Holiday season is officially here and we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving at what feels like the speed of light! I have no idea where October went but here we are planning what to make for Thanksgiving dinner. Next thing we know it will be Christmas! I might have already started some shopping. But anyway, back to Turkey day and this butternut squash gratin with pesto.
I am not exactly sure why but lately I have been obsessed with my mandoline slicer. You name it I want to thinly slice it:
- Onions to caramelize for this grilled apple bacon and blue cheese sandwich
- Potatoes to oven bake for homemade chips
- Cucumbers and Carrots for salads
- Butternut Squash for this recipe
So I was inspired to make this gratin partially because I wanted to use my slicer once again. But I also wanted a dish where the butternut squash would cook and become fork tender without having to cook it twice. And I wanted something that really wowed and felt worthy of being next to the turkey and mashed potatoes.
When slicing the squash you might find it kind of hard to push through the mandoline but I suggest you just go slow and take your time. Also watch your fingers and use the safety guard! If you find you are having too hard a time or your mandoline is a bit dull, just take a super sharp knife and slice it into 1/4 inch wide slices.
I also used store bought pesto here because I really wanted to simplify this recipe and we all have a favorite store bought pesto brand. Why not utilize it here and make your life easier during the busy holiday season?
Are you tired of the same old side dishes? Looking for something new? Or a new twist on a classic Thanksgiving ingredient? Might I suggest you serve this Butternut Squash Gratin with Pesto this year because it is an interesting combination of sweet and savory flavors with a crunchy topping!
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2 cups of 2% milk*
- 1 cup of cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup of parmesan, shredded
- 2 tablespoons of pesto
- ½ cup of parmesan, shredded
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1½ tablespoons of butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 13x9 in casserole dish
- Cut the top and bottom off your butternut squash and peel, then cut in half and clean the seeds out. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife cut into ¼ inch slices
- In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add the chopped garlic and cook for two minutes then whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour until combined and add the milk
- Once combined add the cheese and stir until melted, then add the sage, pesto and salt and pepper to taste
- Layer the squash first and top with ⅓ of the cream sauce, continue layering squash and sauce until all of the sauce is gone, making the top layer sauce
- Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs for the topping and stir in the melted butter, crumble evenly over the casserole
- Cover with tin foil and bake for 50 minutes or until fork tender, then uncover and cook another 10 minutes to brown the top
This is a rather rich dish the nutrition is for ⅛th of the casserole which I think would be enough to satisfy along with other thanksgiving must haves.