Don’t squash the side dishes this Thanksgiving!

Fri, 11/18/2022 - 1:00pm

Many people say that they love the side dishes at Thanksgiving dinner more than the turkey. This one is an award winner and, I promise, won’t disappoint! It’s super easy to make and you can even make it a day in advance and heat it up in the oven while your turkey ‘rests’ (which should be for at least 40 to 60 minutes). Also, if you have never tried delicata squash - it might be my favorite winter squash due to flavor, but also because there is no need to peel it, which makes it super easy to work with. They are also small and tender and cook a little faster than some of the classics like acorn and butternut.

Winter Squash Gratin Casserole with kale, bacon, leeks, and Parmesan

½ pound bacon slices
2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped (about 3 cups)
3 pounds delicata winter squash, seeds discarded and squash cut into 1-inch cubes (or butternut, acorn, etc…)
3 cups baby kale, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just crisp. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels, then chop into ½-inch pieces.
Add the leeks to the remaining bacon grease in the pan and sauté until tender.
Coat a 9 x 13-inch casserole with non-stick cooking spray. Add the squash and baby kale and toss to combine, pressing into one layer. The kale might stick out a bit, but will cook down when baking. Season with the salt and pepper.
Top the squash evenly with the sautéed leeks, followed by bacon, Parmesan, and finally, pour the cream over the casserole.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly, browned, and the squash is very tender when pierced with a fork. Let the casserole set for 10 minutes before serving. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Note – if you use delicata squash you do not need to peel the squash. I recommend peeling butternut, and acorn can be partially peeled.
Get hundreds of approachable and simply delicious recipes on Pam’s blog and follow her on FB @dishofftheblock and Instagram @dishblock for new recipes and tips! You can also get her spice blends on island at the Block Island Grocery or The Block Island Trading Company. If you are not on Block Island, order her spices and cookbooks on her website and make mealtime deliciously easy!