2 ratings

Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin

Rethink your holiday casserole

This butternut squash and kale gratin is full of vitamins, but is so decadent and delicious, you'll never notice that it's (sort of, kind of) healthy.

This recipe originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
1 h 40 m
40 m
(prepare time)
1 h
(cook time)


  • 1 large or 2 small butternut squash, about 3 pounds total, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
  • 2 bags (10 ounces each) chopped kale
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch of ground allspice
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, plain or whole-wheat
  • 2/3 Cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons unsalted butter


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the kale; cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain well in a colander; squeeze out any excess water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and greens.

Cook until the greens are slightly wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place half the sliced squash in a large buttered gratin dish; season with salt and pepper.

Combine the nutmeg, allspice and thyme in a small bowl.

Spoon the kale over the squash; sprinkle with half the seasoning mixture.

Top with remaining squash; sprinkle with remaining seasoning.

Pour 1 cup cream over the gratin; cover with foil.

Bake 25 minutes.

Remove the foil; press down on the squash with a spatula to compress.

If it seems dry, add remaining 1/2 cup cream.

Cover; bake until the squash is soft when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Remove the foil from the gratin dish; sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the squash.

Dot with the butter; bake, uncovered, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving, 10 minutes.