This squash casserole is sauteed yellow squash tossed in a creamy sauce with plenty of cheese, all topped off with cracker crumbs and baked to perfection. An easy and decadent make ahead side dish!
When I’m looking to add a vegetable side to a meal, I often turn to simple casseroles such as corn pudding, broccoli casserole, or this cheesy squash version. A great way to use up all the squash from your summer garden.
When my garden is overflowing with zucchini, crook necks, and other summer squash, I cook it all up into this fabulous squash casserole. This dish is loaded with tender squash, creamy sauce and of course, plenty of melted cheese. It’s the perfect side dish to feed a crowd and is great as part of a holiday meal.
How do you make squash casserole?
This recipe starts with sliced yellow squash, which is cooked with onions in butter until tender. While the squash is cooking, it’s time to make the creamy sauce. This homemade sauce is a blend of milk and cream that’s seasoned with herbs and spices. The cooked squash is tossed in the cream sauce along with plenty of cheddar cheese. The finishing touch is a layer of buttered cracker crumbs and more shredded cheese. Add a sprinkling of fresh chives and you’ll be ready to eat.
Tips for squash casserole
- Traditional Southern squash casseroles often use mayonnaise or sour cream to make the squash creamy. That being said, I feel that this homemade cream sauce has a ton more flavor, it’s definitely worth taking a few extra minutes to make.
- I use cheddar cheese in my squash casserole, but mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese would also work well.
- You can toss the cooked squash in the sauce and cheese, then cover and refrigerate the casserole for up to 6 hours. Add the cracker crumbs and final layer of cheese right before you put the casserole in the oven.
- I like the flavor of fresh chives as garnish for this dish, but other great options include parsley, thyme or basil.
- I typically use Ritz crackers for the topping, but any variety of buttery crackers will work just fine.
- This casserole can also be made with zucchini or patty pan squash.
What does yellow squash look like?
Yellow squash is also known as crook neck squash. It tapers at the neck which is where it gets its name from. There are other types of yellow squash such as yellow zucchini, but I recommend using crook neck squash for this dish, as it has the best flavor.
Do you peel yellow squash?
I recommend leaving the peels on your squash for this casserole, the peel is what will keep the slices of squash intact during the cooking process. In general, the peels of summer squash are thin and edible, so there’s no need to remove them. The peel also adds nice color!
This squash casserole is great for summer entertaining, but is also a great addition in the cooler weather months for holidays such as Thanksgiving. That combination of rich creamy squash and crunchy crackers just can’t be beat.
MORE GREAT SIDE DISH RECIPES
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- 6 tablespoons butter divided use
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 pounds yellow squash cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese divided use
- 1 cup buttery crackers crushed
- 2 tablespoons chives thinly sliced
- cooking spray
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the squash and onion to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the squash mixture from the pan and place in a large bowl. Cover to keep warm.
- Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
- Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
- Cook the flour mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Whisk in the milk and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the sauce for an additional 2 minutes or until just thickened.
- Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Pour the sauce into the bowl with the squash. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir to combine.
- Pour the squash and cheese mixture into the prepared dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the butter into the crushed crackers and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the crackers over the layer of shredded cheese in the casserole.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted and crackers are golden brown.
- Sprinkle with chives. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.