6 Common Squash Casserole Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Pumpkin casserole is a potluck favorite and one of those old-school recipes everyone needs to master. It pairs well with almost any protein and can be served as a meatless main course that’s hearty and filling on its own. While most of the recipes for this casserole are fairly simple, there are a few common issues that plague this dish, from a watery filling to a soggy cracker crust. But don’t give up! Let’s break down what went wrong so you can avoid the most common mistakes and make pumpkin casserole your new favorite recipe for the holidays, entertainment, or even just a weeknight meal.

Mistake #1: It’s watery

Pumpkin contains a lot of water, so you’ll need to do a little prep work to mitigate that. After slicing the squash, salt the slices and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of its water. Use the paper towel to blot away excess moisture before continuing with the recipe.

Since some squashes can be particularly juicy, you may want to strain the sliced ​​squash after roasting as well. You want to remove as much of this extra liquid as possible before adding the squash to the rest of the casserole ingredients.

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Mistake #2: You scrambled the eggs

If you cut into your pumpkin casserole only to reveal lumpy chunks of egg, you may have accidentally undermixed your casserole. If you don’t mix the eggs into the casserole well enough, you’ll leave clumps of raw egg that will become small curds in the filling after cooking. One way to avoid this is to lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the other casserole ingredients. This will break up the egg whites and yolks ahead of time to make them easier to mix. The other key to avoiding this mistake is to mix the beaten eggs really well with the other casserole mixes. While you can overmix the mixture once the squash has been added, you can add a good mix to the mixture at this stage without any problems. After mixing, no ice streaks should be visible.

Mistake #3: It’s boring

As we’ve already discussed, squash contains a lot of water and, if we’re being honest, doesn’t have much flavor of its own, so it’s important to flavor your casserole properly. Season the squash by first sautéing it and again after adding it to the ramekin mixture. By seasoning in layers, season each part of the casserole from start to finish.

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Mistake #4: The top is burned

The buttery and cheesy topping on pumpkin casseroles is delicious, but also prone to burns thanks to the melted butter and shredded cheese it contains. To avoid scorching the casserole, bake it first on the middle shelf rather than the top third of the oven where it will be too close to the heating element. Next, cover the casserole with aluminum foil for the first half of the baking time. Halfway through the baking time, remove the foil to allow the top to brown.

Mistake #5: The top is soggy

This is the opposite of number four, but another common problem with pumpkin casseroles. If you leave the foil on throughout the cooking time, you won’t give the casserole a chance to brown. If your casserole is too watery, it can affect the top as well, as the breadcrumbs can absorb the excess moisture, making them soggy and difficult to brown. Luckily, you can pop the casserole under the grill for a few minutes (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn), and that should help crisp it up.

Mistake #6: It’s soggy

Squishy pumpkin casserole is not something everyone wants. If overcooked while roasting, the squash will break down during baking, so you should cook the squash until it’s just tender. When it comes to tossing the squash with the other casserole ingredients, make sure all the other ingredients are mixed well before gently folding in the sliced ​​squash. If you overmix the casserole at this stage, the squash will break down, which in turn creates a mushy filling.

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