Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday's Chicken and Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole

This evening I put together a super quick dinner after getting a call from one of my sons letting me know he was coming for dinner and it needed to be early (6:30) since he had to get home by a certain time.  I hadn't even done all my grocery shopping yet!  Then, son #2 calls and tells me that HE is coming for dinner and won't get there until 7:00.  What's a mother to do???  LOL  So, I sent hubby out to the store on the corner to get some yellow squash to make my Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole; and he dropped it off so he could go back out to pick up a rotisserie chicken and a few other groceries while I got started on the casserole!  I made my Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole, which is the grain free version of the one I made for many, many years that used Ritz crackers.  Each time I make it, I tweak it ever-so-slightly to see if I can improve it.  Rather than send you a link to the original recipe I have posted before, I am going to re-post the recipe below with the minor tweaks I've made to make it better. I've also snapped a few photos for you to see below.  Enjoy!

Voila!
Before the topping has been added...
Topping has been added... 
Close-up view of the topping...I scattered a little extra cheese on top of the crumbly topping...
Fresh out of the oven...
Here's another peek...
BOOM!

Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

6 cups yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Paprika, optional
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup almond flour, divided
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 eggs, beaten (I used 2 eggs plus 1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup milk or half-n-half
3 tablespoons sour cream, optional

Directions:


In a large non-stick skillet, saute yellow squash and onion in 2-3 tablespoons of butter (do not add water).  Stir-fry until tender (cover for a bit, if necessary, to help cook it more quickly); transfer cooked squash and onions to a medium mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, beat eggs, milk, sour cream and add salt, pepper, cayenne to taste; set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese with 1/2 cup almond flour; toss with fork until well mixed.  Add the almond flour/cheese mixture to the bowl of squash; toss and combine well.  Pour beaten egg and milk mixture into the squash mixture and combine well.  


In a separate small bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup of almond flour and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Cut butter into the almond flour (like you do when you make the topping for a fruit crisp).  Once butter is cut in and the mixture is crumbly, add remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese and cut into mixture until crumbly. Pour squash mixture into a lightly greased baking or casserole dish; top with the almond flour/butter/cheddar mixture and sprinkle with black pepper and paprika, if desired.   Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until golden brown and done.

*Note - This is an updated version of my original grain free version of the casserole that I experiment with every time I make it.  I think my updates make this delicious casserole even better. I made the following changes to the recipe because I realized I always added 6 cups of squash (the original said 5 to 6); I always end up adding in more cheddar cheese (the original had 2 cups; the new version has 3 cups); and I always sprinkle paprika on top, either before or after baking (paprika adds a beautiful deep golden color when used to dust the top of casseroles, etc. -- I think it's a grain-free cooks' best friend). You can add more or less cheese to the casserole if you prefer.  Most regular squash casseroles use 1 to 1-1/2  cups of milk along with the egg mixture.  I reduced the liquid to 1/4 cup of half-n-half in this grain free version because the almond flour doesn't absorb as much as the "52 Ritz crackers" that are in the original traditional recipe.


  

18 comments:

Luana said...

Looks great! I take it the yellow squash is summer squash, the yellow one that looks kind of like zucchini?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Luana! Thank you. Yes, you are correct -- we are entering summer squash season now! I love it! :-)

Garden Girl 30076 said...

This may have been your Sunday casserole but it was our Monday casserole. It was so very good! There are only the two of us but we are happy to have leftovers. The texture and taste reminded me of a wonderful baked mac and cheese without all those carbs. I am yet to make one of your recipes that isn't a keeper. Thanks for posting what you eat - we must be sisters at heart - we can't live very far apart, I'm in the Atlanta metro area also.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Garden Girl! So glad you enjoyed it...and finally someone else from the Atlanta area, too! I will probably have the leftover casserole with our dinner this evening...and I'm looking forward to it! Thanks for the kind words. :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC.

This is one of our favorites and it looks even more delicious with the new "tweaks"! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, CyberSis! Our stores are full of summer squash now and the prices are coming down -- it's a great side dish to make for us because we get to stretch it out over a few days, too! :-)

GA gypsy said...

Nice to have a fellow GA peach to follow cooking tips with! My question is about the almond flour...my DH seems to get a bad migraine from anything with almonds in it. Is there another flour that you would recommend? Thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi GA Gypsy! For this casserole, you might be able to substitute ground golden flax (at 1/2 of the amount of almond flour since it is more absorbent). I have never used flax in this recipe before though. If you try flax as a substitute, use 1/2 the amount -- you also might want to make just 1/2 of the recipe too to see how it turns out (in case you don't like the results with the flax). I would not use brown flax though because it is much stronger tasting. Let me know if it turns out if you end up trying it with flax. Thanks! :-)

mom2boxers said...

I just made your Yellow Cheddar Squash casserole and it is absolutely delicious! I made it the main dish by adding 4 cooked and chopped up bacon slices in the mix before I baked it. My hubby enjoyed it too and he hates most vegetables ... this is a winner! Thanks so much!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Mom2Boxers! So glad you and your hubby enjoyed the squash casserole. Even the "wheat eating" members of my family love this version as well, which is always a good thing! I bet it was delicious adding bacon. So happy you liked it. :-)

Debbie said...

I can't wait to try this!! I have kids that need to get off wheat along with me however, they are allergic to peanuts and all nuts so I can't use almond flour. I am signing up to follow your blog.

Freezinginmyboots said...

Can I use regular gf flour instead of almond flour for this? Would it change the measurements I would use?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi freezing,

I've never used commercial gf flour before. Almond flour is not quite as absorbent (for thickening) as regular flour. If I were to guess...I would say to use about 3/4 the amount since I believe it is more absorbent than almond flour. Hope that helps! :-)

Anonymous said...

Add green chilies mmm.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I bet that would be good...and add a little southwestern style twist! :-)

Alice B. said...

Delicious! One question... Is the topping supposed to be crunchy? Mine was gooey... still delish!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Alice,

I wouldn't say "crunchy"...more "crumbly". I would not say mine was gooey. Wonder if you need to add a bit more almond flour to dry the topping out a bit...or run it under the broiler to brown and dry up for a few minutes before removing from the oven. Glad you liked it. :-)

Jenius G said...

Great recipe! I was too lazy to saute all that squash so I grated and brined it instead. Added some hot peppers from the garden. I also swapped out some of the almond flour for coconut flour. I had to force myself to stop eating it and I am not a huge squash fan. Thanks for great recipe framework!