Friday, September 30, 2016

Butternut Squash Parmesan


I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy butternut squash, especially when it's in season and plentiful in the fall. This Butternut Parmesan casserole is simple and unique. I would have never thought that cheese would pair well with the squash! But it really does!

I got the idea from Trader Joe's. They sell a frozen Butternut Squash Parmesan package,  but its not gluten free. The other day when I was shopping, they were offering taste samples. Everyone was raving. So, I thought I would try to make my own gluten free version. I looked at their ingredients to get some ideas. I was happy with my final product. I'll never know if it tastes anything like the one at TJ's.

Butternut squash is a low fat vegetable that is rich in Vitamin A ( good for the eyes), has more potassium than a banana per cup, provides a fair amount of fiber, Vitamin B-6 and other vitamins and minerals as well. It's a healthy vegetable to add additional nutrients to a gluten free diet.

I've already received 3 butternut squash from my CSA farm. I usually bake my whole squashes so I don't have to peel them.  I also make Apple Cider Glazed Butternut Squash,
and of course I also make soup- some savory, some sweet- like my Butternut Apple Soup or my 

This time I decided to try something totally different. I peeled and cut my squash into cubes, tossed it in some vanilla extract and three different cheeses: Parmesan, Gruyere, and Swiss. I also thought about topping it with my almond and coconut sugar topping before I baked it but forgot- maybe next time.  See below for the nut crunch topping recipe if you would like to use it.

Shortcut: If you do not want to peel and cut your own butternut, Trader Joe's ( and other places) sells packages of cubed butternut squash. You will need 6 cups or 2 packages from Trader Joe's.

OMG- the aroma of the vanilla with the squash was amazing when I removed it from the oven! 

It's a light delicious side dish that is sure to please any butternut squash lover!

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 15 minutes if peeling squash, 2 minutes if buying squash precut
Steaming Time: 15 minutes
Bake time : 15-20 minutes
If you buy precut squash, the entire process with baking is half hour-


6 cups of butternut squash, cubed
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract
3/4-1 cup of freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4- 1 cup of Gruyere and Swiss shredded cheese combo ( from Trader Joe's) 
Optional: nut crunch topping ( see recipe below) 


Using a steaming basket steam the butternut squash until tender. Remove from pot and place in a deep bowl. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Toss the steamed butternut squash with vanilla extract until well coated. Then toss in the cheeses and mix well.  Place the mixture in a deep baking dish. If you are going to use the nut topping sprinkle on top now. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble. 
Serve immediately. 

Nut Crunch Topping: 
Ingredients for the topping: 
1/2  cup of raw almonds
1/4 coconut sugar ( available in health food stores) it looks and acts like brown sugar but is lower in carbs.

Place the raw almonds in a food processor . Process on an off bursts until the nuts become chopped small ( about 3 bursts).  Place in a bowl and toss in the coconut sugar. Sprinkle on top of the casserole before the final baking.

Steam the squash using a steaming basket

If you prefer, you could roast your squash instead of steaming.

Sweet, aromatic, and delicious- probably even better with the nut crunch topping!


1. You could steam your squash or 
2. Roast your squash in the oven at 400 degrees. ( Toss in some olive oil first-) until squash is tender. Then assemble and bake until cheese is bubbly.
3. This freezes well 
4. The vanilla is subtle but really adds something - don't omit it
5. If roasting the squash, you could toss the squash in some olive oil and rosemary before roasting-


  1. This really sounds delicious!! I love butternut squash and I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate it into our meals. I never thought to pair up butternut squash with cheese. I can't wait to make this! Perfect fall side dish.

    1. Butternut squash is plentiful right now, so it's a perfect time to try this recipe!

  2. I used to make a cheesy yellow squash casserole with bread crumbs, but have never had butternut with a simple cheesy topping like this. I like that there's a sweet cruncy topping, too. :-) Intrigued, Judee!


    1. It is a simple recipe and I agree that the crunchy topping would add something!


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