Mediterranean Butternut Squash Casserole with Asiago Cheese and Vegetables

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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 3
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 789.9
  • Total Fat: 49.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 130.0 mg
  • Sodium: 970.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 50.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 13.1 g
  • Protein: 37.7 g

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Introduction

Threw together what was on hand and I have a delicious Mediterranean Diet meal! Threw together what was on hand and I have a delicious Mediterranean Diet meal!
Number of Servings: 3

Ingredients

    Prepare the night before:
    1 butternut squash, whole (cooked)

    Roasted Chickpeas:
    1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
    1 tbsp olive oil
    Spices & herbs, such as granulated garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper

    Plus
    5 sweet mini peppers

    2/3 cup sliced mushrooms, cooked in
    1 tbsp salted butter, with salt and granulated garlic

    12 oz grated Trader Joe's Asiago Cheese (Italian Raw Milk Cheese)

Directions

The night before, prepare a butternut squash on the smallish-medium side by baking whole on a tray or in a dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours . Remove from oven when fork pierces the "skin" or peel and the inside is soft. Allow the squash to cool slightly and open up the peel with your fingers. When the squash has cooled for about an hour, transfer the squash to a glass 1/2 quart casserole with a lid, scooping out the seeds and stringy stuff with a spoon. Discard. Using a fork, mash the squash and once it has cooled sufficiently--cover with lid and refrigerate.

The next evening, roast chickpeas and sweet mini peppers on a baking tray that has been sprayed with pan-spray. I used a large enough pan that I could use the same pan for both items. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and drain the canned chickpeas. While they are draining in the colander, cut the tops off the peppers, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and some pith with a small knife. Discard. You should be able to flatten the cut pieces of pepper with your hand.

Pat the chickpeas dry with paper towels OR you can line a bowl with a clean dish towel and gently pour the chickpeas into the bowl. Meanwhile, pour 1 tablespoon olive into a gallon freezer bag. Pick up chickpeas carefully from the bowel--Do NOT twist the towel! Next add Mediterranean type seasonings to bag along with sufficient salt and pepper. Gently shake bag to distribute seasonings. Carefully pour chickpeas on one side of baking sheet and put peppers inside facing up on the sheet next to them. Make sure chickpeas are spread out.

Place pan on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. That's all the time my chickpeas needed to be satisfactory for me--if you want completely crispier chickpeas you will have to bake longer and be you own judge. Keep an eye on the mini peppers. They will need to be flipped when they are charred enough on one side and you will also need to stir the chickpeas at least once. My peppers were done before the chickpeas, so I was able to remove them and stir the chickpeas across the whole pan.

I had already had leftover cooked mushroom that I had sauted for a previous recipe. See ingredient list for directions. You can also use whatever pre-prepared Mediterranean vegetable you want--spinach, or even cooked Brussel sprouts.

I did NOT hand grate my cheese, I shredded it in my food processor. Use a really high quality hard Italian cheese, Parmesan is okay as well. Or whatever your fancy! Even crumbled Feta cheese would be okay, and of course you can use less of the feta.

Now assemble the casserole: Remove the 1 1/2 quart lidded dish from the refrigerator. Press the chickpeas lightly and evenly into the squash with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over the chickpeas. Top that with the mushroom slices. Sprinkle the next cup of cheese over the mushroom and top that layer with the roasted mini peppers. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top.

I did NOT heat my casserole in the oven, I heated it in the microwave until it was hot and the cheese had melted sufficiently to my liking.

You can eat as is or stretch the budget and serve over whole wheat pasta or couscous, or over quinoa.



Serving Size: Makes 3 (2 cup) servings.

Number of Servings: 3

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user SUNNYCALIGIRL.

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