Healthy Summer Squash Casserole

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Healthy Summer Squash Casserole

Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe: The perfect combination of yellow summer squash, zucchini, quinoa, greek yogurt, and kale!  This is a Healthy Squash Casserole that’s actually healthy, clean eating, low fat, heart healthy, and delicious.

My garden just started producing an overabundance of summer yellow squash and zucchini by the bundles.  I love this time of year where I can pick them out of the garden and have fresh vegetables for dinner.  I like to roast and grill them but my Southern born and raised heart still loves a good casserole.  Traditional Southern Yellow Squash Casserole features yummy yellow squash with not so great for you goodies like sour cream, mayonnaise, and butter crackers.  It’s delicious and there is a time and place where I love to eat that version.  I dream of going back in time and being able to eat my Grandmothers again.

THIS version though is my total healthy makeover on the classic Southern Squash Casserole.  It’s the same but different and I think it would still make Grandma proud.

This Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe features creamy greek yogurt and browned panko instead of the sour cream, mayo and butter crackers.  I also added piles of fluffy quinoa, piles of green kale, AND some green zucchini to make this dish more of a complete healthy vegetarian meal.  I promise it still tastes amazing even with the tweaks.

This Healthy Squash Casserole is basically a celebration of all things summer in your favorite glass baking dish.

This Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe makes a great vegetarian meal!

This Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe is all sorts of healthy goodness packed into one casserole dish.  My version is great because it adds quinoa to the mix which makes the casserole more filling and much more of a meal.  The end result is wonderful twist on classic comfort food in a perfectly healthy and complete vegetarian meal.

Serve this a vegetarian main course or a side dish for you favorite meat or fish.  It would also be a perfect centerpiece for a southern vegetable plate.

 

What is squash casserole?

Yellow Squash Casserole is traditionally creamy, cheesy, and topped with buttery Ritz crackers.  It’s a great use of all those extra summer squash you have in the garden.

My version is LIKE that but still has those healthier ingredients that make it a meal or side dish you can feel good eating.  Just look at all that quinoa and vegetables.

Ingredients in this Healthy Squash Casserole:

Don’t let the ingredient list shy you away from making this recipe.  The ingredients in my Healthy Squash Casserole are easy to find and this comes together in less than 20 minutes of hands-on cooking time.

  • Yellow Squash:  Use traditional summer squash in this casserole.  Summer squash is full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber.
  • Zucchini: You could easily use ALL yellow squash in this casserole but I like the combination of fresh summer squash and zucchini. 
  • Curly Kale: Kale isn’t a normal ingredient in squash casserole but I love adding it to mine for lots of color, flavor and vitamins.  It’s an easy way to add entire serving of veggies to the dish.
  • Sweet Onion: It’s not a good Southern casserole without sweet onion! Get a Vidalia if you can find it.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa adds substance and protein to this casserole and makes it more of a meal. 
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek Yogurt replaces the sour cream and mayonnaise in classic Squash Casserole.
  • Cheese: Cheese makes this casserole delicious!  I used a combination of mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Panko: I used panko instead of Ritz crackers in my Healthy Summer Squash Casserole recipe.
  • Egg: An egg binds everything together.
  • Garlic:  Garlic adds a flavor punch!
  • Fresh Herbs: I grow fresh herbs in the summer and always have them around.  This recipe calls for fresh basil and oregano.  If you don’t you have that, you could easily substitute 1 teaspoon of both dried basil and dried oregano. 

How to Make a Healthy Squash Casserole

This cheesy Healthy Squash Casserole is well balanced with lots of vegetables!  You will love the way it comes together.  Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray an 8 by 8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Saute the veggies.  Start with the onion and then add the kale and garlic.  Next up the squash and zucchini.  Season with salt and pepper as you saute to bring out the flavors.   Add your fresh herbs at the end.  If using dried herbs, add them in the beginning.
  3.  Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the quinoa, greek yogurt, cheese and panko.  Taste and adjust your seasonings before adding the egg.
  4. Put the mixture in a casserole dish and top with the extra panko and parmesan.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

If you want the casserole extra brown on top you can turn on your biler for just a few minutes until it’s golden brown.

