Golden slices of summer squash and kernels of corn are baked in a creamy sauce and topped with bread crumbs in this Southern-style vegan squash casserole. It’s the perfect summer side dish.
Hi, my name is Susan, and I’m a vegan.
It’s been so long since I updated this blog that I only half-humorously feel like I need to introduce myself again. For those of you who don’t know me, you can find my real introduction on my About page.
For those who do know me and worried that I had fallen off the planet, I’m happy to report that I’m alive and well and now living in Louisiana.
My husband and I had been thinking of moving back to our home state to be closer to family, but when the pandemic hit, we put that idea on hold. So we hadn’t been actively looking for a house when, in January, we practically stumbled on the perfect house just a mile from my parents. Of course, there were complications–someone else had a contract on it–but when that contract fell through, we had to act fast to make sure it didn’t get away from us.
Since we hadn’t really been expecting to move, we had a lot of packing up and cleaning out to get 21 years of accumulated junk out of our old house and a bunch of repairs, painting, and sprucing up the yard to get that house ready to sell. It all seems in retrospect to have happened so quickly–all except the unpacking.
It took months of emptying boxes, but we’re finally settled into our house in the country. And we love it!
The boxes have been recycled, the ancient stove and dishwasher have been replaced, and I’m starting to feel like my old self again, the self that likes cooking food and writing about it.
The thing I love most about the move is that I get to spend more time with my parents. After living in other states for the past 30+ years, it’s a joy to be able to get to know them all over again.
It was with that family connection in mind that I chose this squash and corn casserole as my first “coming back home” recipe.
It’s based on the squash casserole my mother often made when I was growing up. I’d always considered it her recipe, but she says she got it from my grandmother. I’m happy to put my own twist on it and hopefully pass it down to my daughter for further adaptation.
In its original incarnation, it was made with canned creamed corn. In my updated vegan version, I created a “cream” using frozen organic corn, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast and herbs for added flavor.
How to Make the Best Squash Casserole
Squash casseroles are a great way to use up some of the abundance of summer squash. You can even make them with zucchini or patty pan squash instead of the traditional yellow squash. While it’s a fairly simple dish, there are a few things you need to know to be sure that it comes out perfect every time:
- First, and most importantly, you need to pre-cook the squash before mixing it in with the other ingredients and baking it. If you don’t cook it first, the squash will exude all of its moisture into the dish and your casserole will be watery. You also would have to bake it longer, heating up your summer kitchen for longer than is necessary. I prefer to sauté the squash and onion first (without oil), which not only cooks them but also adds flavor.
- The creamed corn you buy in cans doesn’t usually contain any cream and is often completely vegan. But I like to make my own with organic corn and add creaminess and flavor to it by including cashews or tofu. Use the cashews if you can, but if they are too high in fat for your diet, light silken tofu or even regular tofu makes an acceptable substitute.
- If you’re using the cashews and don’t have a high-speed blender, soak them first in water for a couple of hours and drain them completely before blending.
- Seasoned panko makes the best casserole topping; look for an oil-free brand (Whole Foods makes one) or use gluten-free panko or bread crumbs instead. But feel free to omit the topping if you want.
I’m happy to report that the vegan squash and corn casserole was a big hit with the family. I served it with cornbread and pink-eye peas for a southern meal befitting our new country home.
Vegan Yellow Squash and Corn Casserole
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 medium yellow squash sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups organic frozen corn divided
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup raw cashews or 1/4 cup tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt omit or reduce for lower sodium
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup panko (or gluten-free bread crumbs)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Using a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, sauté onion for 2-3 minutes, until it begins to soften and brown on a few edges. Add squash and garlic and cook, stirring, until squash is softening. Add 1 cup corn and remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 1 1/2 to 2-quart baking dish with parchment paper or oil it lightly.
- Blend 1/2 cup corn, vegetable broth, cashews/tofu, cornstarch, lemon juice, and seasonings (nutritional yeast, oregano, thyme, salt, black pepper) in a blender until smooth. TIP: If you don't think your blender will blend raw cashews, soften them first by soaking in water for 2 hours and then draining before use.)
