Butternut Squash and Sage Gratin
This Butternut Squash and Sage Gratin is a delicious cheese casserole side dish, but could also be a meal in itself. Sweet and creamy butternut squash is baked in a fontina & Parmesan cheese sauce, topped with a crunchy panko breadcrumb topping. Ideal for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.
Any dish that is prepared in the French way ‘au gratin’, means that it is topped with cheese and breadcrumbs and baked.
I recently purchased some small cast iron skillets because they’re just so cute. You can cook in them and serve the food right in the pan. I had a couple of butternut squash’s leftover over from making roasted butternut squash bruschetta and I wanted to make a rich creamy dish, a gratin came to mind. If you don’t have cast iron skillets, the recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 inch square or oval baking dish.
Gratin makes a really good sauce: For the sauce, I took inspiration from the baked gnocchi with sage and cheese I made last year. The cheese sauce was so good it had to be repeated, but this time I used milk instead of chicken stock because the butternut squash can hold up to the heavy sauce.
Which cheeses are best? I always recommend the cook can use whatever good melting cheese they want when it comes to a cheese sauce. I can’t always find fontina in my store, so gruyere is a delicious alternative, sharp white cheddar or havarti are all lovely melting cheeses. It was recently recommended to me by a reader to try a mild gorgonzola. Parmesan is the best cheese to mix with the panko topping.
There is something just so flavorful with this sauce I wanted to eat the entire pan, but I was able to practise restraint, barely. Covered in a creamy, cheesy sage sauce and topped with sage panko breadcrumbs, how can that not make you drool?
The Perfect Holiday Side Dish: This butternut squash gratin is also the perfect holiday side dish. If you’re feeding a crowd, double the recipe and prepare in a larger 9 x 13 dish. It was such a hit for Thanksgiving, I made it again for Christmas because it was requested.
If you’ve tried this Butternut Squash and Sage Gratin or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments. You can also ask questions there. I love to hear from my readers!