Make-Ahead Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

Gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free!

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Yield: 6 side servings       Prep Time: 20 Minutes      Cook time: 55 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the roasted squash:

  • 1 medium/large (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups  stemmed and finely chopped kale*

For the Pepita Parmesan:

  • 1/2 cup roasted pepita seeds**
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Grease an extra-large casserole dish with oil and set aside.
  2. Peel the squash. Thinly slice off the bottom and top and then slice through the middle lengthwise to make two halves. Remove seeds with a spoon. Chop the two halves into 1-inch chunks and place into the oiled casserole dish. (Time-saving tip: buy a couple pounds of pre-chopped fresh butternut squash from the produce section of the grocery store)
  3. Add the minced garlic, parsley, oil, and salt into the casserole dish and toss with squash until combined.  Do not add the kale yet.
  4. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and pop it into the fridge.
  5. Place the chopped kale into a tightly sealed zip bag (being sure to squeeze any air out beforehand) or a small airtight container and refrigerate.
  6. For the parmesan: Place all of the Pepita Parmesan ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse together until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture into a zip bag or small container before placing it in the fridge. All three casserole components can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
  7. When ready to cook the casserole, remove all prepped ingredients from the fridge. Poke a few air holes into the tinfoil covering the casserole dish.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  9. Place the covered casserole dish in the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.
  10. Carefully remove the squash from the oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Remove the tinfoil (be careful as some steam might escape from the dish as you do). Stir the chopped kale into the squash until combined. Sprinkle all of the parmesan over top of the squash. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until the parmesan is lightly toasted and the kale has wilted. Watch closely so you don’t burn either.  Serve warm, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for about 5 days. To reheat, simply scoop the squash into an oiled skillet and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until heated through. Season to taste, and enjoy!

Tips:

** Feel free to add in any nuts or seeds you prefer! There are endless possibilities.

The total bake time your squash requires will depend on how fresh it is, how small you chop the squash, and how hot your oven runs, so you can start checking it after 35 to 40 minutes.