This Butternut Squash Gratin was something I thought might turn out to be a good recipe in my mind, and let me tell you it was. I’m glad I went ahead with it. AMAZING! I will admit I am partial to squashes, especially butternut for it’s creaminess and sweet flavor, but I must admit this was such a hit. I was sorry I didn’t make more. It was dwindling away quickly. When it’s good, it’s gone. Butternut squash sweetness is just an amazing thing of nature. No sugar needed!
To make this dish all pretty you will need a mandoline or a food processor with the slicing disk attachment for those thin, even slices. It makes the squash taste creamier when the slices are thin. I knew this was a keeper when I took that first bite. The family unanimously agreed. Crispy breadcrumbs on top of oozy, cheesy butternut squash, and sweet onion-OMG-if you love butternut you will love this recipe.
I will surely be making this again. Glad I took good notes during prep time. It did take a little time to assemble, but worth every bite. What’s nice about a recipe like this is that you can prep each ingredient the day before and then assemble and bake when you’re ready to bake. I find make-ahead recipes so important because who has time to spend all day in the kitchen. Full of nutrition, allergen free, sugar free, and delicious. Don’t you just love that? Enjoy!
Makes one 9 x 13 baking dish
1/4 cup (approximately) Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced (with a mandoline)
2 medium onions, peeled, thinly sliced halves
1 cup Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese
handful fresh sage, stems removed, torn into pieces by hand
2 slices gluten free bread (I used Food for Life Brown Rice Bread), toasted
2 tablespoons xylitol
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
Spread some Earth Balance liberally into a 9 x 13 inch oven-proof baking dish. Reserve the rest for layering the gratin.
Cut the peeled butternut squash in half, crosswise, where it just begins to round. Slice that section thinly with a mandoline, or in your food processor. Then cut the seeded section in half, lengthwise, and slice.
Keep the seeded lengthwise slices separate, they will go on the bottom layers. Use all of your round pretty slices for the final top layer.
Combine all the spices, xylitol, and kosher salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Put a thick even layer of the squash bottom slices in the baking dish. Add 2-3 cut teaspoons of Earth Balance across the squash.
Note: I did a two-slice layer of the slices for each layer. I added a few cut up teaspoons of Earth Balance between layers.
Then a thick layer of the sliced onions.
Evenly spread a couple of large pinches of your spice mix across the onions.
Next add about a third of the mozzarella shreds. Now add a few more cut teaspoons of Earth Balance. Then a third of the torn sage leaves.
We are almost there…
Repeat the process for four layers with the round butternut squash slices, then onions last (it will keep your squash moist). Then add the final generous pinch of spice blend to your top layer of onions. Add a few sage leaves and top with your remaining few teaspoons of Earth Balance. Liberally sprinkle all the breadcrumbs across the gratin.
Bake in your preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the top looks golden and crispy.
Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
Serve hot or warm. I served it warm and it was perfectly oozing the cheese. Enjoy!
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