Squash Casserole – classic Southern side dish made with sweet yellow squash in a cheesy delicious creamy sauce and topped with buttery crackers. Easy, comforting foolproof casserole dish that feeds a crowd well or for regular family dinners!
Southerners love their vegetables with cheese, cream and, of course, butter. They may not be the friendliest for your hips but they are absolutely exceptional! This Squash Casserole is just one of those comforting side dishes that is enjoyable anytime of the year. You certainly won’t mind that extra fat and butter and mayonnaise, after all they’re still vegetables, right? Okay, good! 😉
What is Yellow Squash?
Yellow squash is one of the many fresh summer produces here in the U.S. Although, you can find them year-round in the grocery stores, they come in good numbers by summertime along with its other squash siblings. Moreover, they have thin slightly bumpy yellow skin with creamy white flesh and larger seeds. Young yellow squash can be eaten raw with its vegetable sweet taste and can be prepared in both sweet and savory recipes.
Can I Replace Yellow Squash with Zucchini?
Yes, you sure can. Zucchini, also called as courgette, may not be as sweet as yellow squash but it works fine for this recipe. Or why not mix them both for a variety of colors?
First and foremost, both zucchini and yellow squash are two different summer vegetables with distinct differences.
√ When Zucchini turns yellow (or as they call “golden zucchini”), it is often mistaken as a yellow squash. But zucchinis are straight throughout while yellow squashes have fat bottoms and taper towards their necks.
√ Yellow squash can have more seeds in its flesh compared to zucchini.
√ Both taste mild with a hint of vegetables sweetness, although yellow squash is slightly sweeter than zucchini.
How Many Cups Are In A Yellow Squash?
Our Squash Casserole calls for 3 pounds of squash or about 1.3 kilos. But remember, yellow squash vary in sizes. For a pound of yellow squash, we’re looking at around 2-3 cups which makes around 6-9 cups all in all.
Do You Peel Yellow Squash?
No, you don’t need to. One of the best thing about yellow squash is that you can eat its entirety – skin, seeds, flesh and even its flowers. It is very edible! Hence, you can just clean it in cool running water before using it. Rub any dirt spots in its skin using your thumb or with damp cloth. Never brush it to clean (like for potatoes) as they are the tender summer squashes with thinner skins.
How To Make Squash Casserole
Squash Casserole is a staple side dish in diners and church suppers. It is a main vegetarian dish on its own, but also pairs well with just about any protein you could think (I love it paired with this Southern Fried Chicken). But before you proceed in making this comforting vegetable dish, especially this coming Memorial Day, please take note of the following:
√ Get as much water as possible when cooking the yellow squash in the pan to prevent a watery casserole.
√ Don’t overcook the squash or else you’ll have a mushy casserole. Simply stir it often to release the steam and prevent from browning.
√ If there’s excess water after cooking the squash, you may strain it first to discard any water and cool it for about 5-10 minutes before adding it to the casserole.
√ Gently fold it in into the casserole so it won’t break into pieces.
Now that you have those few tips, let’s get going. To prepare this squash casserole:
Cook the Squash. Cook the sliced yellow squash in a skillet with melted butter over medium high heat along with onion, garlic and thyme to boost its flavor.
Prepare the Sauce. I love yellow squash, but personally, the egg, sour cream, mayo sauce are the stars of the show that keep you wanting seconds or thirds of this comforting oven baked casserole. You just have to mix them all together in a bowl and you have a delicious mixture to coat the squash.
Mix them. Once you’re done with the sauce, stir the egg mixture into the cooked squash and add in shredded cheddar cheese. CAREFULLY transfer the mixture into the prepared pan or casserole and sprinkle it with buttery crushed Ritz crackers.
Bake. Finally, pop the casserole into the preheated oven and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, UNCOVERED, until topping is lightly browned
What Can I Use Instead of Ritz Crackers?
Rather than using Ritz crackers, you can replace it with any crackers you have in hand, corn flakes, potato chips, panko breadcrumbs or crumbled croutons. Just make sure to toss it in melted butter (except for potato chips). Got some sliced bread? Then lay them in a baking sheet until moisture is gone or dry. Lastly, crumble them and top it on the squash casserole mixture.
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons (1.6 g) freshly chopped thyme
- 3 pound (1.3 kl) squash , I used the yellow ones
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 4 ounce (113 g) sour cream
- 4 ounce (113 g) mayonnaise
- 8 ounce (113 g or 1 cup) sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
- 2 sleeves round buttery crackers (I used Ritz) , crushed
- 1-2 tablespoons (14-28 g) butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan or casserole dish and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in onions, garlic and thyme. Sauté for about a minute until onions is soft and translucent. Then add in squash, season with salt and pepper and cook stirring frequently until vegetable starts to soften and liquid released, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain out any extra liquid.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together eggs, sour cream and mayonnaise until fully combined. Stir the egg mixture into the squash mixture; add in the cheese and mix to coat the squash.
- Transfer squash into the prepared baking pan.
- In another small bowl, toss together crushed crackers and butter. Sprinkle buttered crackers over the top of the squash.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until casserole is set and topping is lightly browned. Serve hot.
Tips & Notes:
- You may replace Yellow Squash with Zucchini or a combination of both. But it may not be as sweet as yellow squash.
- No need to peel yellow squash. You can eat its entirety – skin, seeds, flesh and even its flowers. Never brush it to clean (like in potatoes) as they are the tender summer squashes with thinner skins. Just clean it in cool running water before using it. Rub any dirt spots in its skin using your thumb or with damp cloth.
- Get as much water as possible when cooking the yellow squash in the pan to prevent a watery casserole.
- Don’t overcook the squash or else you’ll have a mushy casserole.
- You may replace Ritz with any crackers you have in hand, corn flakes, potato chips, panko breadcrumbs or crumbled croutons.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.