It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That is, butternut squash time obviously! With its rich, nutty flavor, our friend Mr. B is right at home in this cozy, healthy, and hearty Butternut Squash Casserole.

Kale and butternut squash casserole

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You can always find a butternut squash hanging out in my pantry. Many a fall weeknight, I default to my simple (though certainly not ho-hum), cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash. It’s a good last-minute option for a holiday gathering as well.

When it’s time to prepare something Extra Super Special, however, this healthy butternut squash casserole will be a star.

It’s easy to prep in advance, making it a busy cook’s BFF.

The casserole filling boasts caramelized butternut squash, plus the addition of hearty kale to up its nutritional value and make it more dynamic.

Though this recipe is healthier than many sides, the addition of classic holiday standbys like nutmeg and thyme ensure this savory butternut squash casserole recipe feels right at home at a holiday gathering.

And since no proper casserole worthy of its name should be without a topping (and since it is the holiday season!), I knocked this one out of the park with a buttery sage Parmesan breadcrumb topping. It makes this casserole truly memorable.

How to Make Butternut Squash Casserole

You’ll feel like a superstar for eating comforting food that’s good for you too.

The robust filling is made with nutritious ingredients, and its flavor is alight with holiday flair.

The cheesy butternut squash casserole topping is salty, herby, savory, and crunchy.

(If you came to this recipe seeking a sweet, creamy butternut squash casserole versus the savory one we have here, definitely try this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole instead.)

The Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash. A golden jewel of the winter season. Butternut squash is wonderfully sweet, nutty, and destined to be paired with other fall/winter flavors. Plus, with oodles of fiber and vitamin-A, it’s a healthy addition to any diet.

Substitution Tip

You could also make this recipe with sweet potatoes if you prefer. And vice versa—butternut squash is usually a good substitute for sweet potatoes in casserole recipes that originally call for sweet potatoes. Get your squash in while the season lasts!

  • Rosemary. Fresh rosemary adds hints of earthy notes.
  • Kale. Packed with antioxidants and numerous vitamins, kale is an incredibly nutritious ingredient to sneak into this casserole. For the kale skeptics, sautéing it creates a tender and delicious texture.
  • Breadcrumb Topping. Fresh breadcrumbs (or panko if you are in a hurry), Parmesan, sage, nutmeg, and butter make up our delicious topping. It’s toasty, cheesy, crispy goodness with delightful touches of cozy fall flavor.


If you’d like your butternut squash casserole with meat, try adding browned, crumbled sausage (or chicken sausage). Or keep the butternut squash casserole vegetarian as the recipe is written. It’s plenty satisfying!

The Directions

Chopped vegetables being cooked in a skillet
  1. Sauté half of the squash, rosemary, and spices. I recommend sautéing in batches, so the outside of the butternut squash has room to caramelize.
Squash cubes, kale, and onions in a skillet
  1. Add half of the kale, onions, garlic, and stock. Transfer mixture into a baking dish.
  1. Repeat these steps with the remaining half of the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.
  1. Stir the topping ingredients together. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the casserole.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes more at 350 degrees F. ENJOY!
Butternut squash casserole in a baking dish

Wine Pairing

Serve a Pinot Noir or Zinfandel with this casserole. A Chardonnay would be a wonderful white wine option.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cover and refrigerate leftover casserole for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Make Ahead Tips

Chop the squash, thyme, garlic, kale, and onion up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate each in a separate airtight storage container. Prepare the fresh breadcrumbs up to 1 day in advance, and store them in a container at room temperature.

Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the recipe through Step 6 (don’t bake it). Cover and refrigerate the dish until you’re ready to bake and finish it with the breadcrumb topping.

Easy butternut squash casserole

Leftover Ideas

Toss in some chicken, turkey, or pork to turn the leftovers into a hearty main. Cooked sausage or shredded chicken would be delicious options (try one of my easy methods: Instant Pot Chicken, Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, Baked Chicken Breast, or How to Cook Shredded Chicken on the stovetop).

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Casserole

Healthy butternut squash casserole on a plate

Recommended Tools to Make Butternut Squash Casserole

  • Baking Dish. Perfect for making any of your favorite casseroles.
  • Chef’s Knife. A sturdy, high-quality chef’s knife makes chopping much easier.
  • Large Skillet. Great for sautéing vegetables and so much more.

The Best Casserole Dish

This casserole dish is both beautiful and functional. It’s high-quality and will last you a lifetime.

Kale and butternut squash casserole

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Kale and butternut squash casserole

Butternut Squash Casserole

5 from 3 votes
Savory butternut squash casserole with cozy caramelized squash, kale and a cheesy Parmesan topping. Perfect for holidays or a vegetarian main!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 20 mins

Servings: 8 servings


For the Butternut Squash Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large (3 1/2 pound) butternut squash peeled, seeded, and diced into 3/4-inch cubes, divided (about 9 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme divided (rosemary works as well)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic divided (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 12 ounces kale* tough stems removed and chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces, divided (I used curly kale)
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock divided

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs** or 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease a shallow 9×13-inch casserole dish or similar 3-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the filling in two batches: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the butternut squash, ½ tablespoon of the rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until the squash is beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. The squash will still be too firm to eat.
  • Next, add half of the kale, half of the onions, and half of the garlic. Cook until the kale and onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, stir, and let cook 1 minute so that the stock reduces slightly.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and with a spoon, prod it into a relatively even layer.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in the skillet, then repeat the above steps with the remaining half of each of the ingredients. Transfer the rest of the filling to the casserole dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the squash is soft when pierced with a sharp knife.
  • While the squash bakes, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, sage, nutmeg, and salt. Pour the melted butter over the top. Stir to combine.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven, remove the foil, then sprinkle the top evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, return the dish to the oven, then bake uncovered, until the bread crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.


