Sausage and Summer Squash Casserole is perfect side dish to serve at your holiday potluck, family reunion, or backyard bbq! The sausage is optional but to me it sets it apart from all other squash casseroles.
Mom always made it with yellow squash, dried parsley and oregano from her garden in Arkansas. I love to make it with a combination of yellow and zucchini squash. This is one of my favorite comfort foods.
I like to mix it up and add a little color by using zucchini for half the amount of squash but use what you have or what you like. Fresh herbs straight from the garden is the way to go in the summer! She dried the oregano by hanging it in bundles.
The sausage makes it different than other squash casseroles. I could eat it as a main dish casserole! If you are already making my Sausage Cornbread Dressing Cups for Thanksgiving you might want to omit the sausage and throw in another squash.
I made a couple of changes to my Sausage Squash in July and made it Keto diet-friendly for my tv morning show segments. Check out these links to ABC 33/40's Talk of Alabama with Wendell Edwards and Sarah Snyder and WBRC Fox6 Good Day Alabama. I share a ton of kitchen shortcuts as well as explain how to adapt my Sausage Squash Casserole recipe if you are following the Ketogenic diet. Click on these links above or pics below to watch.
How do I make a Keto version?
For the Keto version, I took out the breadcrumbs (carbs) and added shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. Since milk has sugar in it (more carbs) I replaced it with whipping cream. Voila! Keto-friendly. The pound of Smithfield breakfast sausage in it already meets the criteria.
I also love to make it with lean venison sausage during the winter. My husband and son are hunters. See my Community page to read about their nonprofit Outdoor Ability Foundation.
When you drain the sausage, don't throw it out. Keep it to sautee those veggies in. Keto diet or not, that's a good practice to add a little flavor to a summertime harvest of vegetables.
How do I use fresh herbs in this recipe?
If you have a garden or been to the farmers market lately, you are probably looking for new squash recipes to try. I grew up eating this recipe. We used dried herbs and the oregano flavor reminded me of pizza so I used to call it pizza squash casserole.
I use fresh oregano from my garden until the frost gets it. Fresh herbs can always be substituted for dried herbs; the ratio is 3:1 fresh to dried. Here in Alabama, the frost is just around the corner, so, I'll be picking my oregano and thyme and storing it in the refrigerator for Thanksgiving dishes.
To keep the leaves from turning dark, make sure the leaves are dry. Wrap the bottom of the stems in a damp paper towel and place the whole "bouquet" in a large zip-top bag. They will last for several weeks. Basil will not last as long as oregano, thyme, and rosemary. I pick Rosemary from the bush all Winter.
I'm in love with these (green is my favorite color) silicone trivets. They fold up so I keep them in my kitchen drawer. I brought this casserole straight from the oven to the trivet. I got mine online here. I have three of them and use them almost daily.
Sausage Summer Squash Casserole
- 1 1-pound package breakfast sausage or 1 pound venison sausage (Venison Sausage is always an option at my house)
- 3 medium yellow or zucchini squash sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk or whipping cream
- 1 clove garlic minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs or 1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (or 1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack for Keto diet)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring tocrumble the sausage as it cooks, until browned; drain and discard drippings.2. Steam squash in the microwave by placing in a large glass bowl; add 2 tablespoonswater. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH for 3 minutes. Carefully removeplastic wrap and drain any water in the bowl. To avoid washing a second bowl, pushsquash to one side of the bowl. In the other side of the bowl, whisk together eggs;gradually add milk. Toss egg mixture and squash together. Add garlic and remainingingredients and stir together gently.3. Spoon squash mixture into a greased 11/2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with 2tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly aroundthe edges.