some fresh basil or parsley if you like. Enjoy your classic Southern Squash Casserole style and share it with your loved ones.
Substitutions and Variations
One of the great things about cooking is how you can make a dish your own by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. Here are some substitutions and variations you can make to this Southern Squash Casserole recipe to switch things up.
– Cheese: If you prefer a sharper taste, replace the cheddar cheese with parmesan cheese. You could also mix it up and try a combination of both cheeses.
– Vegetables: This recipe calls for only yellow squash, but feel free to add other vegetables like zucchini, butternut squash or even broccoli.
– Onion: The recipe uses sweet onion in the casserole, but vidalia onion is another great option. You could also try diced red onions for a different flavor.
– Mayonnaise: Not a fan of mayonnaise? Swap it out with sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Alternatively, use half the amount of mayonnaise in the recipe and fill the remaining amount with sour cream to achieve a tangy taste.
– Fresh herbs: Try adding other fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary in addition to fresh basil for a more complex flavor profile.
– Breadcrumbs: To give the casserole an extra crunch, mix bread crumbs with butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole before baking.
No matter how you choose to customize this southern squash casserole recipe, one thing is guaranteed – your taste buds are in for a treat!
Serving and Pairing
Southern Squash Casserole is a perfect side dish that goes well with any southern main course. As a traditional southern recipe, it can make your meal more tasteful and delightful.
Serve this delicious squash casserole along with crispy fried chicken or fried catfish to enhance its flavor. It is also an excellent side to have with barbeque ribs, smoked brisket, or pulled pork. Its cheesy texture complements the smoky taste of the meat perfectly.
Additionally, it can be served alongside vegetables like collard greens or roasted corn to complete the wholesome southern meal. It is versatile and pairs well with almost any vegetable and protein. The savory taste of this casserole allows you to enjoy it as a primary course, for lunch or dinner, paired with a light green salad.
Finally, don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top of the dish before serving. It adds freshness and vibrant color to the casserole, making it a perfect presentation for any dinner party or gathering.
This cheesy squash casserole will elevate your regular meal into a Southern-style feast that you and your guests won’t forget.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As a busy chef, one of the best things about this Southern Squash Casserole Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated later without losing any of its savory flavor. This means you can prepare it in advance and save yourself some time when serving a large group of guests or simply for meal prep purposes.
To make-ahead, you can complete the recipe until step 5, where you would layer the casserole according to the instructions. You can then wrap the unbaked casserole tightly with foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just be sure to remove it from the fridge about an hour before baking, so it comes to room temperature.
If you have leftovers after serving the Southern Squash Casserole, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, I recommend using the oven instead of a microwave to keep the texture and flavor intact. To do this, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the casserole in a baking dish. Then cover it with foil and bake it for 15-20 minutes or until fully heated throughout.
One important tip to keep in mind when storing leftovers is that this casserole tends to release liquid as it cools off, which can make it quite watery if stored for too long. To avoid having a soggy casserole dish, I suggest transferring any leftovers to a glass dish or container lined with paper towels, which will help absorb any excess liquid.
In summary, this Kentucky Southern-style Squash Casserole Recipe can be easily made ahead of time and stored for later without losing its delicious taste. Make your life easier by utilizing these make-ahead tips that allow for easy reheat-and-serve convenience!
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to making a perfect Southern Squash Casserole, little things can make a big difference. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced home cook, here are some tips to help you create a savory, cheesy casserole that will have your guests begging for seconds.
Firstly, one tip to remember is how to keep the squash casserole from getting watery. Squash can release a lot of liquid as it cooks, which can make the casserole too wet. To prevent this, place the sliced squash on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the extra moisture, then rinse and pat dry before using in the recipe.
Another tip is to use a mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise as your creamy base. This creates a tangy and rich flavor that gives a Southern-style twist to your casserole. To add more layers of flavor, you can also mix in some garlic powder or fresh herbs like basil.
In addition, make sure to choose the right type of cheese for your recipe. While cheddar cheese is a classic choice, Parmesan cheese can also enhance the taste profile of the dish. You can even experiment with different kinds of cheese such as gruyere or fontina to create unique flavor combinations.
