Despite yellow squash being a summer vegetable, I always think of squash casserole as a fall dish. It might have something to do with the fact that squash casserole is a requirement on my Thanksgiving table. Regardless of the time of year, it’s a great side for just about any menu.
Now, I’ve shared a squash casserole recipe with y’all before, but I figure you can never have too much of a good thing, so here’s another!
My other recipe forgoes the “cream of” soup and has some bacon in the mix, too. This version swaps the eggs and sour cream for a blend of cream of chicken and mushroom soup (keep reading for more on this pantry staple) and sour cream. And while I love both of them, I really love the creamy, velvety texture of this version.
When it comes to squash, there has to be onions. And when there is squash and onions, there’s got to be some smoky bacon flavor, too – kinda like my Old School Squash and Onions. So, we start by sautéing our squash and onions in some bacon grease. If you don’t have any bacon grease, you can use butter. But the bacon grease is best. Seriously.
Now there are a couple of other things I do differently with this version that need to be mentioned…
The first is draining the squash after it’s been cooked. Summer squash is something like 95% water and all that water can make for a soggy casserole. Cooking it will bring that water out, so draining it is a little insurance policy against a waterlogged dish. Is it required? Nope. Should you do it? Yep.
The other ingredient that’s notably missing in this version is eggs. The eggs help to boost the amount of protein in this dish and help to hold the ingredients together a bit. The thing is, egg in a dish like this can result in a bit of a curdled texture that I find a little off-putting. I tested the recipe with eggs and it works just fine. You can add in two eggs if you wish. I just found the texture of the sauce in the casserole much more pleasant without the eggs when using the “cream of” soup.
Now let’s talk about this soup…
One of my favorite things to have in the arsenal when it comes to casseroles is a can of Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup. Now this confuses folks sometimes because they’ve either never heard of it or they think I’m talking about a can of each. Nope. It’s one can that’s cream of chicken and mushroom all in one. And it’s delicious! It gives you great chicken flavor and savory mushroom flavor all together. I almost always use it when a recipe calls for one or the other.
You should have no trouble finding it in your local grocery store right with the other condensed soups. That said, if you can’t get your hands on it, one can of either cream of chicken or cream of mushroom will work.
Ultimate Cheesy Squash Casserole
- 2 pounds yellow squash, thinly sliced (about 1/4-inch thick)
- 1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons bacon grease (or butter)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken and mushroom condensed soup (see note)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- About 30 buttery crackers, crushed (like Ritz)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Add the bacon grease to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the onions and squash. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, but not mushy – about 10 minutes. Drain the squash mixture well in a colander to remove excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, stir together the undiluted cream of chicken and mushroom soup, sour cream, and cheese. Fold in the drained squash mixture. Spread into the prepared dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the crushed crackers with the butter until the cracker crumbs are coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.