This acorn squash casserole was mind blowing – simple, healthy and delicious! Sweet squash, meaty baby portobello mushrooms (just brown mushrooms!), crispy broccoli (my kids call them “trees”) baked in tomato sauce with organic sharp white cheddar cheese. Besides 20 minute prep (if you buy pre – cut broccoli and mushrooms even less) and 50 minute baking time, there is not much to do for this dish and it was to die for!
I even convinced my 8 year old to give it a try and he loved it! For the record, he doesn’t like squash or mushrooms, period. After this, he said he likes squash with sauce, a bit of brown mushrooms and next time will give spaghetti squash a try. Pinch me! So, don’t give up, keep introducing new foods into your kids’ menu!
And I might never buy white mushrooms again. It might be no news to you but I just found out brown mushrooms are much tastier! I honestly have no idea where I have been all these years. I always kept thinking they taste the same as white mushrooms, just a different colour and more money.
Well, the money are all worth it! Brown mushrooms are more flavourful and meatier than their younger brothers. They are also called cremini or baby portobello mushrooms. I learnt all about them here. So, don’t think I became all fancy and bought some forest wild mushrooms. Nope, keeping it simple.
And confession #2 – it was my second time ever cooking acorn squash. First time I bought it last Fall and made my mom peel it. She said she understands why it’s so cheap. So, don’t try to peel acorn squash, you will hate it! Instead cook it with the skin on and remove it on the plate later. I personally eat it. You can also use butternut squash or I tried some horse squash which was light green in colour, with dimples and huge in size.
My latest obsession is organic white cheddar cheese I found at Costco. Again, that makes me probably way behind the rest of America but whatever. I buy what’s healthy and affordable. So, this cheese has so much flavour OMG. I wouldn’t substitute it for a low fat cheese for sure. Any of your favourite sharp cheeses work, I just haven’t tried many, so can’t recommend you one. I’m definitely not a cheese connoisseur.
All these vegetables are so pretty, blows my mind!
This is how you layer the acorn squash casserole. Don’t worry about making tight layers of anything. This isn’t lasagna although it was meant to be.
This casserole is airy, fluffy and juicy. Full of Fall flavours and amazing goodness. Yes, I think cheese (preferably organic) in small amounts is fine. And these kind of carbs coming from whole foods are more than fine. I’m working hard on removing the North American buzz in my head about calorie and macros counting, and just eating whole foods that my body is craving. Works like a charm!
Trust me, you won’t miss the meat! If my kids thought this squash casserole was the bomb dot com, your carnivore husband will think so too. Enjoy!
- 3 lbs acorn (unpeeled) or butternut squash, cut into 1/2" slices
- 1.5 lbs baby portobello (brown mushrooms), sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced in half moons
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
- 20 oz tomato sauce
- 1 + 1/2 cups (6 oz) white cheddar cheese, shredded & divided
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a preheated large non-stick skillet on medium heat, add olive oil, onion and garlic; saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. You might want to raise the heat to medium - high because mushrooms release a lot of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- On the bottom of deep 9" x 13" baking dish spread a bit of tomato sauce. Place a layer of squash, half broccoli and half mushrooms mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and drizzle half of remaining tomato sauce.
- Next layer: squash, remaining broccoli and mushrooms mixture, 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining squash (just spread it around, not necessarily in a tight layer), drizzle with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Cover tightly with foil sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 50 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Serve hot.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving = approximately 2 cups:
Total Fat: 8.7 g
Cholesterol: 22.5 mg
Sodium: 641.3 mg
Total Carbs: 30.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.9 g
Protein: 12.6 g
WW Points+: 6