Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian

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Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian is a symphony of flavors and textures, with roasted sweet butternut squash and chewy wild rice, aromatic leeks, and a medley of savory herbs. Topped with a layer of melted Gruyere cheese, this vegetarian delight promises a plateful of warmth and elegance in every forkful!

Serve with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Perfect Roast Chicken.

wooden spoon dishing out the butternut squash casserole with a wooden spoon.
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Vegetarian Butternut Squash Casserole

Autumn is in the air, and I’m craving comfort food without the heaviness. This butternut squash casserole recipe hits the spot this time of year! It’s packed with delicious veggies, wild rice, and just the right amount of cheese for a little creamy texture.

Serve it as a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner or as a main dish for a cozy weeknight dinner. A warming and delicious meal, this butternut squash dish is also a great gluten-free alternative to a traditional bread-based stuffing recipe.

Try it as a new way to enjoy delicious butternut squash this season. A sensational casserole dish for the colder months. Enjoy!

You will also enjoy this Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe, Roasted Hasselback Sweet Potatoes, and Chicken Pot Pie Casserole!

butternut squash casserole in a serving bowl with herbs.

Simple Ingredients

A healthy butternut squash casserole with seasonal and fresh ingredients.

ingredient shot.
  • 🍁 Butternut Squash: Our star ingredient! This vibrant orange beauty brings the casserole a natural sweetness and a comforting creaminess. Roasting it intensifies its flavor, creating a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • 🌾 Wild Rice: Embrace wild rice’s chewy texture and earthy undertones. This grain-like seed adds a satisfying bite to every spoonful, elevating the dish from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • 🌱 Leeks: Leeks create a foundation of delicate and aromatic flavor. They’re the bridge between hearty and heavenly.
  • 🧅 Onion: Providing a solid backbone of taste, the onion adds depth and complexity to the casserole. Its caramelized magic and hint of zing contribute to the layers of deliciousness.
  • 🧄 Garlic: Garlic infuses the casserole with its warm, savory charm.
  • 🍄 Mushrooms: These umami-packed wonders offer a delightful contrast in texture. Sliced and sautéed, mushrooms introduce a meaty bite and an earthy richness that beautifully complements the other ingredients.
  • 🌿 Savory Herbs (Thyme and Sage): A sprinkle of dried thyme and sage is like adding a whisper of the holiday warmth to your dish.
  • 🧈 Butter: Adds a touch of luxury and indulgence.
  • 🫒 Olive Oil: It’s the foundation of the sauté and the secret to the perfect roast.
  • 🧀 Gruyere Cheese: The crowning glory of our casserole. Gruyere cheese’s nutty elegance melts into a golden blanket of pure delight. It creates a luxurious finish that’s both comforting and exquisite.
  • 🍒Optional: dried cherries, craisins, or raisins.

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Step-by-Step Photos

This butternut squash recipe is a recipe the whole family will love!

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: boiling the wild rice.

Cook the Rice: Combine the rinsed rice and broth (or water) in a medium saucepan. Cook rice according to package directions on the stove top or rice cooker. Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and set aside.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: roasting the butternut squash.

Roast the Butternut Squash: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the chopped butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Set aside.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding the onions and leeks to the pot.

Prepare the Casserole: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and onion.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding the mushrooms to the pot.

Sauté for about 5-6 minutes until they become translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the skillet.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding the spices and cooking.

Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid they release evaporates. Stir in the dried thyme, sage, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding the dried cranberries.

Cook for another minute. Remove from heat,  and add the dried fruit (if using). 

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: butternut squash after roasting.

Prepared roasted butternut squash after roasting.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: cooked wild rice.

Prepared wild rice after boiling.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: mixing butternut squash, with cooked veggies and rice.

Assemble the Casserole: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked wild rice, roasted butternut squash mixture, and the sautéed leek and mushroom mixture.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding the mixture to an oven safe casserole dish.

Mix well to distribute the ingredients in an even layer. Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: adding cheese to the casserole dish and baking.

Add Cheese and Bake: Sprinkle the shredded Gruyere cheese over the top of the casserole. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

How to make Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian Step-by- Step: melty cheese and herbs after casserole is done cooking.

Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve the butternut squash casserole warm as a comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish!

Substitutions

Vegan Delight: Skip the butter and cheese for a vegan butternut squash casserole. Replace the butter with olive oil or vegan butter, and use your favorite dairy-free cheese alternative. Nutritional yeast can also add a cheesy flavor.

wooden spoon dishing out the butternut squash casserole with a wooden spoon.

Variations

Here are a few recipe variations to customize your Butternut Squash Casserole for the next time you try this recipe.