- Place half the squash mixture in a single layer in the casserole dish; spoon half of the sauce over it. Repeat with remaining squash and sauce. If you’re using the topping, mix the panko with basil and oregano, and sprinkle it over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. If the topping isn't completely browned, heat it under the broiler for a minute or two but watch it carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Serve hot.
- 119 Calories
- 1.3g Total Fat
- .24g Saturated Fat
- With cashews and panko: 3 points
- With cashews but no panko: 1 point
- With tofu and panko: 2 points
- With tofu and no panko: 0 points
Nutritional info is approximate.
Please pin and share!
Maria MaggiJuly 25, 2021 at 11:24 am
Susan, welcome back! This looks really good! I have to tell you though it’s super hard to read because there is an ad right where the text is. I tried to close it several times and it only stayed closed for a second and then would come back on. So I really couldn’t finish reading the recipe.
Susan VoisinJuly 25, 2021 at 11:34 am
Thanks for telling me! I’ll see what I can do to get that removed. Are you reading on a phone or computer? Is it through the whole post or just at the recipe?
CarolJanuary 19, 2022 at 10:06 pm
This recipe looks amazing 😊 does this freeze well? I currently have most of the ingredients courtesy of a vegan foodbank. Would like to cook this for their stores, but will need to be frozen 😊
Thank you 😊
Susan VoisinJanuary 19, 2022 at 10:43 pm
Summer squash gets mushy when frozen, so I don’t recommend freezing this dish. 😥
JudithJuly 25, 2021 at 1:34 pm
Looks yummy! So happy your back and back home!
ScottJuly 25, 2021 at 2:27 pm
This sounds great, and I was just looking for a light summer meal for tonight, so thanks. Congratulations on your move!
LaloofahJuly 25, 2021 at 2:28 pm
Welcome back and happy new home!! What a beautiful place – sounds like it was absolutely meant to be yours! And how generous of you to give *us* the housewarming gift – this recipe sounds wonderful and so ideal for this time of year. Looking forward to trying it, and to see more of you online! Enjoy your lovely new digs and time with your parents!
Susan VoisinJuly 25, 2021 at 8:45 pm
Thanks so much! We’re really loving it here (except for the rain, which we’re finally getting a break from this weekend.) 😀
SamanthaJuly 25, 2021 at 2:57 pm
Welcome back! Sounds like a lovely change and I am excited for this new recipe!
JulieJuly 25, 2021 at 3:12 pm
Hi Susan, so glad you are home and back with us via your blog. Look forward to trying this recipe too!
JanellJuly 25, 2021 at 5:47 pm
I am so glad you are back. You were one of the first plant-based chefs I began to follow back in 2008. I think the first recipe I made was your New Year’s spicy collard greens and black eyes peas and it’s still my favorite New Year’s Day recipe. Your new home is lovely and so happy you are near your parents.
This recipe is on my list to try as soon as my zucchini is ready. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes over the years and I’m looking forward to many more.
PattKJuly 25, 2021 at 7:37 pm
Hi Susan and welcome back! I gave this a 5-star rating because I am already tasting it in my imagination. Question though. What kind of tofu is best? BTW I understand moving and being reenergized about cooking. I just moved from my home of 24 years to a very nice apartment that is perfect for my aging self and love it! I am still giving stuff away but spending an almost equal amount of time collecting new recipes to try. Change is good, and your new home looks lovely!
Susan VoisinJuly 25, 2021 at 8:43 pm
Thanks so much! If you have a high-speed blender, I think extra-firm regular tofu is best. For regular blenders, I’d stick with silken tofu because it’s easier to blend smooth.
MinnieJuly 25, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Yay, so glad to to see you back, congrats on your move!
ElaineJuly 25, 2021 at 10:00 pm
So glad you’re back and will be looking forward to seeing more recipes. I would love to see a tour of your beautiful new home…especially your office. Maybe? Where are you in LA?
JudeeJuly 26, 2021 at 9:03 am
I’m glad you are back! Your recipe looks delicious and while you were away, I’ve become oil-free. (was always a vegan). Very appreciative you your recipes. thanks.
