My butternut squash casserole is a decadently delicious side dish topped with a sweet brown sugar pecan streusel ~ everybody loves it!!
I make no excuses here, this butternut squash casserole is a rich, decadent side dish, for sure. But man is it good! Yes, it flirts with a dessert vibe, but not so much that you don’t thoroughly enjoy it with your meal. We’ve been making variations of this for years, I got the original recipe from Lindsay at Pinch of Yum. I think it was her mother’s recipe. Once I tried it I was completely hooked and one of my variations has been a part of my holiday dinners (Thanksgiving and Christmas) ever since.
- Butter Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole ~ I make this with yellow potatoes and the texture is super fluffy.
- Butter Pecan Pumpkin Souffle ~ I roast the pumpkin (in this case an heirloom variety) whole in the oven, just like I do with the butternut squash. Could you use canned pumpkin? Sure.
If there’s a variation I haven’t tried, you can count on me to come up with it. I’m thinking about parsnip or rutabaga next. But, spoiler alert, this butternut squash casserole is my favorite so far…
what you’ll need for this butternut squash casserole
- butternut squash
- you’ll need cooked butternut squash. I love to roast mine whole in the oven because the flavor is intensified and it’s so dang easy, instructions below. You could also roast or boil ready-cut squash cubes. Any winter squash will work, so feel free to substitute varieties. Kuri squash would be great, or, of course, Honeynut squash.
- eggs are key to the wonderful texture of this dish!
- brown sugar
- half and half or cream
- salt and pepper
butter pecan streusel topping
- brown sugar
how to roast a whole butternut squash, step by step
Roasting the whole squash is not only easier, it preserves the nutrients and flavor much better than boiling. What’s so nice about this method is that the squash dry roasts, so it’s not at all soggy. Use this method for butternut squash soups, casseroles, or any time you will be mashing or pureeing squash.
- Put your whole squash on a lined baking sheet. You can use parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat. This helps with cleanup because as the squash cooks in a hot oven the natural sugars caramelize. That makes great flavor, but also a sticky mess.
- Roast at 400F until you can pierce the thickest part with the tip of a knife and it slides in easily. Note that the thickest part of a butternut squash is the neck, not the ‘hollow’ bulb area, so that’s where you should test.
- Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy parts. (Save the seeds, they’re fantastic roasted!)
- Scoop out the flesh, it’s ready to use in your butternut squash casserole.
Once you’ve got your cooked squash the rest is easy ~ just whiz it up in a food processor (you can use electric beaters or a potato masher) with the other ingredients for the base of the casserole. The topping is a classic streusel made with crushed pecans. So good.
make it ahead
I almost always make my butternut squash casserole ahead. I make the butternut filling and the topping ahead but keep them separate until I’m ready to bake. The whole casserole can also be baked and frozen, if you like.
This vibrant butternut squash casserole is a holiday staple for me, but I love it too much to limit is to fancy meals. It goes great with meatloaf, pork, beef tenderloin, turkey breast, roast chicken, just about anything you’re having for dinner. Cut the recipe in half for a small family.
Butternut Squash Casserole
- 1 1/2 -2 quart gratin dish or casserole (6-8 cup capacity)
- 1 1/2 lbs cooked butternut squash
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup half and half or cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg, or more or less to taste
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter your gratin or casserole dish.
- Put the cooked squash in the bowl of a food processor with the eggs, brown sugar, half and half, and melted butter. Pulse about 25 times, and then run the machine for an additional few seconds to completely puree the mixture. A little texture is ok, don't over-process. Season with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Turn the puree into your gratin dish and spread out evenly.
- Blend the topping ingredients together in a bowl using your fingers to blend everything together until evenly crumbly. Make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Note: I prefer to do this in my food processor. I first pulse the flour, sugar, and butter together until crumbly, then I add the nuts and pulse a few more times. This results in a very even crumble.
- Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the puree.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes. If the topping browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil. It will be done when you notice it has puffed up very slightly, indicating the souffle-like filling is cooked perfectly. Note: if your topping is browning too quickly lay a loose piece of foil over it.
- Place a large butternut squash, whole, onto a lined baking pan.
- Bake at 400F until the flesh in the thickest part can be pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife. Note that the thickest part of a butternut squash is in the neck, not the ‘hollow’ bulb end.
- Slice the cooked squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and then scrape out the flesh.
- Weigh out 1 1/2 pounds for this recipe.