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About the Recipe: It is hard to believe that it contains one-half pound of squash in this delicious casserole. The top is crisp while the center is soft with a mild cheddar flavor. The tiny tomatoes on the top add a nice juicy addition and are so attractive. You can serve it for a light supper with a fresh salad or as a side dish. Monique told me that it’s one of the most popular recipes on a school lunch menu.
Recipe inspired by: Chef Monique Hooker at 2012 October training; Farm to School Columbia County – Wisconsin promoting using healthy, local foods in the school lunch program.
Cook’s Note: The amount of milk depends on the moisture from the squash. I added 1 cup milk and it was moist but not extra creamy. I also added onion powder, garlic powder, and hot sauce for extra flavor.
I used a mixture of sharp and mild cheddar cheese but any melting cheese can be substituted.
Cooking the Squash:
- Some stores sell squash already chopped and diced. which is a real time saver. I boiled the diced squash in lightly salted water until very tender, which took about 25 minutes.
- You could also toss the diced squash with a tablespoon olive oil and roast on a release foil lined baking pan in 400 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes; stir occasionally while baking. Tender squash cubes will be very flavorful but a little drier.
- You can also use a whole butternut squash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil; cut squash in half lengthwise; lightly coat cut side with oil, salt, and black pepper to taste. Roast squash with cut side down in 350 degree F oven until soft about 40 minutes or fork tender. Cool until can be handled; scoop out seeds. Remove tender squash and mash until smooth.