Merritt's Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe -
Merritt's Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe

Merritt's Butternut Squash Gratin

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"Slightly sweet golden squash is topped with a savory herbed cheese-breadcrumb topping. It's been my signature dish every Thanksgiving for the last 12 years. It takes a bit of work, but it is so, so worth it. Your guests will ask you for the recipe, so be prepared."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 9x13 inch baking dish Change Servings
  • PREP

    40 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 25 mins

    2 hrs 5 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until the onions soften and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the butternut squash and brown sugar. Continue cooking and stirring until the butternut squash begins to brown on the edges, but is still somewhat firm in the center, about 10 minutes more. Scrape the squash into the prepared baking dish, and pour in the chicken broth. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the liquid has been absorbed and the squash is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Toss together the Gruyere cheese, Cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, thyme, and rosemary in a bowl until evenly combined. Remove the foil from the baking dish, and sprinkle the squash evenly with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Return to the oven, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more until the topping is lightly crunchy and brown.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 29, 2008

I have made this for 30 odd years. The 1st part can all be done on the stove top in a large saucepan. Just add the butternut along with the garlic and onions. Cook 5 min.,then add the stock,cover with lid. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer till tender.Remove lid turn up heat and reduce liquid till just moist. (don't let it burn). Put in baking dish and add topping. Just use tasty chedder and parm., cheese. The herbs over power the expensive cheese so why waste your money.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 26, 2008

One of the considerations I use in rating any recipe is the cost of the ingredients vs. the taste. Some recipes are worth the expense and some aren't. This one wasn't. My husband and I thought the flavor of this recipe was just OK. I won't make it again because I didn't think it was worth the time it took to make it, but mainly because it is VERY expensive to make. I live in Atlanta and Gruyere cheese is $19.00 per pound! That's right -- an 8 oz. block of it cost me $9.50. When you add in the cost of fresh rosemary and thyme, extra sharp cheddar, and the cost of the squash, it costs about $18.00 to make this dish. It would have to be extra super delicious for me to pay this much to make it again and it just wasn't.

Nov 15, 2008

Note in response to Laura: Great question! Yes, you can make it all ahead of time, just keep the the squash part and the breadcrumb mixture separate until you are ready to reheat the squash mixture and finish it. Otherwise the breadcrumbs get soggy. Other notes: Using coarse breadcrumbs smashed up a little bit works a little better than the fine canned breadcrumbs you get at the grocery store. Also you can use all cheddar if gruyere or emmenthaler are too difficult or expensive... but I really like the flavor they give.

Sep 28, 2008

Well! I am so glad I picked today to finally make and review this dish! :) I ended up buying an Emmentaler for the Gruyere, as I remember someone recommending it. It was actually slightly cheaper than the regular Gruyere, not that it mattered - it was not as outrageously priced here as it is in other areas, apparently, and if it was I simply would not have made this for a typical Sunday dinner, nor would I have reviewed it. Only changes I made were to use panko bread crumbs, vegetable stock and thyme that I had dried a few weeks ago, all substitutions based on what I had on hand. I can't say enough about this - it was absolutely delicious! A golden, crunchy crust over delicious sweet butternut squash - just heavenly! Kept trying to think of something to add or change, but the best I could do was to sprinkle some freshly cracked pepper before eating it. Thanks for coming up with a new favorite!

Nov 27, 2009

I have been making a version of this recipe for years around the holidays and it always gets rave reviews. For those like me that like to tinker with recipes here are a couple variations I like to do: (1) you can roast the butternut squash halved in its skin at 425 for approx 45mins or until tender and then scoop out the squash and prepare the rest of the way as is--this gives the flavor a little more depth from the roasting (2) I am a carmelized onion junkie, so rather than mixing some of the sauteed onions and garlic into the butternut squash, I like to carmelize 3 onions with a little bit of thyme and butter and then top the butternut squash with them (the breadcrumb-cheese mixture goes on top of the that) before baking as directed. This creates a layered effect of the different flavors and the carmelized onion makes it even more savory. This is a great and versatile recipe that is just a little bit away from the traditional holiday fare you see--a little labor intensive--but worth it.

Oct 19, 2008

We loved this! My 7yo says the flavor reminds her of stuffing. I brought the price down a bit by using Cheddar and Mozzarella, and used dried herbs (1 tsp each) in place of fresh. We'll be having this again!

Jul 28, 2008

Okay Merritt, worthy of a 5 star rating!!! I'm a butternut squash *newbie* and this dish was VERY GOOD! My squash came from my garden, so I'm not sure it was 2.5 lbs (measured 9"). Since I wasn't sure of the weight, I did cut back on all the cheeses slightly. Prep work is about 30 minutes, but the end result is worth it. I used panko bread crumbs slightly crushed (as suggested by the submitter) and this added nice texture. I enjoyed the combination of the three cheeses in this dish! Since I have an abundance of this squash taking over the yard, I will be making this a few times this summer!! THANKS for a great recipe!

Oct 28, 2009

boom goes the dynamite. this recipe is the best butternut squash recipe i've seen yet! ROCK OUT WITH YOUR BUTTERNUT SQUASH OUT!!!


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  • Calories
  • 269 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.9 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 50 mg
  • 17%
  • Fat
  • 16 g
  • 25%
  • Fiber
  • 2.5 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 13.3 g
  • 27%
  • Sodium
  • 378 mg
  • 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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