Butternut squash casserole is comfort food at its finest. The butternut squash is, of course, the star of the show. However, it also has rich flavors like brown sugar and vanilla.
And the streusel topping is the star of the show! This casserole is sweet, creamy, and sure to warm your tummy.
It’s perfect for everyday meals or special occasions. And best of all, it’s easy to make.
You can pull it together with about 15 minutes of hands-on time with minimal effort. It takes about an hour to bake, so keep that in mind.
Let’s dive in and learn how to make butternut squash casserole.
Butternut Squash Casserole
There are so many recipes for butternut squash casserole. Some are sweeter, while others are more savory. But they’re all delicious.
This recipe is on the sweeter side. It doesn’t include meat but incorporates white and brown sugars, vanilla, and a streusel topping.
It’s my favorite type of casserole. It’s simple to make and impossible to resist.
It’ll remind you of a sweet potato casserole. It has many of the same fall colors and flavors. And the sweet, crumbly topping is reminiscent of sweet potato casserole’s pecan topping.
Also, like sweet potato casserole, it works as a side dish or a not-too-sweet dessert.
Here are the ingredients you’ need for the casserole and the topping:
- Butternut squash – Remember to boil and mash it before adding it to the casserole dish. Mashing it gives it a soft, creamy consistency.
- White sugar – It adds extra sweetness.
- Milk – It provides a bit of sweetness, but its primary purpose is to ensure the texture is smooth and creamy.
- Vanilla extract – Add just a bit to provide vanilla’s warm, rich flavor.
- Salt – It acts as a flavor enhancer in this recipe.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works well.
- Eggs – They add lightness and help hold everything together.
- Margarine – You can substitute unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Vanilla wafers – You need about half a box of crushed wafers. These add the crunchy topping that takes the casserole to the next level.
- Brown sugar – Along with the wafers, brown sugar makes a streusel-like topping.
How to Make Butternut Squash Casserole
You’ll find the complete step-by-step instructions below. Here’s a brief overview of the process for making this casserole.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set out the margarine and eggs. If you like to pre-measure ingredients, go ahead and do that, as well.
2. Cook the squash. First, microwave it for 2-3 minutes to soften it. This makes it easier to cut and remove the seeds. After you’ve de-seeded it, dice it into cubes and boil them for about 15 minutes on medium heat.
3. Mash the squash. Once the squash is tender, drain the liquid and mash it.
4. Prepare the casserole. Add 3 cups of mashed squash to a 9×13 casserole dish. Then, add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, flour, eggs, and margarine. Mix well.
5. Bake it at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until it sets. A few minutes before you think it’s ready, combine the ingredients for the topping. (Crushed wafers, melted margarine, and brown sugar.) Mix them well.
6. Add the topping. Once the casserole is ready, remove it from heat. Sprinkle the topping over the entire thing. Then, return it to the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes. Once the topping browns, it’s ready.
7. Serve and enjoy! Remove the casserole from the oven one last time. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then serve and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Butternut Squash Casserole
Here are a few final tips to keep in mind for making the best squash casserole:
- Roasting results in the best flavor. Put the squash in a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Roasting brings out even more of its sweet flavor.
- Switch up the topping. Want to make this casserole even more like sweet potato casserole? Opt for a pecan and marshmallow topping.
- Amp up the sweetness. Add Granny Smith apples for a sweet/tart contrast. However, most recipes call for Honeycrisp instead.
- Savory success. To make a savory casserole, leave out the sugars, vanilla, and vanilla wafers. Add cheese (Gruyere is excellent), sausage, and herbs.
- Pay with flavor add-ins. Cinnamon and allspice are nice. Some people also add orange juice or orange zest for a citrusy finish.
- Go nuts. I’ve already mentioned adding nuts for the topping. But you can also add them to the casserole itself! They provide a bit of salty contrast and loads of crunch.
- Substitute the squash. Butternut squash is my favorite for this recipe. You can make it with acorn or honeynut squash if you can’t find it.
If you want to save time, prepare the casserole a day before you need it.
- Follow all the instructions until you get to the first round of baking. Do not add the topping.
- Boil and mash the squash. Then, prepare the casserole in the casserole dish. Then, cover it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge.
- Take it out of the refrigerator an hour before baking. It needs to warm to room temperature first. Then, remove the plastic wrap and bake according to the steps below.
- Add the topping after baking the casserole. Enjoy!
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
If you have leftover butternut squash casserole, follow these steps:
To Store: Cover the casserole dish with a lid or plastic wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Pop them in the freezer for 1 to 3 months. Move them to the fridge 24 hours before reheating them from frozen.
To Reheat: You can reheat it in the same baking dish. Set the oven to 350 degrees and let the casserole heat through. It should take 6 to 8 minutes.
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