Southwestern Summer Squash Casserole is an updated twist on a classic Southern-style favorite with the kick of fresh green chiles!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
There are some who would consider messing with an old classic Southern recipe a sacrilege, but I’m happy to take the heat for doing it and will enjoy every bite!
My husband is the caretaker of our garden and we grow plenty of hot peppers–enough to give away. However, they are still your basic jalapeño, habanero and cayenne pepper. Someone we know who also grows hot peppers had an excess of peppers so we became the happy recipients of new varieties we had not tried.
The chili peppers we received were called Inferno Hot Banana, Wenk’s Yellow Hot Jalapeño and yet another called Purple Jalapeño. Yow. Let’s just say these babies were hot!
I have been wanting to make an old-fashioned Southern-inspired yellow squash casserole, so when we received these new varieties of peppers, I decided to add them. Good decision on my part and hope you enjoy it!
Tips for making Southwestern Summer Squash Casserole:
- Almost any green chile will work–hot or mild–including canned diced green chilies if you like ease and convenience.
- Southern-style yellow squash casserole recipes often call for boiling the squash. To me…..That’s. Just. Wrong. Yellow squash has a delicate flavor so why would anyone want to boil it and then drain any remaining flavor away? Instead, I prefer a quick sauté with butter and a little oil.
- I add the chilies and scallions about halfway through because I only want to soften them but not cook all the heat out of the chilies.
- Won’t lie. This is a very rich dish but try not to skimp on anything. Use real mayonnaise, real cheese and yes, butter crackers on the top. Skimp on something else tomorrow.
This casserole is perfect served with simply grilled or roasted chicken, fish or meat. It’s also great as a vegetarian main course served with a fresh, crunchy green, vegetable or tomato salad.
More vegetable casseroles you may enjoy:
- Yellow Squash and Tomato Gratin with Two Cheeses
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Quinoa Casserole
- Southwestern Squash, Corn and Poblano Casserole
- Layered Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Summer Vegetable Tian
Helpful tools and equipment (Affiliate Links):
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 5 medium yellow squash (1 ¾ to 2 pounds), sliced
- 2 fresh green chilies of your choice (hot or mild) sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light green part only, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 10-12 butter crackers (such as Ritz), crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan.
- Add the yellow squash and cook 4-5 minutes or until squash begins to soften. Add the chiles and scallions and cook another 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Blend mayonnaise, cream cheese and eggs together until smooth. Stir in ½ cup cheese.
- Transfer squash mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Pour egg mixture over squash.
- Top with remaining cheese followed by crushed crackers. Lightly spray crackers with cooking spray.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbling and cracker topping is lightly browned.
MAKE AHEAD: Can be assembled one day ahead of time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 572mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.