Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole

Am I alone that when I hear the word casserole, I cringe just a little bit? Of course, in Minnesota, they are called a “hot dish” but don’t get me started on weird Minnesota sayings and words. That could take all day.
You see, in my house growing up, casseroles tended to be a means of emptying out the fridge. Take whatever meat, veggie, cheese or leftover there was, mix it with a cream of something soup and viola….dinner! (Sorry Mom, but I still love you more than life even with the permanent scarring that was inflicted)


I’m glad my aversion to the word “casserole” didn’t keep me from giving this recipe a try. It was a very different way for me to eat butternut squash. The recipes I’ve used before have brought out the sweetness of the squash but this is definitely a savory dish. My hubby and I really enjoyed it and loved the crunch of the pecans. The reviews were mixed from my kids, but that is why I served it with some hot homemade bread…..if you want more bread, eat your dinner first :)

Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole
3 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
3 Tb butter
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 C milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp dried thyme
1 C bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C pecans
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the squash and cook for 6 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for one more minute. Drain and set aside.
3. Return the pot to the stove and add the butter and oil. Add onions and saute over medium high heat until limp. Remove from the heat and add the squash, spinach and everything else but a 1/2 C of the cheese. Mix to combine well.
4. Spread into the greased pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese . You can also add a few more nuts on top if you desire. Bake for 50 minutes. Serve immediately.

Comments

  1. says

    Pizza bites and Spinach Squash Casserole with PECANS???!! Yum. I have some squash…I’ll have to give this one a try. My driving foible this week was a fender bender today…ugh! It’s called complete exhaustion. How many children did you have when I told you that your children were wonderful angels and you should have more??!! I now have three and definitely…more perspective. I so love to read your posts… Adios!

  2. says

    I had FOUR when you were counseling me to have more :-) Now you can understand why Donny and I had such a great laugh when we got your well intentioned, yet naive letter. Ah the days when we only had one child and thought we understood parenting! Love you Nina!!!!

  3. says

    I love butternut squash, in fact I even have one on hand and it’s July and over 100 degrees in Indy. So, yes, I’m a bit crazy where this veggie is concerned! All of the butternut’s I’ve cooked though and I’ve never made a casserole – unless you count lasagna. Giada de Laurentis (spell?) makes a truly terrific vesion. So, I’m giving this a try sometime this week or next. My only hesitation is the bread crumbs. I’m GF and do save the heels from my Udi’s bread to make crumbs, but they do tend to break down easily. I’m wondering if I could sub the bread crumbs with cooked rice. Any thoughts on whether this will work? I’d hate to have the dish turn out too dry. Any other ideas you have would be terrific. Thanks, cute blog and great ideas!

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