Sweet butternut squash combines with fresh spinach, a basil-flavored sauce, and asiago cheese for a delicious holiday side dish. This butternut squash gratin can be fully prepared ahead of time in order to make the big meal a little bit easier!
Butternut squash always makes some sort of appearance at my holiday meals. It’s a very versatile vegetable, and it tastes great too! For years I served a wonderful butternut squash lasagna, but of coarse I like to mix things up a little bit.
In my opinion, there is no better way to enjoy a vegetable than baked gratin-style! Butternut squash is no exception. In fact, it may be my new favorite way to enjoy it!
The great thing about gratins is that you can prepare them completely ahead and then just bake them off whenever you’re ready. When I plan my holiday menus I usually try and pick a few side dishes that I can make ahead of time. That way, it takes some of the pressure off while I’m trying to get dinner on the table.
This gratin can be made up to two days in advance. It’s a pretty easy prep – just chop up the squash and spinach and blanch them. Sauté some onions and garlic, add chicken broth and a touch of cream to make the sauce. I like to flavor it with basil – it makes the sauce! Mix everything together and top with cheese.
At this point, you can bake it or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. This gratin goes perfectly with my herb-crusted ham; it’s a great combination!
- 1 Small-Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 (5 oz.) Package Fresh Baby Spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Stock, or vegetable
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- ½ Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, finely chopped
- 1 Cup Grated Asiago Cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the squash. Blanch the squash for 3 minutes and then add in the spinach, cook for 30 seconds longer. Drain the vegetables and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425º.
- In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until soft; add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil and let the chicken broth reduce for 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low and add in the heavy cream and basil leaves.
- Stir in the reserved vegetables.
- Pour the mixture into a prepared baking dish. Top with the asiago cheese.
- Bake the gratin for 40-45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the squash is tender. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving.