This maple pecan butternut squash casserole post is sponsored by Taylor Farms, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Wife Mama Foodie!
If there’s one holiday I look forward to every year, it’s Thanksgiving. Sure, opening presents on Christmas is fun, but for a foodie, what could be better than an entire day dedicated to feasting on great food! Not only that, then you get to work off all of those extra calories power shopping with all the other crazy people on Black Friday! (I’m a foodie who also likes to shop, okay?!)
With Thanksgiving only a week away, I’ve been busy planning our menu to include all of our traditional dishes, along with a few new faves! We’ll have turkey, of course, with some sort of mashed potatoes, and since we’re already having potatoes, I’ve put a twist on sweet potato casserole using butternut squash instead! And it’s made even better because this casserole is topped with simple, 3-ingredient maple candied pecans—talk about yum!
You won’t even miss sweet potatoes in this yummy variation. I used Taylor Farms Butternut Squash, which is convenient because it’s washed, peeled, and ready to use—saving on prep work is a MUST on Thanksgiving! Not only is butternut squash delicious, it’s also a nutritional powerhouse, chock-full of carotenoids, vitamins A & C, with plenty of fiber and potassium as well.
It’s a great way to include an extra veggie at the table too, though it’ll be disguised as a dessert-like treat!
Speaking of veggies, this broccoli & cauliflower gratin is another side that will definitely be on our Thanksgiving table this year! Move over green bean casserole, there’s now a new favorite green veggie dish in our family!
This gratin is made even more simple using pre-washed and cut bags of Taylor Farms Broccoli and Cauliflower medley. You literally just empty the bag into a pan and stick it in the oven while you make the béchamel sauce. I’m telling you, it’s crazy simple and SO good! We’ve made this gratin several times in the past few weeks and there’s never any left over, which is always a great sign! The kids got second and third helpings of veggies too—it was unbelievable! Find the easy recipe for both side dishes below!
Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin
I hope you enjoy these sides as much as our family does! Happy Thanksgiving!
- Two 15 oz. packages (about 6–7 cups) Taylor Farms Cubed Butternut Squash
- ⅓ cup + 3–4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter (can use dairy-free)
- ½–1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
- 1½ cups pecans (chopped or whole)
- Place butternut squash into a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat and boil until soft when pierced with a fork.
- Strain, pressing out any additional water, and continue to let sit in the colander to drain while you prepare the pecan topping.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place a large, non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat. Add pecans, ⅓ cup syrup, and a pinch of salt. Stir mixture continuously until syrup thickens and evenly coat pecans, about 3–5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. Careful not to overcook. If it cooks too long, the syrup will harden like candy on the pecans and be hard to get out of the pan (but makes a really tasty snack!)
- Squeeze excess water out of the squash and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add butter, 3–4 tablespoons syrup (to taste), cinnamon (to taste), and generous pinch of salt (add less if your butter is salted.) Beat mixture with a hand mixer or mash with potato masher until no clumps remain.
- Transfer mixture to and 8-inch square or round baking pan and top evenly with maple pecans.
- Place into the oven and bake until hot and bubbly, about 30–40 minutes. Makes about 8–10 servings.
- Casserole can be assembled, without topping, up to 2 days ahead of time, covered and refriegrated. Candied pecans can be made 2 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature. Drain off any excess liquid that may have gathered on top of the squash before topping with pecans and baking.
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