Paula Deen’s squash casserole takes all the amazing flavors of the golden summer vegetable to a whole new level!
With a combination of summer squash, onions, cheddar, parmesan, and sour cream, this dish is incredibly sweet, savory, and creamy.
The bottom layer alone is already such a treat. But the golden crushed crackers on top make it so amazing.
What Is Squash Casserole?
Squash casserole is a cozy Southern classic. It’s a rich blend of yellow squash, onions, creamy soup, and spices.
You’ll often find it jazzed up with cheddar cheese and eggs for extra richness.
I prefer mine with a crunchy golden butter cracker crust on top!
It’s simple, hearty, and downright tasty. It’s the perfect side dish for potlucks and Thanksgiving & Christmas feasts.
Here’s everything you’ll need for this squash casserole recipe.
- Yellow Squash – Its skin is thin and will soften as it cooks, so no need to peel it. Just slice it thinly with a mandolin, and you’re set.
- Vidalia Onion – Sweeter and milder than a regular onion, a Vidalia onion blends perfectly with yellow squash.
- Butter – You’ll use this to saute the squash and onions, enriching their flavor.
- Parmesan & Sharp Cheddar – A casserole isn’t complete without cheese! I love cheddar and parmesan together, but you can try other combos, too.
- Sour Cream – This creamy binder ensures every bite is rich and smooth.
- Crushed Butter Crackers – For a crunchy and buttery crumb topping. I like to use Ritz cheese crackers for an extra cheesy casserole.
How to Make the Best Yellow Squash Casserole
Ready, set, bake! Here’s how to make this easy squash side dish.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your casserole dish.
2. Saute the squash and onion in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain excess grease.
3. Mash the squash and onion with the cheeses, sour cream, and salt & pepper.
4. Pour the squash mixture into the greased casserole dish.
5. Top with crushed butter crackers. Be sure to spread the topping evenly.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.
7. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
8. Serve and enjoy your creamy, crunchy southern squash casserole!
Tips and Tricks
Follow my tips for the best yellow squash side dish!
- Weigh the squash. Two pounds is about 4 medium squashes. But since sizes vary, it’s better to trust the scale.
- Slice the squash with a mandolin. It’s the easiest way to get even, thin slices.
- Choose smaller squashes. They’re more flavorful and have smaller seeds.
- Drain the squash and onion mixture. Squash is high in water. Be sure to drain it well before combining it with the other ingredients.
- Add bell peppers for color. Saute them with the squash and onion for a more colorful and flavorful casserole dish.
- Add bacon bits. Everything’s just better with bacon! I like to cook the bacon first and use the grease to saute the vegetables.
- Shred the cheddar cheese yourself. It’s not a must, but freshly shredded cheese does melt better than pre-shredded.
- Zucchini makes a good alternative. Squash and zucchini have similar taste & texture profiles, so you can use them in place of each other.
What to Serve with Squash Casserole
This squash casserole recipe is perfect for all occasions! Serve it alongside these dishes for an unforgettable feast.
- Pot Roast – Its hearty, savory flavors complement the creaminess of the squash casserole.
- Beef Stew – The robust, earthy taste of stew pairs nicely with mild squash.
- Dinner Rolls – Soft, fluffy rolls are perfect for sopping up the casserole’s rich sauce.
- Thanksgiving Sides – Squash casserole is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. It only makes sense to serve it with other holiday staples.
How to Store Leftover Squash Casserole
Because of the squash, this casserole will get soggy after a while. So I always recommend making and eating it on the same day.
That said, here’s how I store leftovers:
To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.
To Freeze: Let the casserole cool completely. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: If frozen, let the casserole thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat the casserole in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
The topping will lose some of its crunch, but it’ll still taste good. And you can always add more crackers if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Got more questions? Let’s address them!
Can You Make Squash Casserole Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! Prepare the casserole as instructed, but don’t add the cracker topping yet.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then bake as instructed.
What Kind of Squash Should I Use for Squash Casserole?
Yellow squash and zucchini are the most popular choices.
They both have a mild flavor and a tender texture. Plus, their skins are soft enough to eat without peeling.
Do I Need to Peel the Squash Before I Use It?
No. Its skin is thin and tender, and it softens further during cooking. Plus, keeping the skin on adds color, texture, and additional nutrients to the dish.
Can I Use Zucchini Instead of Squash?
For sure! In fact, zucchini and yellow squash can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
You can even use both in this recipe since their taste and texture are very similar.
How Do You Keep Squash Casserole from Getting Watery?
Drain the squash well after baking. This will remove the excess water it releases during cooking.
If not drained enough, this water will seep into your casserole as it bakes, resulting in a watery dish.
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