A very easy side, this Garlic Thyme Squash Au Gratin comes together quickly while you cook other things! Decadent, creamy and garlicky – this will be the star of any dinner!
Simple dinners are my all time favorite. Growing up in New Zealand, it was “meat & 3 vegetable” type meals. Typically – it’s meat, starch, a green vegetable and another vegetable of your choice (whatever is in season, really), and meat is considered the main event. While I love a good casserole or bowl-of-soup-and-crusty-bread as a meal, I often return to this old standby of a combination when making dinner on the fly (although I did leave off the starch for this meal – it totally doesn’t need it!)
This Garlic Thyme Squash Au Gratin was born from wanting a quick dinner, but nothing too crazy time-intensive. I had some chicken breasts (click for more chicken ideas), some green beans, and plenty of squash.Easy Garlic Thyme Squash Au Gratin is creamy, garlicky - and the star of any dinner! #sides #recipeClick To Tweet
The “Au Gratin” in the name simply means “a dish with a light browned crust of breadcrumbs or melted cheese”… so, basically, food of my dreams!
Cream, roasted garlic, fresh thyme and panko crumbs play important roles – taking it from your run of the mill sautéed squash, to “forget the chicken, gimme more of the veggies” I really am all about the sides!
To be clear, this is NOT exactly diet food. But we’re coming up to the holidays, so… you know…. let’s let this one slide. Like Julia Child says “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”
I love that woman.
About the skillet
Use any skillet that can go from stove top to oven, no lid is needed. It does takes some effort to get it out of the skillet in a pretty way, but if your family is like mine – they won’t care. And if you’re not a food blogger who needs to take pics, you shouldn’t either!
If your skillet isn’t oven proof – no worries! Just cook in a regular skillet, then remove to a shallow dish (a pie dish will work) before topping.
Hot tips for making Garlic Thyme Squash Au Gratin:
- Roast your garlic! (check out how here) Fresh garlic will not taste the same – don’t sub!
- Do let it simmer gently, and don’t worry about how liquid-y it still is when you put it in the oven. Magic will happen. Promise.
- Let it stand/rest after removing from the oven – this will help it to set, and be easy to scoop.
- Use cream (no substitutes!) for the sauce.
- Sub dried thyme in the gratin instead of fresh if you don’t have it.
Want more sides? Of course you do!
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme (finely minced) or ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini squash green or yellow, or 1 of each – about 12oz – cut into ¼ inch slices
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 4 roasted garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium.
When the oil is hot, add the sliced squash to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes.
Add the chopped roasted garlic to the pan with the squash, stir together, and cook for 1 min.
Pour the heavy cream into the pan, and stir together with the vegetables.
Bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 mins, or until the cream has reduced slightly.
Remove skillet from heat, and sprinkle the topping over the vegetables evenly.
Place skillet in the oven, cook for 4 mins, then switch to broil – and cook until the top is golden brown.
Remove skillet from oven, and let stand for 5-8 minutes, then serve.