Cracker Barrel Squash Casserole Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Side Dish
If you’re looking for a tasty side dish to complement your next meal, look no further than the Cracker Barrel squash casserole. This iconic dish is known for its creamy texture, savory flavors, and cheesy topping. Whether you’re a fan of squash or looking for a creative way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, this recipe is sure to please your taste buds. Let’s dive into the details of this mouthwatering dish.
The Secret Ingredient: Yellow Squash
Section 1: The Secret Ingredient – Yellow Squash
Yellow squash is the star of this casserole recipe. Its mild flavor and tender texture make it the perfect addition to this dish. Not only does yellow squash add a pop of color, but it also provides essential vitamins and minerals. This versatile vegetable is low in calories and packed with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
When selecting yellow squash for this recipe, look for ones that are firm with smooth skin. Avoid squash that is overly soft or has blemishes. Fresh, high-quality ingredients are key to a delicious squash casserole.
Section 2: Ingredients
Now that we know the star of the show, let’s gather the rest of the ingredients for this delectable Cracker Barrel squash casserole. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. 5-6 medium-sized yellow squashes, sliced
2. 1 onion, diced
3. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
4. 1/4 cup butter
5. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
7. 1/2 cup sour cream
8. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
11. 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
Section 2.1: Ingredient Substitutions
If you’re looking to put your own twist on this recipe, you can easily make substitutions or additions to suit your taste. Here are a few ideas:
1. Cheese: Swap the cheddar cheese for Monterey Jack, Colby, or Gruyere for a different flavor profile.
2. Crunchy Topping: Instead of Ritz crackers, try using crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs for a different crunch.
3. Herbs and Spices: Add some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to enhance the flavors. You can also sprinkle paprika or cayenne pepper for a hint of heat.
Section 3: Directions
Now that we have all the ingredients, it’s time to dive into the preparation and cooking process. Follow these easy steps to create a mouthwatering Cracker Barrel squash casserole:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
3. Add the sliced yellow squash to the skillet. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash becomes tender.
4. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the squash mixture and stir well to coat evenly. This will thicken the casserole.
5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
6. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
7. Sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers over the top of the casserole, creating an even layer.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Section 4: Serving and Pairing
Now that your Cracker Barrel squash casserole is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy! This cheesy and creamy side dish pairs well with a variety of main courses. Here are a few ideas to complete your meal:
1. Grilled Chicken: Serve the squash casserole alongside juicy grilled chicken breasts for a satisfying and well-balanced meal.
2. BBQ Ribs: The rich flavors of the casserole can complement the smoky and tender BBQ ribs perfectly for a hearty and comforting feast.
3. Roasted Pork Tenderloin: The mild flavors of the squash casserole provide a delicious complement to roasted pork tenderloin, creating a harmonious combination of taste and texture.
Remember, this versatile side dish is perfect for potlucks, holiday gatherings, or a simple weeknight dinner. It’s also a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies! The creamy texture and cheesy topping make it an instant crowd-pleaser.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best way to store leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The casserole will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, you can either use the microwave or place it back in the oven at a low temperature until heated through.
Q. Can I freeze the Cracker Barrel squash casserole?
Yes, you can freeze the squash casserole for future enjoyment. Prepare the casserole as directed, but do not bake it. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and bake it according to the recipe instructions.
Q. Can I use different types of squash?
Absolutely! While the recipe calls for yellow squash, you can experiment with different varieties such as zucchini or pattypan squash. The key is to adjust the cooking time accordingly since different squash types have varying textures.
Q. How can I make the casserole healthier?
If you’re looking to make the casserole a bit healthier, you can make a few tweaks. Reduce the amount of butter, mayonnaise, and cheese, or substitute them with lighter options like olive oil, Greek yogurt, or reduced-fat cheese. You can also add more veggies like diced bell peppers or spinach for extra nutrition.
The Cracker Barrel squash casserole recipe is a true crowd-pleaser that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The creamy, cheesy goodness combined with the mild flavors of yellow squash create a side dish that is both comforting and delicious. Whether you’re serving it at a family gathering or enjoying it as a weeknight treat, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to indulge in a mouthwatering dish that will leave everyone wanting seconds!