Butternut Squash Gratin

This butternut squash gratin, made with onions, garlic, butter, cream, cheese, and bread crumbs, is a simple--and simply elegant--Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.

Butternut Squash Gratin

I’m as fond as anyone of a simple steak frites dinner. It’s just that sometimes french fries are…well, not exactly what I am looking for, and then I need an alternative. If it’s winter squash season, this butternut squash gratin recipe is one of the best options. Steak pairs really well with roasted squash, and this gratin recipe makes the duo even more satisfying. Originally published November 17, 2014.Mimi Thorisson

LC Also Good With Turkey Note

Butter. Bread crumbs. Cream. Cheese. Oh yeah, and butternut squash. This, dear reader, is what we like to refer to as stealthy healthy. And as much as we appreciate this butternut squash gratin with steak, we—unlike the author above—prefer it with roast turkey. That’s not to say this butternut squash recipe isn’t swell with beef. Just saying, ’tis the season.

Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 1 large) butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (45 grams) fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) grated Comté cheese
  • A few chives, finely chopped (optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch (25-centimeter) baking dish.
  • 2. In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and translucent, 4 minutes. Add the butternut squash slices and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3. Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish. Smother with the cream, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, scatter with the cheese on top, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  • 4. Bake until the surface is golden and bubbly and the butternut squash is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chives, if desired.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

This is a delicious fall butternut squash gratin, simple and likely to appeal to all. I used the same pan that I sautéed the vegetables in to finish the dish in the oven. It did take a little longer to get the crumbs nice and brown and the gratin bubbly. I think substituting the easier-to-find Swiss cheese for Comté would be fine and I'll do that next time. The recipe directions are clear, concise, and easy to follow.

I will definitely be making this butternut squash gratin recipe for Thanksgiving. The recipe works pretty much as written. The only suggestion I have would be to add some stock or water while the squash is being cooked. The sauté pan is very dry and there is a lot of fond at the bottom which would benefit from deglazing. The liquid would also generate steam in the pan and help the squash cook more quickly. My squash took about 8 minutes to get slightly tender in the pan. The baking time was accurate at 30 minutes.


  1. Hey bro! Thanks for posting this fabulous recipe just before the holidays! It is a great recipe for Thanksgiving season; and for entertaining. Anyway, I made a mistake with this recipe and it still turned out delicious. Specifically to save time I only used 1 pound, not the 1 and 1/2 pounds called for, of the butternut squash. This came from the grocery store which sells it already cubed, so it only has to be sliced more thinly to rock and roll in this recipe. The result was that it gave about equal “star billing” to the squash and to the onions. The taste was perfectly fine. One thing I really like about this recipe is that no extra sugar is needed! It tastes sweet enough just from the veggies alone! Amazing! All went well and I got rave reviews from the crowd! Thank you very much! Fist bumps!!! (PS. I don’t see how to attach a photo. Perhaps there should be an extra link that says, “Attach photos”. )

    1. Arthur, that’s great. Happy you could be so nimble with the recipe. There is a link to send a photo. It’s right above the comment box. It says “Send it along.”

    1. It certainly will put those squash to lovely use, pam. Love to hear what you think of the gratin when you make it! (As an aside, I’m relived I’m not the only one who hoards her fave seasonal food stuffs. I have a small stash of scarlet turnips that won’t last long enough but will at least extend the season a little.)

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