We always have an abundance of squash as we head into the fall season every year. It’s sweet and delicious, which makes it perfect for cooking. Anyone who has celebrated Thanksgiving with me knows that I adore the side dishes the most. This Southern Squash Casserole recipe makes the BEST Thanksgiving side dish. It’s got a creamy and cheesy baked center with a crunchy topping. It’s the perfect way to bring the fall harvest to your dinner table.
There’s no shortage of vegetables on our family’s Thanksgiving table, but nobody promised that those vegetable dishes were healthy! We’re a genuine southern family and that means we’ve got some hearty vegetable recipes (which means we’re allowed to count Macaroni and Cheese as a vegetable too). This squash casserole definitely falls on the more decadent and rich side.
Related: Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe
Southern Squash Casserole Recipe: Thanksgiving Side Dish
What makes this the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving is the fact it can be made ahead of time. It’s also a fairly simple recipe since you’re just mixing the base and adding the topping. It’s pretty easy to find green Thanksgiving side dishes (this Broccoli Cheese Casserole is scrumptious) – but the squash adds yellow to your table.
My Mom gave me this recipe and it’s been tweaked as it was passed down through our family. The story goes that they experimented with squash recipes until they found the perfect one and made it their own. My sister cooks this for her Thanksgiving table too and it’s now a classic family recipe that we all love.
What Makes It An Easy Recipe
The recipe calls for a whopping four pounds of yellow squash. I always weigh it before cooking. There are basically three different components to this recipe: cooking the squash, mixing the squash with the casserole base and adding the topping. While there are a few ingredients for the center of the casserole, it’s an easy stir to mix situation.
What To Serve With Your Southern Squash Casserole For Thanksgiving
To make this a complete Thanksgiving meal, I always recommend keeping it a side dish. You want 2-3 vegetable recipes to accompany your turkey and starches. For our Thanksgiving table, I make the following:
- Fresh Turkey
- Squash Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Relish Tray
- Homemade Rolls
How To Make The Squash Casserole Ahead Of Time
This is why it’s an awesome recipe for Thanksgiving. The more you can make ahead of time – the easier your dinner will be. Cook your squash and make the center of the casserole. Do NOT add your topping. It can last up to 48 hours in the refrigerator ahead of time. Next, add your crunchy topping when you’re ready to bake. That makes it so easy!
How Long Does Squash Casserole Last Before Expiring?
When refrigerated, and kept in an air-tight container, the squash casserole leftovers will last a solid week. We have a family of five and it takes us 5-6 days to finish all of our Thanksgiving leftovers (the turkey being the first to go).
What To Buy For This Recipe:
- 4 pounds of yellow squash
- Cheddar Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Basil, Garlic Salt, Ground Pepper
- Fresh Bread Crumbs
- French Fried Onions
How To Make This Southern Squash Casserole Recipe
Combine squash mixture, freshly shredded Cheddar cheese, next 5 ingredients, 1 cup breadcrumbs, and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Spoon into a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish. If you’re making it ahead of time: you can now place the casserole into the refrigerator before baking.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
- 4 pounds yellow squash, sliced evenly
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup freshly shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs, divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup French fried onions, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cook yellow squash and sweet onion in boiling water to cover in a Dutch oven 8 minutes or just until vegetables are tender; drain squash mixture well.
- Combine squash mixture, freshly shredded Cheddar cheese, next 5 ingredients, 1 cup breadcrumbs, and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish.
- Stir together melted butter, French fried onions, and remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over squash mixture.
- Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
- How to make the casserole ahead of time: cook the squash and make the base mixture. Place in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake. Add the topping and bake when it's time.
- You can substitute two tablespoons fresh basil, instead of dried.
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