Easy Yellow Squash Casserole, topped with buttery breadcrumbs, comes together quickly when you want to make a homemade Southern side dish. Whether you have a bounty of summer squash from the garden in the summer or you're planning your Thanksgiving dinner, this savory squash casserole recipe will be a family favorite.
While I would still call this version of savory squash casserole "old-fashioned" or traditional, this small-batch recipe is not meant to feed a crowd at a potluck. It's made without crackers in an 8x8 (1 1/2-quart) baking dish or pan but easily doubles to bake in a 13x9-inch baking dish.
I make this particular yellow squash casserole without crackers on top. Instead, I've used buttered fresh breadcrumbs. You can make your own fresh breadcrumbs or use store-bought dried breadcrumbs. The amounts to use are different, so be sure to notice that in the substitutions section below. You can also crush up Ritz crackers. Scroll down to see my other substitution ideas.
Just like my Sausage and Summer Squash Casserole, you can also make it with zucchini squash (or both) to make a mixed squash casserole. Both yellow and zucchini are considered "summer" squash vs. winter squash like butternut and acorn squash you can see in this article by Epicurious.
Since this is a basic yellow squash casserole recipe, I give plenty of suggestions and options to use what you have at home or to make it cheesy or extra crispy in the topping.
- Pre-shredded cheese
- Small batch
- Option to use store-bought, dried breadcrumbs
- Option to use frozen squash and onions do not require pre-cooking. See amounts in Substitutions section below
Scroll down to printable recipe for ingredient quantities.
How to make Easy Yellow Squash Casserole
This classic Southern side dish is super simple to make.
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Boil or steam squash and onion
- Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
Pro Tip: Why partially cook the squash and onions before baking in the casserole? Otherwise, the water from the vegetables will "leak" out liquid in the casserole making it watery. Plus, without cooking them a little first, most people find the squash and onion are too firm for their liking.
Steaming the yellow squash and onions in the microwave is a shortcut.
- Combine batter ingredients in a large bowl and gently stir in parboiled squash and onions.
- Pour squash mixture into a greased 8x8-in pan or dish. Bake according to directions in recipe below.
Tip: Adding a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs to the milk mixture helps soak up any extra moisture from the cooked squash which in turn slightly thickens the casserole.
I love how the buttered breadcrumbs make the topping crispy and the fresh yellow squash is soft and creamy but not mushy.
Substitutions & Variations
- Frozen squash and onions- For a quick and easy substitution for cooking fresh squash and onion, purchase two (10 to 13-ounce) bags of squash and onions: about 3 cups when it's thawed and drained. No pre-cooking necessary with this option.
- Cheese- Most any cheese that's similar to Cheddar and melts easily: Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Gruyere, and most pre-shredded cheese mixtures like Italian and Mexican-blend bags. I like to add a tablespoon or two of Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb topping.
- Crackers, corn chips and dried breadcrumbs- Crushed saltine crackers, buttery crackers like Ritz crackers, dried breadcrumbs and Panko breadcrumbs can be substituted for fresh breadcrumbs. Instead of 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, use 2/3 cup of these options. I've even crushed up corn chips!
- Cream or half and half- It's perfectly fine to trade out either of these for milk in this recipe. Any milk can be used, but if you choose skim milk, you might want to add a tablespoon of butter to the batter unless you are watching your fat and calories.
- Leftover hotdog and hamburger buns for breadcrumbs- Making homemade breadcrumbs with these is a great way to use up the few buns left in a bag or even the heels at the end of a loaf. Just process in a blender or food processor.
Squash casserole freezes both unbaked and after baking but I will say the texture is not quite the same as baking it immediately. It works best to hold out the topping until ready to bake to achieve that crispy, crunchy topping.
Unbaked: Cover unbaked casserole with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator at least overnight and sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 35 minutes or until bubbly around edges.
Baked: Let cool completely and follow freezing and thawing directions for unbaked casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or just until thoroughly heated in the middle.
The most common reason for watery squash casserole is not draining the squash well enough. A good solution to this problem is to pat dry the squash with paper towels after boiling. You can also sautee them in a tablespoon of butter instead of boiling/steaming. Another suggestion is to steam the squash and onion instead of boiling it. Lastly, it's good to have just a little bit of breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs or flour in the milk mixture to soak up some of the extra moisture.
It's easy to make squash casserole with no cheese. It's as easy as leaving out the cheese in most squash casserole recipes. As long as there is a binding or thickening ingredient like an egg or sauce, it should work just fine. You may need to add a bit of salt if removing the cheese.
No. Summer squash like yellow squash and zucchini has very thin skin. Just wash and slice.
This simple Southern side dish is a family favorite at our house. Be sure to check out the Substitutions and Variations section to add your own touch. Don't forget it easily doubles for a crowd or large Sunday supper!
What goes with Squash Casserole?
Easy Yellow Squash Casserole can be served with most any protein and can even be served as a vegetarian main dish. In the summer, fried or barbecued chicken is an excellent choice. In the fall and during the holidays, you'll find it on a Southern buffet table alongside the cornbread dressing and turkey and gravy.
Here are a few other choice to serve with Easy Yellow Squash Casserole
- Easy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Bone-In Pepper Jelly Ham
- Easy Southern Macaroni Salad
- Sour Cream and Green Onion Potato Salad with Bacon
How to store Yellow Squash Casserole
Store any leftover squash casserole in the refrigerator, covered or in an air tight container. See freezing directions above in Helpful Information.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Easy Yellow Squash Casserole
- 1 pound fresh yellow squash (about 4 medium) (4 cups sliced)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 medium to large eggs (I usually call for large in recipes but in this recipe a little smaller eggs will work.)
- 1/2 cup whole milk or 2% milk or half and half
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, divided (or 2/3 cup dried breadcrumbs) (2 slices loaf bread, pulsed in blender or food processor)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Slice the squash about 1/4-inch thick circles. If some of the squash is large, cut those slices in half.
- Slice the onion into 1/4-inch circles, then in half crosswise and break them apart. Cut them even a little smaller, if you like.
- Place the squash and onion in a medium-size pot and add enough water to almost cover them. (You can also steam them with a steamer basket.) Cover and bring them up to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or just until they have softened slightly. They will continue to soften and cook when baked in the casserole.
- Drain well in a colander.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a medium-size bowl with a fork or whisk. Gradually stir in the milk, then cheese and salt.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the fresh or dry breadcrumbs. (This helps to slightly thicken the creamy "sauce".
- When cool enough to touch, pat the squash and onion dry with paper towels to remove the moisture. Then, add them to the egg mixture.
- Pour the squash mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole dish that has been greased with butter or coated with oil spray.
- Add melted butter to the remaining breadcrumbs. I usually use my fingers to gently mix in the butter. Lightly sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the squash mixture.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and the top is crispy and golden.
Unbaked: Cover unbaked casserole with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and sprinkle with topping. Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 35 minutes or until bubbly around edges.
Baked: Let cool completely and follow freezing and thawing directions for unbaked. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or just until thoroughly heated in the middle. Substitution:
- Crackers, chips and dried breadcrumbs- Crushed saltine crackers, buttery crackers like Ritz crackers, dried breadcrumbs and Panko breadcrumbs can be substituted for fresh breadcrumbs. Instead of 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, use 2/3 cup of these options. Corn chips can also be crushed!
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.
I updated the recipe 8/28/2022 with helpful information.