MelJuly 26, 2021 at 11:40 am
Welcome back! I’m looking forward to trying this casserole soon! Congratulations on finding and securing a perfect new home for your needs!
Thank you for sharing your recipes and cooking methods. Some of my absolute favorite “go-to” recipes come from your hard work. And you introduced me to the Instant Pot well before it became a regular household name appliance.
cdpquilter50July 26, 2021 at 11:41 am
So happy you’re back and how exciting about your re-location. Your house is beautiful! The casserole recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I have company coming in a week and one of my guests is vegan. Perfect!
Kensington CookerJuly 26, 2021 at 1:15 pm
I’m so happy you’re back with us, Susan! Your new house looks magical, though I do realize it’s the hard-work kind of magic. Welcome home to Louisiana and to your blog. I’ve been contenting myself with all the recipes I’ve already collected from you, but what a thrill to see new ones coming! Thank you.
Kay CastagnoliJuly 26, 2021 at 3:59 pm
Welcome back, Susan! And congratulations on your move, your lovely new home and your close proximity to your parents. I love your squash recipes and will love this one too. Thank you so much for going the extra mile and offering options to the cashews – I’m a raw cashew nut freak – despite all my good intentions and no matter how many I buy, I binge on them until they’re all gone. It’s not pretty. So I flat out don’t buy them anymore. 🙂 Tofu doesn’t have the same appeal and is safe. Thank you again, it’s so nice to have you back!
Susan VoisinJuly 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Thanks so much, Kay! I have the same problem with cashews, but my solution is to keep them in the freezer. That way I have them when needed for recipes, but they’re out of the way and not as alluring in their frozen form (though still possible to eat—trust me, I know!)
CadryJuly 27, 2021 at 7:45 am
I’m so excited for you to be home again. I’m sure your parents are over the moon. The new house is beautiful! Congrats! I hope you have many happy days there.
ConnieJuly 27, 2021 at 10:57 pm
This dish is delicious! I was really happy with how it turned out.
The directions need a little tweak. You write, “Blend 1/2 cup corn, vegetable broth, cashews/tofu, salt, cornstarch, and seasonings (nutritional yeast, oregano, basil, black pepper) in a blender until smooth.”. The ingredients list calls for thyme, not basil. You also don’t mention when to add the lemon juice but I put it in the blender with the other seasonings.
It might also be helpful to mention to mix the herbs with the panko bread crumbs. I assume that was how it was supposed to work.
Thanks for the great recipe!
Susan VoisinJuly 27, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Thanks so much, Connie! I’ll make those clarifications. Obviously, I’m a little rusty at recipe writing. 😀
LaniAugust 1, 2021 at 8:38 am
Hi Susan – do you think this would freeze well? If so, would you freeze before or after baking it?
Susan VoisinAugust 1, 2021 at 11:02 am
I hate to say it, but your guess is as good as mine! I’ve never frozen squash like this, so I’m not sure which way it’d turn out better.
TariaAugust 3, 2021 at 11:22 am
So glad to see you settled in and getting back to normal. We appreciate your recipes.
Happy ‘new’ home to you.
LainaAugust 5, 2021 at 9:40 pm
It’s so good to have to posting again and I hope that you love your new home!!! I can’t wait to try this ~ it looks delicious!!!
Marie E TownsendAugust 10, 2021 at 9:29 am
I made this and it was so delicious. I had very little panko on hand, but still turned out and so creamy and total comfort food. I’ll be making this often. Thank you
Mary PomerantzAugust 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm
I made this a week ago. It was delicious and will be part of our meal rotation. Thanks for another winner, Susan!
Veronica JonesAugust 16, 2021 at 8:42 am
This is delicious! It seems super simple (and it is), but the whole is much more than the sum if its parts. Two of us ate the whole thing, it was so good; and now I’m making another version tonight. So great to have a go-to recipe like this while corn is in season and there’s too much squash to keep up. I added peppers (mild green Italian, tonight I’m adding poblanos), and used fresh corn and the tofu since I’m allergic to nuts. It was fresh & sweet & creamy and just YUM! I advise a double batch 🙂
AnniAugust 26, 2021 at 12:41 pm
Hi there! I’m so glad you’re back to posting! Congrats on the move! My husband is from Jackson, MS though we live near Seattle now. I came across your site a few months ago when we started to a super low fat plant based diet to help us with some health issues. I knew that I could trust your recipes because they always feel like we’re eating comfort food, but a healthy version. Thanks for sharing so many great recipes!
