Delicata squash is so versatile! One of the best things about delicata is that there’s no need to peel it. I take advantage of this by mostly roasting or stuffing delicata and peeling larger squash for soups and other dishes. This gratin changes things up a bit, turning the delicata into a meal (just add salad or greens, and protein if you must).
Take your time thinly slicing the delicata, it’s the most work you’ll do in this recipe. Layer the half moons in 9 x 13 baking pan, changing direction after each layer is complete, and filling the center as best you can. Just try to get the layers as even as possible.
When all of that is done, season the milk before pouring it over the top of the squash. I thought about the milk a lot for this, wanting this dish to still be light and not too heavy. I think it works perfectly, make sure you don’t remove it from the oven until bubbly and scoop up the liquid with the squash when serving.
Delicata Squash Gratin
2 medium sized delicata squash, split lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (homemade or gluten free if you prefer)
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar or parmesan
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
few grinds black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
Preheat oven to 375F. Generously grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter. Layer squash in pan, overlapping as you go, and changing directions each layer. (Should be 2 or 3 layers). Stir garlic, 1/2 tablespoons thyme, salt, and pepper into the milk. Pour milk over the squash. Cut one tablespoon of butter into little chunks and arrange over the top.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Mix with bread crumbs, cheese, and remaining thyme. Spread breadcrumb mixture evenly over squash.
Bake squash at 375F for 1 – 1.5 hours until top is golden, squash is soft, and liquid is bubbling.
Notes. Recipe can easily be halved (use a smaller pan, and watch the baking time carefully). Sub any peeled winter squash for the delicata.