Oh hell yes.
Hi! How was your weekend? We had a great one, including being at home with Beck all day Saturday and not leaving the house. We did yard work, hung some remnants back on the walls from the construction on our house, watched TWO movies, and cooked a boat-load, which was fun but also a benefit to eating out on the weekends means the kitchen isn’t so ridiculously dirty all of the time. Cue me spending Monday undoing our all-at-home weekend.
So this casserole. This time of year we seem to find ourselves with tons of squash and zucchini, all of the time. My grandparents grow it, it is super cheap at the farmer’s market, cooks quickly, lasts for awhile in the fridge, reason after reason to keep it around at all times. Mostly we saute it with onions and salt and pepper for a quick dinner veg, but sometimes, especially when we have a ton of it, we need to go old-school and decadent, you know? This is that. It’s definitely a vegetable and definitely vegetarian, but other than that I’m not going to scream at you about health benefits.
This casserole is made on the stovetop and includes almost all of the seasonings from my favorite pimento cheese and traditional squash casserole. Ritz crackers are a must for topping, and you can bake the casserole for a few minutes and eat it immediately or keep it in the fridge for a few days and heat it up for dinner one night this week. Make-ahead friendly!
Ingredients are! Squash, or this zucchini/squash hybrid that I keep seeing around here. Onion, and roasted red pepper for the pimento factor. Seasonings include onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Creamy casserole happiness is sour cream, mayo, and cheese. Ritz on top for crunch! PS the “I hate mayo” gang, you definitely can’t taste the mayo but really need the creaminess for the overall texture of the casserole.
To start! Slice the onion and squash thinly and throw them in an ovenproof skillet (mine is cast iron) with some olive oil over medium heat, and add the dry spices – seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Let the skillet heat up (you can throw everything in when it’s still cold if you don’t get a chance to preheat) and start to cook the squash gently. This is the longest step in the process, but will ensure that the casserole isn’t watery or runny.
Stir the squash mixture every 5 minutes or so and let the squash cook way down for 30-40 minutes until it’s soft and there isn’t any liquid left in the pan. While you do this, grate the cheese and chop the roasted red pepper.
When the squash has cooked, preheat the oven to 450F (if you’re cooking this right now), turn the heat OFF the skillet, and add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Cheese, roasted red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mayo and sour cream. Stir the mixture and taste it; add more salt and pepper or hot sauce to your preference until the whole mixture is very flavorful.
Crush the crackers on top of the skillet, and bake! If you bake this right away, 15 minutes or maybe slightly longer is all you’ll need to get the cheese bubbly and the top browned somewhat. If you’re baking this from the fridge or freezer, keep the heat in the oven at 400F and bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until it’s hot all the way through.
I mean. Summer, right? Feels so good, tastes so good, and the combination of fresh squash + decadent flavors is the most fun. I’m all about all-veg dinners this time of year, so this with some roasted carrots and a side salad or vinegar-based slaw would make my week.
The pimento cheese flavors here are yummy but not overpowering since we didn’t use a ton of mayo, so the squash and onion still get to be the very well-supported stars of the show. Creamy veggies for President!
- 4 large summer/yellow squash, halved and sliced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- salt and pepper
- 1 large roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 12 butter crackers such as Ritz, crushed
If serving immediately, preheat the oven to 450F and a medium ovenproof skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the squash, onion, and dry spices to the skillet. Stir every few minutes, cooking the squash and onion together for 30-40 minutes total until wilted and most of the water has evaporated.
Turn the heat off the skillet and add the roasted red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cheese, mayo, and sour cream. Stir to combine and taste; add more salt, pepper, and hot sauce to your preference. Sprinkle the crushed crackers all over the casserole.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the casserole is golden brown and bubbly throughout. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
For make-ahead, store the casserole fully made (stop right before the final baking step) covered in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat at 400F for 30 minutes in the oven or until hot and bubbly.