  • Nutty Crunch: Enhance the texture by adding a layer of crushed nuts, such as toasted almonds or pecans, over the cheese before baking. This brings a delightful crunch to every bite.
  • Grain Swap: Experiment with different grains like quinoa, barley, or farro instead of wild rice. Each grain will bring its unique texture and flavor to the casserole.
  • Creamy Elegance: Elevate the richness by adding a creamy element. Mix in a dollop of cream or Greek yogurt to the casserole before baking for added depth and a velvety texture.
  • Fresh Greens: Add a burst of freshness by stirring in a handful of chopped spinach, kale, or arugula before baking. The greens will wilt and integrate beautifully with the other ingredients.
  • Squash Medley: Mix things up by using a combination of different types of squash, such as acorn or delicata, in addition to butternut. This adds variety to the textures and flavors. Even sweet potatoes would work!

Casserole Dish

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cover photo.

How to Store

To store your Butternut Squash Casserole, allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent moisture loss and freezer odors. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Top Tips for Butternut Squash Casserole

  • Opting for Precut Squash: If you’re short on time, using precut butternut squash is convenient. However, if you’re using precut squash, check for any large chunks that might need to be further cubed for even cooking.
  • Even Cubes: Whether using precut or whole butternut squash, aim for uniform cube sizes. This ensures even roasting and cooking throughout the casserole.
  • Roasting Perfection: When roasting the butternut squash, spread the cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding to allow proper caramelization. Roast until the edges turn golden and the cubes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Wild Rice Prep: Rinse the wild rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch. This will prevent the rice from becoming overly sticky. Use vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water to infuse more flavor into the rice.
  • Layering Flavors: Sauté the leeks, onions, and mushrooms until they are nicely browned. This caramelization brings out the natural sweetness and depth of these ingredients.
  • Cheese Choice: While Gruyere cheese is recommended, feel free to explore other melting cheeses like Fontina or Emmental. This can add a unique twist to the dish.

FAQs

Can I make it ahead of time?

You can prepare the components beforehand to save time on busy days or during the holiday season. Roast the butternut squash and cook the wild rice a day in advance. When you’re ready to assemble, the casserole will come together quickly.

Can I add other vegetables?

Certainly, additional vegetables like spinach, kale, or roasted red peppers can be incorporated for extra flavor and nutrients.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Certainly, feel free to experiment with different cheeses that melt well. Some options include cheddar, mozzarella, or even a blend of cheeses for a unique flavor.

Can I use frozen butternut squash?

Yes, you can use frozen butternut squash if fresh is unavailable. Thaw and drain the frozen cubes before roasting to prevent excess moisture. You might need to use more than the recommended amount.

butternut squash casserole in a serving bowl with herbs.

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Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian

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Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian is a symphony of flavors and textures, with roasted sweet butternut squash and chewy wild rice, aromatic leeks, and a medley of savory herbs. Topped with a golden crown of melted Gruyere cheese, this vegetarian delight promises a plateful of warmth and elegance in every forkful!

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Casserole:

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed (or brown rice, quinoa, farro, or white rice)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter for a vegan version)
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or a vegetarian alternative)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dried cherries, craisins, or raisins.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Roast the Butternut Squash: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the chopped butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Rice: Combine the rinsed rice and broth (or water) in a medium saucepan. Cook rice according to package directions on the stove top or rice cooker. Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and set aside.
  4. Prepare the Casserole: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and onion. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes until they become translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the skillet.
  5. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid they release evaporates. Stir in the dried thyme, sage, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute. Remove from heat,  and add the dried fruit (if using). 
  6. Assemble the Casserole: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked wild rice, roasted butternut squash mixture, and the sautéed leek and mushroom mixture. Mix well to distribute the ingredients in an even layer. Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish.
  7. Add Cheese and Bake: Sprinkle the shredded Gruyere cheese over the top of the casserole. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve the butternut squash casserole warm as a comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish!

Notes

    • Opting for Precut Squash: If you’re short on time, using precut butternut squash is convenient. However, if you’re using precut squash, make sure to check for any large chunks that might need to be further cubed for even cooking.

    • Even Cubes: Whether using precut or whole butternut squash, aim for uniform cube sizes. This ensures even roasting and cooking throughout the casserole.

    • Roasting Perfection: When roasting the butternut squash, spread the cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding to allow proper caramelization. Roast until the edges turn golden and the cubes are tender when pierced with a fork.

    • Wild Rice Prep: Rinse the wild rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch. This will prevent the rice from becoming overly sticky. Use vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water to infuse more flavor into the rice.

    • Layering Flavors: Sauté the leeks, onions, and mushrooms until they are nicely browned. This caramelization brings out the natural sweetness and depth of these ingredients.

    • Cheese Choice: While Gruyere cheese is recommended, feel free to explore other melting cheeses like Fontina or Emmental. This can add a unique twist to the dish.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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3 Comments

  1. I can only eat a few kinds of cheese due to dietary restrictions (food triggered migraines). Monterey Jack and Parmesan (I’m so sorry – I don’t know the correct Italian spelling) are two of the ones I know I can eat. Would either of those work? I don’t know if Gruyère would give me migraines and it’s a gamble that is sometimes not worth the risk of being out of commission for a few days.