Butternut Squash “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Pecan Crunch

Butternut Squash "Sweet Potato" Casserole | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Naturally sweet squash blended with rich grass-fed butter, warming spices, vanilla, and a tangy swirl of sour cream, this simple side dish is perfect for a Thanksgiving banquet table.  It is far from the overly-sugared version we grew up with, covered with corn-syrup mini marshmallows.  Topped with gently sweetened pecans, this butternut bake is crispy on top and smooth in the middle.  Scoop it onto plates for a side dish that can beautifully round out the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing fare.

This tummy-friendly casserole is a delicious and less-starchy version of candied yams or sweet potato casserole.  Butternut squash is easier to digest, as well as providing many vitamins and nutrients during the wintertime when it is in season.  I also took care to sweeten it just so, making the flavors enhanced by the honey instead of overpowering it.

If you are on the GAPS diet (buy the book Gut and Psychology Sundrome here), you may find that you are always scheming on ways to make conventional recipes into GAPS-legal versions that still deliver on flavor.  GAPS foods exclude anything that is difficult to digest, which includes not only grains and sugar, but starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes.  But lucky for those on low-starch diets, between cauliflower “fauxtatoes” and this butternut squash casserole, even Thanksgiving can be full of delicious comfort foods.  The GAPS diet can be really yummy!

One more thing: I absolutely love my Emile Henry casserole pictured above.  It is so gorgeous that I keep it on a silver shelf in my dining room when it isn’t being used.  And when I do use it (which is a lot in the winter), I love everything about it: it has a nice heft to it, it cooks beautifully and evenly, and the glaze makes it extremely easy to clean.  But the biggest reason I bought one was because it is completely lead-free.  

Most of the casseroles you can buy at chain superstores or the grocery store, the ones that are typically easy to find, are only lead-free to a point.  What they really are is “below the allowed lead amount”, which does not work for me.  You can buy an Emile Henry casserole dish here.  It replaces your larger pans around 9X13 or 10X14 inches size.  And I am trying to get my hands on this mid-sized one which would replace my 8X8 square glass pan.

Butternut Squash “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Pecan Crunch

4 cups pureed butternut squash
1/3 cup honey, preferably local and raw (buy raw honey here)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, preferably grass-fed (find grass-fed dairy here)
4 eggs, preferably pastured
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (buy organic, non-irradiated spices here)
1/4 cup sour cream, preferably grass-fed (find grass-fed dairy here)

Pecan Crunch Topping:
1 cup almond flour (buy almond flour here)
1/2 cup honey (buy raw honey here)
1/2 cup butter (find grass-fed dairy here)
2 cups pecans, chopped, preferably soaked and dehydrated (buy nuts here) (see how to soak and dehydrate nuts here)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish (buy palm shortening here), and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, puree butternut squash with honey, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon with an immersion blender.  (You may also use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.)  Add sour cream and mix in gently with a wooden spoon.  Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  3. In another bowl, prepare topping: combine almond flour, honey and butter by either blending with a pastry blender or simply mashing with a fork.  Add pecans and stir together until coated.  Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top is nicely browed and fragrant.  Let cool slightly before serving.
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Comments

  1. This looks fantastic! Usually these types of dishes I have to change and sub out a multitude of ingredients but this one looks great – great job!

  2. This looks wonderful! I am going to try it soon – thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! This looks great!Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/11/fat-tuesday-novermber-22-2011/

  4. Hi Kendall- I made this today for Thanksgiving in Shanghai. We had a huge group of people, 14 adults and 25 kids. This was a hit with people! I probably sinned in your eyes, I used regular whole wheat flour for the topping. I have never see almond flour in Shanghai, and even if I did find it, it would cost me an arm and a leg!

    • Nope, not a sin at all. I would use (sprouted) whole wheat flour myself if it wasn’t for being on GAPS. They are interchangeable in the recipe, too. I’m so glad everyone liked it and it was a hit. We’re still eating it here, from the leftovers, and we love it!

      • We separated the egg whites and whipped them to stiff peaks then folded in at the end before putting in the casserole dish. It was more like a souffle, so fluffy and delicious!! Thank you!

  5. This sounds fantastic! One question, though: if starting with peeled, cubed squash, do you know how much you’d need to yield the 4 cups of puree?

  6. Wendi Wilkins says:

    You love your Emile Henry Casserole mostly because it’s lead free, but I’m wondering about my Pyrex glass casseroles – are they completely lead free?

  7. joannabanana21 says:

    i have a few questions for you!!

    is the squash cooked already before you put it in the casserole? i have never used butternut squash. would i boil it or bake it before it goes into the baking pan?

    also, are the eggs necessary? i can’t eat eggs but have used gelatin and flax eggs in baked good recipes. would this kind of be the same?

    i just have to make this!!!! i’ve been on the SCD diet for over a year but haven’t introduced butternut squash yet. i figure this recipe definitely looks delicious enough to try.

  8. Forgive my ignorance, but would I just peel and puree the butternut squash, or do I need to cook it before pureeing?
    Thank you! This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!!

  9. Rebecca Hampton says:

    I made this today for my family’s Easter dinner. It was my first holiday on GAPS and it really helped me get through. It was so good and I almost forgot it was squash instead of sweet potatoes. My kids enjoyed it as well. Thanks for a great recipe!

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