Have you heard of southern Squash Casserole? A creamy, cheesy yellow squash filling baked beneath a crispy-as-all-get-out Ritz cracker topping, it’s a fun, easy side to add to your holiday spread.
When it comes to planning traditional holiday meals, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the Crockpot Mashed Potatoes and Cornbread Sausage Stuffing, but don’t forget about the veggies.
Since (and we can be honest about this) no one wants a pile of sad broccoli next to their Thanksgiving Turkey and Turkey Gravy, it’s important to show some TCL to the vegetables on the table too.
Giving vegetables the casserole treatment (baked up in a creamy sauce with a tantalizing crispy topping) is a surefire way to make them holiday-worthy.
Healthy Green Bean Casserole might be the first that comes to mind, but it is by no means the only option, as this Brussels Sprouts Casserole and Cauliflower Casserole can readily attest.
Squash casserole is traditional in the south, but the love of creamy fillings and crispy toppings has no boundaries.
Whether this is your first time making it or your fiftieth, you’ll love this version.
It’s 100% from scratch (no cream-of-soups here!), easy to make, and the squash stays crisp-tender as it bakes in the creamy cheddar Swiss filling (no mushy casseroles for us!).
How to Make Cheesy Squash Casserole
Thanks to its mild flavor (and the fact that it isn’t green) yellow squash is a friendly vegetable with wide crowd appeal…particularly once you cover it in breadcrumbs and cheese.
I based this recipe on my Zucchini Casserole.
- Comparatively, the yellow squash version is richer, a nod to its place on many southern holiday tables.
- It’s also faster because you don’t need to salt the squash dry prior to making it (time saver, yay!).
Instead of salting the squash to draw out the water, letting it sit, then blotting it dry, to keep squash casserole from getting watery, this easy squash casserole recipe uses two tricks:
- Cut the Squash into Thin Pieces. Thinner pieces mean the water will evaporate more quickly as you sauté.
- Add Eggs. Whisking two eggs into the filling helps the filling set up as it bakes and gives it a creamy, custard-ish texture.
- Yellow Squash. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, yellow squash is not only a scrumptious veggie, but it’s healthy too!
- Butter. Cooking the squash in melted butter helps add delicious richness and flavor right from the start. Butter is also used in the cracker topping.
- Eggs. Helps give structure to the casserole filling, making it more like a custard.
- Greek Yogurt. You’ll want to use unsweetened full-fat Greek yogurt here. It helps make the casserole rich and creamy. Plus, it adds protein and calcium.
- Milk. Any milk you have on hand will work great.
- Spices. I used black pepper, dried thyme, and cayenne. The mix is earthy and very subtly spicy, which cuts through the richness of the casserole.
- Cheese. Aside from the topping, the rich, bold, and nutty flavors of sharp cheddar and Swiss cheese will be the star of the show.
- Crackers. Round buttery crackers are essential to this casserole’s crispy, crowd-pleasing topping.
- Sauté the onion.
- Add the squash and sauté until beginning to brown.
- Whisk together the filling ingredients.
- Add the squash. Transfer to a baking dish.
- Stir together the Ritz topping. Sprinkle over the squash casserole.
- Bake squash casserole at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Note the squash may become watery after freezing and reheating. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, chop the onion and squash as directed. Store them separately in the refrigerator. You can also crush the crackers up to 3 days in advance, storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Leftover squash casserole can become a main dish by adding some diced Grilled Chicken Breast, ham, or turkey (see Leftover Turkey Recipes for even more ideas).
What to Serve with Squash Casserole
- Turkey. This cheesy squash casserole is perfect alongside a Spatchcock Turkey for a holiday spread.
- Steak. Try a bite of squash casserole mixed with a bite of Air Fryer Steak for a tasty alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Salmon. Air Fryer Salmon and Salmon Wellington would pair nicely with this summer squash casserole.
- Pork. Serve this dish with everything from Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin to Crock Pot Pork Chops.
- More Sides! This squash casserole fits nicely with other traditional sides like Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole, Chestnut Stuffing, and Crockpot Green Bean Casserole.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Casserole Dish. Perfect for making this recipe.
- Large Skillet. Long-lasting and dishwasher safe.
- Whisk. A small whisk is easier to handle, meaning less splashing.
Looking for a side on which everyone can agree? This is the best squash casserole and it has you covered.
After all, even veggie skeptics love a crispy cracker topping!
Frequently Asked Questions
While we typically serve this squash casserole as a side dish, it would make a scrumptious vegetarian main dish. You could serve it as is with side dishes or sneak in some extra protein by adding chickpeas or cannellini beans.
This casserole is delicious as written with cheddar and Swiss, but you could experiment with other cheeses if you want. I think Monterey Jack, Parmesan cheese, or even Gruyere could be tasty here.
Yes, you need to allow the squash and onion to drain after they’re cooked on the stovetop. This is essential for removing some of the excess moisture that could cause the casserole to become watery. I promise it’s worth the extra few minutes!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 4 medium yellow squash cut into ¼-inch thick coins (about 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (5.3-ounce) container full-fat plain Greek yogurt about 1/2 cup
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese or additional cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve round buttery crackers such as Ritz, coarsely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×10 or similar casserole dish with nonstick spray. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the squash and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is just tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink (don't forget and turn on the water). Drain at least 5 minutes, then gently shake off as much liquid as you can.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add the cheddar, Swiss, and squash mixture, then gently stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and prod into an even layer.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the crackers and stir until evenly moistened. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Bake squash casserole until the filling is fully set at the edges and only a tiny bit liquidy when you check the center with a knife, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Note the squash may become watery after freezing and reheating. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven
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