  • *You also can omit the kale and make this recipe with a few extra cups of additional butternut squash, though we love the mix of both!
  • **To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, tear bread (leftover sourdough or similar artisan breads or leftover baguette is my favorite; you can also use 3 slices of sandwich bread) into pieces and place in the food processor. Pulse in long bursts until you have crumbs. Measure and use in the recipe as directed.


Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgPotassium: 837mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 22148IUVitamin C: 88mgCalcium: 238mgIron: 2mg

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Other Favorite Ways to Prepare Butternut Squash

In addition to scrumptious casseroles, there are other fantastic ways to have butternut squash prepared. Roasted, stuffed, or turned into a soup and just some examples to try.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Ahhhh I was a farm girl many many decades ago! I was born and raised on a farm until high school and it was amazing. Just like your dreams… except goats are not really friendly most times! This casserole is amazing. I have all the ingredients right now to put it together :)

  2. Umm just yes to this entire dish. I am such a fan of butternut squash and this is such a creative way to use it. And healthy? Sign me up!

  3. I have David’s recipe tagged in the cookbook, but this is MUCH simpler, especially on a cold weeknight– thanks, Erin!

  4. If you want to get your fix, come on over to my families farm in New Hampshire. I’m sure my mom would be happy to have you!! And no animals, just plant. So no poop to step in or things to bite you!!

  5. I’m the exact same way. I love the idea of housing my own chickens, but I’d just complain about getting up before dawn and cleaning the chicken coop. Oh well, maybe we should just live NEXT to a farm and become friends with the farmers.

  6. This casserole looks like the perfect seasonal dinner. You’ve combined two of my favorites, butternut squash and kale, and that breadcrumb topping looks crazy good!

  7. Mmmm that topping! I’ve been toying around with the idea of a savory crumble for a while now, and I think you’ve convinced me to get with it. Looks SO good Erin!

  8. Yes, Erin, yes! I’d totally join in on those farm-girl fantasies.. and do you read mynameisyeh? She makes my daydreams so much worse. But, like you, my reality would be less than pleasant and I know I’d be whining alllllll the day long. And that’s a super long day starting at like 4:30 a.m.! This recipe, however, pulls together just as much wholesome goodness as a long day on the farm, and no ruining of shoes required :)

  9. Such a great idea to make a savory crumble… I love the flavors in this too! And Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors of all time :)

  10. Ah. I once had romantic notions about living on a farm.
    And now that I’m living it, it isn’t quite so romantic. :)

    1. LOL Katie! I know that I would end up feeling the same way, which is why I appreciate hard-working farmers like you so much :-)

    1. Thank you! I can’t say that the topping beats the squash (because I love butternut squash so much), but the two of them together are absolutely dynamite!

  11. haha, I think about the same things when thinking about farm life. . it would be great but messy :P love this casserole and love the golden sage breadcrumb topping!

  12. Just recently stumbled upon your blog (via Pinterest, I think) and really enjoy the little narratives that go with each recipe! ^^ I actually have a butternut squash and some chard on hand, so I think I’m going to have to attempt an ‘inspired-by’ version of this recipe with substitutions for what I lack. :D You really got me thinking with the ‘seasonal shopping/cooking’ idea… It seems basic and obvious (fresher, less expensive, like you said), but I guess I’m a bit slow to have caught on! Hehe… Time to research! Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration! ^-^

    1. Hi Angie! I’m so happy that you found my blog. Welcome!! This recipe would be fantastic with chard, and a great way to eat seasonally too :) If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think! Have a wonderful night, and thanks for saying hi.

  13. Mmmmm I’m such a fan of seasonal eating as well… I can’t even think about buying a strawberry right now. And those breadcrumbs… LOVE!

  14. Love that you’re channelling your inner farm girl :) You should do this more often if it means recipes like this! All of my favorite ingredients are in this dish!

  15. haha my sister used to want to live on a farm … and now she lives in NYC and is pretty much the ultimate city person!

    Love the sound of this casserole – especially that crumble topping!

  16. Lee, thanks so much for sharing your feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed this (minus the cornmeal), and I bet next time without, it will be just perfect for you :)

  17. This is absolutely delicious! I will definitely make this again, I used Panko because that is what I had on hand. Next time I will reduce the salt by half as well.5 stars

  18. I thought this was great healthy dish. Followed recipe but at last minute decided to thrown in some cooked brown rice and left over turkey to make it a complete meal. Was good second night also! Thanks5 stars

      1. This was SOOOO delicious! I was truly surprised how good it is – I dont usually write reviews, but I had to for this one. I added chicken andouille when I added the topping, and I used dried herbs – it was still amazing!!5 stars

  19. I just made this recipe now !! I made a very small serving for myself .. I’m the only vegetarian in my place.. I added cranberries & apples with roasted pine nuts on top of breadcrumbs !! My husband said it smells great