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Cheesy Squash and Beef Casserole

A few simple ingredients combine to make one mega meal.

Meat and potatoes is a go-to favorite when our hungry bunch wants a hearty meal. And as much as we love a good starch served with meat, like pasta or potatoes, there are some super delicious alternatives out there that are just as satisfying. A great potato or pasta substitute is squash. Yellow squash and green zucchini are hearty and almost “meaty” in texture. We love the sweet flavor of the yellow squash, and they’re our favorite way to swap out the usual starch routine for something a little more colorful with great texture and flavor. This cheesy and meaty squash casserole is a perfect example. We used fresh herbs Italian herbs, along with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses for a hearty, lasagna-like flavor. It’s warm, hearty and full of flavor, and everyone really enjoyed it! A little tweak here and there can turn a conventional meal into a revived classic.

Cheesy Squash and Beef Casserole

Serves 6; 50 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 pound yellow squash, cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Brown beef in a large skillet. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, then return beef to skillet.
  3. Set heat to medium. Pour tomato sauce over beef and stir. Add fresh herbs and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Combine squash and beef mixture in prepared baking dish. Top with cheeses and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until squash is tender and cheese begins to brown.
  5. Let casserole cool at least 5 minutes before serving.