Old fashioned squash casserole is an easy stovetop side dish to serve for a special family meal. Sliced yellow squash and zucchini are sautéed in butter and tossed in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce with crispy bread crumbs in under 30 minutes.
This summer, I've been relying on super simple main dishes like my easy baked chicken breasts or broiled chicken tenderloins and then putting all my focus on making totally delicious vegetable-based side dishes like this old fashioned squash casserole.
I've learned that when I put in the extra effort to make the vegetables taste absolutely incredible, my kids are a whole lot more likely to try some new ones.
Moms have been putting cheddar cheese on vegetables as a way to get fussy kids to eat them since the dawn of time.
This recipe goes one step farther and adds crispy bread crumbs for crunch.
I found this dish to be so delicious, it was my favorite thing on our dinner plate that night!
Why This is the Best Recipe
This rich and cheesy dish is the best old fashioned squash casserole because:
- Creamy & Delicious: If you're trying to entice your kids to try squash, this recipe is a total winner with all that ooey gooey cheddar cheese and crispy bread crumbs.
- Tender Vegetables: When you saute the zucchini and squash, you can control the temperature and keep them from getting overdone. Pull them when they are just tender.
- Quick & Easy: Cooked on the stovetop, this casserole is finished in under 30 minutes.
To make the sautéed squash, all you need to have on hand is:
- Yellow Squash
- Sweet Onion: Like Vidalia
- Cheddar Cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Bread Crumbs
- Dried Dill
- Dried Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
Saute the Squash
For this recipe, use a large, deep skillet that can hold all those sliced veggies.
Place the skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter.
Add the sliced onion to the skillet and cook until just softened.
While the onions are cooking, slice the yellow squash and the zucchini into ¼-inch thick rounds.
You do not need to peel the squash. I think the round circles look so pretty in the final dish, but you could cut the squash into half lengthwise and make half moons if you prefer.
Add the squash to the hot skillet and stir them into the onions. Try to spread the squash out in a single layer as best you can. You want as much of the surface of the squash to touch the hot pan as possible.
Season the vegetables with the dried dill, basil, salt and pepper.
NOTE: If you want to use fresh dill or fresh basil instead of dried herbs, add them in with the cream at the end.
Once the squash have softened, about 5 - 6 minutes, Pour in the heavy cream and bring it to a bubble.
Stir the mixture once in a while so the cream doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.
Once the squash are tender and the sauce has thickened, add the shredded cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese and stir until everything has melted together.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and serve immediately.
While I think this recipe is totally delicious as is, there are some great ways you could play with it for simple variations:
- Spicy Squash Casserole: Add a diced red pepper and some crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet with the onions.
- Swiss Cheese Squash Casserole: Swap the shredded cheese to another flavor. Swiss cheese would be perfect.
- Tomato Squash Casserole: Add a batch of my roasted cherry tomatoes just before you add the bread crumbs.
- Greek Squash Casserole: Use a Greek herb blend, olive oil instead of butter, and mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar.
This comforting zucchini and yellow squash casserole is a delicious side dish to be served with a wide variety of main dishes for an easy family dinner.
Bake a pan of my baked chicken breasts in the oven while the squash cooks on the stovetop.
The roasted chicken with potatoes would be a great main, too.
Keep things easy with a Crockpot spiral ham or even a pan of oven baked salmon.
More Old Fashioned Side Dishes
Comfort food is at its best with good old fashioned recipes like these delicious side dishes:
Old Fashioned Squash Casserole
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ onion thinly sliced, Vidalia would be perfect
- 2 yellow squash cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 2 zucchini cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- Place a deep skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until just softened.
- Add the sliced squash and zucchini and saute for 5 - 6 minutes over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the dill, basil, salt, and pepper over the top and stir.
- Add the heavy cream. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes, or until the squash are just tender, stirring occasionally so the cream doesn't burn on the bottom.
- Add the grated parmesan cheese and the cheddar cheese and stir them in until mostly melted, up to 1 minute. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and serve immediately.
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