Today’s recipe has a lot of history behind it. I daresay my family has cooked it on hundreds of occasions, so it certainly has stood the test of time! But before I share the recipe, let me first tell you a little story about where it came from.
When I was in kindergarten (yes, WAY TOO many years ago to admit to) the mother of one my best friends used to take care of me after school. At the time my grandmother was dying from cancer, and the Weber family kindly let me spend hours upon hours with them while my mom took care of her mother. The Webers were vegetarian and ate organic food—two things I was probably too young to really understand, but old enough to realize it meant they ate differently than we did. So in some ways this family was my first, early connection to clean, healthy eating.
While we lost touch with the Webers many years ago, we still enjoy one of Mrs. Weber’s recipes—Vegetable Casserole. If there is ever such a thing as a family favorite, this is it! As kids, we loved it. Yes, you heard that right—mom didn’t have to beg us to eat these vegetables! And as I joke with my mom now, I think she served it almost every time she entertained guests. Surely some of her friends must have chuckled upon seeing it on the dinner table again and again, but it’s simply so good that I’m sure the laugh was accompanied with a sense of delightful anticipation. 🙂
Made with a classic mix of veggies (carrots, yellow squash, zucchini squash, green beans, and onions) and topped off with your favorite cheese, this dish defines simple, delicious food. And if you know mealtime is going to be crazy and you need to prep in advance, just chop these veggies up ahead of time, and you’re one step closer to a simple, nutritious side dish. Finally, my entire family swears that this casserole tastes even better the second time around, so be sure to make extra so you have leftovers!
I hope you enjoy this wonderful vegetable casserole recipe. So many memories are shared over the food we eat. As my mom approaches a big birthday this coming week, I thank her for all the wonderful dinners she cooked for our family with this special vegetable casserole on the table. I also want to acknowledge the kindness of friends—Mrs. Weber and her family who helped us out during a very challenging chapter of our lives and reminds me of this quote from an unknown author—”A Simple Act Of Kindness Can Make A Tremendous Impact On A Person’s Life.”
- yellow squash, sliced (2 cups)
- zucchini squash, sliced (2 cups)
- onions, sliced (2 cups)
- carrots, sliced (2 cups)
- green beans trimmed and cut in bite-sized pieces (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 ounces cheese, sliced or shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large covered casserole dish mix the cut vegetables together with some oil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake vegetable casserole covered for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top veggies with cheese. Cover casserole and let cheese melt into the veggies. Serve in 5 minutes and enjoy!
Truth be told I never measure out ingredients for this recipe. I realize, however, it can be intimidating to try something new if you don't have measurements—so I dutifully measured everything this one time. Please, feel free to live on the wild side and improvise as you like!
My mom's personal tips for this recipe are: (1) be sure not to add water—it just ruins the vegetables, (2) the more carrots the better, and (3) add red peppers for some extra color and taste! Yes, she gave me this list and told me I had to include them in the recipe. Thanks Mom!
I use olive oil or avocado oil when making this recipe.
While any type of cheese can work with this dish, personally I think a medium or sharp cheddar cheese can add an extra punch of delicious flavor!
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- While a simple Pyrex baking dish covered with foil can work for cooking up my vegetable casserole recipe, I love using my white baking dishes from Crate & Barrel.
- If you’re looking for a great oil to cook up with casserole with, try Chosen Foods Avocado oil. It’s delicious, buttery, and oh-so-versatile.
- A great, non-slip cutting board is an invaluable kitchen asset when cutting up the vegetables. I upgraded to these Epicurean non-slip boards last summer, and I’ve been really pleased with them.
- A high quality set of cutting knives can make a huge difference, especially when you’re cooking REAL food. My local knife shop advised me to invest in the higher quality Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature brand (much higher quality than the J.A. Henckels International brand) and time has proven them right. (To make sure you know which Henckels knives are better, here’s a tip — look for the “twins” on the knives vs. the single guy sporting the trident.) While you can buy these knives online, if you’ve got a local knife/cutlery store, support them instead. I love my local cutlery store and bring my knives in every six months or so to get them maintained with a nice, sharp edge!