Paula Deen’s squash casserole takes all the amazing flavors of the golden summer vegetable to a whole new level!
When it comes to southern dishes, I only trust the best. Paula Deen’s recipe for squash casserole never disappoints.
With a combination of summer squash, onions, cheddar, parmesan, and sour cream, this casserole 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.
I’m usually not a fan of meatless casseroles, but this one is an exception. It’s absolutely to die for!
Paula Deen Squash Casserole
Paula Deen’s squash casserole has the most appetizing combination of sweet, creamy, and cheesy, with a little bit of crunchiness on top.
I love how this recipe takes the most humble produce, squash and onions, and transforms them into something wildly scrumptious.
It’s a wonderful side dish to any meaty entree, such as roast chicken, glazed ham, and turkey.
Squash might be a summer veggie, but it’s a must-have at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
While it’s ideal for holidays and special occasions, it’s so easy to make that you can serve it any day of the year.
- Summer Squash – This recipe calls for 6 medium-sized squashes, which is about 2 pounds. Use a mandolin to make thin and even slices.
There’s no need to peel the squash because their skins are soft, and will continue to soften during cooking.
Summer squash and zucchini have very similar tastes and textures, so you can use them in place of each other.
- Vidalia Onion – Squash and summer onions are a match made in heaven. Together, the two vegetables create a sweet and tender casserole filling.
If unfamiliar, a Vidalia onion is a type of sweet onion with a mild flavor and a high sugar content. Unlike other onion varieties, this one is uniquely flat.
- Butter – Used to saute the squash and vegetables.
- Parmesan and Sharp Cheddar Cheese – A casserole isn’t a casserole without shredded cheese! I like the blend of cheddar and parmesan for the best flavor and texture, but feel free to use other melted kinds, too, like Gruyere, Colby, and Monterey Jack.
Get the cheeses in block form and shred them yourself. Blocked cheeses melt better than pre-shredded.
- Sour Cream – A creamy base to coat the vegetables.
- Crushed Butter Crackers – For a crunchy and buttery crumb topping. I like to use Ritz cheese crackers for an even cheesier casserole.
Tips for Making the Best Squash Casserole
- It’s better to weigh the squash instead of eyeballing it. Two pounds is typically equivalent to 6 medium squashes. But since squashes vary in size, it’s not a reliable measurement.
- Choose smaller squashes because they’re more flavorful and have smaller seeds.
- Squash has high water content, so to keep your casserole from being watery, be sure to drain it well after cooking.
- Slice the squash as evenly as you can. The mandolin is the best tool for this.
- You don’t have to peel the squash beforehand. Its skins are soft enough to eat post-cooking.
- Sweet onions are the perfect match with summer squash, but so are bell peppers. Saute them all together to make a more colorful and flavorful dish.
- While the vegetables are already flavored with butter, salt, and pepper, it won’t hurt to season them with more herbs. Thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, and chives all work well with squash.
- Bacon makes everything better, and this casserole is no exception. Cook the bacon first and use the grease to saute the vegetables. You’ll love the added flavor!
- If you have the time (and energy), grate the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese contains cellulose to keep it from sticking. It doesn’t alter the taste, but it does make cheese less melted.
How to Store Leftover Squash Casserole
Keep leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.
The casserole will get soggy after a while, though, so try to consume all of it as soon as possible.
Fortunately, though, this casserole freezes wonderfully. You can do so with either cooked or uncooked casserole.
Freezing Unbaked Squash Casserole
Prepare the casserole as instructed, but don’t top it with the crushed crackers yet. Also, be sure to use a freezer-safe dish.
Cover the casserole tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
Let the casserole thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Remove the wrappings and top with crushed crackers.
Bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Freezing Cooked Squash Casserole
While not ideal, this method is the best way to salvage leftovers.
First, let the casserole cool completely.
Cover the dish tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
Let the casserole thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove the wrappings and bake it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
The topping won’t be as crispy anymore, but the casserole will still be delish.
Can You Make Squash Casserole Ahead of Time?
Simply prepare the casserole according to the recipe instructions, but skip the cracker topping.
Wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until ready to bake.
Let it set on the counter for 30 minutes before baking, then bake it according to the recipe instructions.
You can prepare the casserole up to 24 hours in advance.
More Paula Deen Recipes You’ll Love
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