By Susan Benton
My mother, Charlotte, makes the best squash casserole, and no matter how I try, mine is never as delicious as hers. It is always a favorite, and a dish that is comfort food to me.
Whether at a church social, a holiday gathering, a family dinner, or to share with a friend in a time of need, this old favorite has been the workhorse of Southern side dishes for decades. Squash casserole is the just-right accompaniment for everything from fried chicken at a summertime Sunday lunch to roast turkey at Thanksgiving.
The main ingredient is typically yellow squash, but some recipes call for other summer squash such as pattypan and zucchini. Most recipes usually include chopped onion, as well. Once you get past those two core ingredients the differences begin.
Southern Squash Casserole:
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 5 strips of bacon, coarsely chopped
- 3 lbs of yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve buttery crackers (like Ritz)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- In a large skillet, cook bacon and over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until bacon starts crisping, then set bacon aside on a paper towel.
- Add onions, cooking until translucent
- Add garlic, sauté until fragrant.
- Add squash and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Toss in cooked bacon.
- In a large bowl, combine beaten eggs, sour cream, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Mix well.
- Add squash and bacon mixture to bowl. Mix well. Turn out into a greased 9X13 casserole dish.
- Topped with crushed crackers and pats of butter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F from 35 to 40 minutes, or until the casserole is browned and bubbly.