Cheesy Southern Squash Casserole
This creamy southern-style squash casserole reminds me of Sunday dinners in Grandma’s kitchen. It can be made in one large dish to pass around the table, or in individual ramekins to fancy it up. Either way, it’s cozy and comforting!
When I was a little girl, we traveled cross-country every summer to visit my Grandma Montgomery in West Virginia. She was a sweet little woman who loved to garden and rock on her porch. She would sit outside watching us with a serene smile, as we played in her expansive yard under the trees.
Grandma Montgomery passed away when I was sixteen, but I still have loving memories of her kneeling in her garden covered with a floppy sun hat and a linen shirt, sleeves rolled up to her elbows… Or in her apron, cooking something comforting.
And always with that same smile of peaceful content.
There were several dishes she made, that I looked forward to every time we visited.
Some of her specialities were baked ham, creamed corn, green beans with bacon, homemade biscuits, and squash casserole.
When Lt. Dan and I first moved to North Carolina, I made it my goal to learn southern cooking, like I remembered from my summer travels as a child.
Southern squash casserole was high on the list. I made a point to try it as often as possible, so I could figure out how to recreate this icon regional dish the way grandma used to make it.
Some southern cooks dice their yellow squash for squash casserole and some slice it thin, so it’s more of a “gratin” dish. Some use day-old bread as the thickening agent and some use crumbled crackers.
After trying many variations, I’ve come up with my own squash casserole recipe that reminds me of grandma’s recipe, yet with a tad more punch.
My squash casserole has a smooth creamy texture, because I pureed the squash and onions into a fine pulp, then added sour cream and sharp aged cheddar.
I also took out all the filler ingredients to get down to the basics of thickening by adding Gold Medal Flour. I always trust the consistency of Gold Medal’s finely ground flour, and felt it was a much better platform to build on than old crackers or bread.
After adding some herbs and spices for kick, this creamy, cheesy, thick, and hearty squash casserole was a huge success. Each individual serving is sprinkled with cornbread crumbs, so the top toasts up golden and crispy.
This is the perfect side dish for any hearty comforting meal… and would certainly warm some hearts at your Thanksgiving table this year.
I’m sure grandma would agree!
- 3-4 yellow summer squash roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup shredded aged cheddar I used white cheddar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup Gold Medal Flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 cornbread muffins crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place six 6-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside. Put the roughly chopped squash, onions and garlic in the food processor and pulse until finely ground into pulp.
- Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter to the skillet. Pour the squash mixture into the skillet and sauté the squash pulp, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes to soften.
- Pour the cooked squash in a mixing bowl, then add the shredded cheese, sour cream, Gold Medal Flour, cornmeal, salt and spices. Mix well and spoon into the ramekins.
- Sprinkle the crumbled cornbread over the top of each ramekin, then place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cornbread top is golden and the edges are bubbly. Serve warm. (If making ahead and refrigerating, bake for at least 45 minutes.)
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gold Medal Flour. All opinions are my own.