This healthy squash casserole recipe is by far the easiest I have ever tried. It has three simple steps: Layer yellow squash, pour vegan cheese sauce, and top with breadcrumbs. Can it get any easier?

I love casseroles! They are hearty, comforting, tasty, and super easy to make. The best thing about casseroles is that the process of making them is pretty much the same. You just have to change the main ingredients, which in this case are the vegetables.

You will also love Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole, Vegan Cabbage Casserole, and Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole.

what is yellow squash

What is yellow squash?

The term squash is linked to several vegetables. It is a common term that contains several vegetables under its umbrella.

Squash is mainly divided into two terms, i.e., summer squash and winter squash. The yellow squash we are going to talk about today is actually a summer squash. However, in some places, you can find it throughout the year.

It is known for its creamy texture and buttery, and slightly nutty flavor. Squash is a versatile vegetable that is often used for sautéing, baking, pureeing, and grilling.

Healthy benefits of yellow squash

Yellow squash is a very healthy vegetable and is jam-packed with nutrients and health benefits. Here are a few to name:

  • first of all, yellow squash is very low in calories. As a result, it is a great vegetable for those who like to keep an eye on their calorie intake.
  • It also aids in weight loss. That’s because it is free of fat and cholesterol. Moreover, it also makes you feel fuller for a long.
  • It is rich in vitamins like vitamins A, B, and C. All these have an immense effect on the well-being, immunity, and working of the organs.
  • It is also rich in minerals like folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • It is also rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals from the body.

To get all these benefits and more, look for healthy squash recipes like this one!

slices of yellow squash isolated on a white background

Why you’ll love this vegan squash casserole

  • Nutrient-Rich: This dish is packed with the goodness of yellow squash, providing essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
  • Creamy Vegan Cheese: The homemade vegan cheese sauce is dairy-free and made from wholesome ingredients like cashews and red bell pepper, creating a creamy and cheesy flavor without the need for dairy.
  • Low-Calorie: With a focus on fresh vegetables and a lighter sauce, this casserole is a low-calorie option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Simple Ingredients: The recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients, making it accessible for home cooks of all levels.
  • Versatile: This healthy squash casserole is versatile and can be served as a side dish or even as a main course for a hearty, plant-based meal.

Ingredients Needed

  • Yellow squash: The main hero of this dish is the yellow squash. It is easily available at every grocery store or farmer’s market. Once you get the produce, wash it, and cut it into thin slices equally.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are also super easy to get. They are available at every grocery store. Panko breadcrumbs are made from white bread. You can also use homemade breadcrumbs for this purpose. Breadcrumbs add a crispy and crunchy element to this casserole dish.
  • Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth is loaded with flavors from the vegetable. It is rich and tasteful. You can use either store-bought or homemade vegetable broth. When buying store-bought vegetable broth, make sure it is low in sodium.
  • Vegan butter: You can use any vegan butter for this recipe. It helps cooking the top and allows the breadcrumbs to get a beautiful color. Furthermore, it also brings a buttery texture.

For the vegan cheese sauce:

  • Cashews: Cashews are super-rich in nutrients. It contains fiber, healthy fats, and protein. It is also known for its creaminess. When you soak cashews, they get soft and, as a result, add creaminess and richness to any dish. For vegan cheese sauce, cashews are the base.
  • Red bell pepper: It has a sweet and fruity flavor. It adds flavor and color to the sauce.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: Nutritional yeast flakes is an important vegan ingredient that is often used as a substitute for cheese. It has a cheesy and nutty flavor.
  • Onion powder: It brings in savory flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic powder: It adds a depth of garlicky flavor to the sauce.
  • Cayenne pepper: It brings in heat and spices up the sauce.
  • Salt: Salt balances out the flavors of this vegan cheese sauce.

How to make healthy squash casserole

This healthy squash casserole recipe is probably the easiest one you can try. All you have to do is add layers of ingredients and bake. It can’t be any simpler. Here are the steps you have to follow:

  1. Start by preparing the yellow squash. Do that by washing it and slicing it in equal slices. Place these slices in a pot and pour vegetable stock on top until it covers the vegetable. Place the pot on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetable is tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. To prepare the vegan cheese sauce, you will have to add soaked cashews, water, red bell pepper, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a high-speed blender jug.
  3. Blend until you get a smooth consistency sauce. You can add more water if the sauce is too thick. Now the vegan sauce is ready.
  4. Grease a casserole pan with coconut oil. Layer cooked yellow squash slices in the bottom of the casserole pan. Pour vegan cheese sauce on top. Cover with breadcrumbs and add a vegan button on top.
  5. Step 5: Place the casserole pan in a preheated oven at 400-degree f for 15 minutes or until you get a golden-brown top.

Expert Tips

Although making this healthy squash casserole is very easy, you still need to take care of a few things:

  • You can also add sliced zucchini or eggplant to add more flavor and color to the casserole.
  • If you don’t have vegetable broth, use vegetable bouillons dissolved in water. It will give the same flavor.
  • Soaking cashews is important for the texture of the vegan cheese sauce. If you don’t soak cashews, the sauce will be grainy. The more you soak them. The better will be the sauce’s texture.
  • You can add black pepper, paprika, or red chili flakes instead of cayenne.
  • You can use vegan butter instead of coconut oil.
  • For the extra crunchy top, broil for 5 minutes.
  • You can bake this casserole in an air fryer as well.

Variations and Substitutions

Herb Infusion: Add fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or basil to the vegan cheese sauce for extra flavor.

Garlic Lovers: If you’re a fan of garlic, consider adding roasted garlic cloves or minced garlic to the cheese sauce for a robust flavor.

Extra Veggies: Enhance the nutritional content by incorporating other veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach along with the yellow squash.

Storage Tips

Refrigerator

Store the leftover squash casserole by placing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 5 days.

Freezer

Furthermore, you can also freeze the leftover squash casserole. Place it in aluminum foil or plastic Ziplock bag and freeze. It will last for up to 2 months in the freezer.

You can also freeze uncooked squash casserole. Place it in a freezer-safe and oven-safe dish and freeze. It will last for up to a month. You can cook it directly without thawing. It might take a bit longer, but it is super convenient.

Recipe FAQs

How do you select a good yellow squash?

First, look at the color of the squash. It should be completely yellow with no green or brown spots. It should also have a firm texture and should not feel hollow inside. Last, make sure the stem is firm and dry.

Can I use different types of squash in this recipe?

While this recipe specifically calls for yellow squash, you can certainly use other types of summer squash, such as zucchini or pattypan squash, or a combination of different squashes.

Is nutritional yeast necessary for the cheese sauce?

Nutritional yeast contributes to the cheesy flavor of the sauce. If you prefer to omit it, you’ll lose some of the cheesy taste, but the sauce will still be flavorful.

Other Amazing Vegan Casseroles

  1. Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread Casserole
  2. Gluten-Free Vegan Broccoli Casserole
  3. Vegan Cauliflower Casserole
  4. Mexican Style Quinoa Casserole
  5. Chayote Casserole
  6. Brussels Sprout Casserole
close up view of yellow squash casserole in a white baking dish on a wooden base

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healthy-yellow-squash on white casserole on white background

Healthy Squash Casserole

This healthy squash casserole recipe is by far the easiest I have ever tried. It has three simple steps: Layer yellow squash, pour vegan cheese sauce, and top with breadcrumbs. Can it get any easier?
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Squash Casserole
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 157kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 5 medium yellow squash sliced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs I used homemade

For The Vegan Cheese

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Wash the yellow squash, trim off the top and cut it into equally thin slices.
  • Place the sliced yellow squash in a pot and pour the vegetable stock into it.
  • Place the pot on medium heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Cover the pot and let it cook for 5 minutes or until the yellow squash is tender.
  • Drain the cooked squash slices and set them aside. Discard the liquid.
  • In a high-speed blender jug, add soaked cashews, water, red bell pepper, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Blend until you get a smooth consistency sauce. You can add more water if the sauce is too thick.
  • Grease a casserole pan with coconut oil.
  • Layer cooked yellow squash slices in the bottom of the casserole pan. Pour vegan cheese sauce on top.
  • Cover with breadcrumbs and add a vegan button on top.
  • Place the casserole pan in a preheated oven at 400-degree f for 15 minutes or until you get a golden-brown top.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 501mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 759IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.