Butternut Squash Casserole with Butter Pecan Topping is a stunning addition to your holiday table! Butternut squash is roasted whole (no chopping or peeling!), then mashed, and finished with a sweet buttery pecan topping! It can be made ahead a day in advance and baked on the busy day!
This Butternut Squash Casserole is an extension of my simple Mashed Butternut Squash recipe. Roast and mash a butternut squash with butter and brown sugar. It can be served as is, or popped in a casserole dish and topped with delicious crunchy pecan topping!
This recipe is similar to Sweet Potato Casserole but uses healthy butternut squash and is not overly sweet. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday, especially because it can be made the day before!
Ingredients & Substitutions
A beautiful butternut squash and a few pantry staples is all you need for this gorgeous holiday side dish!
- Butternut Squash - The size here can really vary, but get a fairly large one for this recipe. You could also make this recipe with mashed sweet potato, pumpkin or another type of winter squash.
- Butter, Brown Sugar and Salt - Your buttered squash will roast up nice and soft in the oven, while its natural sweetness will intensify with a bit of brown sugar and salt.
- Topping - The topping is a hearty amount of pecans, smothered in melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and a little flour to give it a streusel type coating. Pecans can be substituted or used in combination with walnuts. The topping is optional of course, you can just serve the Mashed Butternut Squash plain and simple dotted with butter!
See recipe card for quantities.
This side dish looks fancy but really is very easy! Just roast the squash, mash it, and bake it with the butter pecan topping!
Step 1 - Wash your squash well and slice it in half lengthwise. Poke into the neck or the squash with a sharp knife, pressing down with your left hand safely on top of the blade. Scoop out the seed cavity with a portion scoop or spoon.
Step 2 - Smear the cut side of the squash with 1 Tablespoon of butter each. Use your hands to coat the flesh as best you can, including inside the cavity. Sprinkle evenly with salt and brown sugar.
Step 3 - Roast the squash at 375°F for about 1 hour. The size of the squash can alter your cooking time, it can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes or more. It's done when the neck is soft when squeezed.
Step 4 - Cool slightly and scoop the flesh out of the peel and into a bowl. First scoop with a spoon and then scrape all of the squash from the peel.
Step 5 - Use a potato masher to mash the squash.
Step 6 - Transfer the mashed squash to a casserole dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
Step 7 - Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and spread the topping over the squash.
Step 8 - Bake at 375° about 20 minutes to toast the topping.
- Roasting the Squash - The size of the squash can really make for a wide range in roasting time. Keep roasting it until it is soft when squeezed with tongs, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes or more. You really can't overcook it unless you're burning it, so if you aren't sure, keep roasting!
- Make Ahead Instructions - This casserole can be made up a day in advance, topped with the raw pecan topping, covered and refrigerated. Then just bake it the day of! The squash is already cooked, so just make sure it's hot! If it isn't, you can cover it with foil and keep it in the oven until warmed through.
- Freezing and Leftovers - Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. They can even be repurposed into muffins or baked goods in place of canned pumpkin! I like to freeze leftovers in 1 or 2 cup amounts, ready to thaw for baking. Try using 2 cups in these Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins, the extra nuts in the topping will be fine in the muffins!
- Use Raw Nuts - The nuts will bake up with the topping, so it's best to use raw pecans, or a combination of walnuts and pecans. Avoid pre-roasted and salted nuts.
What to Serve With
Butternut Squash Casserole also goes beautifully with Easter ham or any holiday main course!
Yes, if you are trying to eat low sugar, you can cut the amount of sugar in half and still have a delicious, not too sweet, butternut squash casserole. Use half the amount of brown sugar both in roasting the squash and in the topping.
To make this butternut squash casserole gluten-free, simply substitute the flour for a gluten-free flour mix, or just leave it out.
Yes! You just need some type of mashed squash for this recipe. You can roast the cubed fresh or frozen squash on a sheet pan in the oven coated with the butter, salt and brown sugar. Since they are chopped, the roasting time will be much less. Just roast until they are soft enough to mash or puree in a food processor. Then proceed with the topping.
More Holiday Recipes!
If you made this recipe, I'd love to hear how you liked it! Be sure to leave a star rating by clicking the stars in the recipe card, or leave a comment below!
Butternut Squash Casserole with Butter Pecan Topping
Hit the stars to rate this recipe!Print Pin Rate
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Topping
- 3 Tablespoons butter melted
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1½ cups pecans
- Wash your squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seed cavity with a spoon or portion scoop.
- Smear the cut sides of the flesh with 1 Tablespoon of butter each and sprinkle with salt and brown sugar.
- Roast at 375℉ for about 1 hour. The size of the squash can vary the cooking time greatly, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes or more. It's done when the neck is soft when squeezed.
- Allow to cool slightly and scoop the flesh from the skin into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher and transfer to a casserole dish. Smooth the top with a spoon.
- For the topping, mix together all ingredients and pour the topping over the squash. Spread it out evenly.
- Bake at 375℉ about 20 minutes, until the topping is toasted.
- Make Ahead - The butternut squash can be roasted, mashed, and put in the casserole dish with the raw topping a day in advance. Just cover and refrigerate. Then bake for 20 minutes the day of. Make sure the squash is heated through, if it isn't, cover with foil and bake a bit longer.
- The Topping is Optional - You can serve just the mashed butternut squash as is for a simple side dish, dotted with extra butter.
- Pecans can be substituted with walnuts or a combination of the two. Use raw nuts.
- Freezing - Extra butternut squash casserole with the nut topping can be frozen and used in baking in place of canned pumpkin. Try it in these Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Waffles!