Southern Squash Casserole

Did you know that squash is technically a fruit? Other parts of the squash plant, including its roots and flower, are considered a vegetable, but the squash itself, with its seeds on the inside, is categorized as a fruit. Forever we’ve referred to it as a vegetable – and to be honest, will continue to do so. But no matter what category it falls under – fruit or vegetable – it is one of our summertime favorites. Squash is great grilled or roasted, but we can’t resist a good casserole recipe. Who can resist a cheesy baked casserole sprinkled with buttery cracker crumbs?
We start with a sauté of the squash, seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper. A good sauté will soften the squash for the next phase: mashing. Grab a potato masher and give the squash a good squish. Then comes the creamy cheesiness, in the form of sour cream along with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. We pour this into a casserole dish and top it with a casserole classic: crushed butter crackers, which add not only flavor but great texture. Everything bakes in the oven and the top browns and crisps – sooo good!
Squash isn’t everyone’s favorite food, but we think this cheesy and creamy casserole is a great way to win over some squash skeptics. This is a wonderful side dish to a meal and a great potluck contribution. A heaping scoop of this piping hot from the oven is sure to satisfy a hungry crew. Grab some yellow squash at your grocery store or local farmer’s market and dive right into this rich and savory side dish. Every season is the right season for delicious comfort food, and our squash casserole really hits the mark.

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¾ cup butter crackers, finely crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large pot or Dutch oven. Melt over medium heat; once melted, add squash with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 8-10 minutes. Cover and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. Remove pot from heat to allow squash to cool slightly before mashing.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Use a potato masher to mash squash. Add garlic powder, sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese, beaten egg, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Continue to mash until all ingredients are well blended.
Pour squash mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with cracker crumbs and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake covered for 35 minutes, then remove cover and finish baking 5-7 minutes, or until top is golden brow
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