One of the things I get asked about a lot is side dishes to go along with some of our other freezer meal recipes. Many of our freezer meal recipes include everything needed for a meal, but some of them such as the meat and marinade types need to be served with a side dish. Something I have started doing more and more lately is making side dishes that freeze such as this butternut squash recipe.
Having side dishes in the freezer as well allows me to pull out a main and a side dish together and have supper completely done ahead.
Butternut Squash Freezer Side Dish Recipe:
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup sweet or purple onion, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
I have a little trick for making butternut squash easier to peel and cube. I put the entire squash including the skin into the microwave for a minute or two. This softens it just enough to make peeling and cubing simpler.
Place the chunks of butternut squash into a medium sized resealable freezer bag. There are two options for assembling this side dish. If you want the Parmesan and breadcrumbs as a topping, you can place the other ingredients into a separate medium sized freezer bag and staple the bags together. Otherwise, you can place all the ingredients into one bag. Remove the excess air from the bag(s), seal and freeze.
On the day of cooking, thaw. If you made it all in one bag, place the bag contents into a small, greased oven safe cooking dish and mix. Bake, covered at 350° for one hour.
If it is in two bags, place the butternut squash in a small, greased baking dish and top with the topping from the other bag. Cover and bake at 350° for one hour. I was so relieved to have several of these side dishes in the freezer at Thanksgiving. There is so much to do that day and so many things to cook. Having something to pull out that’s ready to cook made it so much easier.
Of course, I pulled out several bags so that there would be enough to feed our family and some extended family gathering together that day. This side dish would be great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any other group meal.
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