Many other butternut squash casserole recipes go the sweet route with a candy-like pecan topping, but not this one. Instead, it has a little cheese, caramelized onions, and kale folded in. It’s a colorful must-have on your holiday menus, and all year long (because you’ll be tempted to make it again and again!).
YIELDS: 8-10 servings
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 1/2 lb. peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves, plus leaves for garnish
- 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 medium bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
- 2 tbsp. salted butter
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 c. shredded Gruyère (or Swiss or Monterey Jack) cheese
- 1/4 c. smoked (or plain roasted) almonds, chopped (pine nuts, walnuts or pecans work well also)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a 9×13-inch baking dish, toss together the butternut squash, parsnips, olive oil, sage, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and thyme. Bake until squash and parsnips are tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Let stand until cool enough to handle then crumble into large pieces.
- Add the onions to the bacon drippings and cook over medium, stirring, until softened and golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Add the kale, butter, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover the skillet and cook until the kale is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat.
- Add the kale mixture and bacon to the butternut squash mixture in the baking dish. Gently mix together and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish with sage and thyme leaves.
- This recipe can be made through step 4 and hang out on the counter for a few hours while you prepare other dishes (or wait for another Thanksgiving side to come out of the oven). Just increase the final bake time 10 to 15 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese. It can also be made ahead and heated, though not recommended as much as the above method.