Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole – Clean Food

butternut squash casserole recipe

Don’t laugh cold weather folks, but by my mild Los Angeles weather radar, it’s been flipping freezing out here. Last week the weather dipped down to almost 40ºF and I was layered in so many clothes, Todd couldn’t even recognize who he was sleeping with. Yes, I take all my fleece layers to bed because if I can’t stay warm sleeping, no one sleeps! Even our warm weather dogs were shivering from cold weather anxiety and any loving pet owner, like me, would dress them in a warm doggie fleece jacket. Oh, they look so warm and cute.

booksBeing as cold as it has been, it’s time to turn on the oven and make casseroles. Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of rich, creamy casseroles and I’ve been wanting something lighter, cleaner, but still warm and comforting. Just as I was thinking that, I found a cookbook by Terry Walters called Clean Food: A seasonal guide to eating close to the source. It had the perfect butternut squash casserole recipe that I was looking for.

In fact, the whole cookbook offers fabulous recipes for throughout the year and almost every recipe is simple, accessible and brilliantly seasonal. For anyone looking to immerse themselves in the best recipes of the season, this book has a marvelous breakdown for healthy Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter recipes. Everything in the book is fresh, vegetarian and brimming with great ideas dealing with what to cook for your season’s produce.  Even though the book is void of photos, I didn’t need any visual references to be convinced that the book and recipes are fantastic. By now in reading the ingredients and technique we’ll know about what the recipe will taste like, and this book nails the recipes.

butternut squash casserole recipe

Terry’s butternut squash casserole recipe is sweetened with apple juice and maple syrup, natural sweetening ingredients that I’ve been wanting to incorporate more into my cooking. I loved the fact that with only a few fresh ingredients, this butternut squash casserole is still satisfying, without being hidden in heavy creams or rich cheese. In this casserole recipe, the butternut squash is highlighted and then I added some sliced apples in the casserole for a little more texture. Why not? The recipe already has apple juice and adding some extra slices of baked apples was just perfect, clean, bright and still warm and satisfying.

This butternut squash casserole worthy of being described as clean. It’s pure squash delight with sweet, baked apples and the perfect break that I need for all the gluttonous eating this holiday season.



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Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole Recipe

adapted from Clean Food by Terry Walters

This butternut squash recipe is really light and flavorful, very little oil is used. The juice of the baked apples will release will release while baking. If the squash on the top of the casserole begins to dry out, just gently stir the casserole to evenly coat the squash during mid-bake. The natural juices will help the squash cook.

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans, or 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (the original recipe called for almonds)

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF

2. Combine squash, apples and onions in a large bowl.

3. In small bowl, whisk together apple cider/juice, oil and syrup. (I also infused some sliced onions in this juice).  Pour half the mixture into the apples and squash, combine well.

4. In baking dish, pour in squash and apple combination. Pour rest of mixture over the squash, top with almonds.

5. Cover with foil and bake for 45 min. to 1 hour or until tender.  Serves 4-6.


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Bren

    long lost friends. sure do miss you. glad all is going well, even though you’ve been having some cold weather! ugh! It’s lovely cold in ATL, but not being hammered like my parents are in DC, with 20″ of snow! So butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables and with red onions, it adds a nice kick. I’ve not done anything with apples together, but the end result u have there looks too good not to try!

    Merry Christmas and hope to reconnect soon!


  2. Nicole Spasiano

    I totally understand about freezing! I’m in Boston and I’m always cold… must move one day!
    thanks for sharing a healthy winter recipe. I’ll have to check this out. Another excuse for something new and some new ramakins!

  3. Kate

    When I lived in California for a few months, I first arrived the day after Christmas in Long Beach. And I was so traumatized because it was like 40 at night! I thought, isn’t California supposed to be WARM??? And everyone on the East Coast (I’m from MD) laughed at me, but no really, 40 is cold!!!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Kate- yes, for Los Angeles, this is freeezing! thanks for understanding.

  4. we are never full

    usually i’d snarl like elvis when i read about your “i’m in cali and the garden is growing” posts while i’m literally freezing my buns off in nyc – but this time i understand your feelings! for california, 40 degrees is cold!! time to make some cassoulet and get a fire going! or eat some butternut squash, of course.

  5. Jennifer

    This casserole looks light and lovely. And, to my wish list I add yet another cookbook. Stay warm!

  6. pam

    This cookbook sounds perfect! I’m adding it to my list!

  7. Alexandra

    Wow, this is a great idea. Plus, so homey for a cold night in… Butternut squash is fantastic.

  8. Lauren

    Butternut squash and apples are such a great combination. I will definitely be trying this.

  9. marla {Family Fresh Cooking}

    This recipe does sound clean and delicious. I am tempted to buy the book…but I do love my pictures!! I have a Butternut squash and loads of apples. This will be fun and simple to make. Thanks!

  10. Hélène

    I love casserole and so glad you are sharing this one. I love the mix of butternut and apples. Beautiful dish.

  11. Chelsey

    Initially when I looked at your photo of the casserole I thought I saw some pulled pork on top of it like the stuff from your previous post. Then I realized it was a garnish (Too bad!). Still looks fabulous, but I may try it with some pulled pork shoulder with it, put some fat back into it. Hahaha.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Chelsey- LOL! go for the pig! adding pork would make the casserole a complete meal.

  12. Caitlin

    That sounds wonderful, although I have to giggle about you bundling up for 40* weather. It’s been right around 0*F here in WI most nights! But the casserole sounds just perfect, especially since it’s lighter than so many wintery dishes.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Caitlin- wow, it’s freeezing where you are! You’re definitely a trooper. Eat more casseroles!

  13. Bianca

    Looks festive!

  14. Gastronomer

    I’ve been OBSESSED with casseroles lately! I think I’ve averaged about two a week. This one looks way healthier than the cheesy and noodly ones I’ve bee baking up 😉

  15. Simone (junglefrog)

    Ah yes, perfect winter dish! It’s been fairly cold here too recently and we’re expecting heavy snowfall tonight. I am actually keeping my fingers crossed for a white christmas, but that is still a bit uncertain. In the meantime I was looking for something lighter for this season and this is really good looking!

  16. Dana Zia

    Beautiful! I was just asking myself last night….”how am I going to make it through this holiday season, with all these rich foods?” This is a perfect example of a dish that is pure holiday without all the heavy rich foods. Thank you! BTW, your blog has evolved so lovely.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Dana Zia- it is really nice to find a cookbook with great vegetable dishes for the holidays. And they’re all really fresh, healthy and good!

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