Creamy, naturally sweet kabocha squash casserole with gluten-free walnut topping – a marvelous dish to share with friends and family during the holidays.
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins.
Kabocha is my soul squash.
Have you familiarized yourself with it yet? I’m not even sure I can adequately describe it in words. It’s very sweet, super creamy as though it’s made out of butter when it’s 200% not, almost cinnamon-y with a hint of nutmeg and vanilla on the back end with a nutty finish. Some folks may think that’s ludicrous and may disagree with me entirely, but the aforementioned is precisely how my mind space computes the flavor of the kabocha. The texture? Exceedingly soft like a down comforter slash pillow top fluffy apparatus of luxurious delight.
If you’ve been around this blog space a time or two, you may remember the Kabocha Squash Spice Cake with Chai Caramel and Creamy Kabocha Squash Mash I’ve shown you in past posts. Both succulent recipes, both made for sharing.
This kabocha squash casserole…the idea is similar to the Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole I showed you a while back – it entails a soft, sweet, creamy filling with a crispy topping – it’s kind of like eating a crust-less squash pie, but healthier. And it encapsulates all my soul feelings surrounding fall in one dense and warm dish of carb dreams. The way I see it, this casserole is perfect for serving to friends and family during holiday get togethers – it’s naturally sweetened, gluten-free, protein packed, and sinfully scrumptious enough to eat for dessert.
Speaking of being protein-packed…
I added a few scoops of Vital Proteins Organic Pasture-Raised Grass-Fed Whey Protein to the casserole to give it a well-rounded boost. You may remember from my previous posts with Vital Proteins, collagen is an imperative protein to your joint, skin, bone and ligaments health, and most of us don’t get nearly enough of it in our daily diet. For this reason, it’s important to supplement our collagen intake in order to ensure the longevity and functionality of our skeletal structure.
Adding Vital Proteins to my daily regimen has been the easiest change I’ve made in months, as it’s as simple as scooping it into virtually any recipe. The powder dissolves in both warm and cold liquid, and the various powders come either unflavored, or flavored, both of which can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. Vital Proteins derives their collagen powders from only the finest sources, ensuring you get the highest quality collagen for your body to put to use. This whey version comes from the highest quality organic pasture-raised, grass-fed cow milk.
Preparing this casserole is a simple four-step process. We first roast the kabocha squash until it’s nice and mooshy, add it to a blender with the rest of the filling ingredients to puree everything together. Transfer this filling mixture to a casserole dish, top it with our little streusel topping situation, and bake it in the oven. Okay, okay, you caught me…that was five steps. Regardless, this quasi pie-style side dish is fit to feed plenty of hungry individuals.
If you aren’t a fan of walnuts, you can use almonds or pecans to replace them. You can also use agave nectar or coconut nectar in place of the pure maple syrup.
Kabocha Squash Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Kabocha Squash Filling:
- 1 large (6-pound) kabocha squash about 5 cups mashed
- 3 scoops Vital Proteins Organic Pasture-Raised Grass-Fed Whey Protein optional
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F.
- Trim the top off of the kabocha squash. Drizzle the flesh with olive oil and use your hands to coat it. Sprinkle with salt and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven 55 to 65 minutes, or until kabocha squash is very soft when poked with a fork.
- Scoop the flesh out of the kabocha squash and place it in a bowl to cool. Once cool, add the kabocha squash to a high-powered blender along with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Blend until well-combined. Transfer filling mixture to a 9-inch round casserole dish (or 2-quart rectangular casserole dish) and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Stir together all of the ingredients for the topping until well combined. Evenly spread the topping mixture over the kabocha squash - it’s fine to have large clumps.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until the topping is golden-brown and filling is bubbling, then turn off the oven and allow casserole to sit an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container and refrigerate up to 7 days.