Squash Casserole Recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Anytime

Greetings this beautiful fall day! Are you busy preparing for Thanksgiving? I haven’t had Thanksgiving here at my home in a while, so I’m excited to have family coming here this year.

I picked up a Honey Baked Ham yesterday and bought a fresh turkey today to cook on Thanksgiving Day. I know they’ll be lots of left overs but that’s fine with me. Who doesn’t love leftovers!

I always prepare a squash casserole for Thanksgiving and often for Christmas, too. I’ve been using the same recipe for years, a recipe that my mother-in-law shared with me years ago. This year I decided to try a different one. It’s one I found online and was attributed to Paula Deen.

The main difference between her recipe and the one I’ve been using for so many years is, Paula’s squash casserole has two types of squash in it. Also, instead of cooking the squash in a bit of water, you saute it in vegetable oil. Another difference is it doesn’t have crackers mixed into the casserole itself like my other recipes does, they just go on top.

Note: I’ve included a printable copy of the recipe at the end of this post in case you want to give it a try.

Martha Stewart Cast Iron Pumpkin with Squash Casserole Recipe


Ingredients Needed:

6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini (I actually added a bit more for 7 cups…and that’s a precooked measurement)
Vegetable Oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon “house” seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (I used Ritz)

You’ll notice I increased the amount of squash in this recipe. The reason is when I mixed everything together in the end, it just didn’t look like there was enough squash, as compared to all the other ingredients. I had cut up a bit more squash so I went ahead and sautéed it and added it to the recipe. It looked much better after that. So cook 7-8 cups of squash and then adjust how much you mix in, according to what looks right to you.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 01


You start off by sauteing your squash in a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat. I didn’t cook my squash until it was “completely broken down” as the recipe suggested, but it was extremely tender and could easily be broken apart.

Next drain any excess water off your squash. The recipe says to place a tea towel in a colander to do this. Since my squash wasn’t all broken up, I could probably have skipped the towel part, but I went ahead and use a dish towel to drain it in the colander anyway. Then I used the towel to pat off any extra liquid across the top.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 14


Next,  you saute a chopped onion. I got out this little Vidalia Chop Wizard that I purchased a couple of years ago. I love how fast and easy it is to use, plus clean up is a breeze.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 02


To use it, you just slice your onion in slices, then place it one slice at the time onto the little grid. Close the lid down on top of the onion…

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 04


…and the chopped pieces fall down into the bottom where it can be tilted up for measuring. You can use it to chop amost any vegetable. It also works for cheese. It really comes in handy for making salads.

I just looked to see if it’s still available and it is. You’ll find it here: Chop Wizard

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 03


You’ll need to saute your onion in butter for about 5 minutes until it looks pretty transparent.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 06


I sautéed mine in the same pan where I had cooked my squash and here’s how it looked once done. BTW, the recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter. At first I wondered if that went into the recipe or if that was just for sauteing the onion. I looked at my other squash recipe that I normally make and it called for the same amount of butter and it goes into the recipe. So, you’ll need extra butter to saute your onion, because the 4 tablespoons will go into the squash casserole itself.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 07


Next, I mixed the onion into the squash, followed by all the other ingredients except the crackers.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 08


Here’s how it looked. To me it looked like it needed more squash, so I sautéed one more cup of chopped squash and added it to the mixture. (Recipe called for 6 cups but I used 7 in the end.) I also added a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 09


The recipe calls for one teaspoon of  “house” seasoning, which is a mixture Paula always keeps on hand that’s just salt, pepper and garlic powder. I mixed up a batch of her house seasoning once, but because I don’t cook that often (and when I do I rarely use salt) I ended up never using it and eventually tossed it out. If you cook a lot, you may want to mix up a batch. I included her recipe for her “house seasoning” at the end of this post.

I turned out my mixture into my pumpkin casserole dish. You may recognize it since it’s the same one I used when I made Roasted Pumpkin Soup in this post: Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 10


Next, I sprinkled the Ritz crackers across the top. The recipe doesn’t mention this, but I added around 5 small dots of butter across the top. Just thought it would help the crackers brown up a bit more.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen 11


I popped it into my preheated oven and here’s how it looked 27 minutes later. It smells so good! I lifted up the edge and scooped out a small amount with a spoon to taste it and it was delicious! I think it will be a big hit on Thanksgiving Day.

I love dishes that can be cooked ahead of time, then just pulled out to reheat on the big day. On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll take it out of the fridge an hour or so before we’ll be eating, let it warm up to room temperature, then pop it in the oven to reheat. I’m going to do the same with another casserole dish I plan to serve that day. It’s a relief to get a few things done ahead of time.

Squash Casserole Recipe by Paula Deen


I love this cast-iron pumpkin casserole. I just got it this year and I’ve already used it twice this fall. It’s the perfect size for a medium-size casserole. It looks like it’s still available and is on sale with an additional 15% off with the code: FEAST. You’ll find it available here: Cast Iron Pumpkin Casserole

Martha Stewart Cast Iron Pumpkin with Squash Casserole Recipe


How are your Thanksgiving preparations coming? Are you making any dishes ahead of time?

Squash Casserole

Course: Vegetable Casserole
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Paula Deen (Shared on Between Naps on the Porch)


  • 7 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon house seasoning recipe below
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crushed butter crackers I used Ritz


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.
  • In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for around 5 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs.
  • Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.


