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Butternut Squash Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Garlic Cream

The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.

Rich and creamy custard holds together sweet-tender squash, browned onions and goat cheese with just a hint of nutmeg and cayenne.

It’s that easy: There are few things more irresistible than browned onions. When colored over a medium heat, the sugars brown and render them sweet with an unctuous, jammy quality. Make lots and keep them in the refrigerator. You’ll use them up in omelets, casseroles, soups or as a simple garnish to roasted or grilled meats.

Butternut Squash Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Garlic Cream
Butternut Squash Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Garlic Cream



  • 1 recipe Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Pecans (see link to recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large yolk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bake the squash as outlined in the Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Pecans recipe.
  3. While the squash bakes, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter sizzles, add the onion along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When the onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes, turn the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the onions until they are soft and golden, stirring every now and then, about 25 minutes.
  4. While the onions cook, heat the cream and garlic over medium heat until it steams. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes so the garlic can flavor the cream.
  5. Assemble the squash in the buttered 2 qt. casserole with the goat cheese, pecans and cranberries. Scatter the onions over the top of the squash.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the nutmeg, cayenne, eggs and yolk and whisk to blend. Slowly pour in the heated cream while whisking. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon. Pour the egg mixture over the squash. Bake in the preheated oven until the custard is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Make-ahead: The casserole can be assembled and kept covered in the refrigerator 1 day in advance. If baking off cold, add 10 minutes to the cooking time.

Butternut Squash Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Garlic Cream

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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