Layered Squash Casserole 

A fresh take on an old favorite.

Layered Squash Casserole

Photographer: James Ransom, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

If you thought squash casserole was just for summer, think again! While it may be extra delicious in the warmer months, this cheesy, comforting casserole is right at home on your Thanksgiving table with the turkey, dressing, and all the classic side dishes.

Squash can be a watery vegetable, so to keep this dish creamy and thick, this recipe offers a smart trick—sautéing the squash briefly, then letting it drain in a colander for about 10 minutes. The result is a casserole with a rich, concentrated flavor instead of a dish that’s soupy and forgettable.

While this recipe is similar to classic squash casserole, the flavor is dialed up with a few key ingredients. Dijon mustard adds a subtle tang and a bold backbone, helping the squash taste fresh and more like itself. Cayenne adds a gentle kick; instead of being in-your-face fiery, it provides toasty, warming heat that begs you to take another bite.

White cheddar cheese also kicks this casserole up a notch; the sharp, creamy tang is an exciting upgrade from the expected mild yellow cheddar. For a fun finishing touch, this recipe replaces the classic saltine cracker topping with cheesy crackers, which tie in the flavor of the filling. 


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing baking dish 

  • 4 lb. mixed yellow squash and zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds (about 15 cups)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten 

  • 1 ½ cups sour cream 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise 

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt 

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 

  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper 

  • ½ tsp. grated garlic (from 1 large clove) 

  • 1 ½ cups white Cheddar cheese, shredded 

  • 1 ½ cups bite-size white Cheddar cheese crackers (such as Cheez-It), coarsely crushed 

  • 1 ½ tsp. hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 3-quart oval baking dish with butter; set aside.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add mixed squash; stir to coat in butter. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender-crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer squash to a colander set over a bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Gently press out excess water.

  3. Stir together eggs, sour cream, mayonnaise, thyme, salt, Dijon, cayenne pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Spread 1 1/4 cups of the sour cream mixture evenly across bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange squash slices on top of sour cream mixture in overlapping concentric circles, tucking Cheddar cheese in between squash slices. Spread remaining 1 cup sour cream mixture over squash, allowing sour cream mixture to settle between squash slices. If necessary, use a fork to lift and separate squash slices to allow sour cream mixture to fall between slices.

  4. Microwave remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium size microwavable bowl on HIGH until melted, about 30 seconds. Add crackers and hot sauce to melted butter, and stir to combine. Sprinkle cracker mixture over casserole. Bake in preheated oven until sour cream mixture is set and crackers are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, and serve.

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