Easy cheesy Southern Squash Casserole is an irresistible side dish, made with summer or yellow squash in a cast-iron skillet. It features a crispy Ritz cracker topping and is the ultimate family-friendly side for any occasion.
1/2cupchopped Vidalia onioncan substitute another sweet onion
1/8teaspoonground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the bacon to a cold, 10-inch, cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and cook for about five minutes or until the fat starts rendering out of the bacon. Turn the heat up to medium and cook, frequently turning, for another five to six minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy.
Remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels. Set aside. Leave the grease in the skillet.
Add the onion and cook for one to two minutes. Add the squash, plus kosher salt and pepper and cook and stir for eight to ten minutes or until the squash is tender.
While the squash is cooking, combine the crushed crackers with one-half cup of the shredded cheese and one tablespoon of melted butter in a medium-size bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the squash and onion in a colander. Use a paper towel or wooden spoon and gently press down to remove any excess liquid.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the squash mixture. Top with one cup of shredded cheese and the crumbled bacon. Stir to combine and spread out evenly.
Sprinkle the cracker mixture evenly over the top and bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
When buying yellow squash, look for vegetables from four to eight inches long. They should feel firm and heavy for their size and have bright yellow skin without any blemishes.Two pounds of squash equals about six squash averaging five to six inches long.I use a small hand-held mandolin to slice my squash. It's easy to use and all of the slices are the same thickness. If you don't have one, I highly recommend you consider buying one. They run around $15 and I promise you they are well worth the investment.If you have ever had bacon stick while cooking it, check out my method in the directions of starting it in a cold skillet.I always use kosher salt when cooking. If you only have regular table salt, reduce the amount listed by one-half.If you don't have any Ritz crackers, canned fried onions, panko, crushed pork rinds, or even crushed Cheez-Its are suitable substitutes.To make this casserole ahead, follow the directions up to the point of cooking and draining the squash. Store the squash mixture covered in your fridge for up to 48 hours. For the best results, hold off adding the cheese and bacon, and making the topping until you are ready to bake it.To easily crush the crackers, place them in a plastic storage bag, and crush with your hands or hit them lightly with a rolling pin or meat mallet.