Butternut squash gratin is everything you’d want in a cozy casserole dish. Cheesy, creamy, flavoured with thyme and garlic and extremely delicious!
This delicious casserole works beautifully as a side dish to your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.
Let’s talk about everything that is warm, cozy and comfy because our life demands it right now. Apart from all the uncertainty that defines our world at the moment, the winter is also coming.
A bit of warming up is in order and this is what my new recipe is all about.
Baked Butternut Squash Recipe
This creamy butternut squash casserole ticks all the boxes. The inspiration came to me via my favourite potatoes au gratin recipe or potatoes dauphinoise as they are known in France and the UK.
The dish comes from the Dauphine region of France, and is made from sliced and layered potatoes cooked in butter, heavy creamy and garlic. I decided to lighted up the recipe by using butternut squash instead of potatoes.
We loved this version even more than the traditional one. The sweetness of butternut squash complimented by nutmeg and countered by the garlic was no match for plain potatoes. The flavour was far richer and more complex.
It paired beautifully with a pork roast and tenderstem broccoli, that I served last night. I also made my first ever loaf of bread, and was so beautiful I wanted to cry. Just kidding I was actually grinning from ear to ear but more on that later.
How to Make It
The method for making this gorgeous dish is very straightforward. Mix cream with nutmeg, crushed garlic clove, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and bring it to a boil. Take off the heat and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Peel, deseed and slice butternut squash and layer in a buttered dish.
Pour the herb and garlic infused cream over the squash, cover with a tin foil and bake at 350F/ 180C for 30 min. Uncover and sprinkle with any type of sharp cheese. I used mature white cheddar. Bake for 3o minutes longer uncovered.
I recommend using a large and shallow baking dish for this recipe. A rectangular 9 inch X 13 inch works well.
Butternut squash tends to release too much liquid during the baking and is not nearly as starchy as potatoes. So if it is stacked high, the liquid doesn’t evaporate, which throws off the creamy consistency. I would avoid deep dishes for this recipe.
You can make this casserole a day ahead and reheat it shortly before you are ready to sit down to dinner. Cover it with aluminum foil and heat for 10 minutes at 400F/200C, then uncover heat for 10 minutes longer.
Butternut Squash Recipe Serving Suggestions
It’s not difficult to guess this baked butternut squash goes with almost anything but let me highlight my favourite pairings. This spatchcock roast chicken with potatoes will go wonderfully with a creamy dish like this butternut squash.
This one pan rosemary chicken and potato dish will also compliment my creamy squash bake.
How to Store Butternut Squash Casserole
The leftovers will keep fresh in the fridge up to 5 days.
More favourite vegetable side dishes:
- Savoury Sweet Potato Casserole
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Bacon
- Braised Savoy Cabbage with Bacon and Mushrooms
This recipe was originally published in 05/2014. Updated with new photos and text and republished in 11/2020.
Butternut Squash Casserole (Gratin)
- 400ml/ 1 ¾ cups double cream/whipping cream no half and half or single cream
- 2 bay leaves
- a few thyme sprigs
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 lbs large butternut squash peeled and thinly sliced
- 100g/ 1 cup mature white Cheddar or your favourite cheese grated
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Mix the heavy cream with nutmeg, crushed garlic clove, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and bring it to a boil. Take off the heat and let infuse for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel, deseed and slice a large butternut squash and layer a half of it in a large and shallow buttered dish. Pour a half of the herb and garlic infused cream over the squash. Then add the second layer and cover with the remaining cream. Cover with a tin foil and bake at 350F/ 180C for 30 min.
- Uncover and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes longer uncovered until the cheese is melted and golden and cream is bubbling around the edges.
- Do not substitute heavy cream with half and half or single cream.
- I recommend using a large and shallow baking dish for this recipe. A rectangular 9 inch X 13 inch works well.
Christine Cole says
Can I use Hubbard or some other heritage squash?
Julia Frey (Vikalinka) says
You can use any squash, Christine as long as the flesh is not too watery.
Randi Vicente says
This recipe is absolutely delish! 🙂
Can this dish be frozen?
Julia Frey (Vikalinka) says
Yes, you can freeze it, just make sure you reheat at lower temperature of 325F to prevent the cream from splitting.
it was delicious alright – but my cream separated 🙁
didnt affect the taste after a lil mixing, but wasnt pretty to look at…
15% fat cooking creme…too thick?
Julia Frey (Vikalinka) says
My guess it’s separated because the cream wasn’t thick enough. It should be at least 37g fat content or higher. Low fat cream like half and half or light cream do not work in this recipe.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love butternut squash, what a delicious gratin!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
This looks absolutely delicious, Julia. I love butternut squash in all forms, so I’ll be trying this one!
Thank you, Jennifer! I do too and am always trying to find new ways of enjoying it!
sue/the view from great island says
There’s a special pleasure in cooking foods that are just barely out of season, this one looks so comforting, and the way my husband cranks up the air conditioning, I know I’m going to crave this!
I felt the same, Sue. I hesitated to cook butternut squash because it is out of season but it’s so delicious and filling-perfect food when you are trying to watch those calories!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
This honestly looks like my idea of food heaven. Beautiful!
Thank you, Helen! I have to agree it was quite heavenly. 🙂