Variations and Pro Tips

I love this recipe as is BUT here are a few ways to mix it up…

  • Use just squash or zucchini especially if your garden as an overabundance of one or the other..
  • Substitute brown rice for the quinoa.
  • Use dried herbs instead of fresh.  Use just 1 tablespoon of each.
  •  Mix up the types of cheese you use.  Sharp cheddar works great too.
  • Use spinach instead of kale.

 

Do you peel yellow squash?

NO! Summer yellow squash tastes great with the peel on.  Just wash the squash under cool running water just before you are going to use it.

 

Can the casserole be reheated?

Yes! This casserole reheats well for lunches or dinner the next day.

 

Can it squash casserole be made ahead?  Can this be a freezer meal?

This squash casserole can be made ahead!  Just cook the casserole completely and let it cool.  Put it in the freezer with an airtight cover.  When you are ready to serve it bake it at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.  That makes this dish a great freezer meal too.

What to serve with Healthy Summer Squash recipes…

 

This Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole might not be the way Grandma made is, but I think she’d still love it.  Plus this is a great way to use up all those extra summer squash and zucchini in the garden.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

More Recipes for an Overabundance of Summer Squash and Zucchini

If you end up with a giant zucchini from your garden check out my post: What should I do with a giant zucchini?

 

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook too!

Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe - made with summer squash and zucchini!

Julie Wunder
Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe: The perfect combination of yellow summer squash, zucchini, quinoa, greek yogurt, and kale!  This is a Healthy Squash Casserole that's actually healthy, low fat, and delicious.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish, Vegetarian Meal
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 286 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 cups curly kale, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups yellow squash, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, +2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup panko, + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt & pepper, divided
  • cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 8 x 8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Add olive oil to a large pot and warm to medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add kale and garlic to pot and sautee for 1 minute until the kale is bright green. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add another pinch of salt and pepper. Add the broth to the pot and stir until kale starts to wilt. Cook kale for 2-3 minutes or until most of the broth is absorbed.
  • Add squash and zucchini. Add pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes until tender. Stir in the herbs.
  • Remove the vegetable mixture from the heat and add the cooked quinoa. Stir in Greek yogurt, cheese and the 1 cup of panko. Taste to check salt and pepper levels. Add more if necessary.
  • Stir in the beaten egg.
  • Spread mixture in the greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of panko and 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Notes

You can make this dish ahead by freezing the baked casserole.  To reheat cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 19gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 339mgPotassium: 780mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 7082IUVitamin C: 95mgCalcium: 335mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Healthy Squash Casserole, Healthy Summer Squash recipe, Healthy Yellow Squash Casserole recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

Pin for later!

By | 2020-07-29T07:02:24-04:00 July 29th, 2020|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Meals|47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such an amazing recipe! The kids just love it, looking forward to making it again…YUM!!!

  2. Deborah Brooks July 29, 2020 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I have a couple versions of squash casserole that I do-love the idea of adding in some kale and Greek Yogurt. Can’t wait to try your version next time

    • Karen July 30, 2020 at 7:27 am - Reply

      5 stars
      I made this last night and it is absolutely delicious! One of the best new recipes I’ve tried lately and I feel good about eating it. Thanks for creating such a great blog, Julie!

      • JulieWunder July 30, 2020 at 9:46 am - Reply

        Thank you so much Karen! I really apreciate you leaving such a nice note. Have a wonderful day. 🙂

  3. Leslie July 29, 2020 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, what a great recipe! I love all the healthy goodness you included in this recipe! What a great summer treat!

  4. Patty June 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Am I overlooking the nutritional information?

    • JulieWunder July 2, 2020 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Patty! It is now included in the recipe! I’ve been adding it to all my older recipes as quickly as possible. I hope you enjoyed it.

