Dream Dishes: Julia Talbot’s Squash Casserole

November 12, 2015

Hey, y’all! I’m Julia Talbot, and while a lot of my readers know me for my stories about Colorado and New Mexico, I spent a third of my life in the Carolinas. My Aunty L was a Home Ec teacher in York, South Carolina, though she lived in a tiny town called Hickory Grove. She’s the person who taught me to eat yellow summer squash without gagging. Now I grill it a lot, but this was her answer to all the people who tried to force me to eat creamed squash.

Every so often I miss the South and I think about setting a book in my Dad’s old home state. Then I get distracted by my new home in New Mexico, and it’s all over.


Summer Squash Casserole

3 lb. yellow squash
2 med. onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 sm. jar pimento
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 stick butter
1 pkg. dry stuffing mix, finely crushed Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing mix

Cook squash in salted water until tender; drain. Grate onion and carrot. Add soup, sour cream, pimento and pepper. Melt butter; blend with dry stuffing mix. Grease 8 1/2 x 13 1/2 inch dish or three 8 inch pans; spread a layer of dressing mix in pan. Pour in squash mixture; cover with remaining dressing mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. NOTE: May be frozen.

Now, I usually half the recipe and make one 8×11 pan because I like it thin and crunchy. I only partly cook the squash instead of cooking it tender so it doesn’t become mush when you bake it. We’re also gluten free and sat fat free here now, so here’s my healthy recipe:

5-6 small yellow squash, chopped into rounds and steamed until half cooked.
1 small onion finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 small carton Pacific or Imagine cream of chicken soup
8 oz light sour cream or fat free sour cream with 2% greek yogurt
1 small jar pimientos drained
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to taste
(mix all of these)

¼ cup of butter flavor olive oil, or of grapeseed oil and 1TBSP butter, melted.
¼ cup chicken stock
1 box Glutino gluten free cornbread stuffing, finely crushed

Mix oil and stuffing with chicken stock and layer half in pan. Pour in squash mix. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes until stuffing is crunchy and inside is bubbly.


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