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Easy Squash Casserole makes a delicious side dish to just about any main dish and is perfect for using up all of those zucchini and yellow squash still lingering in many gardens. This recipe gets brownie points for being a fantastic freezer casserole.
I spend an ‘end of the summer’ Sunday doing nothing but processing yellow squash and zucchini for baking, pickling, and cooking into casseroles like this one for the freezer. My family has enjoyed and looked forward to this every Thanksgiving and Christmas on my Mom’s Groaning Board for ever since I can remember.
I usually have enough squash for at least four to six casseroles and at least twice that for half-pan casseroles. These make fantastic take-a-longs for holiday pot lucks and parties where everybody is instructed to bring a dish to share.
Now there are about a zillion different ways to put a squash casserole together. Just about every seasoned home cook has a method for “the best” squash casserole recipe. There is a very Southern, very cheesy squash casserole that gets topped with the King of the American kitchen pantry, the Ritz Cracker. And yes, it’s to die for.
Other squash casserole recipes include ingredients like mayonnaise and dairy sour cream. They are rich, and very, very delicious. A healthy squash casserole would likely avoid all of the dairy and “cream of” staples. We aren’t doing a healthy recipe for squash casserole today. We are putting up a squash casserole with stuffing mix. Oh, and a squash casserole with cream of chicken soup. Okay, okay…or a squash casserole with cream of mushroom soup, I am flexible.
But yes, this easy squash casserole is popular in my home during the fall months. Maybe because it eats like a very moist and irresistible stuffing. Seriously, if you are the stuffing person during the Holidays, this easy and satisfying recipe for yellow squash casserole is going to tickle you in foodie gratitude.
What is the best squash casserole
The best squash casserole is a baked squash casserole. When it comes to easy casserole recipes, this yellow squash casserole is one of my all time favorites. Ultimate – comfort – food. It’s super moist with tender slices of summer squash, fresh grated carrot, and sweet chopped yellow onion.
A combination of dairy sour cream and cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom, use what is in your pantry) gives it plenty of moisture. I enjoy a good bit of dried herbs from my garden mixed in to punch up the ‘autumn’ in this savory side dish. Especially sage and thyme.
There are likely as many different recipes for summer squash casseroles as there are recipes for fried chicken. Yellow squash and zucchini is plentiful at farmers markets in the south during the summer months. It’s also one of the easiest vegetables to populate in a home garden.
We are still harvesting here in Charleston, and squash will continue to deliver right up and until the first frost. Getting my hands on these at this time of year equals comfort food and fall nesting. To me, there is nothing better than having a few cider-scented candles going and a hearty casserole like this masterpiece in my oven.
Follow my recipe and video below and make quick and easy squash casserole, ready in about 45 minutes.
This casserole comes together so fast and you could easily prepare it ahead of time and then toss it in the oven just before dinner. And as many of you already know, I love a casserole recipe. I have many featured here on Not Entirely Average, and find they are an easy way to combine everything into one dish and call it a meal.
Frankly, they are a time saver, and not only because I am busy, but also because there are nights that I just don’t want to cook.
The great thing about this squash casserole recipe is that while it’s great served with a chicken recipe, it’s also really easy to turn it into a complete meal by adding leftover shredded rotisserie directly into the casserole itself.
Or if you are looking for something to serve with pot roast besides potatoes then my squash casserole is a surefire winner!
There’s no secret to yellow squash casseroles, but I would encourage you to prepare them when squash is in season, then freeze for enjoying during the fall and winter months.
When I first moved out on my own, money was tight. Like, REALLY TIGHT. I began to embrace the recipes my Mom and Grandmother had been making and serving on our table for decades. And I appreciated our family’s home garden in a new way.
I can remember leaving work (I still worked in the town in which I grew up) and heading straight for my parents house before getting on the highway to head home. I would raid my Mom’s garden hauls that she’d plop on the porch table until deciding what to do with them.
Tomatoes, peppers, sometimes eggplant, green beans, and potatoes, but always squash and zucchini. She’d grab a trug from the barn and walk with me out along the garden perimeter and tell me to grab what I wanted, or take what she had already harvested up on the porch.
Honestly, the walk up to the back acre was a nice transition between work and my pending commute. That, and it was after all, it was still, and always would be, HOME. I missed my parents. Yep, I was missing HOME. Maybe that’s why preparing the recipes I grew up on was so easy.