When it comes to baking your casserole, cover it with foil for the first 45 minutes of cooking time to keep it moist and prevent the top from getting too brown. Then remove the foil to allow the top layer to get golden and crunchy.
Lastly, presentation matters. Use a colorful casserole dish or add some bread crumbs or shredded cheese on top for an eye-catching finish. Garnish with some chopped fresh herbs like basil or parsley for an extra pop of green.
By implementing these tips and tricks, you can take your Southern Squash Casserole recipe up several notches and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.
As you prepare and enjoy your Southern Squash Casserole, you may have questions about the ingredients, preparation, and storage. In this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the recipe to help ensure that you achieve perfect results every time. Let’s dive in!
How do you make Paula Deen’s squash casserole?
To start with our southern-style casserole, grab two medium-sized skillets and heat a tablespoon of butter in one of them. While the butter melts, take an onion and slice it up into thin pieces. Once the butter is completely melted, add the sliced onions to the skillet and sauté them for five minutes until they become nice and tender.
Next, remove the onions from the skillet and set them aside. Take a large mixing bowl and add your sliced squash, the sautéed onions, a generous dollop of sour cream, some Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, and a handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Mix all these ingredients together until they are evenly combined.
Grab a casserole dish and grease it up with some butter to add a rich flavor. Pour your mixed ingredients into the casserole dish and spread them out evenly. Grab some crackers and crumble them up into small pieces, then sprinkle them on top of the mixture.
Now, it’s time to bake the casserole! Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cracker topping becomes golden brown and the dish is heated through. Serve hot and enjoy the rich, savory taste of this southern-style squash casserole.
How do you keep squash casserole from getting watery?
When preparing a delicious squash casserole, ensuring it doesn’t turn out too watery is crucial. To prevent this, it’s essential to take certain precautions. Firstly, it’s best to salt the squash, cook it partially, and then drain it before including it in the casserole. Another important factor is the binder that connects all the ingredients, consisting of eggs, sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheese. This mixture acts as a thickener and prevents the casserole from turning watery and losing its flavor.
How do you dry squash for casserole?
When preparing squash for this recipe, it’s essential to slice the squash and give it a good salting. Leave them to rest on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes. During this time, the salt will draw out excess moisture from the squash, making it easier to work with. Afterward, take a piece of paper-towel and dab any remaining moisture before continuing with the recipe. Doing this ensures that the squash will cook perfectly and not end up soggy.
Are you supposed to peel summer squash before cooking?
When preparing squash for consumption, be sure to thoroughly wash it and slice off both ends. Don’t worry about peeling the squash, as the skin is mild and can be eaten without issue. This versatile vegetable can be enjoyed either raw or cooked to perfection.
In conclusion, this Southern Squash Casserole recipe is a must-try for anyone who craves comfort food with a twist. With fresh ingredients like yellow squash, sweet onion, and basil, paired with creamy sour cream and mayonnaise and finished off with a buttery Parmesan cheese topping, this casserole will quickly become a family favorite.
Whether you’re serving it up as a side dish or making it the star of the show at your potluck, this versatile recipe is sure to please. Plus, with tips on substitutions and variations, serving and pairing suggestions, make-ahead instructions, and expert level tips for perfect results, you can pull this off like Paula Deen herself.
So don’t wait any longer! Head to your local farmer’s market or grocery store grab some fresh squash and get cooking. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you. And if you don’t believe me, try it yourself and see why this easy-to-make Southern classic is a staple in every Kentucky Southern kitchen.
So when life gives you squash, make a casserole with it! Happy cooking!
Southern Squash Casserole Recipe
- 4 lbs yellow squash, sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup crushed French-fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cook yellow squash and sweet onion in boiling water to cover in a Dutch oven 8 minutes or just until vegetables are tender; drain squash mixture well.
- Combine squash mixture, freshly shredded Cheddar cheese, next 5 ingredients, 1 cup breadcrumbs, and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
- Stir together melted butter, French fried onions, and remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over squash mixture.