This butternut Squash Casserole is simple to make, but will make a big statement on your holiday table! Can be made ahead and reheated, too.
We had our Thanksgiving here in Canada back in early October, but I'm with those of you in the US who are speeding towards your own big turkey day! I thought I'd share a fun and easy butternut squash dish for you, in case you're needing more side dish ideas.
This one looks complicated, but it is super easy to put together. It's sure to make a pretty presentation on your holiday table.
And as a bonus, you can make this one ahead and simply re-heat to serve when you're ready.
When you cut your squash halves, the slices from the seed end of the squash will be taller than the slices from the top of the squash. Make them the same height by trimming the bottom of the taller ones by 1/2-inch or so (to same height as the other slices). This will make the basketweave pattern all the same height.
Be sure to season generously with salt and pepper. As both the squash, maple and topping are sweet notes, a nice salting provides great balance to the dish.
Be sure to test a piece of squash from the centre of the pan for doneness. They can look "done", but still not be as tender as you would like.
As butternut squash is very moist, you will find a thin layer of liquid at the bottom of the pan after it's cooked. I like to serve this one with a slotted spoon, to leave the liquid behind.
This can be made up to a day ahead. Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. On the big day, simply remove from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then pop in a 350F oven to reheat until warmed through, about 20-30 minutes.
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Cook's Notes for Basketweave Butternut Squash Casserole
Basketweave Butternut Squash
- 4 1/2 lb butternut squash or two smaller squash, totalling about 4 1/2 pounds
- 1 Tbsp butter melted
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- Fresh thyme sprigs and/or fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash, peeling completely and making sure to peel through the white underlayer, to the nice orange flesh. Place peeled halves cut side down onto a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated 425F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Remove squash to a cutting board and cut in to 1/8-inch thick slices.
- *As the slices from the seed end of the squash will be taller than those from the top of the squash, you can trim the taller ones by trimming about 1/2-inch from the bottom, or enough to make them the same height as the rest.
- Reduce oven temperature to 400F.
- In a 9x13 pan, arrange butternut squash slices in a basketweave pattern, placing 5 or 6 slices going in one direction and then another 5 or 6 slices in another direction. If you get to a point where they won't fit flat, you can trim to fit.
- In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and maple syrup. Brush squash slices with butter/maple mixture, then season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Prepare the topping by stirring together all the topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly. Scatter topping over squash, separating the squash slices slightly as you work, allowing some of the topping to fall between the slices. Scatter over-top as well, but try not to hide the pretty pattern of the squash slices.
- Place pan into 400F oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until squash is tender. Time will vary depending on how thick your slices are. Be sure to taste test a piece from the centre of the pan to be sure squash is tender.