Squash and Eggplant Casserole

This colorful vegetable casserole is transformed into a feast for the eye and palate with a fresh and punchy mixture of parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and toasted almonds, and then simply served with fluffy Parmesan polenta.

squash and eggplant casserole
[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”20 min” cook_time=”45 min” serves=”4″ details=”” ]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 12 baby corn
  • 1 small or 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and cut across into 1-inch slices
  • 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut across into 1-inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium
  • vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Finely shredded or coarsely
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”1 hour, 5minutes”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the onion wedges and baby corn and sauté over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat the oven to 350°F.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Add the slices of butternut squash to the casserole, toss them in the oil, and then stir in the eggplant and red
pepper. Cover and leave the vegetables to cook over a low to medium heat, turning them twice, until they are lightly tinged golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour in the wine, let it sizzle, and then stir in the broth. Bring to a boil and add seasoning to taste. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Meanwhile, make the topping. Preheat the grill to high. Spread the slivered almonds on a baking tray and toast
under the grill until they are lightly browned. Watch them closely and shake the tray occasionally to ensure the nuts are evenly toasted. Place in a small bowl and mix in the remaining topping ingredients.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]To prepare the polenta, bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Gradually whisk in the
polenta and continue whisking until the polenta absorbs all the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the polenta is thick, 5–10 minutes. Beat in the Parmesan cheese and oregano with seasoning to taste.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]To serve, spoon the polenta onto plates or into large individual bowls. Ladle the vegetable casserole on top and
sprinkle with the topping.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]

More Ideas

  • Serve the casserole with potato and carrot puree instead of polenta. Cook 1 pound potatoes with 1/2 pound sliced carrots in boiling water until tender, then drain well and mash with 5 tablespoons fat-free milk.
  • Stir in 1 ounce grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese and 2–4 tablespoons chopped parsley. Pearl barley is another delicious alternative to polenta. It can be cooked in the oven with the vegetable casserole. Put 1 cup rinsed pearl barley in a casserole with 1 chopped onion and 1 teaspoon dried sage. Pour in 2 cups hot vegetable broth, cover, and cook in the oven at 350°F until the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender, 45–50 minutes.

[nutrition-info calories=”420″ calories_fat=”80″ fat=”9g” sat_fat=”2g” choles=”” sodium=”250mg” carbs=”73g” sugars=”” protein=”12g” fiber=”15g”]

Blood Pressure Nutrients: 100mg Vitamin C, 87mg Magnesium, 920mg Potassium, 217mg Calcium

Health Points
Butternut squash is a powerful source of beta-carotene, with one cup providing 96% of the recommended daily allowance. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A.



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Originally Published in Reader's Digest