Butternut Squash and Cranberry Casserole

Squash is one of my favorite things ever, and I get super excited when it comes into season.  There was a point in my life when I was younger when I used to eat it almost every day for pretty much the Fall and Winter seasons in different ways for dinner. My skin even started to take on a little squash like hue that my Mom called my "squash tan".  I don't go quite to that extreme now, but I do enjoy it a couple of times a week.  After all, it is not around all year (well at least not the good tasting kind that only come when in season) so it is special and deserves to be enjoyed.  I love it stuffed, roasted in cubes in salads, or even mashed sometimes.  I can't believe as a little kid I thought it was gross because I had been told that it was by a family member and I didn't want to try it.  I was missing out.  I started to enjoy it though, when my Mom served the roasted kind stuffed with apples.  It turned me around and got me over my fear.  I have mostly  been roasting it cubed up this year for salads because it gets nice and crispy, but sometimes I roast it cut in half, which is what I did the other night when I happened to have a lot of extra squash.  I thought I could use it for other recipes.  You know, you can replace canned pumpkin in desserts with it, and it tastes even more sweet and delicious!  But this time I decided to make a savory side fit for the Thanksgiving table.

Everyone makes sweet potato casserole, and that is fine, I love sweet potatoes, but I thought why not make a squash casserole?  I have not seen one before (I am sure they are out there, I have just never tried one), and I thought it would be delicious.  I also had a package of cranberries in my refrigerator waiting to be used in a recipes, so I decided to make this a double layer casserole with the cranberries.  I cooked them into a jammy sauce.  Not that nasty stuff from the can type of sauce, but the good kind that can only come from real cranberries.  I like them a little chunky.  Trust me, butternut squash and cranberries are a delicious combination for those that are skeptical.  Plus you get two of your Thanksgiving sides in one!

Lastly, I wasn't going to leave the casserole just like that, because in Minnesota casserole, (or really "Hot Dish" as we call it), should have some sort of crispy topping sprinkled on top that can be browned.  So, I made an oat streusel.  The whole thing smelled amazing while baking! Kind of like dessert, but it is definitely a savory Thanksgiving side.  It was super delicious!  The squash was sweet and delicious, the cranberries slightly tart, aromatic with orange and jammy, and the struesel was the perfect touch, crunchy and satisfying.  If you are looking for a new dish to try this Thanksgiving, give this a go!

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Casserole
Serves 12

Ingredients:

Squash:

  • 2 large butternut squash, halved
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Craberries:

  • 2 7.5 oz packages fresh organic cranberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and oil a sheet pan, or line it with parchment.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Place cut side down on the tray, and place in the oven.  Roast for about an hour until the squash is tender.  Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  3. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt, and mash the squash with them until there are not any big lumps.  Spoon into an 8x8 square pan, or two smaller casserole pans (which is what I did).
  4. To make the cranberries, combine them with the syrup, orange juice, and sea salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook until the cranberries are tender and thickened, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, and pour over the squash in the pan.
  5. To make the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix together with your hands until it is small clumps that hold together when squeezed.  Scatter over the cranberries evenly.
  6. Place the pan (or pans) in the oven and bake until the topping is browned about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve!
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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

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