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Southern Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole is a favorite at every potluck gathering. With grated Cheddar cheese, crumbled Ritz crackers, and fresh yellow squash, this casserole is a great way to use those summer vegetables!

A serving of easy squash casserole with the full dish in the background.

Squash Casserole with Ritz crackers is ubiquitous on the Southern table in the summertime, probably because nearly everyone who has a garden grows squash and one plant produces about a million yellow squash. And don’t even get me started on zucchini!

If you’ve been to a church potluck or a classic meat-and-three diner anywhere in the South, chances are you happened upon some version of this easy squash casserole, usually sitting next to a platter of good fried chicken.

Southern Squash Casserole is made like most classic Southern dishes, with good, simple ingredients that your grandmother could get—nothing fancy!

A full dish of baked squash casserole with Ritz crackers and a spoon on the side.

Can you mix yellow squash and zucchini?

My family’s version of squash casserole uses only yellow squash, but you can absolutely substitute zucchini squash for all or some in this recipe.

Check out this post on the Difference Between Zucchini and Yellow Squash.

How to make squash casserole

You’ll need to cook and drain the squash before putting it in the dish because yellow squash contains a lot of moisture. It takes just a few minutes to cook though, so don’t think you’ll be spending hours in the kitchen.

Then you just mix everything together in a large bowl, sprinkle the cheese and cracker crumbs on top, and bake for about 45 minutes. Super easy!

Pro Tip: Using a paper towel, gently mash the squash and onion mixture in the colander so additional juice will drain out.

If you immediately see a lot of juice accumulate when you put the squash in the mixing bowl, put it back in the colander and drain again, then back in the bowl. I usually do this a couple of times.

How to freeze the squash casserole

  • Mix the casserole completely but do not add the Ritz cracker crumb topping and do not bake. Place in a freezer container (I LOVE these containers) or wrap your dish tightly with tin foil and freeze.
  • When ready to serve, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator. Add the cracker topping and bake as directed.

Serving suggestions

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A white dish filled with squash casserole with crumbled Ritz crackers.

Southern Squash Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Southern squash casserole is a staple at any potluck gathering. With grated Cheddar cheese, crumbled Ritz crackers, and fresh summer squash, this squash casserole is a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2-3 lbs. squash sliced (you want about 2 1/2 cups cooked squash/onion mixture, so usually about 4-5 cups sliced uncooked squash)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimentos
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups buttery cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided (2 for skillet, the other 4 melted/divided)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2-quart baking dish (I use a 9x9-inch square dish).
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter, then cook the onion 5 minutes. Add the squash and enough water to barely cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook just until squash is tender and liquid has evaporated.
  3. Drain the squash and onion mixture in a colander and then gently mash in the colander (using a paper towel) so additional juice will drain out. Place squash and onion in a large mixing bowl. If you immediately see a lot of juice accumulate then put it back in the colander and drain again, then back in the bowl. I usually do this a couple of times.
  4. Once the squash is adequately drained, add 2 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, evaporated milk, pimentos, 3/4 cup of cracker crumbs, 1 cup grated cheese, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl or large zipper bag, mix the remaining cracker crumbs with the last 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese over the squash and then the cracker crumbs over the cheese.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Notes

Freezer Option for Make Ahead Squash Casserole

  1. Make the recipe completely except for adding the topping and baking. Place in an airtight freezer container or just wrap your dish well with foil and freeze.
  2. When ready to use, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight. Then add the cracker topping and bake as directed. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Saturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 397mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g

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Update Notes: This Southern Squash Casserole recipe was originally published July 12, 2016, and on May 11, 2020, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Looking for more Southern dishes you can take somewhere? Check out this list or Recipes for Potlucks from Deep South Dish.

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Itsjustjamie

Thursday 29th of March 2018

Excellent recipe! Very similar to the one I grew up on in Vidalia, GA. Thank you, It's a keeper!

Lucy

Monday 2nd of April 2018

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!