  5. CL August 31, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Did I miss how the cooked quinoa is used? I was preparing this today and was flummoxed when I didn’t see it mentioned again. I mixed it in just before putting it into the baking dish. I haven’t tasted it yet. Fingers crossed.

    • JulieWunder August 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Yes, just mix it all in. I changed the wording some to be a bit clearer. Thanks for pointing that out to me. Let me know how it turns out! It’s a yummy one!

  6. Miz Helen July 24, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

  7. Sherry July 20, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Can I ask what plugin you use for your recipes? It looks really nice. Thanks

    • JulieWunder July 20, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I use Easy Recipe Plus and really like it. Just plain Easy Recipe is great too.

  8. Sherry July 20, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

    This seriously looks delicious and I love all the protein with the kale and quinoa. Will definitely be making!

    • JulieWunder July 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sherry! I tried to make it really worth eating!

  9. Tina muir July 20, 2015 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Nice and healthy, just what we need in our house right now! Thanks for linking up 🙂

  10. Jess @hellotofit July 18, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    There’s so much squash to go around this year! Or is it just me? Haha. This looks so yummy! I’ve never made a casserole with quinoa before.

    • JulieWunder July 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      I agree! Summer squash always seems to take over about now!

  11. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life July 17, 2015 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    I know what I’m doing with the squash I get at the farmer’s market this weekend! This looks wonderful!

  12. Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks July 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I love this recipe! I pinned it right away. What an awesome way to eat a TON of veggies!

    • JulieWunder July 19, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Thanks Dani! I agree! And it’s filling enough to just eat for a meal too.

  13. Heather @Fit n Cookies July 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I am hoping to have a garden next year! Right now we had to clear the whole top of our yard and try to regrade it or something, so no garden this year. This looks really good though!

    • JulieWunder July 19, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Thanks Heather! Hopefully you can find the right spot one year! Its a lot of fun.

  14. Emily Smith July 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    This looks and sounds delicious. Thanks!

  15. Dan July 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    now that’s what I’m talking about , a ‘personal size’ squash casserole , , lol , , pass the butter 😉 . . looking ahead to tomorrows post , what’s the difference between shorts and ‘hot pants’ ?

  16. That looks really tasty. Last summer, I surprised my husband with a summer squash quiche, which he loved. I’m going to give this one a try!

  17. Annette @ Sweating Through Life July 16, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

    This recipe looks fantastic and gave me new ideas for zucchini!! Thanks for sharing!

    • JulieWunder July 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you enjoy it!

  18. Jamie July 16, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite dishes to make, but I’m a total seasonal eater and associate it with fall. I love this recipe and it has been saved for a perfect “warm me up at night” dish : )

    • JulieWunder July 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      I try to eat seasonally too! I’ve been all about summer fruits lately.

  19. Danyelle Musselman July 16, 2015 at 10:49 am - Reply

    My mom has a ton of zucchini in her yard and has been looking for new ways to use them. Totally passing this recipe on, sounds so good!

    • JulieWunder July 16, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      It would be perfect for that! I hope she enjoys it.

  20. [email protected] July 16, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    omg this sounds delicious. I absolutely adore squash and I love the use of greek yogurt and quinoa in it, I’ve been subbing that in a lot of my recipes lately and it adds such nice body and flavor to foods. Yum!

    • JulieWunder July 16, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Erin! I agree. I always keep a container of it in my fridge.

  21. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie July 16, 2015 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Squash and zucchini mixed with some cheese? Yes, please!

  22. I make a squash casserole too but haven’t put quinoa in it yummy!

  23. Dan Steadman July 16, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

    yum…looks good, for our overabundance of squash we make my late grandmother’s squash casserole…great reminder of the woman we loved so much

    • JulieWunder July 16, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Oh… I bet her casserole is amazing! You’ll have to make it this summer to remember her.

  24. Blane Sherer July 16, 2015 at 6:13 am - Reply

    I must say that if you were going to brake down and use the oven that you did your oven justice with this squash casserole !
    Looks like a winner !

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