Patricia GAugust 30, 2021 at 11:57 am
Recipe looks good, but the bigger question is how are YOU??? Where are you in relation to the hurricane, I certainly hope you’re all safe, but we worry for you and your family. Take care.
Susan VoisinAugust 30, 2021 at 5:01 pm
Physically, I’m fine. Emotionally, well… my parents’ home is all but destroyed. Fortunately, they were with us, and our house made it through fine.
Pat WaldripSeptember 3, 2021 at 1:20 am
This recipe came in handy when we ended up with some extra summer squash! The sauce is sooo yummy! I realized we were out of corn (which never happens) so I threw some chickpeas in the sauce to give it some body. It came out great! I will be making this again!
2 player gamesSeptember 3, 2021 at 2:02 am
This was amazing, and I prepared it myself. I only had a little amount of panko on hand, but it still turned out creamy and delicious. I’m going to make this a lot. Thank you
Lisa HendersonSeptember 28, 2021 at 9:02 pm
First of all, just saw your newsletter. I’m so thankful that you, your family, and especially your parents are all okay at your home. I live far enough north of you (still in MS) that we didn’t get that much damage. Yes, we had a few tree limbs down, but nothing like the damage around your area and south of there.
I’m also writing because I wanted to ask if you had ever come across a dish that is based on yellow squash, but kind of combines it with cornbread dressing? I’ve had it in the past (I’m sure that it’s not vegan — what restaurant made cornbread is?), and I loved it. I’ve never seen a recipe for it though. Any ideas? I think it would make a great alternative dressing for Thanksgiving — and the dressing is really the main dish for me, well, that and mashed potatoes!
I really hope that they’re able to repair your parents’ home. And I hope that the entire area gets water, electric, and communications up and running and STABLE. The up/down bit is frustrating (though better than just plain down I suppose).
Jenna VazquezNovember 15, 2021 at 11:35 am
Hi. I don’t normally comment on recipes but this is, excuse my language, some really tasty sh*t. Thank you!!!
PiroMaxJanuary 8, 2022 at 1:56 pm
Thanks for the recipe. Due to this Covid-19 pandemic, I have already tried so many dishes at home. It’s good that I’m a vegetarian, otherwise I wouldn’t fit into any pants.
LoriMarch 6, 2022 at 7:53 am
Decades ago there was a recipe that was a simple saute of spaghetti squash, corn, and navy beans. No matter where I search I cannot find it. But I knew your site was the place to turn. I subbed the summer squash for spaghetti squash and navy beans and it turned out fabulous! I’m looking forward to making this again properly when the summer squash is in the garden. No matter how many food blogs pop up, I always end up back here. Thank you.
Susan VoisinMarch 6, 2022 at 11:40 am
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! You really made my day. Now I need to try your spaghetti squash version.
Chris DavidApril 22, 2022 at 12:20 am
I loved this recipe so much!!
RaymondMay 18, 2022 at 5:47 am
Thanks for the recipe. Due to this Covid-19 pandemic, I have already tried so many dishes at home. It’s good that I’m a vegetarian, otherwise I wouldn’t fit into any pants.
Chris DavidMay 28, 2022 at 2:26 am
Really delicious recipe. I love it yummy!!! It’s really awesome
Friday Night FunkinJune 3, 2022 at 12:38 pm
Wow, that’s a very nice recipe! Love your casserole so much, thank you!
CharleneAugust 6, 2022 at 9:45 pm
Made this today. Easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Mary SlankerDecember 6, 2022 at 12:59 am
I tried this recipe closely. and it was just amazing. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.
JennyFebruary 20, 2023 at 4:31 am
I am have been vegan for over 6 years and I have never tried to make my casserole until now! I made this for my boyfriend and I (who is vegetarian) and we both loved it. We are already planning on making this again for dinner this week. Thank you for this delicious recipe. 🙂