Rating: 4.25 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Roasted butternut squash slices layered with a creamy sauce and topped with golden breadcrumbs makes a hassle-free side dish that just about everyone loves. Our healthier version skips the heavy cream and butter found in most recipes--saving about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional version.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2011


Recipe Summary

1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees F.

  • Toss squash in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil until well coated. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring once and rotating the pans top to bottom about halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. (See Tips)

  • When the squash is done, remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.

  • Transfer half the squash to a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the squash. Add the remaining squash and top with the remaining sauce.

  • Combine breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl (skip this step if you are topping with cheese).

  • Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture (or cheese) over the gratin. Place under the broiler and broil, watching closely, until the gratin is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Roast squash (Step 2) up to 30 minutes ahead. Prepare the sauce (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; gently reheat until steaming before combining with the squash.

To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs.

To add extra flavor to the cream sauce, at the end of Step 3 stir in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage or parsley. Or make it cheesy by stirring in 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled cheese, such as Gruyère, Swiss, Cheddar or blue cheese.

Keep food fresh: If you're storing food in your fridge for a few hours or more, it's best to keep it in an airtight container or in a container covered tightly with foil. Foil is best at creating a barrier that doesn't let unwanted flavors in (or out) while you store your food.

Nutrition Facts

170 calories; protein 5.4g; carbohydrates 24.3g; dietary fiber 4.8g; sugars 7.2g; fat 6.5g; saturated fat 1.3g; cholesterol 3.8mg; vitamin a iu 13424.5IU; vitamin c 19mg; folate 42mcg; calcium 164.9mg; iron 1.2mg; magnesium 52.9mg; potassium 502.3mg; sodium 304.7mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (1)

Read More Reviews
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
Tasty and nutritious I added bacon and two different kinds of onions.Will make again but will roast the squash then freeze. Cons: Takes time to roast squash Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great! Loved the flavor combo with the cheeses. Very easy to mix up the flavors with different cheeses even try adding cinnamon! tastes even better next day. Pros: This recipe is so easy to change up to your liking. The sauce is original yet still very tasty. Cons: A little time consuming. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Variation I had a mini squash and substituted shallots for onions and added dried thyme and halved the entire recipe. I also used only a tablespoon of breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It was quite tasty! Pros: Tasty and easy to put together Cons: Too many leftovers Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This dish is a savory comfort food. I used the cheese instead of breadcrumbs. It doesn't require much cheese because the sauce is creamy rich simple and gooey delicious! Pros: Healthier than potato gratin. Lower in calories and tastier! Cons: Takes time to slice squash in thin pieces. Read More