A squash is technically a fruit. This is because it contains seeds and comes from the flowering part of a plant.
I remember the day I received my first copy of Southern Living Magazine in the mail to my new address. To simply say that I was excited would have been an understatement. I grabbed a wad of sticky notes from the counter and headed for my porch. Then, I began using the stickies to ‘tab’ the projects and ideas and recipes I would do. I tabbed everything.
I tabbed pages for everything from 101 ways to use cheddar cheese, to flower arrangements made with ornamental grasses. My new digs would be the best by learning from the pros. And soon, after subscribing to every magazine ‘house and garden,’ I would take my sticky notes and tab other publications.
I would tab people who were experts at one dish recipes. I would tab Martha Stewart…like everything she ever did. And soon enough, I would make a new tab in my recipe box for recipes familiar to me, like recipes for squash casseroles and other methods for garden vegetables.
And while I loved Southern Living’s recipe for Southern Squash Casserole with Ritz crackers, and found Rhea Drummonds Pioneer Woman Squash Casserole easy with her cayenne pepper and cracker crumbs, I still kept going back to my Mom’s recipe. It was what I knew and loved. And it was time for me to practice hers and get it down pat.
How do you make easy squash casserole?
When the pandemic first began and the world was told it had to quarantine, I began receiving emails. Remember, I am still a baby blogger, so I went from receiving 4 to 6 messages from readers each week to upwards of 20 to 30 messages each week. The crux of it? Cooking from ones pantry.
You see, so many of us got to that point where ready-made meals and take out were the norm. Then, time stopped. School stopped. Work stopped. Everyday chores like the bank, the post office, and grocery shopping stopped. I’ll admit, I was panicking a little, too. But I knew I could help the people reaching out.
I knew I could help because I knew the recipes and the methods that I’d been cooking and baking and pickling and freezing for decades before I EVER thought I’d have an email address, let alone a food blog one day.
Many recipes went up right away, recipes that would guide the rookie home chef through his or her own kitchen pantry despite me not knowing exactly what inventory we were working with. But I had to assume the basics were in there; pasta, rice, condensed soups, canned vegetables and beans, and I hoped for too, stuffing mix.
This easy squash casserole recipe is all about the squash of course. But it’s also about pantry staples that aide the novice cook to stretch the ingredients in order to satisfy empty bellies. And there was NEVER a time that culinary creativity and elbow grease was going to be so in demand.
Yellow squash casserole recipes are just about everywhere. Many call for cheese, eggs, even mayonnaise. I heard from many readers who said had they not been caught off guard, they would have purchased cheese and other dairy items. Eggs were a big deal, as there wasn’t much on grocery shelves.
Can I bake up a squash casserole using what I already have in my pantry?
YES! In this method, MY MOM’s RECIPE, I demonstrate how to make a squash casserole with those condensed soups, dry stuffing, herbs in your cabinet, a couple tablespoons of melted butter, and some salt and pepper. Well, and yellow squash of course.
Zucchini will absolutely work exactly the same way in this recipe. If you do not have an onion, substitute shallot or leek easily. No sour cream? If you have buttermilk or Crème Fraiche, you are all set. And if neither of those, then puree a combination of cottage cheese along with 4 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice in the food processor.
Et Voila! A prime substitute for sour cream. No carrots? Grab another root vegetable or another winter squash such as butternut. It all gets cooked the same exact way in this method.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Easy Squash Casserole
- 9 x 13 inch casserole dish
- 2 pounds yellow summer squash sliced into 1/2 inch chunks, about 4 or 5 medium squash
- 2 carrots grated or chopped
- 1 onion small, diced
- 6 ounces herb stuffing mix
- 1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 1 ¼ cups sour cream
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ cup sweet salted butter melted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a casserole dish with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add the sliced squash, onion and carrot. Reduce heat and continue to cook over medium for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
- In a medium size bowl, mix the dry stuffing mix with the dried herbs and the melted butter. Stir well to coat.
- In a large bowl, mix the cream of chicken soup and the sour cream well.
- Drain the vegetables well. Use a potato masher to gently press any additional water from the squash. Add the vegetables to the sour cream mixture and combine. Add the stuffing mixture to the sour cream mixture and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes and bubbling.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.