Roasted squash is one of my favorite vegetable sides, and I prepare it often as a quick-but-tasty accompaniment to many a main entrée. Almost a year ago I came across this Squash Casserole recipe in a WeightWatchers magazine. I eagerly copied it down, happy to have a possible alternative to my regular roasted squash side. I finally made the casserole last month when John’s parents were in town for a few days. I served the casserole as a side to my slow-cooker chicken chili and a batch of homemade cornbread.
Several months back, I shared the casserole recipe with my mom, who was looking for new WeightWatchers recipes to prepare in support of my dad’s commitment to the weight loss program. She was underwhelmed when she made the recipe, reporting that it turned out rather bland. With this in mind, I sprinkled in some dried oregano and cayenne pepper along with the salt when sautéing the squash on the stove. The other alteration I made was to cook the casserole loosely covered in foil for the majority of the baking time. I feared that the panko would be burned to a crisp if I left the dish uncovered as directed. If I could do it over again, I would still use the foil, but I would remove it with 10 minutes left on the timer rather than 5.
With the changes I made, the recipe earned 3 stars. I especially liked the creaminess of the squash and the presence of the breadcrumbs. It was not so fantastic, however, as to regularly warrant the extra time and steps required to make it over my regular roasted squash, but on occasion, it will make for a nice change.
7 cups sliced yellow squash and zucchini
1½ cups chopped onion
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup light sour cream
½ cup (2 oz) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add squash mix, onion, salt, and pepper; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour cream and cheese.
3. Spoon squash mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish* coated with cooking spray. Top with panko; coat panko with cooking spray. Bake at 400˚ for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about ¾ cup). Per serving, 3 PointsPlus.
*Alternate serving suggestion: Use 6 small ramekins to make individual casseroles. Check the ramekins after 15 minutes in the oven, and remove the casseroles when they turn golden and bubbly.