This Is The Most Searched Casserole In The South

Hint: It's a classic.

We don’t have to tell you that the South loves a good casserole. You probably have a few in your freezer right now.

Casseroles may not be unique to the South, but the region has certainly put its own spin on the dish. From breakfast to dinner, for holidays and potlucks, there isn’t a time of day or occasion when a casserole isn’t welcomed. Whether feeding a crowd, or just your family, they’re typically easy to throw together and, for many, are the ultimate comfort food.

Old-School Squash Casserole in a green casserole dish
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

So, of the hundreds of casseroles the Southern Living kitchen has developed over the years (we haven’t officially counted, but it's a good guess), which one is the South searching for most? Our Old-School Squash Casserole, of course.

It took the top spot while Pineapple Casserole and Cabbage Casserole fell into the silver and bronze spots. All three recipes are classic side dishes, made with a few humble ingredients. Both the squash and pineapple casseroles have Ritz cracker crusts, for a crunchy and beautifully brown top. But the meat-and-three staple filled with butter and cheese-smothered squash is the one everyone wants to make most.

Why Southerners Love Casseroles 

Casseroles are made all over the nation, and even the world. So why is the South obsessed with them?

In part, it's because casseroles are nostalgic. They remind us of our grandma’s cooking, which while often simple and humble, was always delicious.

What her cooking may have lacked in garnishes and finesse was made up for in butter, cream, and mayonnaise. A good bit of love went a long way in those recipes, too.

Just like grandma, we embrace casseroles today because of their ease and affordability. We love that they can be made ahead of time and frozen for busy weeknights. Some casserole can even be made with as little as five ingredients and in as little as 30 minutes.  And, since they’re made with affordable pantry staples like canned soups, casseroles can feed a lot of mouths without racking up the grocery bill.

Why Our Readers Love Old-School Squash Casserole

It’s a crowd-pleaser. Casseroles may be easy to bake and take to all sorts of gatherings, but not all recipes get eaten up on the buffet table. We all note the ones that nobody seems to want to touch.

Well, that’s not true of this squash casserole. One Southern Living member got rave reviews after bringing it to the church potluck: “When I tell you this recipe is all of that, I kid you not. I made this for the first time last night for our church’s Ole Fashion Sunday buffet. Instant hit! My husband and I barely got a serving together. Even people who are not squash favorites were raving. Will definitely make it again!” 

Other readers loved that this casserole could be customized based on what they had on hand. "Did not have any crackers so [I] used slightly crushed crispy French onions. Also added some fresh, minced garlic while cooking the squash. Used a combo of squash and zucchini. Delish!” said reader, Sharon Malone. 

Whether served as a side to fried chicken or on its own as a vegetarian main dish, Old-School Squash Casserole is much loved for a reason. You don’t have to believe us, or all the positive reviews. Give it a try yourself, so you can understand why everyone across the South has been searching for this recipe.

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