Slowly but surely I am getting back into the groove of making a proper dinner. This dish has a pretty quick prep time and you can even put it together earlier in the day and bake it later. It can be a side or your main dish. So even on a busy weeknight you can have dinner together without much fuss. And you can use up any summer squash you might have around!
Once at a pot luck dinner a friend brought this amazing, creamy, cheesy squash casserole. She described the ingredients to me, but I never got the entire recipe. When I saw this squash casserole on Pinterest I had to give it a try because it looked so similar. This casserole is different. Less creamy and cheesy, more focus on the vegetables, which is really nice. It’s flavorful, clean tasting, and delicious. One of the main differences is that this one doesn’t use condensed cream soup, something I really have nothing against, but something that I don’t mind finding a replacement for if I can. The original recipe calls for eggs and sour cream as the binders. I used the eggs, but substituted greek yogurt and it turned out really well.
The feta gives a nice punch to the dish. I mixed in some shredded carrots to add extra veggies and to help with some fridge clean out. This is a really great side dish. I served it with grilled pork tenderloin and bread.
The thyme is a great herb here, you can use fresh or dried. I used a mixture of green and yellow squash, but you can use all of one type of course. And something I think I might try next time is using goat cheese instead of feta because I love me some goat cheese. Enjoy!
Squash and Carrot Casserole with Feta and Parmesan
5-6 squash (mix of zucchini and yellow squash) sliced
3-4 grated carrots
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
1 cup greek yogurt
heaping half cup of crumbled feta
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large saucepan heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat.
Add in the squash and cook for a few minutes. Add in the carrots and garlic and cook, stirring to keep the garlic from burning, until the squash just begins to soften. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl whisk eggs and yogurt, then stir in the feta and parmesan. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and layer half of the squash in the pan. Spread half of the yogurt mixture on top, then layer again with squash and then yogurt. Sprinkle with a little extra feta if you have some!
Bake for 45 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve warm. This reheats well for a light lunch.
We’re moving in 12 days! I’m starting to wonder why we thought moving 7 weeks before my due date was a good plan! I’m actually very excited, just anxious and stressing a bit. My sweet mom came down and helped me for a few days last week. We didn’t pack the entire kitchen, but that process is beginning. I plan to have the kitchen pretty much packed away by the beginning of next week. That last week I plan to eat easy breakfasts, freezer meals, give Carson a lot of convenience foods (and his weight in strawberries of course) and explore the take-out situation in our neighborhood. I’ve already stocked up on paper plates, plastic utensils and cups. I don’t want to find myself packing plates and silverware at 2 am the night before we move.
Eating restaurant food is probably going to get old after a few days. I like cooking and knowing what goes into our meals. So I want to cook a lot in the coming week. The problem with that is how unprepared I have been recently when it comes to groceries. And if I’ve forgotten something, I have little to no desire to take Carson to the store for one item. One night last week I made dinner with what we had around, which was an adventure. And a pretty tasty adventure. So tasty, in fact, that I typed this recipe up right after we ate so that I wouldn’t forget it. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but casseroles in general are just plain unattractive.
I made fried chicken earlier in the week. Since 2 people can’t (and shouldn’t) eat an entire chicken we had quite a bit left over. My thought for dinner began with that chicken. I knew we had rice, but I couldn’t think of what else I was going to throw in my chicken and rice dinner. So began the scavenging. Squash from Farmhouse. A shallot. Green onions. A half bag of spinach. The remains of a box of chicken broth. The rest of a carton of sour cream. Leftover white cheddar cheese. And a packet of Lipton chicken noodle soup mix. This was going to be dinner. The biggest gamble was the squash. I roasted it and figured if I didn’t end up using it in the casserole I could snack on it and give some to Carson. It ended up being really great and something I would definitely repeat.
Chicken and Rice Casserole with Roasted Squash and Spinach
2-3 cups 1/2 inch cubed squash (I used patty pan and butternut)
1 shallot, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-6 ounces fresh spinach
1 cup white medium grain rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 package Lipton chicken noodle soup mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4-1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (optional but delicious)
Roast Squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss seeded and cubed squash with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, tossing about halfway through. Set aside.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add in shallot and cook for 2 minutes, add in green onion and cook 2 minutes, then add in garlic, stir and cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook until slightly wilted. Turn off the heat and mix in the chicken and roasted squash.
Pour in the chicken broth, soup mix, sour cream and milk. Stir until well combined.
Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle with the cheese, if using.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.