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Butternut squash casserole (recipe)

By The Health News Team | November 24, 2021
Butternut squash casserole

By Roger Unger, the former executive chef for Sodexo at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

The holiday season is here. And although these past few years have been quite an adventure with all the disruptions to our daily lives and routines, we have much to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is meant to be about family and friends, sharing a special meal and expressing gratitude for everything that we have. I have fond memories of Thanksgiving meals from my childhood.

Growing up, I would start the day feasting at my best friend’s house, where there was always a seat for me at their Thanksgiving brunch. I’d return home to enjoy a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my family along with a guest or two, usually a neighbor or visiting relative. The day would end at another friend’s house watching sports on TV and napping on the couch, with more eating taking place throughout the night.

The food was always delicious, but the quality time spent with family and friends made the holidays memorable.

Thanksgiving is a great time to honor our families. I’d like to honor my mom by sharing one of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes — simple, tasty and festive!

Butternut Squash Casserole

To save time, cook the squash the day before — and assemble and bake the casserole closer to mealtime.

Butternut squash casserole (recipe)

Prep time:
40 minutes
Total time:
1 hour 40 minutes
8 servings


  • 2 pounds butternut squash, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 medium bunches kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper



Step 1: Prep the Butternut Squash

Heat oven to 400° F. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss together the butternut squash, parsnips, 2 tablespoons olive oil, sage, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon each black pepper and thyme. Bake until squash and parsnips are tender, approximately 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Be sure to test to determine whether the squash and parsnips are done. Remove from oven.


Step 2: Sauté the Kale Mixture

In a large sauté pan, add onions and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden. Add the kale, butter, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and cook until the kale is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.


Step 3: Assemble, Bake and Serve

Add the kale and onion mixture to the butternut squash mixture in the baking dish. Gently mix to combine and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with cheese.
Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with the pecans and garnish with sage and thyme.

Visit to learn about the Mindful Café.

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