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CHEESE POLENTA & BUTTERNUT SQUASH CASSEROLE

An easy cheesy squash side dish that covers the stuffing (think cornbread) and vegetables all in one creamy dish. Great to accompany the big holiday meal.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Linda Warren

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large butternut squash, cubed & cooked (or use frozen mashed squash)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 18 oz pkg pre-cooked polenta roll or 2 cups cooked
  • 2- oz Smoked Gouda (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. To cook squash, place cubed squash in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Add 1 tablespoon butter and mash coarsely.
  2. In a medium skillet, toast pine nuts until they become fragrant and start to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and chop coarsely.
  3. To the skillet, add olive oil and heat. Add onions and sage, cover, and cook until onions are browned and translucent, about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. If onions start to stick and dry out, add a little water.
  4. Prepare large casserole dish by spraying with nonstick spray.
  5. In a large bowl, combine squash, pine nuts, onions, polenta, Gouda and 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese. Salt & pepper to taste. Pour into prepared casserole dish and pat down, spreading to edges. Place in refrigerator for 3 hours to firm up.
  6. When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove polenta-squash casserole from refrigerator. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and rub over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with rest of Pecorino Romano cheese and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Top will be crisp and lightly browned. Let sit for 20 minutes to make cutting easier.