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Butternut Squash Casserole

Serves 8 to 10 people

3 1/2 pounds Butternut Squash, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan (you could easily reduce this by at least half)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (toasted if you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pecans, toasted
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 bunch of spinach, washed (add to the same water as the squash in step 2 during the last minute of boiling)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place 3 quarts water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes. The squash will turn a deeper orange. Drain it and set aside.

3. Melt the butter in the stockpot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and the buttermilk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.

4. Spread the mixture evenly in a 9x13" baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 2/3 cup cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

A SQUASH CASSEROLE RECIPE THAT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!!

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