For the past few years, I have been determined to find the perfect squash casserole recipe, mainly because my husband loves squash casserole and he’s a wonderful man, so he deserves it. I’ve tried a couple of different recipes – one was pretty darn good, the other was too much bland rice. But I continued my quest for the best.
Even though a blog reader shared a recipe that included bacon and looked really great (I still need to try it), I stubbornly want to believe that a flavorful squash casserole can be made without something as powerful as bacon. I also want to believe it can be made without Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, which a lot of recipes seem to require.
This past weekend, I tried again, deeply adapting a church cookbook recipe I found. I think this is the best of all three I’ve tried, so I thought I’d pass it along. I think the bell pepper had a lot to do with how flavorful it was. You could use orange or red bell pepper, but I liked the yellow color with the squash. I hope it isn’t too late in the season for some of you to try this recipe with squash from your own garden or the farmers market.
4 medium zucchini or yellow squash (I blended the two)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 large or 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
Butter to grease the dish
1 can cream of celery soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups finely crushed Ritz crackers, divided
Salt, to taste (optional)
1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish and set aside.
2. Slice squash in thin rings. Place in a large, microwave-safe dish with the onions and bell pepper and a dash of water. Cover and microwave until squash is just beginning to get tender, stopping to stir occasionally (it will only take a few minutes, total). Drain off all liquid.
3. In a large bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, egg, salt, pepper, one cup of cracker crumbs and one cup of cheese. Gently fold in vegetables until all is well combined. Transfer mixture to casserole dish. Mix together the remaining cheese and cracker crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted on top and the cracker crumbs are golden brown.