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Butternut squash casserole – this essential holiday side dish is terrific served with roasted meats and poultry.
I’m blessed with three wonderful sisters-in-law, each an amazing cook and baker, and all more ‘sister’ than in-law. Today I’m sharing my sister-in-law Briana’s family favorite holiday casserole made with butternut squash. The original recipe was passed down to Bri from her aunt and has been a staple on their holiday table… forever!
This super tasty side dish has always been one of my favorites too, and is a great replacement for the classic Sweet Potato Casserole I grew up with. Thanks Bri for letting me share your family recipe with our amazing cooks and bakers!
Butternut squash is easy to prepare and is a versatile addition to many recipes!
We oven roast butternut squash at least once a week and add it to salads, soups, and all types of casseroles like our epic savory winter vegetable cobbler. I’ve been known to eat leftover roasted squash for breakfast, and loved it! For this recipe the squash preparation is about as easy as it gets.
Carefully cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes and you’re almost done. It’s very easy to scoop out the soft flesh once baked through. The squash is mashed by hand for this recipe, or pureed in a food processor.
Is butternut squash good for you?
Butternut squash boasts many health benefits and is a terrific addition to both sweet and savory recipes. Known as a winter squash, butternut is actually grown in the summer and harvested in the fall. It keeps well for months making it easy to store at home. Rich in vitamin A, potassium, beta carotene and fiber, this versatile vegetable is a terrific healthy choice. Butternut squash is naturally low in calories too, with a sweet, nutty flavor similar to pumpkin.
Can this butternut squash casserole be made ahead?
If you’re cooking for the holidays you probably appreciate recipes that are easily made ahead and cooked when needed. This squash casserole is terrific made the day before your gathering! Roast the squash the day before and mash it while still warm. Add milk, vanilla, sugar, butter, cinnamon and eggs. Fold everything together and pour it in a lightly greased casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate until the next day. Remove the squash casserole from the refrigerator about an hour before baking and bring to room temperature. Bake for 45 minutes and serve!
Your family will love this delicious butternut squash casserole.
This is such a delicious dish, I bet it will be one of the first things to disappear from your Thanksgiving or Christmas buffet table! Make this recipe with confidence; it’s time tested and always a winner. You may want to double the recipe and bake it in a 13×9-inch pan so you’ll have leftovers. Just sayin!
But wait! We have optional toppings and add-ins 🙂
Finally, for those family members who can’t live without sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows, no worries! You can add marshmallows to this butternut squash casserole too. In fact, I recommend making a double batch of this squash and split it into two different pans. Top one casserole with pecans and the other with marshmallows. Everybody’s happy!
Here are a few more add-ins and substitutions you might also like:
- Add a few tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice and a little orange zest before baking.
- Replace 1/4 cup of the sugar with good quality maple syrup – so good!
- Use granulated sugar or brown sugar, both are great. We used granulated sugar in the recipe photographed.
- Add more cinnamon to the mix, if desired, up to one teaspoon.
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Butternut Squash Casserole
- 1 small butternut squash (2 to 2 1/2 pounds or 4 cups cooked squash)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar, packed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt *
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the topping:
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Marshmallows, large or small (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Allow the squash to cool enough to handle.
- Lightly spray a casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
- While still warm, scoop out the butternut flesh and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Discard the skin/shell. Mash the squash with a potato masher, or in a food processor until no chunks remain. Add the milk, vanilla, sugar, butter and cinnamon and stir until combined. Add the lightly beaten eggs. Fold together or process until blended. A few lumps are fine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake until almost set, about 30 minutes. While the casserole is baking prepare the topping, if using.
- In a small bowl combine the pecans, melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir until coated. Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the pecan mixture over the squash. Continue baking until set, about 15 minutes more.
- If using marshmallows, cook the casserole for 45 minutes then remove from the oven. Top with marshmallows while preheating the oven broiler on high. Toast the marshmallow topping until melted and browned. Watch carefully as this happens quickly. Serve immediately.
Add marshmallows to the top of the fulled baked casserole and broil on high until the marshmallows are golden brown. The marshmallows can be added in place of the pecans, or use both if desired. Mini or large marshmallows are both good here.
- Replace 1/4 cup of the sugar with good quality maple syrup for a lovely flavor
Increase the amount of cinnamon in the casserole, up to 1 teaspoon if desired.
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest, if desired.
Here are a few more recipes you might also enjoy:
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia