butternut squash gratin in pie dish

Butternut squash gratin was not something on my radar until very recently. I happened to come across a Washington Post recipe for a squash gratin, and knew immediately that I’d have to make my own version. Why had I never thought of this before? Creamy baked squash nestled between layers of breadcrumbs and cheese… truly heavenly. “Au gratin” simply refers to something covered in seasoned and browned breadcrumbs and cheese. My version skips out on the butter and cream that often accompany such dishes, opting instead for heart healthy extra virgin olive oil and a good helping of shredded Romano cheese. This butternut squash gratin is extra flavorful thanks to Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, rosemary, garlic, and fresh parsley. You won’t miss the butter and cream, I promise. (I’m not claiming this is the healthiest way to eat your vegetables, but… healthier than most gratins, at least.)

What goes into this butternut squash gratin?

This butternut squash gratin makes an impressive side or vegetarian main, but it’s actually quite simple to make. You only need a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry:

  • Medium butternut squash: I used a squash that was about 2 pounds.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: As you know if you’ve been a reader for a while, I can’t get enough. See my guide on olive oil and cheese, and how to buy.
  • Garlic and rosemary: We infuse the olive oil with garlic and rosemary for extra flavor in every bite.
  • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs: for a little extra kick of flavor. If you don’t have Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, you could use normal or even Panko. Or if you’re feeling up to it, add a teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning to whatever breadcrumbs you’re using.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Grated Romano cheese: I can usually find grated Romano cheese near the deli. It’s hard and salty, and has the perfect bite of sharpness to balance out the sweetness of the squash. If you can’t find Romano, an Italian blend or grated Asiago would both work well.
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing: a little bit of color goes a long way.

How to make butternut squash gratin

There’s relatively little active time involved in making this gratin — the hardest part is cutting the squash!

cut butternut squash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl or large measuring cup. Set aside.
  3. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of the olive oil mixture. Set aside.
  4. Peel and cut the butternut squash: Peel your butternut squash, which will make it much easier to cut. Start at the neck and use a good chef’s knife to cut the squash into thin, even rounds about 1/8 inch thick each. Once you get past the neck, cut the base in half, seed, and cut into half-moons of the same thickness.
  5. Prepare your baking dish. Brush a 9-in pie dish or other baking dish with some of the olive oil and rosemary mixture. (Make sure your baking vessel is deep enough to hold several layers of squash.)
  6. Layer your ingredients. Start with a layer of your half-moons — we want to hide these at the bottom of the gratin. Brush with olive oil mixture, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumb mixture, and repeat until your dish is full or you’ve used up all your squash. Brush with more olive oil mixture and add remaining cheese and breadcrumbs to top. You can also add a bit more cheese to the top, depending on how decadent you want your gratin to be.
  7. Cover and bake. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, raise temperature to 400 degrees. Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes until squash is tender. If desired, broil for a couple minutes for extra crispy crust.
  8. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with fresh parsley as desired.

If you make this butternut squash gratin, please leave a comment and rating below! Your comments help other readers find A Tavola Kitchen recipes. Thank you for your support!

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Butternut Squash Gratin

This butternut squash gratin is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. It makes a great vegetarian main or side dish. 

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner or Side dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, French
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 lbs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 12 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried crushed rosemary 
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs of choice
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (sub Asiago or Italian blend, from deli section)
  • 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl or large measuring cup. Set aside.
  3. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of the olive oil mixture. Set aside.
  4. Peel and cut the butternut squash: Peel your butternut squash, which will make it much easier to cut. Start at the neck and use a good chef’s knife to cut the squash into thin, even rounds about 1/8 inch thick each. Once you get past the neck, cut the base in half, seed, and cut into half-moons of the same thickness.
  5. Prepare your baking dish. Brush a 9-in pie dish or other baking dish with some of the olive oil and rosemary mixture. (Make sure your baking vessel is deep enough to hold several layers of squash.)
  6. Layer your ingredients. Start with a layer of your half-moons — we want to hide these at the bottom of the gratin. Brush with olive oil mixture, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumb mixture, and repeat until your dish is full or you’ve used up all your squash. Brush with more olive oil mixture and add remaining cheese and breadcrumbs to top. You can also add a bit more cheese to the top, depending on how decadent you want your gratin to be.
  7. Cover and bake. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, raise temperature to 400 degrees. Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes until squash is tender. If desired, broil for a couple minutes for extra crispy crust.
  8. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with fresh parsley as desired.

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