Old-School Squash Casserole Recipe
Many think that Southerners prefer their vegetables smothered in butter, cream, and cheese. That especially holds true for yellow squash, which more often than not is at the center of the classic squash casserole. While we love the squash itself, it is the creamy sauce (made from cheese, mayonnaise, and eggs) and crunchy, buttery crack topping that keeps us coming back for seconds. Squash casserole is a staple dish found at meat-and-three diners and at church covered-dish suppers. It can stand on its own as a vegetarian main dish, but also pairs well with just about any protein (fried chicken is a traditional partner). To make the absolute best squash casserole, it’s important to get as much liquid out of the squash during the initial cooking process as possible to prevent a watery casserole. When sautéing, stir the squash often to release steam and prevent browning. Don’t overcook it, which will cause the casserole to be mushy – remember the squash still has to be baked. Gently fold the squash into the egg-cheese mixture to avoid mashing and breaking it into small pieces. Straining the squash helps to remove excess water that leaches out of the cooked squash, and it cools the squash before it is added to the casserole.