The original recipe called for 6 cups of diced yellow squash and zucchini. The recipe didn't say if that was raw or cooked, but after mixing all the ingredients together, the mixture looked like it needed a bit more squash. So I cooked and added in 1 more cup and changed the recipe to 7 cups of squash.
The recipe indicates you should saute the onion in butter. I noticed another recipe that I've used for many years calls for adding softened butter to the recipe, so I am guessing that the 4 tbsp of butter in this recipe isn't used just for sautéing the onion, but actually goes into the recipe. That's the way I made it.


Recipe for Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, a recipe she has shared often in the past:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix Ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yields: 1-1/2 cups

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. You are making me hungry. That looks delicious. I love squash casseroles so will have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yum! This truly looks delicious. Here in the northeast, our Thanksgiving squash is usually a butternut squash, peeled and diced into large chunks, then steamed over boiling water until soft; then the chunks are mashed with a potato masher, buttered and then salt optional. Some put tiny
    marshmallows on top and browned lightly in over. Very good!

  3. Susan, I can’t wait to try this!! I won’t cook for Thanksgiving this year, but belong to a supper club and will certainly take it there. I entertain quite a bit, so I’m sure it will be cooked a few times. I got that pumpkin casserole this year, too, for $60 off! What a deal! Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May we all be truly thankful for all that God has blessed us with.

  4. Susan your casserole looks so good and who doesn’t love a Honey Baked Ham? I don’t do squash every Thanksgiving but I plan to make Posh Squash this year. I use yellow squash and zucchini like you but that is about all the recipes have in common. Mine does call for the crackers but I always use French Fried Onion rings that I add to the top for the last 10 minutes of baking. I love that Chop Wizard. I took out a bank loan to purchase the Pampered Chef Food Chopper so I dare not bring home another chopping device. Amazon has the PC Food Chopper for $57.99 – gulp. I don’t think I paid that much for mine. How many are you having at your table this year? Here’s wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving. Vikki in VA

    • That’s a great idea, putting the French Fried Onion on top. Yum! It’s just a small group with my son and his family. Unfortunately all my family has passed on so it’s just me that’s left.

  5. Great recipe! I’m going to make it tomorrow! I’m trying to eat healthier since I found out I’m pregnant, I now changed for reading healty & tasty recipes.

  6. I have had that recipe before, it is delicious! Looks great in the pumpkin dish too, very festive! I am cooking most of my things today, makes it easier to visit with Family tomorrow! Have a very Blessed Thanksgiving!

  7. Jane Franks says

    Hi Susan! Thanks for the recipe! We are going to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving Dinner, since just the two of us this year, but we are having guests for Christmas Dinner! I’ve copied this off and I am going to make it! It sounds terrific!! I LOVE fix ahead dishes, too! What is the other bake ahead casserole you are making? The more make ahead things I can do for Christmas the better!! Have a wonderful day with your family tomorrow!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Jane xo

    • Thanks, Jane! I’m going to make homemade macaroni and cheese, too. I’m not sure if I’m going to make a sweet potatoe casserole or not, but if you need one, this one is awesome: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/sweet-potato-casserole-southern-style/ It’s my favorite recipe and I’m going to miss it this year. Just don’t think I have enough time to do them all. I didn’t know Cracker Barrel was open on Thanksgiving. I’m keeping that in mind for a year I don’t cook. My family is driving in that day and won’t arrive to later in the day, so that’s why I thought I’d cook this year. I won’t be cooking for Christmas, well at least not at home. 🙂

      • Jane Franks says

        Thanks, Susan! That looks yummy! I’ve printed that one off, too! Yes, Cracker Barrel is always open on Thanksgiving here. And they have a special menu with turkey AND ham, all the fixings; choice of pumpkin or pecan pie and beverage included all at one price of around $12!! Here’s the link: http://www.crackerbarrel.com/thanksgiving Can’t beat that! It is really good. We have done this a number of times when we aren’t travelling or having guests. Your plans sound good!

  8. When it comes to squash, this is my favorite. This year a bounty of roasted veggies will be on the Thanksgiving table. Surely, there will be one favorite for everybody!

  9. I love that chopper. Easy to make salsas and pico de gallo. All the juices stay in the container and not on the chopping board

  10. Deonna Bundrick says

    I have been trying to find a squash casserole recipe similar to one I like in a restaurant. It sounds like a mix of yours & Paula’s. In your recipe, you cook the squash in some water instead, & mix additional Ritz crackers into the casserole?? Thanks so much! We are trying to learn to eat squash. I only like it two ways…the restaurants & sautéed with LOTS of onion.

    • Yep, my older recipe, the one I’ve always followed, is one I got from my mother-in-law. I think she got it from a restaurant where she loved their squash. You did just cook it in a small amount of water, plus water cooks out of the squash, so you don’t need to add a lot of water, just an inch or so in the bottom of a big pan. Then I always drained it in the end so the casserole wouldn’t be to soggy. And in that older recipe, I did mix crumbled up Ritz crackers in with the ingredients. I should get out my old church cookbook from First Baptist in Macon and see what kind of squash casserole recipes are in there. I bet there are some good ones. If I see any good ones, I’ll scan them into my computer and email them to you Deonna.

  11. Susan, they both sound great!! I know you made minor changes, but which casserole do you honestly prefer? I was thinking having the cracker crumbs in the squash mixture along with the cheese would help with binding all of the ingredients into a more consistent texture. I have had a great chicken casserole with the Ritz crackers on top with dabs of butter for a great buttery topping.

    • I think I prefer my mother-in-law’s recipe, but that may be because I’m just used to it. This one didn’t seem as cheesy. Maybe I used a bit too much squash.
      Also, when I made this recipe, I don’t think I cooked the squash quite long enough, it was firmer than I would have preferred.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!